handedness/handwriting questions (LONG!!)

KateWriter katewriter at aol.com
Fri May 27 09:39:02 EST 1994


For upcoming book on handwriting teaching and improvement,
am looking to read some references on neuropsychology of handwriting
& neuropsych of handedness, with special reference to -1-
left-handed/ambidextrous writers, -2- languages that don't go
left-to-right in written form, -3- teaching children to write (best
methods/letter-models), -4- re-training adults who have lost the
ability to write for any reason, -5- teaching dyslexics, dysgraphics,
& others having unusual difficulties with handwriting..  What do you
suggest?  

Also trying to track down (in Russian  or English) anything by
Russian neurologist (deceased?) A. R. Luria that might comment on
handwritng of brain-injured adults/children.  I want to see if
research gives one any clues as to the suitability or otherwise of
various details in our  instructional methods, e.g., 
         letterform details,
         pen/pencil hold recommendations (would like to hear
from/about Jerre Levy & her detractors, too) 
         degree of joining that works best (we have now, in  standard
USA teaching, zero %  & 100 % ONLY ... couldn't/shouldn't we
accept/encourage options/ranges in-between??!!), 
         characteristics common to the handwriting of those legible
handwriters who deviate from school models in substantial ways,
        possibility that students are confused or otherwise harmed by
our print-then-script handwriting system (2 very different styles in
quick succession!)

I am therefore interested in extant/proposed alternative styles:
        Seeking specially persons familiar w/extant or proposed (in
USA or abroad) alternatives to print-then-script ... (by which I mean
what we typically do in the USA:  unjoined, visually simple vertical
/circular letters are taught, then replaced by a very oval, very
slanted, 100% joined script that is also very visually complex.) 
Can't we do better than THAT?! ...for instance, some countries use an
italic style, which contains elements of both (looks much like an
italic typeface or (when joined) like calligraphy; letters sometimes
(not always) may join -- this is done, since late 1970's in Sweden,
since around same time in Glasgow (Scotland), since early 1980's in
Portland (Oregon), since 1983 in Iceland
---  would this style, very differeent from others,affect neuropsych
work studying handwriting?)

I amlso specially interested in dysgraphic writers, adult new
literates, & post-stroke retraining of stroke/brain-injury survivors,
as well as writing
of dyslexic & hyperactives/Attention Deficit Disorder, learning
disabilities.  

I am a dysgraphic A.D.D. person who eventually (age 24,; I'm now 31)
did write very well, very fast (MUCH better than my typing!) after
learning ita;lic method.  

VERY SPECIAL INTEREST:
Creating/refining writing letterforms & techniques which will
maximize transfer of training from unjoined to joinable writing &
which will remain legible at increasing speed better than standard
print or, definitely, cursive-script forms now general.

Kate Gladstone/105 Heritage Road/apartment 7/Guilderland, New York
USA 12084-9660
phone 518-452-3822






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