Homework headaches…it’s all in the writing

Hi Vicky,

I’m a pediatric occupational therapist and sensory specialist with expertise on the impact of technology overuse on children, and I would like to comment on getting children to do homework.

Working as a school based OT on the Sunshine Coast with children who had difficulty learning, I had the opportunity to witness a salient feature in children who hate homework…they don’t know how to print! They would never tell you this, but when watching them make their letters and numbers, they were slow, and often didn’t know which way to go, when to turn, or when to stop during letter production.

Not having subconscious letter and number production affects every subject (except maybe PE), and divert precious brain power away from spelling, sentence production, math, science etc. You may think this failure to print is just a feature of young children, but this problem stretches into high school, and recently has been reported in the research with illiterate university students.

The reason why children can’t print is multi-factorial, but largely due to the fact that teachers are not teaching printing anymore. A 2008 study by Steven Graham reports that in the primary grades, teachers only teach printing for 14 minutes per day, compared to an hour per day in the 70′s.

Another reason children can’t print is the 8 hours on average they are spending using combined technology (TV, video games, cell phones, internet etc). The sedentary aspect of technology overuse is grossly affecting their sensory and motor system development, impacting on printing acquisition.

Let me know if you’d like more? My website has a media kit with bio, published articles etc.

Have a GREAT day!


Cris Rowan, BScOT, BScBi, SIPT, Approved Provider AOTA
CEO Zone’in Programs Inc.
6840 Seaview Rd.
Sechelt, BC V0N3A4
604-885-0986 office, 604-885-0389 fax
email crowan@zonein.ca
website www.zonein.ca