When should I choose this Area of Focus for my Gabadoo?

Handwriting is a very complex skill so if your child is finding it challenging or just needs some help and guidance, doing a Gabadoo can really help! 

What are the different skills that relate to Handwriting:

Are you looking for support around any of the following?

Your child's posture when writing.

Guidance around hand dominance or their pencil grasp.

Forming or remembering letter or number formations.

Generating ideas for writing and transcribing it into text.

The neatness or legibility of their writing.

Writing speed and endurance. 

Pain or tiredness when writing

Pushing hard on the pencil or paper when writing. 

Lack of motivation or rushing with handwriting.

Developing their free-writing and sentence formation.

Reviewing and checking for spelling and grammar errors.

Adapting the environment to support handwriting. 

Advice on pencil grips or ergonomic desks, pencils or pens.

Advice on the introduction of assistive technology vs. handwriting. 

If so, when completing your Gabadoo, select handwriting as your area of focus.


There is a separate area of focus for fine motor skills so if your concern is around more than just writing e.g. colouring, drawing, cutting with scissors, using cutlery etc. please refer to this blog post on fine motor skills to see if this area of focus is more appropriate or maybe two separate Gabadoo's would work better. 

There is also a separate area of focus for assistive technology so if your child has already started using assistive technology instead of writing in school, when completing your Gabadoo, select assistive technology as your area of focus. 

If you are completing a Gabadoo because your child can write neat and legibly when focused but struggles to concentrate with specific tasks, it might be more appropriate to select concentration as your area of focus. 

If your completing a Gabadoo because your child is constantly fidgeting when seated, chewing on their pencil or falling off their chair, it might be more appropriate to select sensory processing as your area of focus. 

What information do I need to include in my Gabadoo?

As our Gabadoo Team have never met your family before and know nothing about your child, they can only provide strategies based on the information you provide so be very detailed!

After you have filled in the relevant information in your Gabadoo, go through this checklist to make sure you have included the following:

Family & Home Life:

Description of your family & the structure of your family including siblings, pets or any extended family who are living in your home.

Your daily routine including school hours, drop offs, child-care and free time in the evening and at the weekends so our team provide activities that are achievable for your routine. 

Strengths and Interests:

What does your child like to do?

What games, toys, T.V. programs, characters do they like?

What topics are they interested in? 

Do they prefer free-writing or structured writing? 

Do they like drawing or have a diary?

What motivates them to do less preferred activities?

Do they respond to praise from adults? 

Additional Information:

What class is your child in at school?

What type of schooling do they receive? i.e. homeschooling, mainstream N.S., gaelscoil, preschool, ASD class, Special School. 

Have you seen any professionals in the past in relation to reviewing their handwriting? Or has your child ever had a medical review because of their writing?(i.e. arthritis, hypermobility, fractures). If so, what was the outcome?

What have you tried before to work on their writing? Include pencil grips, slant boards, previous groups, intervention, support at school, parent courses you have completed and/or specific equipment you have bought. 

Make sure to include:

What area of handwriting you would like support around (see list above) and what level your child is at with this skill? E.g. can copy letters X,Y,Z or writing sentences independently. 

What would you like to gain from this Gabadoo? 

List your observations in relation to this skill include details like how your child reacts to doing handwriting, what part of the skill they find challenging, if you have practiced this skill with them before and whether they are engaged/avoidant or appear tired when doing written tasks. 

Next include videos and images of your child doing some written or drawing activities & make sure to include:

  • A video clip that shows their whole body so we can review their posture as this impacts on writing.  
  • A close-up video clip of their hand when writing and their written work. Also take a video clip from the other side to their dominant hand i.e. if your child is right handed, sit to the left of them and take a clip of them writing from there. 
  • Try to include a clip of them copying a sentence, writing their own sentence, writing the alphabet, their name and 1-10 (only if age appropriate).  
  • A close-up image of their pencil grasp and where they sit to do their writing.

If you don't want to display your child's whole face, that's fine and just display as far as their shoulders and mouth so their posture can be reviewed. 

Remember: The more information you give our team, the more individualised and relevant your plan will be. Videos are vital when completing a Gabadoo for handwriting

What support will I receive for my child?

Your information will be reviewed by one of our Gabadoo Experts who is experienced in the area of 'handwriting'. They will detail individualised strategies, activities, next steps and helpful organisations and products that you can use at home to develop your child's skills. 

So, I'm ready to do my Gabadoo, what's my 'Area of Focus'


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