June 13, 2016

Child Occupational Therapy: Handwriting Without Tears

Writing is a crucial daily skill that can be very challenging for many children. At Lumiere’s Children Therapy in Chicago, our occupational therapists use the Handwriting Without Tears® Program as a part of child therapy to help children learn how to write better. The program is very effective because of the hands-on approach that is used. Children are exposed to different writing utensils and writing techniques, such as water, chalk, music, movement, and manipulative objects. The variety of writing tools used allows the children’s fine motor skills to be practiced and improved upon. The program builds on students’ success, as it has them starting out learning easy letters while using large writing utensils. Eventually, as they begin to improve, the children move on to learning harder letters while smaller writing utensils.


Handwriting Without Tears® uses teaching strategies that involve three stages. The first stage starts with imitation of the teacher; the second stage moves on to the copying of letters; and the third stage has students writing letters with no assistance. The program teaches students how to learn letters by starting with the easiest ones first and then moving onto the hardest ones last. This method helps to build confidence in the student and their writing abilities. They start with uppercase letters then move toward lower case letters. Each letter is taught in the same writing group based on how you form the letters. For example, o, e, c, and a are all taught in the same sequence since you form the letters in a similar way.

Multisensory Teaching

The writing program incorporates multisensory activities and play-based instruction. There are eight different multisensory lessons: music and movement, wet-dry-try, door tracing, imaginary writing, letter sizes and places, voices, mystery letters, and letter stories. Watch here for a lesson using wet-dry-try. Our therapists in Chicago are able to find the activity that best meets your child’s learning style in order to achieve the most success.

Contact Lumiere Children’s Therapy for more information about our child therapy techniques for handwriting. Click here for more on Handwriting Without Tears®!

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