Dysgraphia: It’s More Than Bad Handwriting
Dysgraphia is indicated by labored, irregular, inadequate writing that impacts academic performance. Accommodations and therapy can result in adequate written communication.
If a student has sloppy writing, but is capable of neat writing, this is not a learning disability. Disability is indicated when a student is incapable of producing well-formed, regularly spaced and positioned, appropriately ordered symbols and words, in a reasonable framework and time.
(a) difficulty gripping, holding, guiding, or controlling writing instruments;
(b) difficulty recreating the shape of characters and words;
(c ) slow, labored writing;
(d) distressed, jagged, irregular, sometimes illegible output;
(e) difficulty drawing and copying;
(f) drifted, poorly aligned, spaced and positioned characters;
(g) poor coordination and posture for writing (to hold & angle paper, while writing).
Consequences of dysgraphia:
(a) unable to show what you know;
(b) writes the minimum;
(c ) writing avoidance;
(d) writing tasks are stressful and anxiety-provoking;
(e) incomplete work;
(f) can’t express ideas in the time allotted;
(g) can’t write at expected speed;
(h) can’t express the quantity and quality of ideas;
(i) writing fatigue;
(j) poor spelling.
Other Problems with Dysgraphia:
(a) left-right confusion;
(b) uncoordinated for tying shoes, buttoning, throwing, catching, drawing;
(c ) visual-spatial-directional confusion - gets lost easily, has trouble locating things, difficulty with maps, dislikes puzzles; dislikes upclose work. Figure-Ground difficulty.
(a) Occupational Therapy - employs ergonomic strategies and tools like posture assistance; pencil grips; supported writing instruments; wrist weights; raised-line, embossed, highlighted, and color-cued paper; directional cues; slant boards and aides to angle and secure paper;
(b) Visual Therapy - works to improve eye teaming, VIP (visual info processing) and to correct inefficiencies in visual perception, focus, attention, tracking, spatial awareness, and visual memory; and may include colored or prism lenses to assist with visual processing.
(a) Digital writing programs with voice-to-text, word prediction, graphic organizers, clipart, timelines, mind mapping, editing, and publishing features;
(b) Record dictated answers to questions and send recording to teacher and yourself;
(c ) Scan worksheets to PDF and type answers on PDF in PDF Editor;
(d) Digital editions of textbooks have chapter reviews, practice, and tests;
(e) Take picture of the chalkboard; (f) Teacher supplies notes;
(g) Take a picture of paper and type on the pic in an image editing program, then save image and email to teacher and self;
(h) Scribe or parapro in classroom.
Dysgraphia White paper. Dysgraphia (penmanship disability), a paper by Renee M. Hamilton-Newman, 1998.
Click on the file attached to the bottom of this web page (Edu563.pdf).
PROGRAMS, APPS & TOOLS for DYSGRAPHIA REMEDIATION:
Recipe for Writing & Spelling (2007), $60. Orton-Gilingham-based, Phonics & Spelling Patterns.
Home-School Exercises to Help with Handwriting, Sensory Discrimination & Related Difficulties
Daily-5 Games to Develop Key Skills