What is the Dysgraphia?
You may have heard of Dyslexia, the disorder in which a person has difficulty learning to read. Dysgraphia is also a learning disorder, which translates as difficulty expressing yourself through writing
. There are many causes of Dysgraphia, such as: Auditory Processing Difficulties, Visual Processing Difficulties and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
What does it look like?
There are many types of Dysgraphia, all of which present differently. However, some of the overlapping signs of Dysgraphia include:
• Difficulty spelling
• Reverse/ backwards letters
• Poor and illegible handwriting
• No difficulty with verbal/spoken expression
• Understanding the connection between words and letters
In young children
, we may see the following signs of Dysgraphia:
• Confusion of upper and lower case letters
• Uneven spacing between letters
• Difficulty holding the pencil correctly, or having the correct posture while writing
For school-age children
, signs also include:
• Difficulty thinking of words to write
• Reading aloud while writing
How is Dysgraphia assessed?
A Speech Pathologist is able to assess many different skills, even in the one activity. For example, to assess Dysgraphia we may take a writing sample. Even this simple activity can tell us all about a child’s working memory, spelling abilities, attention, sound-awareness and motor skills. Specifically, we will observe for some of the signs of Dysgraphia, such as:fluency
(the spelling and number of words in a specific amount of time), grammar, vocabulary
(assess the number of different words used), sentence structure
, and handwriting legibility
Why do we treat Dysgraphia?
Writing is a skill that we rely on everyday. The characteristics of Dysgraphia, if left untreated, can result in sentence structure and grammatical difficulties as an adult.
For example, even writing a list of grocery items, or a to-do list, can prove challenging. Furthermore, school-age children with Dysgraphia may become frustrated, and fall behind academically, if they are not provided with support.
How can Speakable help?
A Speech Pathologist’s role involves assessing the child’s strengths and weaknesses, and then providing strategies to help support them. They may visit the child at school to help implement these strategies in the classroom environment. For example, speaking to the teacher to reduce the length of written assignments.
How is Dysgraphia treated?
Therapy will target the area the child is having difficulty with, which can vary greatly depending on the type of Dysgraphia. For more information, please see the website links below, or call Speakable.
Where can I get more information?
• Kids Sense
• For a thorough list of step-by-step strategies, see
Learning Disabilities Online