What Is Dysgraphia? By: National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing abilities. It can manifest itself as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper. Because writing requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills, saying a student has dysgraphia is not sufficient. A student with disorders in written expression will benefit from specific accommodations in the learning environment, as well as additional practice learning the skills required to be an accomplished writer.
What are the signs of dysgraphia? Just having bad handwriting doesn't mean a person has dysgraphia. Since dysgraphia is a processing disorder, difficulties can change throughout a lifetime. However since writing is a developmental process -children learn the motor skills needed to write, while learning the thinking skills needed to communicate on paper - difficulties can also overlap.
If a person has trouble in any of the areas below, additional help may be beneficial. We provide private tutoring services or can make recommendations to useful tools to use at home. Difficulty:
Organizing thoughts on paper
With syntax structure and grammar
Leaving consistent spacing between letters and words
Writing on a line or within margins
Copying letters and numbers neatly and accurately
Writing/printing neatly and without a lot of cross-outs and erasures
Expressing written ideas in an organized way
Preparing outlines and organizing written work
Thinking of words to write
Remembering to use all the words he intends to in his written work
Focusing on the meaning of what he writes; (because of the physical demands during writing)
Maintaining energy and easy posture when writing/drawing
Tight, awkward pencil grip and body position
Illegible, uneven or sloppy handwriting
Avoiding writing or drawing tasks
Tiring quickly while writing
Saying words out loud while writing
Unfinished or omitted words in sentences
Large gap between written ideas and understanding demonstrated through speech.
Inconsistency in spelling.
falling behind with written schoolwork and cannot keep up with written assignments independently
Experiences physical pain/hand cramping when writing
Has difficulty reading what they have written
Spends an inordinate amount of time completing class assignments
Spends too much time after school/at night completing homework
Has written content that does not “match” their thought content
Shows continued frustration/avoidance behaviors/crying/stress when asked to complete written assignments
Requires someone to write much of their written schoolwork for them (a scribe)
Requires accommodations at school such as reduced assignments and oral answers
Aligning numbers correctly when doing math problems