Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia (adapted from the Learning Disabilities Association of America; http://ldaamerica.org/). Note that this disorder is often associated with dyslexia, nonverbal LD and visual-perceptual-motor disorder. See http://dysgraphia.org.uk/index.php/dysgraphia-and-memory and https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dysgraphia/understanding-dysgraphia

Signs and Symptoms

  • May have illegible printing and cursive writing (despite appropriate time and attention given the task)
  • Shows inconsistencies: mixtures of print and cursive, upper and lower case, or irregular sizes, shapes or slant of letters
  • Has unfinished words or letters, omitted words
  • Inconsistent spacing between words and letters
  • Exhibits strange wrist, body or paper position
  • Has difficulty pre-visualizing letter formation
  • Copying or writing is slow or labored
  • Shows poor spatial planning on paper
  • Has cramped or unusual grip/may complain of sore hand
  • Has great difficulty thinking and writing at the same time (taking notes, creative writing.)

Strategies

  • Suggest use of word processor
  • Avoid chastising student for sloppy, careless work
  • Use oral exams
  • Allow use of tape recorder for lectures
  • Allow the use of a note taker
  • Provide notes or outlines to reduce the amount of writing required
  • Reduce copying aspects of work (pre-printed math problems)
  • Allow use of wide rule paper and graph paper
  • Suggest use of pencil grips and /or specially designed writing aids
  • Provide alternatives to written assignments (video-taped reports, audio-taped reports)

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