The original Handwriting speed Test was developed in New South Wales Australia to provide an objective and reliable assessment of handwriting speed for school students in years 3 to 12. Irish sampling was carried out by a volunteer group of Occupational Therapists throughout the country with school children from 3rd class at primary level to 6th year in second level and the Irish Adaptation of the Handwriting Speed Test was developed. The HST can be administered to either individuals or groups and is useful for providing objective standards which can be used by therapists, teachers, paediatricians and psychologists to:
- Evaluate an individual student’s speed of handwriting
- Determine the need for special allowances for individual students for examinations
- Evaluate the effect of intervention on handwriting
- Screen a class of students for handwriting difficulties
- Conduct research into handwriting difficulties and intervention efficacy
The HST takes approximately ten minutes to administer and score, and has a high inter-rater reliability. The materials required are a Handwriting Sample Form, a Student Information and Record Form, a 2B pencil (for primary school children) or black or blue Bic biro (for second level students), a test manual and a stopwatch. The HST may be used with a wide range of students, including those with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, arthritis, head injury, learning difficulties and specific handwritin difficulties. Finally, handwriting speed is only one aspect of a student’s ability to competently document work. The HST should only be used as part of a comprehensive handwriting. Prior to the 2nd Edition of The (IA) HST being developed a need for normative data for 6th class students using the longer testing period of three and nine minutes was identified.
These new norms are provided in this updated edition.