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OTS 116: Challenging Typical Handwriting Traditions

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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 116 of the OT Schoolhouse Podcast.

Have you ever thought of having your students be the handwriting teachers?

By having students apply what they learned during an OT session, they can go back into the classroom to share the letter stories and formations with everyone… including the teacher! This is a great functional way to help them solidify what they learned.

Today, Cheryl Bregman is here to discuss some common handwriting norms on which she is flipping the script. We also dive into how children have been affected with dysgraphia and pseudo dysgraphia and how a collaborative approach can help.

Tune in to learn about an awesome handwriting program Cheryl has created that can help a child learn to write in five weeks!

Tune in to learn the following objectives:

  • Learners will identify why it is beneficial to start with learning lowercase letters

  • Learners will identify the reasons children may present with pseudo dysgraphia

  • Learners will identify and understand how reading and writing collide and impact one another

  • Learners will identify how handwriting heroes use a multi-sensory approach and how it is beneficial for all children, especially those with learning disabilities.

  • Learners will identify specific assessments that do not correlate with handwriting outcomes.

Guest Bio

Cheryl Bregman, MS, OTR/L

Cheryl Bregman, MS, OTR/L earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a Master of Science degree in Technology in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. Her specific research interests involve handwriting development and the integration of assistive technology in school settings. With over 25 years of experience, Cheryl has extensive experience working with children who have developmental coordination disorders (DCD), learning disabilities, and attention issues.


“We really do need to think about starting with lowercase, particularly for students with learning disabilities… They had a really hard time with differentiating between upper and lowercase” - Cheryl Bregman, MS, OTR/L

“If we can make handwriting easier, more automatic to our students, then they can use that brainpower for higher level skills” - Cheryl Bregman, MS, OTR/L

“Look more carefully at the students and what their needs are, not to just confine it to whether or not something is legible. Look beyond that, so you can help that child functionally” - Cheryl Bregman, MS, OTR/L

“It's not that they necessarily have dysgraphia… they're in front of a computer for two-three years, and all they did was try and type, so they haven't had the experience” - Jayson Davies, M.A., OTR/L

“Practice makes permanent, not perfect” -Jayson Davies, M.A., OTR/L


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