Brooke Czuleger, Emily Garnica, Jessica Phung, and Maciej Rzepka
In the past decade, the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Intellectual Disabilities (ID), has increased. Sensory processing is an area of need for individuals with ASD and ID that requires specialized interventions. In best practices, these services are delivered by an interdisciplinary team, often consisting of an occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, behaviorist and special education teacher. Yet, to date there has been limited research examining interdisciplinary collaboration with the many professionals on the team. The purpose of this study was to empirically examine the interdisciplinary team practices at a special education center in Northern California. This research employed interview methods and qualitative analysis. Results informed a conceptual practice model for collaboration as a highly intentional practice. The model depicts sensory needs of individual students and thusly sensorimotor programming for the classroom as a priority for the interdisciplinary team. Final themes from the analysis as essential to collaboration were: taking action, communicating, addressing barriers, reinforcing team values and understanding interdisciplinary roles. Implications for practice include advocating for the scope of OT, active engagement in the collaborative process at the IEP level, taking leadership roles, creating opportunities for collaboration, engagement in dialogue with administration and formal inservice training.
Kayla Comer, Tiffany Huang, Kelly Schmidt, and Matthew Tong
As the population and longevity of older adults’ increases, the prevalence of falls is becoming an ever-growing issue. One in three adults aged 65 years and older experience a fall each year. Falls in older adults may lead to sedentary behavior, decreased independence, and lower quality of life. Evidence has shown that traditional exercise programs emphasizing strength and balance exercises can decrease the fall risk in older adults, but may be difficult to sustain over time. Emerging evidence suggests that exercises that are integrated into daily life may have a more lasting effect in reducing fall risk in older adults. This study explored the effectiveness of an integrated exercise program, the modified-LiFE program, in decreasing fall risk in community-dwelling older adults. Results supported integrative exercise programs may decrease fall risk in community-dwelling older adults with previous history of falls. Therefore, integrating exercises into daily life offers occupational therapists an effective occupation-based intervention that promotes safety, independence, and quality of life for older adults.
Samantha L. Alexander, Noelani M. Brisbane, Rebecca M. Schira, and Kaitlyn M. Williams
Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited Intellectual Developmental Disorder and a genetic model for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Those living with FXS face emotional, social, intellectual, and physical challenges that impact engagement in occupations, yet to date, there has been limited qualitative research examining family occupations in FXS. In this research, twelve interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed for common themes anchored in the Person, Environment, Occupation (PEO) model. Results indicated that while children with FXS exhibit strengths, there are certain occupations that families find difficult to engage in. A new model was created for consideration of family occupations and FXS. This model depicts family occupations as a complex and ever changing, dynamic interaction between the child and family engaging in varying environments, and activities. This model can further inform clinical reasoning when designing a comprehensive child and family-centered approach supporting participation in occupations.
Haley Caruthers, Samantha Talavera, Stephanie Vera, and Jackeline Ulloa
Older adults (OAs) over the age of 65 are the fastest growing age group in the United States. They are also the fastest growing population of Internet users as they use the Internet to access health information related to optimizing independence, productivity, and social engagement. Although there is an abundant amount of information available that is devoted to healthy aging, the validity of the information can be questionable and the information may be confusing.
Dominican University of California’s (DUC) Healthy Aging website contains relevant and evidence-based research, including activities and local community based programs that promote healthy aging. To expand the website, a literature-based needs assessment was conducted, which indicated, the value of health promotion materials that foster of emotional and physical wellness and encourage a safe and active lifestyle in and outside of the home. Specifically, new topics such as “Living Safely Inside and Outside of Home,” “Local Events,” “Emotional Wellness,” “At Your Fingertips,” “Apps You Can Use,” and “ Position, Movement, & Ergonomics” have been added to enhance the DUC Healthy Aging website. The DUC Healthy Aging website is very beneficial to both OAs and health profession majors because it is highly accessible and provides resources and information regarding health promotion and prevention behaviors to live a productive lifestyle.
Implementing Multifactorial Education Modules with Older Adults: Individualized and Interactive Fall Prevention Education
Salvador Chavez, Jocelle Flores, and Rachelle Yambao
Falls are a significant concern for community-dwelling older adults (OAs), with one in four OAs reporting a fall every year. Occupational therapy students collaborated with first responders of the Novato Fire District to identify gaps in fall prevention community outreach programs and found that many interventions lack an interactive or individualized approach. Based on the gap analysis and current literature, seven education modules were developed to address key risk factors including home modifications, polypharmacy, fear of falling, and balance exercises. Thirty community-dwelling OAs participated in the education modules and were implemented at two senior community sites in Marin County. Participants were screened via Functional Reach Test (FRT) and completed a survey to determine their personal risk factors for falling, which guided their personalized fall prevention education. Of the participants, 90% rated their experience with the education modules as “very good” or “excellent,” and a majority rated the balance exercises as most important. The interactive 1:1 education modules are an effective and innovative method for fall prevention education and highlight the importance of client-centered treatment.
Carrie Payne and Lauren Kufer
This critically appraised topic explores the functional task performance of adults with low vision utilizing tactile vision substitution systems, specifically tongue display units (TDUs). TDUs are a novel assistive device that functions to provide artificial vision to those with low vision. TDUs pixelate images captured on a camera the person wears and the images are translated via electronic stimulation on the tongue to paint a picture. Two studies that measured functional task performance utilizing a TDU with adults with low vision were explored. Examples of functional tasks measured include word recognition, object recognition, and orientation and mobility tasks. The studies concluded that with skilled training, the TDU may significantly improve functional task performance in tasks previously impossible for the participants. Use of technology such as a TDU can improve functional task performance to enhance overall quality of life for adults with low vision of light perception or less. The results indicate the need for skilled training by professionals such as occupational therapists to best utilize a TDU.
Michelle Chan, Kelsie Colombini, Kristen M. Henderson, and Courtney Malachowski
In recent years, the number of inpatient cardiovascular surgeries has significantly increased in hospitals around America. Occupational therapists in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center (Burlingame, California) currently lack a standard protocol for addressing physical, cognitive, and psychosocial factors in patients post cardiac surgery. Furthermore, interventions are frequently guided by professional experience and clinical reasoning instead of current evidence. The American Occupational Therapy Association’s Centennial Vision encourages occupational therapists to pursue science-driven practices and provide evidence-based interventions. In response to this vision, an extensive review of current literature was conducted and applied to develop an evidence-based clinical pathway for the occupational therapists at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center. The proposed clinical pathway includes intervention guidelines for physical recovery, early detection of cognitive impairment, and psychosocial health for patients post cardiac surgery recovering in the ICU. The clinical pathway would establish a standard of care and facilitate patients’ return to their highest level of function during post-cardiac surgery rehabilitation.
Michelle Beckwith, Brina Nguyen, Jennifer Sik, Kenneth Yu, and Laura Greiss Hess
Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited intellectual and developmental disability, and a known genetic cause of autism. Individuals with FXS present with deficits in cognition, social skills, behavior, language and sensory processing skills; all of which are commonly assessed through standardized and norm-referenced assessments. However, these outcome measures are sometimes not sensitive to contextually based changes in daily life. Further, there is limited research employing qualitative methods in the FXS literature. The purpose of this research was to examine family perspectives collected via semi-structured interviews as part of a randomized controlled medication trial of sertraline (Zoloft®) on children two to six years old diagnosed with FXS. The constant comparison method was used to analyze differences in family expressions of their child’s improvements over the course of the 6-month clinical trial. Twelve interviews were analyzed, six-treatment, six-placebo, and all coding was done blind to group assignment. Results indicated greater improvements in the treatment group when compared to the placebo group in: anxiety, receptive / expressive communication, maladaptive behaviors and some sensory issues. These preliminary findings warrant a need for further research with a larger sample.
Sarah L. Yoder, Jason Ichimaru, Emily Lu, and Nghi Tran
As the number of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) entering adulthood grows, it is crucial to identify interventions that can help this population acquire adaptive behaviors necessary for independent living and employment. This study aimed to identify how Autisty Studio’s project-based therapy impacts this population’s engagement in adaptive behaviors.The study utilized the Brief Adaptive Behavior Scale (BABS), a quantitative assessment informed by the BRIEF-2 and the Vineland-II, to measure improvements in adaptive behaviors in 11 participants at Autistry Studios. Specifically, the BABS measured frequency (Frq), highest level of assistance (LoAHigh) required, and lowest level of assistance (LoALow) required to engage in adaptive behaviors over the course of nine sessions. Domains of Frq, LoAHigh and LoALow scores included executive functioning (EF), socialization (SOC), and self-regulation (SR). Analysis using a Repeated Measures ANOVAs and paired-sample T-test found significant differences and trends toward significance of the LoAHigh and LoALow scores in the domains of EF and SOC , indicating that Autistry’s pre-vocational, project-based therapy program is effective in improving adaptive behavior skills in adults with ASD, as measured by the BABS.
Savannah Hancock, Jacqueline Bloom, Charlotte Sally, and Rhianna Wallace
College students in particular have chronically restricted sleep patterns and experience more daytime sleepiness, and physical and mental health issues than their same-aged peers who are not students. Sleep is an emerging area of research and intervention for occupational therapists. The purpose of this study was to identify and investigate how college student’s beliefs about sleep affect their quality of sleep. This study asked: how do beliefs and attitudes about sleep affect sleep quality and participation in valued occupations in college students? Four college students were interviewed regarding their sleep beliefs and attitudes. They also completed a two-week sleep diary to determine their general sleep beliefs and attitudes and daily behavior. The interviews were coded for themes and four emerging themes were identified: a) beliefs about sleep patterns related to temporal structure of sleep, b) the impact of stress on sleep, c) occupational performance in terms of performance in the occupation of sleep and performance in all other occupations (daytime performance), and d) conflicting beliefs about sleep. Sleep diary data revealed that participants’ idealized sleep beliefs are not consistent with actual behavior. From these themes researchers concluded that college students do not have well defined beliefs and attitudes about sleep or consistent, routine sleep schedules, leading to fair sleep quality and performance of daily occupations.
Avery Wilson, Mios Buccat, Amanda Grace Irao, Morgan Mousley, and Michael Yra Munchua
Therapeutic Listening® is an intervention increasingly used by occupational therapists despite the lack of supporting evidence in current literature. Therapeutic Listening® is a sound-based treatment developed by Sheila Frick, OTR/L, rooted in sensory integration. The purpose of this continuation study was to analyze the quality of bilateral movement in typically developing children after a Therapeutic Listening® session using a more sensitive, qualitative measure. This study used a randomized control pretest-posttest experimental design to analyze posture, smooth and continuous movement, effort, precision, and arm/leg movements. Specific items were further analyzed after eliminating those with a strong ceiling effect and focusing on items that approached significance in the previous study. Results showed the Quickshift series to have a moderately significant effect on qualitative movements during bilateral tasks by improving smoothness and rhythmicity. Overall, when compared to the white noise group the intervention group showed a greater improvement in bilateral coordination. Limitations of this study include a low statistical power, and a high ceiling effect. However, despite these limitations the Quickshift series shows promise as an intervention to improve bilateral coordination as this study, together with the standardized tests from the previous study show a trending effect of Therapeutic Listening® on bilateral coordination.
Bryant Luong, Ann Malloy, and Shannon Preto
Few empirical studies have been conducted to provide evidence for the effectiveness of Therapeutic Listening - Quickshifts (TL-Q). Anecdotally, TL-Q has produced consistent positive results for therapists and clients as a pediatric intervention. Therefore, it is imperative to research TL-Q’s efficacy, which may lead to its broader implementation. In this study, the researchers examined the effectiveness of TL-Q intervention for children with sensory processing difficulties to improve participation and function in 1) school performance, (2) self-regulation and arousal, (3) activities of daily living (ADLs), (4) social/emotional skills, and (5) sensorimotor skills. Over the course of an 8 week prospective study, the researchers conducted a pre-test, post-test case study. During the intervention period, TL-Q expert therapists adjusted the specific musical track depending on the needs of the specific child. Results showed an overall positive increase in quantitative scores and a qualitative feedback. Most notably, in the areas of social emotional skills and sensorimotor skills. This study provided evidence for the support of TL-Q in the clinical setting and developed an effective protocol for future research.
Katherine Blank, Alison Chandler, Malcolm Isely, Serena Soria, and Yamin Zaw
Individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) may experience challenges in their everyday occupational performance due to cognitive impairments. Cognitive tabletop and occupation-based assessments are used to evaluate cognition in individuals with ABI. There is a need for cognitive occupation-based assessments as they possess ecological validity: a reflection of an individual’s occupational performance in daily life. This study aimed to validate the Medication Box Task assessment in its use as a cognitive occupation-based assessment. The results of the Medication Box Task assessment were compared against the results of a battery of five gold standard tabletop assessments. Pearson correlations showed significant correlations between type II errors of the Tower of London and the extra and missing pills of the Medication Box Task assessment. No other significant correlations were found between scores of the Medication Box Task assessment and the battery of cognitive tabletop assessments. More importantly, it was discovered that six out of seven participants, who indicated that they managed their own medication, made errors on the Medication Box Task assessment. Based on the results, no conclusion can be made about the Medication Box Task assessment as a valid cognitive occupation-based assessment.
Eugene Cheung, Janice S. Li, Diana Lopez, and Angela Talamantez
This study explored the effectiveness of the Bridge/Adapt program for generalizing increased cognition to functional skills. Three participants, identified as having significant cognitive impairments as measured by the Cognistat assessment, participated in the Bridge/Adapt program, an eight-week program that includes both remedial and compensatory components. The remedial component used was a computer-based cognitive rehabilitation program called Parrot Software. Past studies have proven computer-based cognitive rehabilitation to be effective in increasing overall cognition. The Bridge/Adapt module is the compensatory component that utilized a variety of strategies and everyday tasks to facilitate the generalization of improved cognition to functional performance. A homework component was also implemented for participants to incorporate the strategies learned in the Bridge/Adapt program to their own meaningful occupations. This study utilized a pretest posttest design using the medication box assessment to measure functional performance. Results of the medication box assessment indicated that one of the three participants demonstrated generalization of skills from improved cognition to functional performance. Future research should include re-evaluating the Bridge/Adapt modules and the medication box assessment. Recommendations to improve future implementation are provided to increase likelihood of generalization.
Christine Kim and Angelica Soltis
Executive functioning (EF) helps build a strong foundation for school readiness, play development, and social participation in children. EF includes attention, inhibitory control, working memory, emotional regulation, planning, and problem solving
Currently, there are few ecologically valid assessments that measure EF in children. The purpose of this exploratory research study was to validate the Pre-school Kitchen Task Assessment (PKTA) as an ecological tool to assess EF in preschool age children. The PKTA utilizes an age appropriate art craft activity and a standardized scoring system to determine the level of assistance (cues) each child needs to complete each step of the craft activity. This study compared the scores from the PKTA to the scores from established neurological assessments, specifically, BRIEF-P (preschool version), the Forward and Backward Digit Span and the Dimensional Change Card Sort in 24 typically developing children ages 3 to 5 living in Marin County, California. No significant correlation was found between the results of the PKTA and the neurological assessments used in this study. However, it was confirmed that the PKTA was sensitive to age in months. As the PKTA is sensitive to age, researchers suggest that the PKTA may be a useful developmental tool in assessing important skills such as fine motor, organization, visual- perception, and judgment and safety in preschool age children.
Facilitating Effective Communication Between First Responders and Older Adults During Fall Incidents
Krystin M. Beeman, Erica L. Berger, Isabel A. Cabezas, and Nicole M. Mathews
PURPOSE. The purpose of this project was to provide first responders with communication strategies for older adults that may help when responding to fall- related calls. General information was also provided to First Responders on working with older adults with a focus on the aging process, fall risk factors, and communications strategies.
METHODS. A series of educational sessions to first responders at a local fire district were developed and presented by occupational therapy students. Materials were developed by presenters from evidence-based resources and tailored to the target population. Each presentation focused on statistics about older adults, the aging process, fall risk factors, and effective communication strategies for older adults. Each two hour presentation consisted of a lecture, role play, and a discussion period.
RESULTS. Evaluations were completed by participants upon the conclusion of each educational presentation. Evaluations included rating the quality and information provided, and whether participants recommend this training to other first responders. The average rating was 92-98% which indicated participants strongly agree and the training was useful and would recommend it to other first responders.
CONCLUSION. As the older adult population increases, more individuals wish to “age in place”, leading to an increased number of falls among older adults, and requiring emergency care from first responders. Information and communication strategies provided through educational presentations to first responders may help facilitate effective communication during an emergency call with an older adult and also prevent future falls. Collaboration with first responders can help occupational therapists develop new role regarding fall prevention and communication with older adults.
Valerie J. DeRoos and Skyler Moon
According to the World Health Organization (2007), age-related visual impairment is increasing. It is estimated that 65% of people who are visually impaired are over age 50 and 82% of those visually impaired over age 50 are blind (WHO, 2014).
• Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) is a national training program that serves individuals with blindness or low vision. As a non-profit organization, GDB provides all services free of charge to participants. Training lasts for two weeks with a class size of 6-8 students and instructor/student ratio of 1:2. Participants learn how to perform daily tasks with their dogs and venture out in the community during the on-campus training.
• When walking with a guide dog, different upper extremity muscles and postures are adopted. Older adults with low vision may not be in the proper physical condition to meet the strenuous demands of handling a guide dog due to the normal aging process and decreased mobility.
• There is an overall lack of research studies regarding muscles used with either a long cane or a guide dog; the project developers supplemented current literature with experts’ opinion from GDB.
• Occupational exercises can be integrated into older adults’ daily activities to stretch and strengthen the necessary muscles to handle a guide dog.
• Short-term goals of this project are to decrease muscle pain and injury when handling a guide dog and to facilitate older adults’ success in the GDB program.
• In the long term, this project may potentially help to increase the eligibility of older adults in preparing and maintaining the physical capability when partnering with a guide dog.
Rachel E. Malmquist, Chelsey M. Robinson, Kirsten L. Rogers, and Andrea B. Sosa
The majority of school-based occupational therapy (OT) referrals are for handwriting. In fact, fine motor and handwriting concerns affecting educational performance make up 80-85% of OT referrals in schools. Occupational therapists use an abundance of interventions for remediating handwriting difficulties, but there is scant evidence of why specific strategies or combinations of strategies are effective.
Cognitive interventions have shown to be successful in the treatment of handwriting. Metacognitive skill, a component of cognition, allows a child to self-monitor and self-reflect on his or her handwriting skills to correct mistakes and generate goals for improvement. Therefore, a child’s ability to self-reflect on handwriting is likely an important factor when strengthening the learning and use of handwriting. Having insight into a child’s reflection of his or her handwriting abilities will also assist occupational therapists in creating an appropriate and effective handwriting intervention. This study aims to contribute to the evidence regarding the development and treatment of handwriting skill in elementary school-aged children.
Interprofessional Collaboration Between Occupational Therapists and Registered Nurses in Acute Care Settings: An Exploratory Study
Vincent P. O'Brien, Bethany J. Loy, Kelly Nguyen, and Holly Micheff
Background. Collaboration between occupational therapists and nurses is key to a positive prognosis for their patients. Currently, there is a gap in the research on professional relationships between occupational therapists and registered nurses in acute care settings. Purpose. To examine interprofessional collaboration between registered nurses and occupational therapy in an acute care setting. Methods. A phenomenological, qualitative design with use of semi-structured interviews was used. Interviewees were four occupational therapists and four registered nurses who currently work in acute care settings in Northern California and were recruited through a snowball, convenience and purposive sampling. Themes and subthemes that emerged from the data answered the research questions. Findings. The key factors preventing collaboration were: Time constraints, role confusion and overlap, personality factors, and lack of occupational therapy advocacy. Implications. This study may guide the development of interprofessional education to improve the collaborative relationship between occupational therapists and nurses to ultimately improve quality of care.
Raquel F. Ramos, Jennifer A. Borcich, and Taylor S. Wong
As the number of older adults continues to rise, falling in older adults has become a national health care issue. Many older adults who fall reside in assisted living facilities. Every time a fall incident occurs, first responders are called, utilizing a significant amount of first responder’s time and resources. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to implement a fall prevention program for residents of an assisted living facility (ALF) to reduce fall risk and fall-related calls to the local fire department. The project consisted of a four-week course given once weekly for 60 minutes to residents at an ALF. Course content was evidence-based and included information on the role of occupational therapy in fall prevention, strength and balance exercises, environmental fall risks, and how hydration, nutrition, vitamin D intake, bone health, and medication management impact fall risk. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, indicating that participants found the information helpful and relevant. Occupational therapists and other health professionals can play an important role in the education of residents and staff of ALFs to increase awareness of fall risks, promote health and well-being among older adults, and help decrease fall-related calls to first responders.
Michelle Del Rosario, Lisa Mrsny, Amanda Cervantes, and Carl Fitzgerald
The purpose of this study was to measure the quality of sleep in undergraduate college students and explore the relationship between academic self-efficacy and performance in student-related occupations. A quantitative, exploratory, descriptive and correlational research design was used to explore the relationship among sleep quality, perceived self-efficacy, and selected student characteristics. This study included undergraduate students, as well as self-identified student athletes, first generation students, and students with disabilities. To collect data, the researchers conducted an online survey, which consisted of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a demographic and self-efficacy questionnaire. The PSQI was used to evaluate the sleep quality, while the demographic and self-efficacy questionnaire gathered information about student related occupations and self-efficacy. Two hundred and nine college students, aged 17 to 25, participated in the survey. One hundred thirty five (64.6%) participants scored above a five, indicating poor sleep quality while 74 (35.4%) participants obtained good sleep quality as measured by the PSQI, while. The average number of hours slept reported by participants was 6.68. Results support existing evidence suggesting college students are sleep deprived, and over half of participants reported sleep issues that could be addressed by an occupational therapist.
Emily Smiley, Daryl Arora, Jiawen Liang, and Melissa Ramirez
This study concludes a 2-year long randomized control pretest posttest design study examining the effects Therapeutic Listening® Bilateral Quickshift intervention, on bilateral coordination in typically developing children between the ages of seven to eleven. Participants were recruited from after school programs at Coleman Elementary and St. Anselm School located in Marin County, California, as well as word of mouth from the Dominican University community. Participants were randomly assigned to either the Therapeutic Listening® intervention or white noise control intervention. All participants completed a pretest to establish a baseline of bilateral coordination abilities. Participants then listened to 15-minutes of the intervention, followed by the posttest. The testing measures include subtests of the Bruininks- Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2), Sensorimotor Performance Analysis (SPA), Quick Neurological Screening Tool (QNST-3), and the Infinity Walk. Significant improvements in BOT-2 bilateral scores, and quality of movement were observed within the Therapeutic Listening® group between pretest to posttest after a single listening session, however, improvements were not seen in the white noise group. No significant changes were seen in QNST-3, SPA, and Infinity Walk scores. Results show promise for Therapeutic Listening®, and adds to the body of evidence supporting its use for improving motor skills in children.
Jessica Lim, Courtney Beyer, Anna Lee, and Sienna Anderson
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the most common cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults over the age of 65 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2009). Falls can lead to a myriad of traumatic physical and emotional consequences. Integrated exercise programs such as the Lifestyle-integrated Functional Exercise (LiFE) program are effective in preventing falls and increasing fall efficacy in individuals who have previously fallen (Clemson et al., 2012). The purpose of our study was to examine if the LiFE program is as effective in reducing fall risk and increasing fall efficacy for non-fallers as it is for fallers. Due to a small sample size of three older adults residing in two independent living residential facilities, the results from our study are inconclusive. The results show that participants were able to increase or maintain their physical fitness and fall efficacy, as well as make improvements in their balance. Moreover, the participants’ testimonials and progress forms collected six-months after the beginning of the program indicate that the LiFE program may have been effective in allowing integration of balance and strengthening exercises into habits occurring in daily activities.
Hillary Colby, Ani K. Courville, Sherin Thomas, and Salwa Yaser
Handwriting proficiency is reliant on the skill and coordination of the sensory, motor, cognitive, and perceptual systems. One aspect of sensory processing for penmanship is somatosensation. The contribution of somatosensory processing to handwriting proficiency has not been adequately researched. Therefore, this study evaluated the contribution of somatosensory processing to handwriting proficiency. Seventy-four typically developing second grade children were assessed on their handwriting proficiency and their somatosensory processing. Measurement instruments included the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA), The Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration-Motor Coordination Subtest, Sixth Edition (VMI-MC), and Quick Neurological Screening Test, 3rd Edition (QNST-3). Results showed a small, but statistically significant correlation between proprioceptive and kinesthetic ability with handwriting skill in the areas of size, alignment, and form. Further research is indicated to more closely assess the particular contributions of somatosensation to handwriting sub skills. Similarly, results indicate further need to assess how occupational therapy practitioners might use somatosensory interventions to assist children who are struggling with handwriting development.