Hello, world! I repair handwriting — and I’m also the author of READ CURSIVE FAST.
I used to have extremely dysfunctional handwriting (“rotten” wouldn’t have been too strong a word), because of having various innate neurological conditions or disabilities (which I still have, despite the fact that I now also have good handwriting.) My diagnoses, made over the decades, include — in alphabetical order — autism (Asperger’s type), dysgraphia, dyslexia, and dyspraxia (among with some others).
At age 24, I dug into the history and ergonomics of our handwriting on order to learn how to help myself, then others.
Today, I teach and remediate handwriting, and help people become aware of its continuing importance today. My work in this field has been profiled in the NEW YORK TIMES and in AUTISM SPECTRUM NEWS, as well as in a wide range of other sources and media.
(What kind of handwriting do I teach? I teach and advocate a simplified, yet attractive, “back-to-basics” handwriting method, called italic. My advocacy of italic is based on my own observations and experience in this area.)
Here is my CV (resumé). And here (below) is some of what I’ve done with handwriting in my life so far:
- Presenter on handwriting and disabilities (including autism spectrum conditions) at the New York City Department of Education ASD-NEST continuing education program for occupational therapists, sponsored by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education: January 24, 2019.
- Guest Lecturer at NYU/Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; presented on handwriting and disabilities to 2nd-year graduate Occupational Therapy students: November 29, 2018.
- I put in two years as New York State Director for the Annual American Handwriting Competition (under its founder and first national director, Charles “Chuck” Lehman), during which I researched and successfully employed media/PR outlets for increasing public knowledge of, and interest in, this competition. Owing to these and other efforts, I attained the position of national director for 1997 and subsequent years – becoming worldwide director in 2000 when I upgraded the competition into an annual World Handwriting Contest.
- I also spent a year honing high-schoolers’ handwriting and literacy skills via a “Calligraphy Club” in a hard-bitten area of Brooklyn, NY (my home town).
- And, from 1995 through 2000, I conducted long-term by-mail handwriting-improvement programs for young men in a Missouri correctional institution (for which I received a 1995 Missouri Correctional Systems commendation).
- Shortly after my move to Albany, NY in 1993, I taught a course on handwriting improvement for the Schenectady City School District Continuing Education Program.
- And … in 2002 and 2003, I presented at the free Handwriting Celebration which was then held annually under the sponsorship of the educational publisher Therapro, Incorporated.
- I am listed in Who’s Who in America (2011 edition).
- On March 3, 2014 I received an award from WebTeam Corporation (now Rangam.com) for my contributions leading to the development and success of WebTeam’s award-winning technology for autism management.
- Most recently: I am teaching a quick course “Handwriting for Real People” at Hudson Valley Community College (Community Education Department) — Thursday, June 22, 2023 (3:00 to 5:00 PM)
I’ve provided handwriting help to individuals and groups since 1992. Until the early 2000s, much of focused on mending the penmanship of physicians (permitting greater legibility at emergency-room speed), and on sharing my knowledge of handwriting instruction with parents, teachers/school-administrators, occupational therapists, remedial/rehabilitation specialists, and other educators. (For more information, and to arrange for services, reach me via e-mail at Kate@ReadCursiveFast.com.
Here follows a short list of some of my works on handwriting and how to improve it (published articles and more):
- “Calligraphy: Rx for illegible writing?” in ADDendum (a quarterly for those with Attention Deficit Disorder), Spring 1992
- “Handwriting Hints: advice from an uncoordinated writer of italic” in Handwriting Review (the annual of the Handwriting Interest Group at the University of Reading, England), 1995
- “Handwriting: the perspective of a survivor” in Their World (the annual of the National Center for Learning Disabilities), 1996
- “MYTHS & FACTS…About dysgraphia” in Nursing2008 May 2008 – volume 38, number 5 – Pages 26 – 26 , by Terrilynn Fox Quillen RN, MSN, and Kate Gladstone, MLS
- Guest Column” Op-Ed by me in FORT MYERS NEWS-PRESS: Guest Opinion:
Cursive: Nothing wrong with it. Nothing great either.
- National Autism Resources blog on March 20,2015 published an illustrated article by me: Handwriting and the Autism Spectrum: Notes from a Survivor.
- An article by me appeared on page 13 of the February 2023 issue of HUDSON CONNECTION, a publication of Best Version Media. This article focuses on these handwriting topics:
the handwriting habits which form the most rapid and legible handwriting, and
the spreading problem of children, teens, and adults who cannot read cursive. Kate is the author of READ CURSIVE FAST, the cursive reading comprehension resource which shows how anyone who can read print can learn to read cursive too, quickly and accurately.
- – “STAGE-WRITE Handwriting Practice Paper” (available in 6 formats from Therapro) a six-stage series of handwriting paper that gets it right for writing! Students begin with clearly defined writing spaces and perceptual cues in Stage One — then, the perceptual cues fade in successive Stages as the student gains mastery. Stage Six helps the student make the final transition to conventional lined notebook paper. The high-quality paper erases easily, and the distinctive lines and spaces make success easy for every student. To order STAGE WRITE directly from Therapro, or just to learn more, click here.
– In addition to the above works, I created (as “Karen S. Gladstone”) US Patent 5,018,208, “Input Device for Signature Verification,” which concerns an electronic signature-verification device that evaluates handwriting form, speed, and quality.
– In addition, I provide custom handwritten calligraphic service for special events: addressing envelopes, place cards, and more. Prices provided on request.
These days, I keep myself busy putting together books and other materials/media to help people (young and grown) to learn handwriting and to improve their existing handwriting skills. So stay tuned for more …