What Teachers Should Know About Dysgraphia 

Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder characterized by difficulties with handwriting and spelling. Students with dysgraphia may have trouble with letter formation, word choice, sentence structure, punctuation, and grammar. Dysgraphia affects about 1% of children and 3% of adults. There is no cure, but there are treatments that can help. These include occupational therapy, speech therapy, and special education services.

Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder that affects the ability to write legibly. Students with dysgraphia often struggle with handwriting skills, including poor penmanship, slowness, and difficulty forming letters. Some students may also experience difficulties with reading and comprehension. Dysgraphia can affect children any age, although it tends to manifest itself during early childhood.

How Dysgraphia Affects A Child

Dysgraphia is a neurological condition that affects writing. It is characterized by difficulty producing written language due to motor planning, visual perception, attention, memory, and executive function problems. Dysgraphia is often associated with other conditions, including ADHD and autism spectrum disorder.

Students with dysgraphia may experience difficulties with handwriting, spelling, reading, and comprehension. Teachers should be aware of the signs and symptoms of dysgraphia and seek help if they suspect a student might have this disability.

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Cause Of Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is caused by brain damage, stroke, or other medical conditions. It is caused by problems with the brain’s ability to understand and manipulate sound patterns. However, other factors may cause dysgraphia, such as brain injury, developmental disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

Students with dysgraphia may have trouble producing letters correctly, or they may have trouble reading words aloud. Dysgraphia is different from dyslexia, which is a problem with reading. People with dysgraphia often have normal or above-average intelligence. However, they may struggle with certain aspects of schoolwork, including handwriting.

Types Of Dysgraphia

There are several types of dysgraphia, including motor, sensory, visual, and mixed. Motor dysgraphia occurs when the muscles controlling movement are affected. 

  • Sensory dysgraphia occurs when a student cannot correctly perceive letters’ shapes. 
  • Visual dysgraphia occurs when there is difficulty seeing the lines of text. 
  • Mixed dysgraphia occurs when both motor and sensory issues are present. 

Signs Of Dysgraphia

Some children experience dysgraphia because of developmental delays. Others are born with it. Dysgraphia is diagnosed when a child shows symptoms at school age. It affects the ability to correctly produce letters and words. Below are some signs that a child might suffer from dysgraphia.

Children with dysgraphia may 

  • They have problems with fine motor skills, so they might not be able to hold a pencil or pen properly. 
  • Have difficulty drawing straight lines or tracing letters. 
  • Struggle with spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
  • Struggle with reading and comprehension. 
  • Struggle to complete assignments because they cannot organize their thoughts efficiently enough to write them down. 
  • Struggle with organizing their thoughts or keeping track of what they need to do next. 
  • Have difficulty following directions or completing simple tasks. 

What Are The Classroom Accommodations That You Can Make?

Classroom accommodations are critical for these students because they allow them to access the highway and create work more aligned with what they can do. Accommodations should be student-specific.

Here are just a few helpful suggestions: 

  • Allow extra time on tests and homework 
  • Allow students to take notes by hand instead of typing 
  • Allow students to use speech-to-text software or teacher or peer scribe for written assignments 
  • Allow students who struggle with math to write numeric formulas rather than math word problems 
  • Provide a copy of whiteboard notes for students who have trouble following along during lectures 
  • Create an inclusive classroom that includes all students, not just those who need accommodations

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Strategies To Help 

To help your child succeed, try using a few simple strategies:

First, teach him or her to recognize patterns in language. For example, if your child struggles with numbers, teach him or her how to identify patterns like “one through nine” or “even numbers” or “odd numbers.

Next, teach your child to pay attention to detail. Help him or her notice small differences between similar items, like the color of an object or the number of dots on a page. 

Finally, teach your child to organize his or her thoughts logically. Encourage your child to think about the big picture first, then move to the next step. For instance, instead of writing out each sentence separately, start with a topic sentence and add supporting details.

Final Thoughts

Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing skills. It is characterized by handwriting, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics difficulties. Dysgraphia may also affect reading comprehension, memory, and attention.

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Students with dysgraphia often struggle with basic writing skills, including cursive writing, letter formation, and word choice. Many students with dysgraphia have difficulty organizing thoughts and ideas into coherent paragraphs.

Some students cannot write at all. Dysgraphia is not caused by laziness or lack of effort. It is a neurological condition that impacts brain function. Early intervention is critical to helping children with dysgraphia succeed in school and beyond.

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