Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder characterized by considerable difficulty in writing. This covers all the general mechanics of producing written text, i.e., handwriting, writing, and spelling.
It is estimated that 5-20 percent of young students have some form of writing disorder , but the exact incidence of dysgraphia is a mystery. Most children have difficulty writing because it is a skill that requires learning and practice.
However, if a child’s handwriting is very messy or his thoughts seem to be in disarray despite the effort, he may have a writing disorder.
Today we will tell you all about the types and causes of dysgraphia and its different treatments.
Symptoms of dysgraphia
Dysgraphia inhibits writing ability, but it also alters the consistency of written words. This is because if a child has to focus all their attention on transcription, then the expression of concepts and ideas can become tedious. Therefore, it is a writing disorder that makes it difficult to manage writing on a general level.
Understood.org tells us some of the symptoms of dysgraphia. Listed below are some of the most common symptoms:
- Formatting the letters correctly is tedious.
- The person places spaces evenly between the letters.
- Writing directly is tricky.
- Keeping the font size homogenized throughout the text is tricky.
- Continuous removal of written matters.
- Complications in spelling retention: This includes incomplete words, misspellings, and letter placement or absence.
In addition to the problems observed on paper, the child’s posture also tells about their ability to write. A child with dysgraphia rarely holds the pen correctly, takes strange positions when writing, or misaligns the paper.
Types of dysgraphia
As the Special Needs website shows, there are several different types of dysgraphia. We tell you about them in the following list:
- Dyslexic dysgraphia : The formation of spontaneous words is illegible, but copied sentences are usually understood.
- Motor : The reason for the lack of motor skills and muscle. Both copied and original sentences are usually unreadable. Patients can form sentences, but it requires a lot of effort and dedication.
- Spacing: As the name suggests, the child is unable to understand the concept of spacing, so they put the sentences together and have difficulty maintaining line spacing and margins. However, the sentences are understandable and the letters follow a uniform order.
- Phonological: Consists of difficulties in writing and spelling complex new words. These children are unable to remember phonemes.
- Lexical: A very rare form of dysgraphy in which an individual understands words that are spelled aloud but struggles with irregular words. It is more common in English and French.
Causes of dysgraphia
Finding the cause of dysgraphia in children can be challenging. If it occurs in adulthood, it can be due to brain damage, tumors, strokes, and other brain-related events.
There are usually two main suspicions in pediatric dysgraphia, it is due to either neurological or motor reasons. The first case does not necessarily have to be serious, as sometimes certain minor disturbances prevent concentration, making it difficult for the child to communicate in writing. Experts have found several pathological dysgraphs, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
It can be a little more difficult to detect psychomotor or motor causes because several congenital diseases cause, for example, progressive muscular dystrophy.
Diagnosis of types of dysgraphia
The ADDitude website, which specializes in ADHD, reveals that dysgraphia diagnosis is made in a standardized way by assessing a specific learning disability. In order for a child to meet the criteria, the following four sections must be met:
- Indicates at least 6 standardized symptoms that interfere with learning for at least 6 months.
- Shows significantly impaired academic ability compared to their peers. This makes it difficult for a child to perform at school.
- Difficulties must have started in the school environment, even if they are also visible in the work environment.
- Other possible diseases, such as blindness, must be ruled out.
Dysgraphia is a condition that follows a child throughout life and there is no cure for it. The approach, both at school and at home, is to encourage the practice and development of skills. However, it cannot be resolved with medication or surgery.
However, the fact that the condition is permanent does not mean that it cannot be cured. In these cases, occupational therapy is often recommended, where therapists help the child write better and adopt more effective writing positions. In addition, the school should arrange special training sessions according to the needs of the child.
Tips for improving handwriting
Finally, here are some tips that can be applied to a child with dysgraphia to make it easier for them to learn writing skills. The LDonline.org website offers many options:
- Give the child a piece of paper with established lines to make it easier for him or her to follow the consistent structure in writing.
- Let him try different types of pens and pencils until they find a pleasant one.
- Start the writing process with the child by providing ideas in the form of drawings and recordings.
- Teach your child different writing techniques and times. The child is able to adapt to what is easiest for him.
- Reduce sentence copying because it is better to encourage independent thinking.
Dysgraphia is a chronic condition, but it is treatable
Condensing the specific features of dysgraphia in a few lines is a challenge because it is a very complex and diverse clinical entity. If you have dysgraphia or your child has signs of it, we recommend checking the sites we mentioned in this article.
The fact that dysgraphia is a lifelong dysfunction does not mean that it cannot be treated. Therefore, therapy and exercise are the best allies for a child with dysgraphia. With patience and dedication, a person with this disability can achieve a certain degree of autonomy in writing.