Handwriting 101: Tips & Tricks from a Former School Based OT

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Have you ever amazed yourself with the handwriting that you are able to “read” although it resembles hieroglyphics? As educators, many of you have become accustomed to decoding words based on the context. This professional development workshop is created for educators working with children in all subject areas, all grades, and all exceptionalities.

With endless paperwork, testing, state mandates, and new curriculum (and depending on the grade you teach), it just doesn’t (or isn’t) feasible to take time out of the day to teach handwriting basics. I get it.

Working as an Occupational Therapist in the school system taught me that teachers need easy to implement visuals, strategies, and tricks that they can incorporate into other activities and throughout their daily routines WITHOUT having to add in time to “practice.” Through trial and error, conversations in the teachers’ lounge, and honest feedback from teachers taught me a few things. 1. Often times, teachers do not receive formal education in HOW to teach handwriting skills or the foundational skills that are necessary to be able to write 2. The handwriting curriculum in many districts is poor or non-existent 3. Handwriting is the least of their concerns with everything else on their plates 4. Teachers need simple, feasible strategies that can be applied/used for all students 5. Teachers are not provided with education on what supports can be helpful and when to use them 6. Teachers are not educated on when it is appropriate to refer a student to Occupational Therapy (or Speech/Language Therapy) 7. Teachers want to help but do not always know what supports are available (online, TPT accounts, support from OT, district support, Assistive Technology, etc) to help their students

What’s included in this course?

1. An easy to understand breakdown of everything that goes into handwriting

2. Techniques, activities, accommodations & modifications that you can use in your classroom, TOMORROW!

3. Guidance on what underlying skills a student might be struggling with that are impacting his/her handwriting and how to provide support and guidance

4. When adding in Assistive Technology to support is appropriate

5. When a referral to the school based OT or a private OT might be appropriate

*Please note, all courses provided by Solana Therapy are open and accessible for 30 days from purchase date.*

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    Caitlin Anderson

    Ms. Caitlin is a licensed and certified Occupational Therapist with a passion for helping children succeed. She has experience in many pediatric settings including outpatient, school-based, and Early-Intervention. She has experience working with a wide range of diagnoses including but not limited to Developmental Delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, ADD/ADHD, and various mental health diagnoses. Ms. Caitlin is committed to providing quality therapy services and does so by regularly engaging in continuing education courses centered on pediatric growth and development. She has formal training in the Handwriting Without Tears program, Parent Coaching, and Ready Bodies Learning Minds. She is certified in the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol. She has training and experience in Assistive Technology to assist students needing support in areas of reading and writing within the school setting. She is currently working on her certification to become a children's yoga teacher to bridge her love for reflex integration with the need for coordination and strength in writing, reading, and play activities. Ms. Caitlin attended Florida State University where she set out to obtain a business degree while taking additional science and psychology courses to prepare her to apply to graduate school for Occupational Therapy. This plan would set her up for success to achieve her two main goals: 1. Attend graduate school to receive a Masters in Occupational Therapy after graduation 2. Open her own Pediatric Occupational Therapy company In 2014, she graduated from Florida State University with honors and a bachelor degree in Marketing with a Minor in Psychology in 2014. She then went on to attend and graduate from University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2016. In 2016, goal #1 was accomplished and Ms. Caitlin became a licensed Occupational Therapist. She began working in an pediatric outpatient clinic Jump to May of 2020, goal #2 was accomplished when Ms. Caitlin decided it was time to open her own company, Solana Therapy. A company dedicated to her dream- helping children become more independent and helping parents feel empowered to help their children. Fast forward to 2022, after working in the school system full time and working for Solana Therapy part time, Ms. Caitlin decided to take the plunge and go full time with Solana Therapy- her dream since day 1. You can now find her in preschools, schools, homes, the community, and online providing OT services to babies and children and educating parents, teachers, and health care professionals on best practices to help children play, grow, & THRIVE. If she's not making prepping a sensory play activity or providing OT services, you'll find Ms. Caitlin spending time on the beach and on the water, cheering on the Seminoles, spending time with her family- including her rescue pup, Jackson.

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