On this is part of the site you will find extensive information on:

What is Dysgraphia?; Definition of Dysgraphia, What Causes Dysgraphia?; Dysgraphia Checklist; Dysgraphia Test; Dysgraphia Workbook; Dysgraphia Aids & Equipment; Dysgraphia Treatment – How Can You Help?; Software for Dysgraphia; Employers & Dysgraphia; Handwriting Groups; Help & Advice and a Dysgraphia Book List.

Definition of Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia (pronounced: dis-graf-ia) affects approximately 10% of the population. Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder, and dysgraphia symptoms are characterised by the inability to write correctly. Dysgraphia, in fact, refers specifically to the failure to perform operations in handwriting. It could be described as an extreme difficulty with fine-motor skills.

Young boy in elementary/primary school uniform working. Isolated. CopyspaceFine-motor skills are essential for good writing. Students with dysgraphia symptoms may have difficulties with the simplest of writing tasks; their handwriting will barely be legible; the writing will appear incorrect; distorted; have letters of different sizes and different size spaces between letters. Student’s have particular difficulties following a straight line and keeping to a margin. Students with dysgraphia find it particularly painful when writing by hand. Dysgraphia Checklist

Definition of Dysgraphia

‘Dysgraphia means having severe problems with the written word, which is affected by extreme difficulty with fine-motor skills – in spite of having normal intelligence and ability’.

by Dr David Cowell & Maria Chivers, 2008

It is essential to recognise dysgraphia as soon as possible before it impacts on a child’s self-esteem. Just as there is no single set of signs that characterises dyslexia, there is no one cause of dysgraphia. The earlier dysgraphia is diagnosed, the easier it is to ensure the student receives the correct support at home, school or in the workplace. Although there is no cure, the problems can be alleviated with the proper tuition.

These difficulties often result in considerable frustration bearing in mind that people with dysgraphia are usually at least average intelligence.

Where does the word dysgraphia come from?

Girl doing homework

 Dys’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘difficulty with or poor’.

‘Graphia’ means writing. Hence,
Dysgraphia means ‘difficulty with handwriting’.


Dyslexia and other Learning Difficulties Book

‘dyslexia and other learning difficulties – an essential guide’ – book

My book: ‘Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties – A Parent’s Guide’ has been updated and re-released in January 2010. It contains extensive information on dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and other specific learning difficulties (SpLDs).

For a fuller description of ‘Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties – An Essential Guide‘ please click here.

Dyslexia and Alternative Therapies

‘dyslexia and alternative therapies’ – book

My book: ‘Dyslexia and Alternative Therapies‘ contains information on a wide range of alternative therapies and the way they can help people with dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and other specific learning difficulties (SpLDs).

For a fuller description of ‘Dyslexia and Alternative Therapies, please click here.



What Causes Dysgraphia?

What causes Dysgraphia? We still do not know very much about dysgraphia, but it is thought the cause of this disorder could be due to a language disorder or damage to the motor system.

At present, there is hardly any research on dysgraphia, and therefore it is difficult to give definitive answers to this question.

Dysgraphia Sub-types

However, there does appear to be several sub-types of dysgraphia. Deuel (1994) divided dysgraphia into three sub-types:

*What are the different types of dysgraphia?

While dysgraphia may be broadly classified as follows, many individual variations affect both treatment and prognosis:

1. Dyslexic Dysgraphia

In ‘Dyslexic Dysgraphia’, spontaneously written text is illegible, especially when the text is complex. Oral spelling is poor, but drawing and copying of written text are relatively normal. Finger-tapping speed (a measure of fine-motor speed) is normal.

2. Motor Dysgraphia

In ‘Motor Dysgraphia’, both spontaneously written and copied text may be illegible, oral spelling is normal, and drawing is usually problematic. Finger-tapping speed is abnormal.

3. Spatial Dysgraphia

In ‘Spatial Dysgraphia’, people display illegible writing, whether spontaneously produced or copied. Oral spelling is normal. Finger-tapping speed is normal, but drawing is very problematic.

* Deuel, D. Developmental Dysgraphia 1995

What is interesting with this Deuel’s research in 1994 is there is no mention of; Phonological Dysgraphia and Visual Dysgraphia that was mentioned by the ‘National Institute of Neurological Disorders and stroke’ (NINDS) – ( Dysgraphia 2.doc NINDS), in June 2004.

While this is no longer on the NINDS’ website (or at least I couldn’t find it today), does this mean that these two problems do not exist, or there is no research to support this? For now, I am leaving them on the site, until we can find out any further information.

Wie bitte?

1. Phonological Dysgraphia

In**Phonological dysgraphia – writing words as a pure ‘sound’ spelling which is incorrect e.g. writing ‘brought’ as ‘brot’ or ‘station’ as ‘stayshun’.

Measurement of peripheral vision done by optometrist while performing visual field test

2. Visual Dysgraphia

In Visual dysgraphia – writing words, which are correctly spelt apart from some letters being reversed, e.g. ‘drink’ as ‘brink’ or the bizarre or abnormal and
‘irregular formation of letters. They may sometimes look fine but they have been produced in an abnormal order of pen strokes.

**Dysgraphia 2.doc NINDS

Dysgraphia Treatment

Developing skills through play

HandwritingYou can help a student with dysgraphia, by using Multi-Sensory Teaching Methods, developing skills through play and hand strengthening exercises.

What is Multi-Sensory?

I am frequently being asked by parents and students, ‘what does multi-sensory mean’. Multi-Sensory merely means, using: eyes, ears, touch, taste and smell; using some or all these methods have shown to be the most effective way of teaching students with dyslexia.

You can see from the lists below that there are lots of things you can use to help students. Most of these things are free or very cheap to buy. Most of the time the students, especially the younger ones, think they are merely ‘playing’.

Dysgraphia treatment – playing with things like:

• Practising letter formation in sand/salt trays. (I use cat litter trays they are very cheap.)
• Using chalk or coloured pens, to do letter formation on black/white board.
• Shape and pattern copying.
• Pre-formed letter shapes, children follow with their fingers.
•Templates – help to keep paper in the right place/angle.
• Tracing.Picture: Etch_a_Sketch
• Using ‘Etch a Sketch’ to practice writing – write, shake it and it goes away.
• etch_a_sketchTracking objects to their ‘homes’, i.e., tracing along the line back to the rabbit hutch etc.
• Colouring in ‘mosaics’ or ‘paint by number’ are excellent to improve ‘fine motor’ control, (much better than simply writing).
• Colouring in old-fashioned ‘doylies’ (for cakes) is another way to improve fine-motor control.
• Threading coloured beads.
• Jigsaws.
• Juggling.
• Swimming.

Dysgraphia treatment – Hand Strengthening Techniques:

• Squeeze balls.
• Play hockey, tennis etc.

Dysgraphia treatment – developing skills, including:

* Sequencing
* Space organisation
* Directional awareness
* Strategies.

Dysgraphia Posts

“Overcoming Barriers to Recording and Learning using ICT”

Free Event - Chippenham The Wiltshire Dyslexia Association is holding the following FREE event on Wednesday 9th May. Wednesday 9th May 2018 3.30pm – focus for teaching staff 7.00pm – focus for parents and carers Myles Pilling - Council Member at British Assistive...

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