We're Making a Mistake by Losing Cursive Writing Essayist explains how it helped her autistic son By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Sep 27, 2013 1:46 PM CDT 121 comments Comments (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Necessary skill or relic of a bygone era? The debate on the merits of cursive writing is in full swing now that the new Common Core academic standards are about to kick in around most of the nation. Common Core doesn't mandate that schools teach cursive, and Polly Morrice at Bloomberg View has a unique perspective on why she thinks that's a shame. Morrice recounts how the physical act of learning cursive helped her autistic son—the development of motor skills, the path it provided into mainstream learning—and she credits it with his "measurable academic leap forward" in middle school. She also thinks the broader lesson applies to all students. In all the back and forth, "few point out that learning to write cursive is hard, even for typically developing kids, or that mastering an essentially manual skill has value at a time when students aren’t much encouraged to learn hands-on, step-by-step tasks," she writes. In her own childhood, Morrice recalls spending countless hours making potholders or weaving lanyards and the like. Those days might be gone for good, "and that's too bad." Click for her full column.