Assisting autistic students with handwriting difficulties using a combination of handwriting intervention
Keywords:Handwriting difficulties; The Size Matter Handwriting Program; Brain Gym; ecological support; autism.
Although many studies have shown that handwriting difficulties commonly occur among autistic students at the school level, studies examining treatments to address handwriting difficulties among autistic students are still lacking. Motor impairment and memory impairment coupled with lack of guidance and treatment cause their problems to persist up to the secondary school level. This case study aims to identify how autistic students attain handwriting competency through “BGSM”. This study focused on autistic students with handwriting difficulties aged 12 years and above. It was carried out in an intervention centre at Seberang Perai Tengah, Penang. Three samples were involved in this study. The independent variable of this research is "BGSM”, which underpins the combination of the Brain Gym and The Size Matter Handwriting Programme concept that underlies the Vygotsky sociocultural learning theory. "BGSM" was implemented for 80 minutes daily for six weeks by an experienced special education teacher. Interview, document analysis and observation, and evaluation of handwriting skills in terms of neatness and letter formation were among the data collecting techniques used in this study to offer a clear picture of how the autistic students achieved handwriting competency through "BGSM”. The study's findings revealed that "BGSM" is beneficial to children with autism with handwriting difficulties. Their handwriting skills were developed through purposeful learning activities that included two-way interaction, writing exercises, and ecological support.