Dysgraphia

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

Dysgraphia affects written expression. Dysgraphia can appear as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper. Many people have poor handwriting, but dysgraphia is more serious.

Writing requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. Not only does it require the ability to organize 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.

Signs of Dysgraphia:

  • Generally illegible writing
  • Inconsistencies in writing, e.g. mixtures of printing and cursive writing, upper and lower case, or irregular sizes, shapes, or slant of letters
  • Unfinished words or letters, omitted words
  • Inconsistent position of letters on the page with respect to lines and margins
  • Inconsistent spaces between words and letters
  • Cramped or unusual grip of the writing instrument
  • Talking to self-whilst writing, or carefully watching the hand that is writing
  • Slow or laboured copying or writing
  • Large gap between written ideas and understanding demonstrated through speech.
  • Difficulty organising thoughts on paper

Educational psychologists use a series of tests to determine if a person has language based dysgraphia. Occupational Therapists can identify problems with mechanical based dysgraphia or apraxia. There are many ways to help a person with dysgraphia achieve success. A person with dysgraphia will benefit from help from both specialists and those who are closest to the person.


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