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Copy of Minnesota Handwriting Assessment

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by

Alyssa Lukas

on 13 May 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Minnesota Handwriting Assessment

Prior to administering the OT should:
• Assess environmental factors
o Desk size
o Lighting
o Ventilation
o Distractions within space
• Select appropriate stimulus sheet
• Read structured directions directly from manual
• Ask clarification questions directly from manual

After administering the OT should:
• Follow specific guidelines and procedures to score 6 categories
• Interpret and compare results against averages
• Evaluate the need for services



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The purpose of the assessment is to assess the quality of handwriting of 1st and 2nd grade students in order to evaluate the need for occupational therapy services and monitor progress.
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6-7 years old
Minnesota Handwriting Assessment
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Rachel


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Assess quality and speed of student's handwriting during a near-point copying task

Legibility
Form
Alignment
Size
Spacing
Rate - 2 1/2 minutes. Additional time as needed.

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Student’s performance level vs. peers
"Falling behind"

Collaboration with the teacher

Appropriate posture and positioning
Paper: Position and Lines
Pencil grasp
Practice
Adaptive suggestions
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Occupational therapist at Moundsview School District in Minnesota
A pilot version of the assessment was tested using 225 second graders.
Addition of spacing and time categories
Collaboration between OTs, OTAs, , and teachers and researchers to develop letter-by-letter scoring rules.

Administering the assessment was very easy
o Clear and direct instructions
“This is a handwriting paper. Print your name on the bottom line, then put your pencil down.”


• Scoring was slightly difficult
o Very time consuming
o Measurements must be precise
For example, lines must be measured within 1/16th of an inch

Talk in a clear, slow appropriate tone
Do not focus on the time so the children are not stressed

Perform assessment in a quiet area with limited distractions
Use an appropriately sized table in a room with good lighting and ventilation
Do not provide cues that could impact performance during the task
Do not suggest techniques, but provide encouragement when appropriate
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- English language

- Assumptions about ability to write and writing preference
- Complete written work legibly and within time limits
- Legible, yet small handwriting
- Strict interpretation of certain categories
7-8 years old
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Scoring
alignment, legibility, form, rate, spacing, and size
Ruler measurement
rate, alignment, size, and spacing with 1/16 of an inch error allowance
Every letter of the alphabet
Familiar and grade-appropriate words
Abnormal layout prevents memorization of the sentence through

Emphasis on handwriting

To score: Put the ruler on the printed line as if the line on the ruler IS the printed line on the paper. Then see if the student’s printing is within the allowed space or just touches the ruler line. Both situations are scored as correct.
Pencil thickness does NOT influence score
Erasing- no penalty
Handwriting Style: Both manuscript and handwriting
Individual Styles: Error point earned for poor control but not for creative effects
Time to Score: 3-7 minutes after experience with 30 samples
Scoring for rate: Number of letters completed, including circled letter, in timed 2 ½ minutes
Scoring for Quality
Legibility, Form, Alignment, Size, Spacing

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Interrater Reliability:
inexperienced scorers: .77-.88
experienced scorers: .90-.99


Intrarater Reliability:
.96-.99


Test-Retest Reliability:
.60-.89
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Purpose: Study evaluated 16 first- and second-grader’s handwriting before and after 8-weeks of the Log Handwriting Program.

Hypothesis: The Log Handwriting Program would improve participants’ writing legibility after 8 weeks.

Results: After 8 weeks of participating in the LHP, legibility, form, space, and alignment increased by at least 10%, and speed decreased.

Limitations: Small sample and no control group

Conclusion: According to this study, the MHA is a standardized assessment with good interrater reliability, and is a good assessment tool to measure improvements and changes in handwriting.
Mackay, N., McCluskey, A., & Mayes, R. (2010). The Log Handwriting Program improved children’s writing legibility: A pretest–posttest study.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64,
30–36.
Purpose: Study evaluated the handwriting of 14 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and 14 children with typical development to identify how children with ASD may struggle with different areas of handwriting.

Hypothesis: Children with ASD would struggle with impaired handwriting due to problems with fine and gross motor functions, difficulty identifying limb positioning, and issues with proprioception.

Results: Children with ASD exhibited a variety of handwriting abilities; however, overall handwriting scores were lower in the group with ASD versus the group of typically developing peers. Children with ASD scored lower in form; however, there were no differences between the groups in regards to legibility, alignment, size, and spacing.

Conclusion: Study provides results that support the idea that individuals who lack steady motor control are unable to precisely and fluidly control the movements of their upper extremities. According to this study, the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment is easy to score, easy to administer, and provides many measurable results. The study also states that the test is able to correctly predict how participants’ handwriting has been subjectively rated by their teachers.
Fuentes, C., Mostofsky, S., & Bastian, A. (2009). Children with autism show specific handwriting impairments.
Neurology, 73
(19), 1532-1537. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181c0d48c
designed to compare and rank test takers in relation to one another
Clear, plastic 6 inch MHA ruler to score the quality categories of Alignment, Size, Spacing, and Form
1/16th, 1/8th, and 1/4th of an inch of a line
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Legibility
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Spacing
If a letter earns an error point for legibility, the letter also earn an error point in each of the other four categories.


Letter must be present.
Letter must be recognizable
Letter does NOT look like any other letter

Calculating- count all of the category 1 errors and subtract the total number of errors by 34 (potential errors)
How the letters are formed

Letters should be curved and sharp when appropriate
Letter contains no extra lines
Extensions no greater than 1/16th of an inch


Calculating- Count all Category 2 errors.
Be Sure to add one additional error point for each letter that is illegible and is marked with a circled 1.
A letter earns an error point for the alignment if the letter does not rest within 1/16th of an inch above or below the base line.


Letter must rest within appropriate distance above and below line







Count all Category 3 errors.
Be sure to add one additional error point for each letter that is illegible and is marked with a circled 1.

Referenced to top solid line, the dotted line, or the lower dotted line (for letters with ascenders such as j)

Must be within 1/16th of an inch of the appropriate line.
If there is a dent in the line, use the highest point
If the letter is too large, it earns error point for size, but not for form

Count all Category 4 errors.
Be Sure to add one additional error point for each letter that is illegible and is marked with a circled 1.

Letters within words may not touch
A letter within a word written more than ¼ th of an inch from the preceding letter, earns an error point





Count all Category 4 errors.
Be Sure to add one additional error point for each letter that is illegible and is marked with a circled 1.

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