Help for Learners with Dysgraphia
LAB Learning Clinic provides structured evidence-based therapies for children and adults with dysgraphia.
What is dysgraphia?
Dysgraphia is a specific learning disability that affects written expression. Dysgraphia can appear as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper. Writing requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. Not only does it require the ability to organise and express ideas in the mind, it also requires the ability to get the muscles in the hands and fingers to form those ideas, letter by letter, on paper.
A person with dysgraphia may struggle to form written sentenced with correct grammar and punctuation, with common problems including omitting words, words ordered incorrectly, incorrect verb and pronoun usage and word ending errors. People with dysgraphia may speak more easily and fluently than they write.”Dyslexia SPELD Foundation
Features of Dysgraphia
What are the signs of dysgraphia?
- Learners with dysgraphia have unclear, irregular, or inconsistent handwriting, often with different slants, shapes, upper- and lower-case letters, and cursive and print styles. They may have inconsistency in letter and word spacing and trouble forming letters or spacing words consistently.
- They also tend to write or copy things slowly, especially when copying from the board
- They may have an awkward or cramped pencil grip, which may lead to a sore hand.
- Learners with dysgraphia may have difficulty spacing things out on paper or within margins (poor spatial planning).
- They may have poor spelling, including unfinished words or missing words or letters.
- Unusual wrist, body, or paper position while writing.
- Trouble with sentence structure or following rules of grammar when writing, but not when speaking.
- Difficulty organising or articulating thoughts on paper.
- Pronounced differences between spoken and written understanding of a topic
- Difficulty writing and thinking at the same time.
- Creative writing tasks are often especially hard.
How does dysgraphia affect the individual?
Dysgraphia is a life-long condition. It is different for each person, depending on the severity and the effectiveness of instruction or remediation. In its more severe forms, dysgraphia will qualify a student for special education, special accommodations, or extra support services.
Dysgraphia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life. Their progress through life may be agonisingly slow and frustrating, rendering those with dysgraphia emotionally fragile and vulnerable.
With proper help, many people with dysgraphia can learn to write well-structured writing pieces with assistive technological support.
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