Handwriting for Heroes 3rd Ed. now available!

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Thanks to the feedback we have received from everyone on the earlier editions of Handwriting For Heroes, we are pleased to announce the 3rd Edition. This edition are available now directly from the publisher.  Amazon.com will have the 3rd Edition as soon as the 2nd Edition (Revised) stock sells out, approximately August 1, 2015.  Bookstores can order direct from the publisher or from New Leaf Distributing.  H4H remains the only program specifically directed towards adult re-learners.

Highlights of the 3rd Edition include

  • Exercises structured for either cursive or print (manuscript) re-learning.
  • Positive psychology exercises to promote optimism and
    resiliency in your daily life.

As always, we invite Certified Hand Therapists to request a complimentary evaluation copy to learn whether Handwriting For Heroes is right for your clients.  Write to victor@LHPress.com and be sure to include your complete mailing address.

Positive Psychology and Rehab

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New: Positive Psychology Exercises in H4H 3rd Edition

Handwriting for Heroes, 3rd Edition
Handwriting for Heroes, 3rd Edition

In addition to the ‘Daily Dozen’ exercises, the 3rd edition of Handwriting for Heroes includes a special ‘Baker’s Dozen’ created by Dr. Amanda Sammons, an Army occupational therapist. This newly developed section helps you cultivate a positive attitude and “MIGHTY Mindset” throughout your course of recovery and handwriting skill development. Edward George Bulwer Lytton said, “The pen is mightier than the sword”. Writing is a very powerful tool, and gains more strength when coupled with a positive attitude to influence the thoughts behind your writing. The ‘Baker’s Dozen’ offers positive psychology exercises to promote optimism and resiliency in your daily life. One of the primary aims of positive psychology is to help people to discover, explore, and improve on their personal strengths. This can be done through a variety of deliberate exercises to train your brain to attend more to your positive experiences and focus less on the negative ones. Throughout this program you will complete a positive psychology exercise each day.

The word MIGHTY is used as a mnemonic to help you remember each of the positive psychology exercises that you will learn during your journey to change hand dominance.

M: Mindfulness
I: Improve your signature strengths
G: Gratitude
H: Happiness advantage
T: Three good things
Y: You at your best

Each week focuses on a different aspect of positive psychology. Apply each to your day-to-day life regardless of where you are in the process of changing your hand dominance. In fact, these exercises should become part of your daily routine for you to continually cultivate a positive attitude and mighty mindset.

We welcome your feedback at www.handwritingforheroes.com – Kristin, Katie, and Amanda

 

 

Relearning print writing – new for 3rd Edition!

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Cursive writing is easier than printing from motor and perceptual standpoints. Learning cursive writing also diminishes the challenge of having even spaces between printed letters. However, many have requested that the 3rd edition include instructions and visual demonstrations on PRINT writing. We have answered your request. To keep the workbook a reasonable length, we have placed both a print and cursive example at the top of each exercise page. Please feel free to do both or select the type/style of writing you wish to master and stick to it. Where space was limited, we placed the print example in parenthesis.

Handwriting for Heroes unique side-by-side approach for print and cursive retraining.
Handwriting for Heroes unique side-by-side approach for print and cursive retraining.

We welcome your feedback at www.handwritingforheroes.com – Kristin, Katie, and Amanda

Meet Amanda Sammons – our newest collaborator on Handwriting for Heroes

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Amanda_Sammons_400Amanda Sammons is an officer in the Army Medical Specialist Corps. She graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in athletic training, from Shenandoah University with a Master’s of Science degree in occupational therapy, and from Baylor University with a Doctor of Science degree in occupational therapy. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband.

Amanada’s contributions to Handwriting for Heroes: Learn to Write with your Non-Dominant Hand in Six Weeks, 3rd Edition include positive psychology exercises.  Her ‘Baker’s Dozen’ offers positive psychology exercises to promote optimism and resiliency in your daily life. One of the primary aims of positive psychology is to help people to discover, explore, and improve on their personal strengths. This can be done through a variety of deliberate exercises to train your brain to attend more to your positive experiences and focus less on the negative ones.

We’ll be exploring more about the positive psychology exercises in the coming weeks running up to the release of the new and expanded 3rd Edition.

Focal Dystonia and Handwriting – tips

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K.W. writes:

In 2005, I was diagnosed with focal dystonia which is a neurological movement disorder. The dystonia is worse in my right hand, so I have recently purchased your book to see if it would help me learn how to write with my left hand. I have been doing the exercises in the book for 5 days now, and I don’t really see a difference yet.  How long should I give it? Can H4H really help me? My hand shakes so much when I write I’m beginning to be discouraged.

My name is Nora and I work with Kristin Gulick, one of the book authors. I have done a decent amount of work with focal dystonia and other related disorders. The major premise of initial treatment is to remove the provoking activity (which sounds as though this would include writing in your case, right or left handed) and start with more loose, free flowing, gross motor patterns. Examples of these exercises would be rhythmic tai chi type shoulder movements, reaching each arm individually across your body, or moving a large therapy ball from the right side of your body to your left then back again using the other arm. Once this is accomplished without pain or symptoms, then the idea is to progress to more hand related activities that also involve crossing midline but staying loose and light while still avoiding the provoking activity. Gradually and slowly holding long narrow objects and using them to trace gross patterns (not letters) is then done prior to actually attempting writing. Any activity that causes pain, shaking, tremors, etc should be avoided.

A good resource person who has done quite a bit of research on this topic is Nancy Byl, PhD, PT.
If you Google her name and Dystonia it will lead you to some articles and materials that can get you started if there is not a therapist local to you that you are able to see regularly.

Good luck to you and I hope this information is helpful,
Nora Barrett, MS, OTR/L, CHT

Ed. Note:   I found this podcast interview with Nancy Byl to be interesting.

New Revised Edition!

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This revised edition of Handwriting For Heroes reflects the growth of the handwriting program based on research and feedback of many “heroes” who have taken the time to complete the workbook and send us wisdom from their experience.  As always, you can order this edition directly from the publisher, Amazon.com, or other fine e-tailers.

The following represent the major revisions of this edition:

  1. Added weekly handwriting goals: this is an important improvement because it empowers self-reflection and goal-setting, both of which are necessary in any long-lasting behavioral change
  2. Added Daily Speed Assessment: allows the learner to record his/her time to complete the Daily Dozen (the 12 main exercises). Speed is only one component of performance, but is easy to chart over time. An instruction to select and **star** the writing sample of highest quality encourages self-appraisal.
  3. Added a Self-Perception Questionnaire on Handwriting Ability: a 5-question instrument used as a pre– and post-test to the program. Whether working with a therapist or solo, the questionnaire is a great tool to evaluate the three main components: readability, speed (efficiency) and appearance.
  4. Added optional Letters-per-Minute Self-Assessment: allows learner to chart his/her writing performance and compare it to a set of normative values. Please visit our website www.HandwritingForHeroes.com to share your own scores!
  5. Added Weekly Compliance Score: allows therapists to gauge how much of the program is being completed in aid of developing realistic goals for therapy. It may also provide insight into the learner’s motivation and tolerance for handwriting activities.

In the wisdom of the Chinese proverb about “a journey of a thousand miles starting with a single step,” we need only begin!

We sincerely hope you enjoy this updated version of Handwriting For Heroes

—Kristin and Katie

 

South African occupational therapist on H4H method

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I am a occupational therapist in South Africa. Last year (2009) in my final year of studying, a patient was assigned to me who lost their dominant arm. It was the first time i was faced with having to do dominance training. i was able to teach the person how to tie his shoe, prepare food, dress, etc. using one handed techniques and assistive devices. The dilemma however was that the hospital where i did my practical had no resources to teach a patient how to write again… i searched the internet endlessly for exercises and guideline on how to teach an adult how to write again.

Finally i found the answer and was blessed by being sponsored with “Handwriting For Heroes”. This book is really a wonderful resource and so easy to use. The author was able to compile a book that is even easy to use for people who are not therapeutically trained. the exercises are simply arranged into weekly exercise sections that is further divided into daily exercises. these exercises are easy to follow and takes up little time to complete. I have also found it easy to use in outpatient situations where i can only see a patient once a week. i would do the first day’s exercises with the patient to make sure that he understands what to do in each exercise and that he is using the correct movements and flow of his hand. down falls to the product is that they mainly focus on cursive writing and not block writing as well as that some patients find the example and writing space to be a little small. in regards to the first down fall: the cursive writing does teach the client how to let his/her writing flow. With regards to the second down fall: what I do is enlarging the exercises to make it easier for the person to read and copy. otherwise i give the patient a book where i copied the exercises in. in all and all i would recommend this book to anyone and everyone!!!

Deonet Heymans