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The Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA)

The Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA; Reisman, 1999) is a norm-based assessment that can be used from January of first grade through second grade to assess manuscript handwriting with the Zaner-Bloser, Palmer, or D’Nealian styles.


The Minnesota Handwriting Assessment is a near-point copy assessment that can be administered in 5 to 10 minutes either individually or to a group. The MHA is a standardized assessment that results in scores for rate, legibility, form, alignment, size, and spacing. Scores are assigned to the following categories: Performing Like Peers, Performing Below Peers, and Performing Well Below Peers. According to the author, students who fall in the bottom 5% (Performing Well Below Peers) should be considered for further evaluation.

In general, evaluation of handwriting is a challenge to school-based therapists because of the subjectivity involved, as well as the complexity of the components involved in the task. Reliability and validity studies are not conclusive with these tests; therefore, therapists should be careful not to use these exclusively when making decisions about intervention and eligibility (Feder & Majnemer, 2003). The same can be said about the use of all standardized tests in school-based therapy and with students with ASD. Best practice involves use of a variety of methods to perform comprehensive evaluations, including standardized measures, observation, functional skill assessment, and/or teacher/parent interviews.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA) Reisman (1999) 6-7

Norm-referenced; clinician-administered

Near-point copy assessment of manuscript writing

Scores rate, legibility, form, alignment, size, spacing

2.5 min.


Availability: Pearson,

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