OT Corner: Crossing the Midline – an Important Handwriting Skill
[Source: Handwriting with Katherine]
by Katherine J. Collmer, M.Ed, OTR/L
Children who experience difficulty with the mastery of handwriting skills are often struggling with crossing their body midline. During the performance of handwriting tasks, the arm, hand, and eyes travel from the writer’s left side to his right, crossing the body’s center many times. Letter formations also rely upon the writer’s ability to cross from left to right to cross a “t” or produce an “x.” A developmental skill need that limits the fluid movement across midline prevents a child from mastering the basic facets of handwriting mastery.
What is Crossing the Midline?
Crossing the midline is a bilateral skill demonstrated by the ability to spontaneously move one hand, foot, or eye into the space of the other hand, foot, or eye. This happens when we sit cross-legged on the floor, scratch our elbow, read or write from left to right, draw a horizontal line from one side of the paper to the other, or connect intersecting lines to draw a cross without switching hands. Crossing the midline is a coordinated movement