Empowering Children with Dyspraxia through Magic Link Handwriting: An estimated 6-10% of children have some features of dyspraxia. It can go by many names, including developmental coordination disorder and motor learning difficulty. The Dyspraxia Foundation state that each person’s experience of dyspraxia or DCD is different and will be affected by a person’s age, the opportunities they have had to learn skills, environmental demands and the support/understanding shown by people around them. There are, however, some common signs of dyspraxia or DCD. Poor handwriting is one of the most common symptoms of dyspraxia. For parents of children with dyspraxia, the journey to improving handwriting skills can be both challenging and rewarding. The proven, transformative impact of the Magic Link Handwriting Programme on children facing dyspraxia, backed by before and after samples highlights its effectiveness in fostering improved handwriting abilities.
Dyspraxia, a developmental coordination disorder, often presents challenges in fine and gross motor skills, including difficulties in handwriting. Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) are one group in particular known for a high incidence of difficulties with handwriting (Prunty et al., 2016, Rosenblum and Livneh-Zirinski, 2008). “It supports the need for handwriting intervention in this group ” (Prunty et al., 2016).
Research has shown that children with dyspraxia can benefit significantly from targeted interventions that address their unique learning needs (Polatajko and Cantin, 015).
The Magic Link Approach
Magic Link is a specialised and highly structured handwriting programme for all children, including those with dyspraxia. It emphasises repetition and clear instructions, creating a supportive environment for developing and enhancing their handwriting skills. The program’s strength lies in its systematic framework, introducing concepts sequentially for a steady progression in learning. Repetition aids in developing muscle memory, crucial for effective handwriting, and maintains the child’s interest.
Clear instructions minimise ambiguity, fostering confidence in learners to navigate handwriting challenges. Magic Link’s individualised approach recognises unique strengths and areas of improvement in each child, providing personalised support for a nurturing learning environment. Ultimately, the programme equips children with dyspraxia with improved handwriting skills and instills confidence and a positive learning outlook.
Research Backing Magic Link
Research indicates that people with dyspraxia “always experience difficulties in developing efficient handwriting” (Chu, 1997). Research also offers evidence for the efficacy of focussed programmes like the Magic Link Handwriting Program in improving the handwriting abilities of children with dyspraxia. For instance, Kareem (2015) found “that activity based module had a positive effect in enhancing the Fine Motor Skills of Children with Dyspraxia.“.The Magic Link programme’s effectiveness is strongly supported by hundreds of documented before-and-after handwriting samples from children with dyspraxia. This substantial body of evidence offers clear and conclusive proof of the programme’s efficiency in improving handwriting skills.
Sarah Sandford, an occupational therapist and Magic Link teacher states that “One reason why children who enter the door of an Occupational Therapist, struggle with handwriting is the oblique lead-in when cursive is introduced. This is all linked with postural control, body awareness and midline awareness. The horizontal lead-in will make it much easier because it’s developmentally easier for kids to draw this line. This adjustment becomes particularly significant in addressing challenges associated with dyspraxia. Often Occupational Therapists teach print rather than cursive to avoid the oblique lead in and Magic Link makes cursive more accessible for these children.”
Sarah adds that the Magic Link programme helps dyspraxic children avoid the following errors commonly seen in Occupational Therapy because it..1.Teaches the correct starting position for letters. 2.Prevents letters being formed segmentally. 3.Teaches correct sizing and letter alignment to the line and margins. 4.Addresses the issue of slow speed. Sarah says that it is important to start Magic Link as early as possible to allow children to refine their motor skills, boost spatial awareness, and build confidence in effective handwritten communication.
Personalised Learning Experience
Magic Link’s success lies in its ability to adapt to the unique needs of each child. The colour-coded, programme offers clear guidelines, precise demonstrations and a structured format, creating a personalised learning experience that caters to the specific challenges associated with dyspraxia.
The programme provides clear guidelines, offering explicit instructions to minimise confusion and enhance comprehension. Precise demonstrations within the structured format play a crucial role in reinforcing proper handwriting techniques. This combination creates a personalised learning experience, addressing the specific challenges associated with dyspraxia.
By tailoring the programme to individual needs, Magic Link improves handwriting skills and also cultivates confidence in children, empowering them to overcome the hurdles of dyspraxia with a focused and effective approach.
Positive Reinforcement and Repetition
Magic Link incorporates these principles into its teaching methodology, providing consistent encouragement and repeated exposure to solidify learned concepts. This not only boosts confidence but also contributes to long-term improvements in handwriting skills.
Realising Handwriting Potential
Parents who have embraced the Magic Link handwriting programme for their children with dyspraxia report significant progress. Many children, including those initially hesitant or struggling, have seen remarkable improvements in their handwriting, unlocking their full potential and fostering a positive attitude towards learning.
In the journey to overcoming the challenges of dyspraxia, the Magic Link Handwriting Programme emerges as a powerful ally. Supported by proven evidence and driven by a commitment to personalised learning, Magic Link empowers children to develop excellent handwriting skills, instilling confidence and setting the stage for academic success. If you’re a parent navigating the world of dyspraxia, consider exploring the Magic Link approach to unlock your child’s path to handwriting success.