It’s More Than Bad Handwriting


If a student has sloppy writing, but is capable of neat writing, they do not have the learning disability known as dysgraphia. Dysgraphia applies when a student is not capable of writing well formed, regularly spaced and positioned, correctly ordered symbols and words in a reasonable amount of time. This is a neurological block within your child, but it is easy to mistake it for a lack of interest or poor academic skills.


Dysgraphia is NOT about rushing when writing, being lazy or simply having messy penmanship. Identifying dysgraphia symptoms can help you understand potential barriers to academic success that may not be your child’s fault.


When It’s a Disorder: Identifying Dysgraphia Symptoms


The following is a list of several physical dysgraphia symptoms:


  • Difficulty gripping, holding, guiding, or controlling writing instruments
  • Difficulty recreating the shape of characters and words
  • Slow, strenuous writing
  • Distressed, jagged, irregular, sometimes illegible handwriting


Recognizing dysgraphia symptoms is important because your child may not be aware that writing isn’t as difficult for his peers and classmates. In his or her mind, it may just seem that writing is a difficult for everyone.


Dysgraphia Symptoms

Dysgraphia Symptoms

In school, dysgraphia symptoms can look and feel like…


  • Unable to show what they know
  • Writes only the minimum
  • Avoids writing
  • Stressful and anxiety from writing
  • Incomplete work
  • Unable to write at expected speed
  • Unable express the quantity and quality of ideas
  • Writing fatigue
  • Poor spelling

Often, children accept that they receive poor grades in spelling, grammar, and English classes simply because they ‘aren’t good with words.’ But in some cases, an actual learning disability could be preventing them from succeeding. Diagnosing and addressing this disability can unlock a whole new world of ability in areas they assumed they would never understand.


How Can I Help My Child?


There are several proven strategies for improving handwriting in children who exhibit dysgraphia symptoms. Or, perhaps finding alternatives is a better plan of action for your child. Read our other blog posts to learn more about dysgraphia and how it can affect your child’s IEP.


For more info on dysgraphia symptoms and supports, log in to ExceptionALLY. You’ll receive strategies to make the most of their IEP meeting. Log-in today – it’s free for all parents.







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