• handwriting;
  • learning disorder;
  • assessment process;
  • occupational therapy;
  • pediatrics

When a handwriting problem significantly affects student academic performance, intervention is warranted, and referral to an occupational therapist may be recommended. Occupational therapists generally adopt a diagnostic approach to assessment of handwriting difficulty. Prior to designing and implementing a remediation programme, the therapist assesses whether inadequate handwriting results from motor in coordination, biomechanical restrictions to movement, inefficient perceptual processing, anxiety arising from previous failure, or a combination of these factors. Critical to the validity of the diagnostic approach is a relationship between the variables assessed and handwriting performance. This paper presents a review of the literature concerned with handwriting performance, dysfunction and assessment, and provides background information to evaluate current occupational therapy assessment practice.