Q: Are The Happy Handwriter’s resources available at a store near me?
A: The e-resources are only available directly through us as online purchases. You can get them from The Happy Handwriter online shop.
Q: My child is older than 10 years. Will The Happy Handwriter help?
A: Yes, older children can absolutely benefit from The Happy Handwriter resources. However, there is one critical and over-riding factor that will determine whether your older child will benefit: Is your child concerned about their handwriting, or are you concerned about their handwriting? We find if we are parents are the ones who are concerned and your child is not at all bothered, results are limited. However, where your child is the one who is concerned, and is willing and determined to improve, we have seen wonderful results with older children. You can find more here about Handwriting Help for Older Children.
Q: My child’s school uses the Nelson or Sassoon font. Can I use the books with them?
A: The current range of books uses the ball-and-stick print and traditional South African cursive handwriting style. However, where handwriting has gone horribly wrong (you will know if this is your child!), I find teachers are more concerned with getting it right than what style of handwriting used.
It is often easier to remediate difficulties by starting with a completely different handwriting style as the motor maps are completely new. Changing already established motor maps is difficult as the child will naturally revert to what is familiar. Where handwriting has gone horribly wrong, we often recommend a transition to cursive handwriting at as a completely new handwriting style and a chance to start over. If you are concerned, check with your child’s teacher or therapist first.
You can find The Happy Handwriter’s handwriting books here.
Q: My child is 4 years old and I am eager to get going – how do I decide where to start?
A: The shopping cart is organised according to age which will serve as a guideline for the selection of age appropriate activities for your child. Click here for the resources for your 4 year old.
Q: Are The Happy Handwriter resources suitable for
teaching left-handers to write?
A: Yes, all our resources are suitable for left-handers. The most important thing for left-handers when it comes to handwriting, is the positioning of the book. You need to ensure the child adopts a good hand posture and doesn’t assume a ‘hooking’ posture of the wrist.
The book should be angled at about 35 – 45 degrees to the table edge with the top left corner uppermost. I call the triangular space created between the angled book and the edge of the table the Crocodile Mouth®. Remind your child that they have to have their book in the Crocodile Mouth position before they start writing. Working on a tilt board or angled working surface can also assist left-handers, but they must still use the Crocodile Mouth position when using the tilt board.
The left-handed mini-course will tell you all you need to know to help your lefty at home and at school.
Q: My child is currently seeing an occupational therapist. Can I use The Happy Handwriter’s resources in conjunction with therapy?
A: Absolutely! But please do check with your child’s therapist first. In my experience, using these resources in conjunction with therapy, results in skills that are consolidated quicker and the time spent in active therapy is reduced. Please make sure that you work together with your child’s therapist to ensure you are working in support of the therapy process.
Q: Can I make use of The Happy Handwriter’s resources in place of occupational therapy?
A: The Happy Handwriter’s resources cannot be used in place of occupational therapy for children who have been referred for the specialised support of occupational therapy. They can, however, supplement and support the therapeutic process.
Q: I am looking for an occupational therapist to
see my child.
A: The Happy Handwriter does not offer individual assessments, treatment or consultations. We recommend that you try one of the following:
Ask your child’s teacher. The school may not endorse any one therapist and they are ethically required to supply you with 3 therapist’s names from which you may choose. However, they will have a good idea of the therapists in the area, along with their particular areas of interest and expertise.
National queries regarding therapists may be directed to the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa (OTASA.). They have a directory of therapists countrywide and will be able to direct you to someone in your area.
Cape Town queries may be directed to the Western Cape Paediatric Practitioner’s Group. You will be able to search for a therapist in your area.
If you have any questions not addressed here, please submit them via the contact form.