Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

April 21, 2016

Handwriting makes us smarter!


Marion Wilm OTR/L C/NDT is the most experienced and tenured occupational therapist at Child and Family Development and works at our Pineville office.  Over her 20+ year career, written expression has changed a lot (from handwriting to typing to keyboarding to smart phones and more!).  She continues to put an emphasis on the importance and benefits of handwriting, printed and cursive. There is more and more evidence that people who take notes by hand retain and process the information more fully.  

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article “Can Handwriting Make You Smarter?” by Robert Lee Hotz.  It summarizes several studies on this topic and asserts that while laptops and organizer apps make pen and paper seem antique, handwriting appears to focus classroom attention and boost learning in a way that typing notes on a keyboard does not.  Students who took handwritten notes generally outperformed students who typed their notes via computer, researchers at Princeton University and the University of California- Los Angeles found. Compared with those who type their notes, people who write them out in longhand appear to learn better, retain information longer, and more readily grasp new ideas, according to experiments by other researchers who also compared note-taking techniques.

Marion agrees that the physical act of handwriting rather than typing embeds the information more deeply in our memory and improves the ability to organize information.  This improves the ability to recall information during tests and thus made the students appear ‚Äúsmarter‚Äù.  Occupational Therapists continue to work with children in learning how to write– and type!  

Read full article here.     

Several of our occupational therapists are trained in Handwriting Without Tears¬Æ (HWT) and offer individual and group sessions.  

Click here to learn more about HWT.