Occupational Therapist, Camilla Holt, is based in Perth, Western Australia. Her areas of expertise include handwriting and literacy. Camilla has over 20 years experience in assessing and treating children and young people with a variety of conditions, including joint hypermobility, and how it affects hand function. Personalised assessment and treatment are provided using a functional, skills based approach with a primary focus on educational outcomes.
Difficulty maintaining sitting position on the mat or at the desk
Clumsy or awkward movements
Poor fine motor skills (including cutting)
Pencil grip and handwriting difficulties
Difficulty copying, and reversing letters, numbers or words
Delayed literacy (may be due to visual perceptual problems)
Assessments for WACE exams.
Handwriting is a crucial skill for children to master. In the early school years, learning letter formation has been shown to enhance the acquisition of literacy (particularly letter knowledge).
As a child progresses through the primary school years, efficient and effective handwriting frees up the brain to concentrate on phonics, punctuation and spelling, and allows the expression of knowledge.
There is also evidence that students with neater handwriting achieve higher marks regardless of the content of the work.
Visual Perception is how we interpret what we see. It is a vital skill for children in the acquisition and retention of literacy.
Inadequate visual perception can lead to an otherwise bright child falling behind academically. With appropriate training, development in this area will assist children to meet their academic potential.
There are several different components of Visual Perception, including:
Perth OT can assist people with hypermobile joints to improve their hand function, and also provide advice on joint protection, pacing, and strengthening.
Occupational Therapy can also offer training to improve positioning, technique, speed and fluency in writing.
Advice can be provided regarding improving function and independence in activities of daily living, such as using cutlery, tying shoe laces, and brushing teeth.