Why a Slant Board?

A slant board is a great tool to use during handwriting! Positioning of the hand and body are factors to access when addressing writing skills and the need for a slant board. Specifically, your OT will consider:

  1. Proper Body Mechanics. Proper body mechanics is an important factor to keep in mind. This can be done using the 90-90-90 rule: feet on the ground, ankles at a 90-degree angle, knees bent at 90 degrees, and hips and torso at a 90-degree angle. When the body is positioned properly, this allows for optimal handwriting performance.
  2. Arm and Wrist Positioning. The slant board encourages wrist extension during writing, which allows for increased legibility. By positioning the wrist on a slanted surface, the forearm is being utilized for movements of the pencil. This provides increased motor control in moving the pencil to form letters.
  3. Core Muscle Strength. If a child has weaker core muscles, this can lead to poor positioning, which decreases the legibility of writing. Therefore, it is important to address the core strength needed to sit at a table. However, while in the process of working on increasing core muscle strength, using the slant board for writing can help promote good upper body positioning for handwriting tasks. The slant board promotes optimal hand positioning for writing and provides support for holding a pencil properly. The angle of the slant board can also assist with the appropriate amount of pressure being utilized.
  4. Visual Scanning and Visual Motor Skills. Utilizing a slant board can also aide in visual scanning and visual motor skills. When the paper is at an angle, it can both decrease eye strain and provide text at the same plane.
  5. Paper Stabilization. Finally, a slant board can be a great tool to use for paper stabilization. For kids that are still having difficulty with bilateral coordination, some slant boards come with clips at the top to aide in keeping paper still. This can also allow the non-dominant hand to be on the paper without the need for as much movement.

Overall, there are many benefits to utilizing a slant board, including increased posture and positioning, decreased eye strain, and overall increased legibility when writing. Your child's OT will determine if a support like this would be beneficial for your child!

-Krystan Inman, COTA/L