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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is handwriting important?
    Handwriting helps a person communicate their thoughts, especially in a school-based setting. Handwriting is a developmental skill, just like learning to walk, riding a bike, and tying shoelaces, which involves many visual, motor, and cognitive skills. Handwriting is also important for participation in daily activities such as filling in your address on a form, signing a document, and writing a birthday card. Studies have shown that handwriting proficiency and math and reading scores are directly correlated.
  • How does age/grade affect handwriting proficiency?
    When students first learn to write there is an incredible amount of focus and motor control required to form each letter and word. As students progress in age/grade the ability to form letters and words becomes more rote. Thus, it is imperative to identify students with sub-par handwriting as early as possible to improve the window of opportunity for maximal benefit of services.
  • What is a screening tool and will my student be diagnosed or labeled?
    A screening tool is a first step to help identify students that may be at risk of needing additional support or individualized instruction. RAH does not diagnose or label students. Through extensive R&D efforts we have been able to quantify metrics of handwriting proficiency which allows us to determine which students handwriting is statistically below their peers (2 standard deviations below the mean for a given outcome).
  • How is handwriting evaluated?
    Many strategies for handwriting screening and assessment exist. These can range from parent observations of their children, teachers’ gestalt impression of handwriting based on their experience or acumen as educators, screening tools composed of qualitative or semiquantitative measures, and formal evaluations and assessments as performed by trained professionals (i.e. school psychologists, occupational therapists). Competitor screening programs differ from RAH by not being automatic, may require significant training on the part of the administrator, are not objective, and/or are not always standardized.
  • Do all schools screen for handwriting proficiency?
    No. Handwriting proficiency screening is difficult and often time consuming if done via semiquantitative methods. RAW makes it easy for any school to perform screening and with ZERO handwriting experience required by the screening administrator.
  • How can the Rapid Assessment of Handwriting (RAH) help students?
    Early identification of handwriting deficits with timely remediation can result in the best outcomes. RAH makes early screening easy and suggests best practice measures for remediation based on the type of handwriting errors present in a student sample.
  • How can RAH help schools?
    Our goal is to decrease special education costs and improve student outcomes. Early identification and remediation of handwriting deficits can result in overall decreased therapist time and therefore decreased costs per student. Universal screening also allows schools to apply a tiered intervention approach and identify those students that may benefit from additional support or an individualized curriculum. Further, RAH was developed to help meet the needs of an inclusive learning environment.
  • How can RAH be implemented in an inclusive learning environment?
    As a universal screening tool which can be deployed school and classroom wide, RAH affords all students the opportunity to be screened with cutting edge technology and helps identify those who may benefit from additional support, which may often be delivered without any need to separate students from their classroom.
  • Can RAH be used outside of the school setting?
    Pediatricians, psychologists, and non-school based occupational therapists may find the information provided by RAH helpful in diagnosing, treating, and caring for children, specifically in the identification and management of dysgraphia. At this time RAH is not being made available to non-educational or non-health related individuals, including parents. However, if parents would like more information or would like us to reach out to your school please contact us.
  • What is RAH looking for and how does it work?
    Students write a single sentence. Staff take a picture of the sentence. The RAH screening tool then uses proprietary computer analysis of handwriting to identify errors related to letter sizing, letter and word spacing, letter formation, line alignment, and more. These categories are defined by different motor, cognitive, visual, and language processing abilities and give the screening administrator a well-rounded evaluation of overall handwriting performance. Based on the quantitative and objective outcomes of the handwriting analysis RAH will determine if a sample is at or below grade level performance.
  • What happens after screening?
    After taking a picture, RAH will display the screening outcome and highlight any areas calculated to be significantly below that of grade level peers. RAH will also suggest methods/activities/ideas to address these areas based on scientific evidence and best practice measures. Schools may also wish to consult with other professionals i.e., occupational therapists, school psychologists, etc. After completing the suggested methods and plan, students can be re-screened with RAH. If they are flagged again, they may be referred for further formal evaluation and assessment by school professionals.
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