In a time when much of our communication is done with keyboards or using our thumbs to send messages on smartphones, the skill of handwriting is being diminished. In fact, many schools no longer require students to use cursive, viewing it as outdated in the midst of our technological world. However, the experts at your local Austin vision center are quick to point out that handwriting is a valuable skill to learn for reasons beyond signing your name and writing thank you cards.
Handwriting is a valuable skill to practice because it requires cognitive planning and activates the sensorimotor area of the brain. Forming the letters with a pencil or pen requires eye-hand coordination as your eyes guide the hand to make the letter. The process involves reading and writing at the same time as well as the ability to guide fine motor movements visually.
The American Academy of Optometry observes that the physical act of putting pen to paper enables the visual recognition of letters by helping to imprint a motor memory on the brain’s sensorimotor region. Therefore, the acts of reading and writing are linked, and those who seek vision care in Austin could benefit from practicing cursive handwriting if they need to work on tracking and other similar skills.
An important aspect of pediatric eye care is “brain training.” Learning handwriting is extremely valuable in this way. When a child learns and practices handwriting, he or she helps to train their brain to integrate fine motor skills and dexterity with tactile and visual information. These are skills that are not as easily acquired by simply practicing keyboarding.
All children, but especially those who could benefit from vision therapy, stand to greatly benefit from learning and practicing cursive writing, and hopefully they will continue to have the chance to do so in school. If schools discontinue teaching cursive, it may be advisable for some parents to teach it at home or to find tutors to do so.
If you have any further questions about the value of learning cursive handwriting or other aspects of pediatric eye care, and would like to set up an appointment or consultation at Austin Vision Therapy Center, call (512) 331-7288.