It was the second day of school and Tina was doing homework with her mother. There were a lot of spelling mistakes in her notebook that got her mother worried. “Why is she not able to write and spell words properly?” Tina’s mother thought to herself.
Dysgraphia is a learning disability where children find it difficult to write properly, spell words and select the right words to use.
Symptoms of Dysgraphia:
Different symptoms of Dysgraphia are seen in children of different ages. Some may have problems with handwriting while some may be facing issues with spelling.
Some of them are as under:
Here the child does not necessarily have Dyslexia, but his/her handwriting is not legible and the spellings are incorrect.
Children with Motor Dysgraphia have weak motor skills, coupled with weak dexterity.
This learning disability refers to the trouble with spatial awareness. Children with spatial dysgraphia find it difficult to judge space between lines and use the right amount of space between words. Any written form of content from them is usually not legible.
In this learning disability, children experience difficulty in writing and spelling, especially with unfamiliar, jumbled and phonetically irregular words. Children with Phonological Dysgraphia find it hard to retain similar sounding words in memory and put them in the right sequence to produce the target word.
Lexical Dysgraphia is seen when a child can spell but uses standard phonemes (distinct units of sound that differentiate words from each other) with mistakes in irregular words.
Diagnose and treat Dysgraphia:
As parents you may need many specialists, including a family doctor or pediatrician, an occupational therapist, and a psychologist to diagnose dysgraphia in your child.
A doctor will have to rule out other conditions that could cause writing problems for your child. Once this is done, a psychologist who specializes in learning disorders can diagnose dysgraphia.
During these tests, the specialist observes the person’s pencil grip, hand and body position, and writing process. They also examine the finished parts for signs of dysgraphia, in your child.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM ) criteria for diagnosing specific learning disorders, such as Dysgraphia is that the set of symptoms should be present for at least six months, while the right interventions are in place.
There is no cure for Dysgraphia, but you can learn to handle your children’s symptoms to make school and life less challenging for them.
Your children can learn specific skills and techniques to make writing easier and can improve their fine motor skills and may relearn how to hold a pen or pencil to enable better writing.
Strategies relating to classroom tools:
Strategies for directing children in school
The way your child’s teacher delivers a lesson or introduces an assignment can impact his/ her comprehension and results. As a parent you can make their teachers aware of the following methods:
Strategies for finishing projects:
Your child can use technology and support systems to complete assignments using:
Dysgraphia and mental health
Learning disabilities can cause the following problems for a child:
If you see these signs, you should immediately ask for help from a qualified therapist. They can help your children with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which makes them observe their thoughts, bring a change to adapt to the situation. Dysgraphia when treated on time can save your child from a lot of trauma and unhappiness in the later years of their life. Learning disabilities when not identified and treated, have a significant impact on a child’s self-esteem and mental health. However, action and the right interventions can help your child manage their symptoms. Try to keep yourself calm and optimistic throughout the journey, this will help you and your child work as a team.