Want to get in touch, or have a question before booking?
Book a free 15 minute discovery call
We see children from the UK and worldwide including America, Australia, South Africa, and Europe. We would be delighted to work with you and your child too.
The call is by Zoom or telephone. It is usually between parents/guardians and Sheilagh Blyth (founder of Help with Handwriting). Your child is welcome to be there as well. Pick your date and let’s connect.
If you are a journalist, please use the press contact form below.
Alternatively, you can email us
We try to respond to all enquiries within 48 hours.
🎄CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY HOURS 🎄
Help with Handwriting will close from 22nd December until 3rd January 2024. No lessons are taking place during this date and any emails received will be answered after this time. Our ‘Make it Readable in 66 days’ course content will continue to be reviewed by Sheilagh but with reduced days. Our ‘Feedback Friday’ reviews as part of the handwriting club will return on 5th January 2024.
Are you a journalist looking for help with an article?
To make it easier for you to reach your deadline and gain valuable insights, we have a special email address. Email your enquiry and it will be fast tracked to Sheilagh. She will try to respond instantly to you.
Frequently asked questions
About the handwriting options on offer and our prices
Help with Handwriting offers 3 different services:
- Handwriting lessons. These are all online and it helps us work with kids from across the world. We do not offer in person lessons. All lessons are suitable for 6 to 16 years. Click here to find out more.
- Courses. These are split into two sub options based on age, under 10 years and 11 to 16 years.
Our courses for primary years students have monthly parental support calls. Giving you an opportunity to ask any question about your child’s handwriting. Read more details here.
All our courses for secondary students have a combination of online training, worksheets and handwriting personally reviewed by Sheilagh. These are the ‘Make it Readable in 66 days‘ and ‘Exam Ready Handwriting‘.
- Handwriting practice club. The club name is the ‘Keep Uppy Club’ and it is aimed at keeping those improvements going for students aged 11 to 16 years. Find out more here.
Sheilagh tries not to have a long waiting time because when you have decided the time is right waiting even longer to see someone can be annoying.
Unfortunately this is not possible. Most appointments are usually booked up between 1 to 2 months in advance. The best advice we can give is if you see a time slot that you like, book it quickly because it may not be there tomorrow!
You can see Sheilagh’s availability before you pay. Her lesson diary page is here
Brilliantly. We can actually see more and help your child better by working online rather than face to face. The reason for this is that we would be invading your child’s personal space if we got as close as we do when we teach handwriting online.
If we need to physically see your child write, perhaps due to an awkward pencil grip, we ask that the camera is angled down when they write. If we need to review how they have written we ask them to hold up their work to the camera. We will take a quick screen shot of the work and then talk about it with them. All handwriting demonstrations are either shown using a whiteboard and pen or through a document camera.
Why choose an occupational therapist?
An occupational therapist is a medical profession that is regulated by the HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council)
OT’s help kids with various needs improve all aspects of everyday life. We do this by looking at the cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and finding out how to enhance a kids self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
Over the last 23 years Sheilagh has spent time building up her knowledge on handwriting. Experiencing what works and does not work. She has written 2 books, one is a best seller all about handwriting. The National Handwriting Association said this book was ‘fantastic’. She is also an author for Penguin books and has been their handwriting advisor for two Peppa Pig books.
OT’s are trained to look at everyday function and task analysis. Meaning she can get to the problem quicker than others. And she can give you the solution before your child has a chance to switch off from handwriting altogether.
Handwriting in general
Unfortunately this is one of those questions where the answer may appear a bit ‘woolly’.
It all depends on the age of the child, how often they practice and whether they are working on the primary handwriting difficulty.
For instance, they may be trying to improve their letter writing when actually the way they are holding their pencil could be limiting their progress.
If we do not address the pencil grip then no amount of practice on letter formations will make the change we are looking for.
What we do know is that handwriting is a developmental process, if we learn and master each step then we can improve.
Children’s brains are very adaptable. They are quick to learn new techniques. It will take them less time than if you or I were trying to learn a new skill. However, research does tells us that is takes 66 days for a new habit to be remembered.
What we will say is that everything is possible, just there are no quick fixes.
This sounds like a problem that is linked to how your child is gripping the pencil.
When children hold the pencil tightly it causes a loss of blood supply to the hand. This is why they say that their hand hurts. Often they will put the pencil down and shake their hands.
Although some of the recent research suggests that the type of pencil grip is not as important as we used to think. We do know that when a child’s hand hurts they write slower. Your child will write less. Often they are unable to show us their true academic ability.
Looking at the pencil grip is very important and we can advise on this.
We appreciate that not everyone will be able to print out my handwriting worksheets.
Personally, we feel that the only way to practice handwriting is by putting pen to paper. Using handwriting apps or writing answers on a whiteboard does not help a child develop the muscle memory needed to learn the letter shapes.
We try to be as eco-friendly as possible and any worksheets that we create are always in black and white. Before the first lesson we ask for a maximum of 4 worksheets to be completed. This acts as an assessment to help us prepare for their lesson. It is really helpful if this is done. Perhaps you could print things out in the library? Or if you have a friendly boss, at your place of work?
The school have said this...
Firstly, we would say do not panic.
Research tells us that between 10 to 34% of children in mainstream school struggle with handwriting. This equates to a third of your child’s class also having handwriting difficulties.
Your child will not be the only one.
By finding this website you are already in the right place to help your child. The best thing to do is to seek help early.
There is nothing worse than a child who is frustrated or one who starts to avoid writing completely.
Here on this site, you will find everything you need.
From DIY courses through to one-to-one help with Sheilagh. If in doubt do ask and we’ll be able to help guide you.
This is a difficult one to answer.
We would say that there are many teachers who do know how to teach a whole class handwriting.
However, they may not know exactly what aspect of handwriting your child is finding difficult.
As parents, you do know best. If your child is struggling, you’ll know they need extra help. Being told your child is part of an extra handwriting group and being taken out of class may not be the right thing for them.
Handwriting is part of the national curriculum. There are tutors across the whole of the country who help with all sorts of specific areas linked to the curriculum whether that be English or Maths, and teachers accept this.
Our question to them would be why do they feel a child having extra handwriting help by an expert in this area is not the right answer?
If you are uncertain to what to do next, do contact me. We will be happy to help your child discover how handwriting can be enjoyable.
About Help with Handwriting processes & checks
Yes. Sheilagh uses the DBS* upgrade service meaning you can search for her details at any time.
Many schools ask for these details before she visits. I am very happy to provide this information.
As the check involves giving you both her certificate number and her date of birth, this information is not put on the website.
*DBS = Disclosure and Barring Service. This is a government run criminal record check.
Yes. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It became law in May 2018. All Help with Handwriting records adhere to this law.
We also follow the Royal College of Occupational Therapists code of ethics and professional conduct. Every occupational therapist that provides handwriting lessons is registered on the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).
You can feel assured that any information you give me about your child’s needs is safe and secure.
We’ve been featured in:
The Good Schools Guide
Penguin Random House UK
TES SEN Show
University of Southampton
Occupational Therapy Show
About Help with Handwriting:
We’re an occupational therapy company helping children aged 4 to 16 years improve their handwriting. We believe handwriting is a life skill that everyone can learn and typing is not always the best option. Our way is to make it fun, engaging and real. Let us connect and make this work for your child.