What does dysgraphia mean?
What can you do as a parent if your child struggles with handwriting? First, read on and learn more about it. Dysgraphia is a general term that simply means difficulty with handwriting.
Handwriting includes both printed and cursive writing. As occupational therapists, we know that there can be many different reasons a child struggles with handwriting – all with different treatments. And a child who struggles with handwriting may or may not struggle with other fine and gross motor skills.
Poor reading skills and illegible writing are not directly related. That sounds confusing doesn’t it?
Dysgraphia and dyslexia may occur together but they do not “cause” one another.
One of the types of dysgraphia is also called dyslexic dysgraphia but that doesn’t mean the child also has dyslexia. This child will have trouble spelling as he or she writes. Short, simple writing may be legible, but the more complex the written work, the worse handwriting gets.
This child will both draw and copy writing (e.g. from a black board or SMART Board) fairly well too. Consult a speech-language pathologist, in addition to an occupational therapist, if this sounds like your child. It is the language component of writing that is hard for this child and results in poorly legible writing.
Motor dysgraphia is due to motor clumsiness. Children with motor dysgraphia are good spellers, but they struggle to draw, to write, and to copy text. The more a child with motor dysgraphia practises (without the right type of help) the worse they get, which is frustrating for all. Our No. 1 goal in our individual or group handwriting therapy is to make handwriting fun again. It is really important for your child, your teacher and your occupational therapist to be good detectives to figure out all the possible underlying causes (strength, motor-planning, muscle development, posture, etc.)
Spatial dysgraphia is due to a poor understanding of space (their body, their environment, both together and apart). Children with spatial dysgraphia also spell well, but draw and write poorly. Occupational therapists help children with spatial dysgraphia too!
Keep up handwriting skills over the summer with:
- a journal,
- a vacation scrapbook,
- a short story contest,
- keep sports statistics tracking,
- favourite summer recipes,
- summer fun lists (to do, to buy, to see, to visit) and so on.
Make it fun!
- visuals like pictures to caption
- or videos to record and write about.
- Add audio by recording a reading of what your child has written.
But remember, practice does not make perfect, unless you figure out what to practise first. When it comes to practise, you'll find the guidance provided in Improve Handwriting and Fine Motor Skills a welcome addition to helping your child have fun improving their handwriting skills.
Improve Handwriting and Fine Motor Skills is not just another learn-to-write book. This eBook starts with fine motor skill development. Why? Because missing this critical step can lead to frustration for your child. The step-by-step exercises are focused on play, so learning and developing fine motor skills will be fun and something your child will look forward to!
When it’s time to put pencil to paper, you’ll appreciate knowing the 20 best occupational therapy tips and tricks and how to apply them so your child sees printing and cursive writing as fun activities rather than something to be dreaded.
The eBook is easy to use, provides practical, problem solving exercises and explanations, as well as practice cursive writing work sheets.
Give your child an academic head start by helping him/her develop fine motor skills and learn to write in the fastest, easiest way possible. You’ll find all this and more in the Improve Handwriting and Fine Motor Skills eBook. At only $14.97, this eBook is a bargain. But when you order today, you will also get a FREE bonus valued at $9.97.