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Copyright 17-045

McMaster handwriting assessment protocol (MHAP)

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Handwriting is a complex and important functional task for school-aged children and the primary way they express thoughts, ideas and knowledge. Research has indicated that children who can write well perform at a higher level academically.



The McMaster Handwriting Assessment Protocol (MHAP) was developed at McMaster University to reflect current evidence and curriculum standards for occupational therapists to refer to when assessing children with handwriting difficulties.

The McMaster Handwriting Assessment Protocol (2nd Edition) provides a structured framework for assessing the handwriting of school-aged children in kindergarten to Grade 6. This protocol was designed to identify the specific areas in which a child is having difficulty with handwriting and to help occupational therapists determine whether and where to intervene.

This handwriting assessment protocol is designed to look at the occupation of handwriting. It is not intended to provide a complete assessment of the performance components needed for effective and successful handwriting. Observations made during the completion of this protocol may indicate the need for further testing of underlying performance components.

The manual includes: detailed descriptions and procedures for the assessment protocol; assessment forms; recent syntheses of evidence regarding handwriting; references and assessment samples that can be used to assist in clinical decision-making. The 2nd edition includes updated literature reviews, revised and new stimuli for the assessment process, a new analysis form and many new examples in the clinical decision-making section.

Therapeutic Areas

  • Handwriting of school-aged children
    in kindergarten to Grade 6


  • Academic studies
  • Observational studies
  • Assessment tool


  • 4 translations
  • Licensed to individuals and to organizations



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