The foundational skills begin initially as completing puzzles and block designs to development spatial relations of objects one to another (top, bottom, side, left, right, across, down, under, etc.). Starting with larger pencils/crayons initially when children are younger is recommended to build stability and support when using the writing object. It is also important to develop fine motor pencil grasp skills using a variety of pencil grips to encourage a static tripod pencil grip.
Frequently children diagnosed with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder often time do not develop writing skills by tracing. They learn writing skills from learning to combine lines in space to draw pre-writing skills. These include a vertical line, horizontal line, a cross (t), x, and a circle. These skills are further reinforced by drawing shapes using a variety of fun activities. This includes painting, sketching, gluing, drawing in sand, glitter glue, playdough and other creative tactile and activities. These skills can be further reinforced using Apps on electronic tablets. It is also encouraged that the child uses a stylus when drawing on tablets. The more practice and repetition allows for skill building opportunities. Alphabets can be taught for writing by grouping those that are similar in shape. It is recommended that all capital letters be introduced first, then all lower case letters, and then the concept of placing them on the line. Please see the book “Wonder Writing” for more information.