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Does your child suffer from bad handwriting? Do they constantly struggle to copy words, translate their thoughts into written text, or take time writing a passage? If you answered yes to all of the above, then maybe your child is suffering from dysgraphia.
Dysgraphia symptoms and intensity can differ from one person to another, but in this article, you’ll understand what dysgraphia is, what causes bad child handwriting, as well as dysgraphia symptoms and treatment.
What is dysgraphia?
Dysgraphia is a learning disability that prevents children and adults from writing properly. This neurological disorder can not only lead to bad handwriting but affects fine motor skills leading to problems when it comes to writing.
People suffering from dysgraphia can also have trouble communicating in writing as well as finding the right words to express their thoughts in writing and is one of the main causes of writing difficulties.
Symptoms of dysgraphia
While messy handwriting is a sign of dysgraphia, not every person with bad handwriting suffers from the disorder. Here are a few common symptoms and signs of dysgraphia:
- Common spelling and capitalization mistakes
- Mixing between cursive and print letters
- Inappropriate sizing and spacing of letters
- Difficulty when copying words
- Taking too much time to write
- Difficulty visualizing words before writing them
- Unusual hand position when writing
- Tight hold on pen or pencil resulting in hand cramps
- Saying the words out loud when writing
- Omitting letters and words from sentences
Causes of dysgraphia in children
When signs of dysgraphia are evident at a young age, it usually means that there is a problem with the working memory which allows a child’s brain to remember words and how to move hands or fingers to write those words permanently.
Causes of dysgraphia in adults
However, when dysgraphia occurs in adulthood, it is usually a result of a stroke or brain injury. The left parietal lobe in the upper part of your brain is in charge of skills such as reading and writing. When a problem occurs in that part of the brain, dysgraphia can be caused in adults.
Treatments of dysgraphia
An occupational therapist can help with the symptoms and improve handwriting skills by doing the following:
- Teaching a child to hold a pencil in a way that makes writing easier
- Work on fine motor skills using modeling clay
- Tracing letters activities
- Connect the dots puzzles
- Use mazes to help stay between the lines
Tips to improve dysgraphia
With dysgraphia, kids or adults have a difficult time planning and executing the writing of sentences, words, and even individual letters because the brain has problems processing words and writing.
For some people, dysgraphia is a challenge that isn’t easily overcome even with treatment. In these cases, you should inform your child’s school of his learning difficulty and help them assist your child by providing the following options:
- Assist your child in taking notes during class
- Allow your child to use a computer for note-taking or assignments
- Facilitate oral exams instead of written exams
- Provide pencils with special grip to make writing easier
- Use of graph paper for writing
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