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

Rebeccas Reads reviews Handwriting For Heroes

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Handwriting for Heroes: Learn to Write with Your Non-Dominant Hand in Six Weeks
Kathleen Yancosek and Kristin Gulick
Loving Healing Press (2009)
ISBN 9781932690699
Reviewed by Randy A Lakin for RebeccasReads (11/09)

When I first received this book, or should I say workbook, “Handwriting for Heroes”, I was pleasantly surprised by its content. I was expecting a lot of reading to be involved as with so many books on the market. This workbook is different, it is filled with writing exercise after exercise, and that is great. This workbook is for any individual that has lost full or partial use of their dominant hand and wants to re-learn how to write. When you stop to think about it, if you want to learn how to write with your non-dominant hand you have to write. The old saying, “Practice Makes Perfect”, is what this book is based on. No matter what your injury is, amputation, stroke, or extensive soft tissue trauma, this workbook is for you.

“Handwriting for Heroes”, targets adults and helps preserves the dignity of those who must “re-learn” the basics of handwriting. Each chapter is filled with repetitive exercises that will increase one’s fine-motor skills. There are six chapters as well as a Certificate of Completion at the end of the book. In each chapter there are also tips for therapist, which include exercises and information about proper posture and lighting. The authors have provided homework assignments that are easily done in the convenience of one’s own home while watching TV or relaxing. The tasks are oriented to the adult learner no matter what your education level may be. Learning to write with the previously non-dominant hand can be a rewarding accomplishment along the path to recovery. It is an accomplishment that leads to improved self-esteem, increased work opportunities, or occupations.

This workbook is designed to help those individuals with dominant-hand problems or injuries regain their writing skills and self respect. The authors did a wonderful job with this workbook. If you have a non-dominant-hand injury or just want to learn to write with you opposite hand, look no further. I recommend this book to anyone wishing to learn how to write with their non-dominant hand.

Self-Perception Questionnaire on Handwriting Ability

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The “Self-Perception Questionnaire on Handwriting Ability” is a new instrument that can be used to track self-rating of handwriting skills as a pre-test and post-test around a program of Occupational Therapy. Please feel free to download this questionnaire and use it with any of your clients, whether you are using the Handwriting For Heroes method or any other technique. We look forward to hearing your results. The instrument is now available in the online resources section of HandwritingForHeroes.com.

Radiation Induced Brachial Plexopathy (RIBP) and Handwriting

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Radiation-Induced Brachial Plexopathy (RIBP) is a progressive and painful paralysis of the arm and shoulder, brought on by radiation treatment for breast cancer and certain other cancers. With improvements in radiation technology, RIBP is rare these days, but can still occur when multiple overlapping radiation fields or high radiation doses are used. It most often involves lymphedema of the affected arm and, like lymphedema, RIBP can develop at any time following radiation treatment of the area. There is no cure, though interventions are possible to slow progression, optimize remaining arm and hand function, control related lymphedema, and relieve pain.

RIBP survivors are often left unable to use their dominant hand for normal function. Recently, Step-Up/Speak Out reviewed Handwriting For Heroes in the context of RIBP.  Step-Up/Speak Out’s Director Bonnie Pike wrote:  “We are very impressed with Handwriting For Heroes.”See blogs and businesses for USA

Press Release

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Revolutionary Workbook Teaches Writing With Non-Dominant Hand

Damage to the dominant hand need not limit one’s ability. “Handwriting for Heroes,” a new workbook that teaches people to write with their non-dominant hands, offers self-esteem, hope and a return to normalcy.

Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) February 23, 2009 — Loss of a dominant hand can be frustrating, but life can largely return to normal by following the advice and processes presented in Katie Yancosek and Kristin Gulick’s new workbook “Handwriting for Heroes: Learn to Write with Your Non-Dominant Hand in Six Weeks” (ISBN 9781932690699, Loving Healing Press, 2009).

A person’s ability to communicate, even his identity, is largely connected to the ability to write or even just sign his name. The loss of a dominant hand can be traumatic and depressing. Until recently, learning to write with the non-dominant hand could be frustrating, and it meant studying a children’s workbook. Now “Handwriting for Heroes” targets the adult who must “re-learn” the basics of handwriting, offering dignity in the process. Continue reading Press Release