Indicators of Dysgraphia - Help, Support & Resources

The following Indicators may indicate a child has dysgraphia– children do not need to have all of these problems.

Dysgraphia Children's Indicators

* Age Range approximately from age 7 to 11 years

If a child has several of these indicators, further investigations should be made.  Likewise, if these issues continue beyond the time that the average child has grown out of them, they may indicate dysgraphia and advice should be sought.

For ease of reading, he should be transposed for she when appropriate.

The mechanical side of hand-writing
Does the child:

• Grip the pen too tight and / or with a ‘fist grip’?
• Appear to have difficulty with the physical part of writing?
• Have poor motor control?
• Repeatedly say his hand hurts when he writes?
• Watch his hand intently whilst writing?

When Writing
Does the child:

• Start to write letters from the bottom upwards?
• Write in all directions, i.e. right slant then left slant?
• Use big and small spaces between words?
• Use different sized letters on the same line?
• Forget to dot the ‘i’s or cross the ‘t’s?
• Have written words which are often not sitting on or are below the line?
• Mix up capital-letters and lower-case letters on the same line?
• Use a mixture of printing and cursive (joined up) on the same line?
• Have abnormal and irregular formation of letters?
• Have writing that is almost impossible to read?
• Say the word out loud whilst he is writing?
• Have very slow writing?
• Use punctuation and paragraphs in the wrong place?
• Ignore margins?
• Have writing that slopes on the page?
• Write sentences that do not make any sense?
• Have difficulty copying symbols, i.e. circles, squares, triangles?
• Have great difficulty copying from the whiteboard?
• Have lots of rubbings out or crossed out words?
• Form letters and numbers wrongly?


Does the child have difficulty with:

• Written text – is it inferior in contrast to his language development?
• Getting his thoughts down on paper, despite knowing what he wants to say?
• Sequencing words to make a sentence?
• Organising his ideas to complete a story?

Early Diagnosis is the key to success!

The earlier dysgraphia is diagnosed, the easier it is to ensure the child receives the correct support at home and at school. Although there is no cure for dysgraphia, research has shown the problems can be alleviated with the proper tuition.

Please bear in mind that children vary tremendously at this age. An Educational Psychologist and some other specialists can diagnose someone with Dysgraphia.

This is a guide only and does not constitute medical or psychological advice.

If you are concerned about your child, you should seek professional advice as early as possible.

Maria Chivers & Dr David E Cowell – Jan 2019

A Teenagers Perspective

Take a look at what one young lady wrote on FaceBook. (Link below)

“I’ve had dysgraphia since I was little, so I’d like to help shed some light on some stuff for people who don’t really know what exactly it affects and such, and how a child/teen looks at it. Back when I was in kindergarten I’d get really frustrated trying to write the alphabet because it was harder for me, and soon after that my parents found out that I had Dysgraphia. Pretty much my whole life I’ve had bad hand writing and can’t draw well at all.

However, that was the only place where it’s really impeded me, and I’ve been lucky enough to excel at subjects even if I can’t write things for them legibly enough for the teacher to easily read. Over years and years of completing assignments from school that are written, I naturally continued to practice my writing and it’s getting better.

Nowadays as long as I focus on what I’m writing I can write in English fairly legibly, although if I’m copying things down in school I tend to rush and it can get very illegible to where I can’t even read what I wrote down. I had to recombat Dysgraphia again when I had to learn the Japanese alphabet(s) in my language class, but after hours of repeated practice I was able to get it down to where it was legible and hopefully the similar looking characters could be told apart. Over the years I’ve slowly gotten a bit better at drawing, but only if I concentrate on doing it for a while. I was lucky back in my 4th – 6th grade classes where my teacher knew about Dysgraphia and would allow me to type up any in class essays on the computers in the back of the class, but nowadays I’ve just had to grasp the skill of quickly writing for those in class writing assignments. Sometimes if it takes too long my arm does start to pain, and I have to stop for a while, but I usually just hold my arm close to me until it does go away then continue writing. I guess what I’m trying to say about Dysgraphia, is that it isn’t the end of the world, and with enough years passing by it isn’t as big as when you first had to write. I may always have pains when writing, and I probably won’t ever have great handwriting or be able to draw like my friends can, but if my teacher’s only criticism for an essay I write is that it was messy, I think I can live with that. Not to mention, with technology on the rise maybe one day there won’t be writing anymore, but just typing. Then we’ll all be on equal ground for legibility.

Just wanted to throw out some of my life experiences out there for anyone who may have a child who has Dysgraphia can know a bit more about it from an emotional view rather than a intellectual one.”

I think this is a lovely story, and as she say’s, ‘dysgraphia isn’t the end of the world’. Let’s keep in perspective, shall we?

Regards Maria

Brilliant Books for the older reader!
First class fiction for emergent reader readers.
First class authors – gritty, powerful stories
Barrington Stoke