By Elizabeth Gibson

Dysgraphia affects an individual’s handwriting and their fine motor skills.

What happens?

  • Dysgraphia is not a commonly known learning difference but the signs are very common among young children.
  • Organizing information that is stored in the memory
  •                                      and/or
  • Getting words onto paper by handwriting or typing them
  • Dysgraphia also plays into the working memory by messing with the orthographic coding
  • Orthographic coding is the ability to store unfamiliar written words in the working memory causing the individual with dysgraphia to have a hard time remembering how to write a letter or word.
  • general Signs & symptoms

  • Illegible printing and cursive writing despite time and attention
  • Inconsistent type of handwriting
  • Unfinished words and letters, omitted words
  • Hard to read maps
  • Believed to be genetic
  • Hard to reproduce shapes
  • Copying or writing slow
  • Poor spatial planning on paper
  • Cramped and sore hand
  • Difficulty thinking and writing at the same time
  • Symptoms by the age

    Everyone and every age is different in everything. Here is the breakdown of the symptoms for Dysgraphia by the general age group:

    Preschool: may be hesitant to write/draw and say they hate coloring

    School-age: may have illegible handwriting that may be a mix of cursive and print; have trouble writing on the line; letters are different sizes; difficulties putting thoughts on paper

    Teenagers: may write simple sentences; writing may have many more grammatical mistakes than the writing of their age.

    Strategies for working with a Dysgraphia Student

    There are many ways to aid a student with dysgraphia but just remember everything falls under accommodation, modification, and remediation. Here are some examples:

  • Suggest use of word processor
  • Allow use of tape recorders for lectures
  • Use volunteers for note taking
  • Provide note or outline sheet
  • Reduce items to copy
  • Provide alternative to written assignments
  • Use oral exams
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