Tag Archives: Handwriting

Unveiling Success: Recap of the 2023 School Based Practitioners Summit

We’re thrilled to share the highlights of our exhilarating experience at the 2023 School Based Practitioners Summit, held on August 7th and 8th in the vibrant city of Columbus, Ohio. This event brought together school based practitioners from across the region to exchange knowledge, discover new treatment tools, and forge meaningful connections. As part of this inspiring event, we’re excited to unveil the top five best-selling products that left attendees buzzing with excitement.

1. Letter Treasure Hunt: Handwriting Fun in the Form of a Great Game!

Letter Treasure Hunt

Topping the charts of the summit’s best sellers is Therapro’s own innovative game, Letter Treasure Hunt. This engaging tool takes handwriting practice to a whole new level through interactive play. Designed to captivate young minds, this game facilitates letter recognition, gross motor challenges, and social interaction. With Therapro’s commitment to combining fun and education, Letter Treasure Hunt was a clear favorite among attendees.

Pro Tip from a physical therapist in attendance; instead of writing letters, challenge players to imitate those letters with their body to change the skill focus from handwriting to body awareness!

2. Crayon Rocks: Ignite Creativity and Fine Motor Skills

Crayon Rocks

In a world of digital distractions, Crayon Rocks stood out as a timeless gem. These vibrant, eco-friendly crayons provide an excellent platform for sparking creativity and refining fine motor skills. Their ergonomic shape encourages proper pencil grip, setting the stage for future writing success. At the summit, practitioners recognized the value of fostering creativity through simple yet effective tools like Crayon Rocks.

3. Happy Senso Sensory Gel: A Sensory Delight

Happy Senso sensory foam

Happy Senso Sensory Gel added an element of multisensory wonder to the summit. This versatile gel stimulates a range of senses, making it a versatile tool for therapists. From tactile exploration to sensory integration activities, Happy Senso captivated attendees with its potential to enhance learning experiences and create a sensory-rich environment.

Pro Tip: for an even greater sensory experience, try walking through Happy Senso Sensory Gel!

4. Wiggle Wobble Chair Feet: Enhancing Focus and Engagement

Wiggle Wobble Chair Feet

Recognizing the need for subtle sensory solutions in educational settings, the Wiggle Wobble Chair Feet received high acclaim. These clever attachments transform ordinary chairs into dynamic seating options, encouraging movement and improving focus. Attendees discovered how this simple yet effective solution can have a positive impact on students’ engagement and attention spans.

5. Flick Stick Fidget Toy: A Pocket-Sized Solution

Flick Sticks

Fidgeting finds a purpose with the Flick Stick Fidget Toy, which rounded off our list of top sellers. This discreet tool fits in the palm of a hand, providing a soothing outlet for restless fingers. Its satisfying flicking motion aids concentration and stress relief, making it an ideal addition to classroom and therapy settings.

A Journey of Innovation and Collaboration

The 2023 School Based Practitioners Summit was a resounding success, underscoring the importance of innovation and collaboration in the field of education and therapy. At Therapro, we are committed to providing professionals with the tools they need to create engaging, effective, and inclusive learning environments. The summit allowed us to connect with passionate practitioners and showcase products that align with our mission.

As we reflect on this exciting event, we extend our gratitude to all those who participated, shared insights, and explored our product offerings. Your enthusiasm fuels our commitment to supporting educators and practitioners in their noble mission of empowering young minds.

Thank you for being a part of the Therapro community, and we look forward to more opportunities to learn, grow, and innovate together.

Using Assistive Technology to Engage All Learners

On June 8th the Therapro team was supposed to set up a booth at the 2023 New York City’s Department of Education (NYCDOE) Assistive Technology Expo but unfortunately poor air quality from the Canadian wildfires meant the event was canceled. However, we still wanted to showcase the many ways assistive technology can be used, in the classroom, to engage all learners. In this blog post we are covering the modification ideas we were planning to display at the conference.


There is a lot involved in reading a book; readers must have the ability to attend and focus, they must have the fine motor ability to turn the pages of a book, and they must have the visual skills needed to see the words on the page. When reading a book is further complicated by these challenges, engagement can decrease. Fortunately, there are several ways assistive technology can be used to address these challenges.


Adaptations for Low Vision or Decreased Focus

Highlighter strips are simply strips of specially designed yellow material that stick to the pages of a book with static electricity. Highlighter strips brighten written words on a page making visual processing easier. These strips are especially useful for students with attention difficulties or who have low vision.

Black better board slant board

Slant boards have a variety of uses, for students who have difficulty with attention and focus they are a great tool to use when reading! The angle of the board will bring the book closer to eye level minimizing distractions and increasing focus. Pro tip: Learn more about the different uses of slant boards in our previous post: More Than Just A Slant Board!

Adaptations for Fine Motor Difficulties

Wikki Stix are wax colored strings that are often used for craft projects. However, these moldable, slightly sticky strings are a great option for creating removable ‘page lifts’. Simply shape the Wikki Stix into a small spiral or mound and place one on each page of a book. This will separate the pages of the book making it easier for students with fine motor limitations to turn the pages of the book.

BIG Step-by-Step with Levels

Adaptations for Emerging Readers

Step by Steps (available as Little or Big) are often used as communication devices. However, they can be a handy tool for learners with limited or emerging literacy skills. To use, record as you read aloud the pages of the book. When the user is ready to ‘read’, they would hit the switch to hear the recording of the book. To make this more interactive and to better imitate the act of flipping through the pages of a book, use the sequential feature to record page by page. With this the ‘reader’ would hit the switch to hear what is on the next ‘page’.

To learn more about supporting literacy skills check out the January 2022 post, Supporting Reading: More Than Just Literacy Skills


Just like reading a book, writing also requires many skills; these skills include the fine motor ability to effectively hold a writing utensil, the visual perceptual ability to coordinate visual input with motor output, and the sensory ability to accurately grade force. Difficulties in any of these areas can adversely effect handwriting legibility, speed, and endurance for writing tasks. The good news is that there are many accommodations and modifications that could be used to help with these difficulties.

Adaptations for Decreased Handwriting Legibility

Handwriting legibility is often influenced by writing with poor sizing, difficulty orienting letters to the writing line, or letter spacing issues. Check out some of the options available to address these areas.

  • LegiLiners: LegiLiners are a rolling ink stamp that can be used to create a writing line on paper with open spaces. A writing line can be a game changer for students who have difficulty writing with the appropriate size. LegiLiners are available in a variety of styles and even have some great options to help out in math class!
Yellow legi liner
  • Highlighter Paper: Highlighter paper features highlighting in the lower writing area (available is yellow or blue). This highlighting helps indicate where letters should be placed. Another feature of highlighter paper is that the solid lines have been separated to assist the student with locating the writing area.
  • Raised Line Paper: Raised line paper is a unique paper that features a subtle raised line to indicate the top and bottom writing line. These gentle cues can be a great reminder for students who write outside of the writing area.
Narrow lined raised line paper
  • Spacers: Finger Spacers and Star Spacers each offer support to help students better understand correct spacing. The Finger Spacer is a great tool to teach correct spacing between written words; it is available as a one finger (1st to 3rd Grade) or two finger Pre-K to 2nd Grade) spacer. The Star Spacer is a clever handwriting tool made of see-through plastic that acts as a guide to help the child understand spacing, sizing, and alignment of letters and words to promote more legible handwriting.

Handwriting Speed & Endurance

Handwriting speed and endurance for writing tasks is often impacted by difficulties related to grasp. Pen and pencil grips are a quick and easy solution. The blog post Get A Grip on Pencil Grips and Adapted Writing Tools! covered this topic extensively. Therapro also has a free handy guide, Get A Grip on Pencil Grips  that helps determine the best grip to fit your needs.

Extracurricular Activities

Difficulty grasping objects can impact a student’s ability to not only participate in academic tasks but can also impact the student’s ability to participate in extracurriculars like music or art class. Two unique devices to help with grasp and grip are the Eazyhold Universal Cuffs and the the functionalhand.


Eazyhold Universal Cuffs are an innovative solution to help students who have a weak or non existent grasp. These handy tools can be used not only in the classroom but also during extracurricular activities like holding a paintbrush in art class, holding drumsticks in music class, or a water bottle during gym. The silicone strap simply drapes over the back of the hand and the object is inserted into the two holes on opposite ends of the Eazyhold allowing the object to be securely held with the palmer side of the hand. Pro tip, not sure which Eazyhold is right for you? Check out Therapro’s What Can I Adapt Handy Guide for sizing recommendations!

The functionalhand

The functionalhand is another tool to aid grasp. The functionalhand‘s unique and flexible design allows the users to hold functional tools of many shapes and sizes in both the vertical and horizontal orientation. It is truly a universal cuff that is durable and supports a wide age range and types of disabilities. Pro Tip the functionalhand and Eazyholds work great when paired together to offer students both control and a secure grasp on tools.

Therapro had many ideas ready to display at the 2023 NYCDOE Assistive Technology Expo; we are disappointed we couldn’t meet you all in person but we are glad to have the opportunity to share these ideas here!

Meet Therapro’s Occupational Therapy Authors & Creators

Therapro is celebrating its occupational therapy authors and creators during Occupational Therapy Month. Read on to learn more about these great occupational therapists and their creations!

Letter Treasure Hunt

Jenny L. Clark, OTR/L, BCP is the creator of the “Learn to Move” curriculum and Therapro’s Letter Treasure Hunt. Jenny has helped children over the past 25 years as a licensed pediatric occupational therapist working as a speaker, consultant, private practitioner at her own clinic (Jenny’s Kids, Inc.), school-based occupational therapist, independent contractor for early intervention services, author, and inventor. Jenny’s creation, Letter Treasure Hunt, is a fun and engaging game that targets handwriting skills while weaving in fun gross motor activities.

The functionalhand

Linda Merry, OTR is the co-creator of the functionalhand. She has many years’ experience and extensive knowledge working with children and adults who have disabilities and teaching on a variety of topics. She is a senior therapists at Easter Seals DuPage & the Fox Valley Region in Villa Park, IL and co-owner of Thera-Solutions which designs programs, coaches’ professionals and develops products for therapists, educators and caregivers. Her creation, the functionalhand is an innovative tool to assist with grasping objects for everyday fun and function!

Polly Benson OTR/L is the creator of LegiLiners, “the patent pending, cool little tool to quickly draw handwriting lines”. Polly is a school based occupational therapists with many years experience working with students of all ages. The idea for LegiLiners grew from her love for helping students with functional handwriting. LegiLiners are available in in a variety of styles to help learners of all ages.

Barbara Smith, MS, OTR/L is the author of From Rattles to Writing: A Parent’s Guide to Hand Skills. Barbara has been  an occupational therapist for over 40 years working primarily with children and adults with developmental disabilities.  Barbara’s book From Rattles to Writing: A Parent’s Guide to Hand Skills is a groundbreaking guide that describes the songs, games, toys, activities, and adaptations that help children develop the visual-perceptual skills needed to read and the eye-hand coordination to write.

Jayne Berry, OTR/L is the author of Fine Motor Skills in the Classroom and creator of the Therapro Hand Tool Kit. Jane was a pediatric therapist who worked extensively with preschoolers and school aged children. The Therapro Hand Tool Kit contains all your “hand tools” in a convenient kit! Fine Motor Skills in the Classroom  is a hand skills program developed as a tool to facilitate consultation in the classroom.


Diane Long, EdD, MOTR/L is the creator of the game Trunks. Dr. Diane Long is an associate professor and serves as the Chair of Occupational Therapy at Ithaca College.  Trunks is an innovative game that targets working memory; players move their bodies, make sounds and perform actions from memory!

Carolyn Murray-Slutsky, MS OTR, C/NDT, FAOTA has co-authored many publications including: Is it Sensory or is it Behavior? 2nd Edition (2022), Autism Interventions: Exploring the Spectrum of Autism, Developing Visual Motor Integration, and the Sensory Modulation Laminated Card Series. Carolyn is certified in sensory integration (SI) and neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) for pediatrics, infants, and adults and director of Rehabilitation for Children, Inc, a pediatric private practice.  Her latest publication, Is it Sensory or is it Behavior? 2nd Edition (2022)  answers many questions about the relationship between sensory and behavior.

Fine Motor Olympics

Marcia Bridgeman, MHA, OTR/L is the author of Fine Motor Olympics. Marcia has been a pediatric occupational therapist since 1977, specializing in school based services for students from preschool through 22. Fine Motor Olympics is a program designed for an occupational therapist to provide inclusive and consultative services to teachers, volunteers, parents, and staff.