Dysgraphia is to writing what dyslexia is to reading. Both of these disabilities occur among students, but only one, dyslexia, is commonly recognized and diagnosed.
- Dysgraphia is a developmental brain disorder that targets motor skills and affects a person’s ability to write. The word simply means difficulty expressing yourself in writing.
- Messy handwriting, wrong or alternate spellings, and misplacing words are the most common symptoms of dysgraphia. Additional symptoms include fatigue when writing, stress, and difficulty with grammar and organizing sentences.
- People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have dysgraphia because they process information at a much faster speed than it takes to write things down. Visual processing weakness is often thought to be a cause as well because it can alter judgment in reading and writing. Dysgraphia can also be caused by damage to the brain.
- Like all learning problems, every state has different criteria to determine whether a child is disabled or not. With dysgraphia, there are not clearly defined criteria because a student with any amount of handwriting or writing difficulty could be considered dysgraphic. Therefore, being dysgraphic doesn’t necessarily mean a student has a learning disability and this is why it is seldom used in public schooling.
- Steps you can take to handle dysgraphia include practicing keyboard skills, record your thoughts and write them down as you listen to them, talk to yourself as you write and practice your handwriting.