Trouble With Handwriting? It Could be Dysgraphia

by | Aug 8, 2016 | By The Subject | 3 comments

Trouble With Handwriting Dysgraphia

The longer I teach my kids with dyslexia, the more I understand the many areas that are affected by this subtle wiring difference in the brain.  Take handwriting for example.  Just as kids with dyslexia have unexpected trouble with reading, kids with dysgraphia have unexpected trouble with handwriting.

The two struggles often come together, likely because the two skills are controlled in the same area of the brain. (The prefrontal cortex, if you really want to know.)  

If your child is having difficulties with handwriting, copying, or even organizing their thoughts to write – it could be because of dysgraphia.

Signs of Dysgraphia

Your child may have dysgraphia if his writing skills lag behind those of his peers and he has at least some of these symptoms:

In Early Writers

Tight, awkward pencil grip and body position

Avoiding writing or drawing tasks

Trouble forming letter shapes

Inconsistent spacing between letters or words

Poor understanding of uppercase and lowercase letters

Inability to write or draw in a line or within margins

Tiring quickly while writing

In Young Students

Illegible handwriting

Mixture of cursive and print writing

Saying words out loud while writing

Concentrating so hard on writing that comprehension of what’s written is missed

Trouble thinking of words to write

Omitting or not finishing words in sentences

In Teenagers and Adults

Trouble organizing thoughts on paper

Trouble keeping track of thoughts already written down

Difficulty with syntax structure and grammar

Large gap between written ideas and understanding demonstrated through speech

What to do if Your Child has Dysgraphia

There is help for kids with dysgraphia.  Help is a 3-pronged approach:

  • Modifications:  changing handwriting requirements for example, not requiring written schoolwork for a time
  • Remediation:  strengthening the underlying weaknesses causing handwriting difficulties
  • Accommodations:  allowing the use of tools to help with weak handwriting skills such as text-to-speech programs or allowing dictation of written work

For more information on how I teach writing to my kids with dysgraphia, read this post that details step-by-step how I gently teach writing.

To better understand the many factors that affect dysgraphia and how to strengthen those areas of weakness, see our parent class:


Find the Help Your Child With Dysgraphia Needs

The way to help your child to become a competent writer is:

  1. to understand what dysgraphia is
  2. learn what causes dysgraphia
  3. learn proven methods for teaching, and mastering handwriting

You will find all of that in this online course, Teaching Writing to Kids With Dysgraphia.

Visit our courses page for information on our other parent classes.


  1. Dj

    How do I know that my son has dysgraphia?

  2. Robyn Dalby-Stockwell

    I find that many children who have previously not been home schooled have poor writing due to lack of adequate teaching. The lack of cursive writing tuition can result in kids making up their own letters or writing at unusual angles. This can make parents wonder if they have dysgraphia.

  3. Ashley Wright

    My adult son hates writing and it is not legible. He will avoid filling out forms and times sheets and is embarrassed when people see how he prints. He is smart, he has a lot to offer to the world, but his handwriting is holding him back!


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