Handwriting Without Tears Program at Center for Independence

The Handwriting Without Tears® program provides your child with the necessary skills to be successful with handwriting in school. Developed by Jan Olsen, an occupational therapist, Handwriting Without Tears® is a developmentally based program designed to progress a child’s fine motor skills along with visual skills through fun and interactive activities. The program is offered by the Center for Independence at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Professionals from Occupational Therapy will work with children who participate in this program.

Who should participate?

Children ages 3 to 11 who need assistance with their developmentally appropriate handwriting skills.

Courses Offered

Pre-K Handwriting Readiness

For children who are entering or will continue in a pre-kindergarten environment. This course will provide instruction on hand dominance, prewriting strokes, forming basic shapes, body awareness, and developing boundary awareness through gross and fine motor activities.

Upper Case Printed Handwriting Introduction

For children who have mastered coloring within the lines, letter recognition, and are able to write their first name on a line. This course will focus on grasp, boundary awareness, upper case letter formation, and fine motor skills.

Printed Handwriting Review

For children who have been introduced to all upper case and lower case printed letters. This course focuses on the correct formation of printed upper and lowercase letters, words, and numbers.

Cursive Handwriting Review

For children who have mastered printing and have been introduced to cursive handwriting. Both upper and lowercase cursive writing will be reviewed.

Where is Handwriting Without Tears® held?

  • Children’s Pine Center, 11279 Perry Highway, Wexford, PA 15090, 724-933-9255
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  • Children’s South, 205 Millers Run Road Suite 200, Bridgeville, PA 15017
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  • Children’s Hospital main campus, 4401 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15224, 412-692-5480
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When are the sessions?

Handwriting Without Tears® is held twice a week for one hour at a time for four consecutive weeks.

How do I get more information?

For more information and to begin the intake process, call the Center for Independence at 724-933-9286. A brief screening will be completed prior to the start of the program to determine whether your child is a good candidate for the course.