Peterson Handwriting  
Peterson Tagline



Online Store


Teacher Support: Research

Please visit occasionally to check for additions to this section of the site. The goal is to provide easy access to studies that offer important information relative to development of symbolic language skills. If unable to get permission to provide a copy of the actual publication in PDF form, or in the case of referenced textbooks, we will list the reference to assist you in locating the information directly via your school or public library. In some cases newspaper articles will be referenced also. Advances in technology are producing information on brain function that indicates powerful and unrecognized potential for directed motor learning experiences in handwriting lessons.

LD/ADHD Breakthrough
Reverse Positioning Sensation (RPS)

Rowe A. Young, Benson E. Ginsburg, Dawn Bradway (2012).
Physical and Behavioral Markers Help Identify Written Language Disability (WLD) Related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Psychology, 3, 36-44.

Reverse Position Sensation (RPS) is a previously unrecognized perceptual condition that affects learning of written language. The condition was identified during a long-term study of LD/ADHD subjects aimed primarily at genetic connections to learning disabilities. The fifteen-year study involved hundreds of identified LD subjects.

Young et al. (2012) suggests that RPS could be present in 50% to 75% of the students in our support classrooms. The most important revelation is that training is a correct physical approach to handwriting can correct the rotational sensation problems and reduce or eliminate the associated learning difficulty. More importantly, it suggests that good physical training for handwriting early on could prevent learning problems from developing.

A cooperative effort between Rowe Young and Peterson Handwriting led to the creation of guides for testing and remediation. You can download a copy of the paper and the guides using the links below.

Click here for a copy of the paper.

Click Here for the Testing Guide.

Click here for the Remediation Guide.

The effects of handwriting experience on functional brain development in pre-literate children

Karin H. James a,n, Laura Engelhardt a,b
a Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47401, United States

b Columbia University, United States

Trends in Neuroscience and Education1(2012)32–42
Journal homepage:


"In an age of increasing technology, the possibility that typing on a keyboard will replace handwriting raises questions about the future usefulness of handwriting skills. Here we present evidence that brain activation during letter perception is influenced in different, important ways by previous handwriting of letters versus previous typing or tracing of those same letters. Preliterate, five-year old children printed, typed, or traced letters and shapes, then were shown images of these stimuli while undergoing functional MRI scanning. A previously documented ‘‘reading circuit’’ was recruited during letter perception only after handwriting—not after typing or tracing experience. These findings demonstrate that handwriting is important for the early recruitment in letter processing of brain regions known to underlie successful reading. Handwriting therefore may facilitate reading acquisition in young children."



A History of Handwriting Instruction Since 1900

Seton, Elizabeth, Loyola University Maryland, Advanced Studies In Education.
History is supposed to help us avoid repetition of mistakes by allowing us to learn from others who are no longer here to share experiences with us directly. This paper reveals a great deal about the arguments that occurred relative to grade-school school curriculae and handwriting instruction during the last 100 years. Many will say that it reveals some big mistakes that continue to cause our current education system to fail so many of our children. Learn about the studies done when progressives began to push for manuscript writing in our schools. This is a presentation useful for anyone who is debating between cursive and manuscript for entry-level children.

Click Here To Download The Paper.

Reading Acquisition: A Call For Cursive Handwriting

Seton, Elizabeth, Loyola University Maryland, Advanced Studies In Education.
The paper makes a very strong case for using cursive at the entry level and includes many references. If you are contemplating the idea for your school or for your own children, this paper will be very helpful and lead you to many additional sources of information.

Click Here To Download The Paper

Click here to read, a 1983 study on handwriting improvement achieved by providing movement feedback. (PDF File)

Soevik, N. and Teulings, H. L. REAL-TIME FEEDBACK OF HANDWRITING IN A TEACHING PROGRAM, Acta Psychologica 54 (1983) 285-291. Dr. Teulings was kind enough to provide this PDF file as a start. If you want to access many more, search Pub Med for Teulings, HL.

Click here to download a study (2004) providing objective data showing a strong link between handwriting fluency and reading skill development in kindergarten and grade one. Robert V. Rose, MD (retired), "The Writing/Reading Connection" Unpublished due to the apathy surrounding handwriting instruction.

The possible relationship between practice printing alphabet letters and learning to read in the earliest grades has not been adequately explored. The present article describes preliminary evidence that this relationship may be important, and that reading difficulties may relate directly to inadequate printing practice in kindergarten and first grade.

Click here to download a study offering movement analysis data on handwriting with block print and cursive.

Teulings, H.L., Van Gemmert, A.W.A. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th Conference of the International Graphonomics Society (IGS2003), 2-5 November 2003, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

Pen movements were recorded in healthy adults during learning of a sequence of vertical down strokes, a zigzag pattern, or a cursive-script pattern. The strokes had to be performed by moving the pen from target to target while visual feedback was offered via a computer monitor. The movement patterns were segmented into up and down strokes. Each stroke was segmented into primary and secondary submovements, i.e., a preprogrammed, ballistic part and a feedback controlled part, respectively. Results show that learning takes place during the course of 16 trials as the stroke duration decreased. Submovement analysis confirmed the usual increase in the relative duration and size of the primary submovement. However, this increase was observed only in the zigzag and the cursive writing patterns, which are continuous patterns, but not in the vertical down strokes, which is a discontinuous movement. This suggests that submovement analysis can be used to show learning effects in multi-stroke, continuous movement patterns.

Reference List:

(From Endangered Minds, 1991) Dr. Jerre Levy to Dr. Healy:
I suspect that the normal human brains are built to be challenged and it is only in the face of an adequate challenge that normal bihemispheric brain operations are engaged. Dr. Levy goes on to say: ...children need a linguistic (auditory) environment that is coordinated with the visual environment they are experiencing.

Babcock, M. K. & Freyd, J. J. (1988) Perception of dynamic information in static handwritten forms. American Journal of Psychology, Spring, Vol 101, pp. 111-130.

Shadmir, R. and Holcomb, H. (1997) Neural Correlates of Motor Memory Consolidationî Science Magazine, Vol. 277, 8 Aug. 1997.

Seminar on teaching written Language. Dr. Louisa Moats, Houston Health Science Center.

References cited by Dr. Moats:
Bain, A., Bailet, L., and Moats, L. (2002). Written Language Disorders (2nd Edition). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

Berninger, V., Vaughn, K., Abbott, R., Brooks, A., Begay, K., Curtis, G., Byrd, K., and Graham, S. (2000). Language-based spelling instruction: Teaching children to make multiple connections between spoken and written words. Learning Disability Quarterly, 23, 117-135.

Berninger, V. (1999). Coordinating transcription and text generation in working memory during composing: Automatic and constructive processes. Learning Disability Quarterly, 22, 99-112.

Berninger, V. (1998) Process assessment of the learner: Guides for intervention. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.

Berninger, V. (1994). Reading and writing acquisition: A developmental neuropsychological perspective. Madison, WI: WCB Brown & Benchmark.

Graham, S. Berninger, V., Abbott, R., Abbott, S., & Whitaker, D. (1996). The role of mechanics in composing of elementary school students: A new methodological approach. Journal of Education Psychology , 89, 170-182.

Hayes, J. R., & Flower, L. S. (1980). Identifying the organization of the writing processes. In L. W. Gregg & E. R. Steinberg (eds.), Cognitive processes in writing (pp. 3-30). Hillsdale, NJ: Eribaum.

McCutchen, D. (1996). A capacity theory of writing: Working memory in composition. Educational Psychology Review, 8, 299-325.

Moats, L. C. (1995). Spelling: Development, Disability, and Instruction. Baltimore: York Press.

This sophisticated software works wonders. Leading motor scientists all around the world are using Movalyzer to collect and chart movement data automatically. A 12-minute presentation compares movement data collected by Movalyzer when tracing a model word with the pen, writing the word with the pen and finger-tracing the model word. It is a very simple example of Movalyzer capabilities when recording pen movements on a digital tablet. The charts were created automatically by the software. The Tracing Presentation is a narrated slide show. Speakers are needed for the sound.

Meet Live Now


You Tube