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Adult Down Syndrome Center


Maintaining Handwriting Skills

May 4, 2023 07:00 AM
Maintaining handwriting skills, Advocate Medical Group Adult Down Syndrome Center

The phrase “If you don’t use it, you lose it” can apply to many skills throughout one’s lifetime. This is particularly true with handwriting, especially now that many people type or text instead of writing anything down. A person can practice from memory or copy from something that is already written down for them.

In addition to being an important life skill, handwriting may offer other benefits. Some research has suggested that writing by hand helps with cognitive performance, especially as we age, because it involves our memory and motor skills as well as other functions of the brain. While we could not find research specifically in people with Down syndrome, we have observed and been told by individuals with Down syndrome and their families that many people with Down syndrome like to write or copy to relax or as part of their groove. The list below includes functional activities that encourage practicing handwriting and allow time for a person with Down syndrome to sit down, relax, and potentially reduce stress.

  • Make lists (shopping lists, daily schedules, wish lists, lists of family members, chore lists, etc.)

  • Write thank you cards

  • Keep a journal

  • Send letters to a pen pal

  • Keep a meal plan or exercise chart

  • Track activities in a calendar

  • Write down the words to favorite songs

  • Write a story

  • Create a medication list to share with doctors


For more tips for building or maintaining skills, check out Fun Activities to Improve Fine Motor Skills.


Written by Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L

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