Dysgraphia



While starting to read and write in childhood, it is not unusual for a child to take time to grasp the concept. Some children are sharp and lap it all up. However, some are slow learners and take time. Then some kids have extreme difficulties in learning. If the title does not ring any bells, it is highly recommended to watch the movie "Inside Dyslexia," a documentary made in 2005 showcasing various learning disabilities.


What is the Meaning of Dysgraphia?

The word "dysgraphia" is Greek. The word 'graph' refers to the hand's role in writing and the letters it creates. 'Dys' implies that there is a disability. The prefix 'ia' means to be afflicted with. Dysgraphia, or the lack of legible writing ability, is a disorder characterized by loathsome handwriting. A child's primary school years are heavily focused on teaching them how to compose words and phrases clearly and accurately. When writing or mastering penmanship, all youngsters experience some difficulties. However, dysgraphia must be blamed if the child's handwriting is persistently deformed or unclear. This nervous system issue impacts the fine motor abilities required for writing. It is challenging for a child to complete chores and projects requiring handwriting. Most doctors refer to this illness as "a written expression impediment."

Causes

Although the causal factors are unclear, they can occasionally be linked to adult head trauma, such as a stroke. ADHD and dyslexia can be comorbid conditions found with dysgraphia. Research indicates orthographic coding in working memory is connected to handwriting and frequently hampered dysgraphia.

Orthographic coding characterizes the ability to create a lasting memory of written words along with their pronunciation and significance or to keep written text in working memory as the lettering in the word is evaluated. Children with dysgraphia may face trouble planning sequential finger motions, such as pressing their thumb to subsequent fingers on the same hand without receiving visual feedback. However, they do not have primary developmental motor dysfunction, another reason for bad handwriting.

Symptoms

Children with dysgraphia frequently have illegible, inconsistent, or irregular handwriting, with various slants, forms, upper− and lower−case letters, and cursive and print styles. In addition, they frequently jot or replicate things slowly. In the initial school assignments, parents or instructors could notice signs. Other dysgraphia warning signals to look out for include −

  • Constricted grasp that could result in hand pain

  • Constricted grasp that could result in hand pain

  • Regular erasing

  • Letter and word alignment irregularities

  • Incomplete or absent words or letters and poor spelling

  • Writing position that is unusual for the wrist, body, or paper

  • Fatigue post writing short pieces

  • Difficulty copying class notes

  • Staring at hands while writing or reading everything aloud

It is also challenging to write and comprehend simultaneously with a learning problem. Work on creative writing is particularly challenging.

Types

Major types are −

Dyslexia Dysgraphia − With this dysgraphia, reading written words that have not been copied verbatim from another source becomes more difficult. Despite having normal fine motor skills, the individual has bad spelling. Despite the term, it is not always accompanied by dyslexia.

Motor Dysgraphia − Weak fine motor abilities characterize it. Dexterity issues may also accompany. Drawings and copied writing frequently have poor or illegible quality. Short writing samples may be legible with much effort from the pupil. Spelling skills typically fall within the normal range.

Spatial Dysgraphia − Problems with spatial awareness lead to spatial dysgraphia. This could manifest as an inability to write inside the lines of a page or use the appropriate amount of space between words. The handwriting and drawings of people with this sort of dysgraphia are typically unreadable in their entirety.


Diagnosis

The first thing is to identify any other illnesses or ailments that can contribute to writing issues. A professional psychologist can identify dysgraphia with experience in learning difficulties. The child will take writing and academic assessments (IQ tests) from the specialist that assess their fine motor skills and verbalization abilities. For example, they might be instructed to stamp their fingers or twist their wrist. Additionally, they may be required to reproduce words and letters or write complete sentences. The expert will examine their −

  • Completed work

  • Body and hand position

  • Pencil hold

  • Posture Writing technique

Specific diagnostic criteria for learning disorders like dysgraphia are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM−5) of the American Psychiatric Association. The constellation of symptoms must be present for a minimum of six months while the necessary actions are in place to meet one of the criteria.

Treatment

Dysgraphia is incurable. Depending on whether a child has other learning difficulties or medical issues, their course of treatment differs from child to child. Some children with both dysgraphia and ADHD have found relief from the disease with medication.

Occupational Therapy − People can develop certain abilities and methods to make writing simpler through occupational therapy. To write more clearly, they can learn to develop their fine motor skills and possibly relearn how to wield a pen or pencil.

Management Strategies for Learning − Learning management techniques for dysgraphia can help equally kids and adults with the problem. Depending on a person's age and abilities, they may acquire different tactics. People of all ages may benefit from the following tips for learning while making notes in class −

Strategies Involving Classroom Material − Several classroom modifications can help students write better, such as −

  • Experimenting with various pens, pencils, and pencil grips

  • Utilizing typewritten lesson outlines in class to make note−taking easier using paper with raised lines to ensure remain inside the lines

Strategies for Giving Instructions − Providing ample time for completing tasks, entering in the name, date, and title beforehand, outlining how each component is scored, sharing examples of past assignments and grades, and presenting substitutes to written assignments are beneficial techniques a teacher can use.

Strategies for Completing Assignments − To the best of their abilities, students can accomplish tasks using technology and support systems, such as dictation software when writing, requesting a proofreader to review the work, typing an assignment on a computer, and asking for more time on tests.

Tips for Parents

These are −

  • Let the child utilize wide−ruled paper, graph paper, or paper with raised lines to assist with the letter and word alignment.

  • For comfort, try using pencil grips and other writing tools.

  • Instead of writing, let them type and start teaching them how to type early.

  • Do not berate a shoddy job. Reward them for their effort and encourage them.

  • Let them use a stress ball to increase their hand−muscle strength and coordination.

Famous Personalities with Dysgraphia

Many celebrities’ figures, since time memorial, have been and are still recognized because of the exceptional work they put in their fields of work. However, it is uncommon knowledge that most have hidden underlying conditions. A few famous individuals who had a struggling childhood because of this disorder include George Washington, Thomas Edison, the uber cool Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe, and even the famous author Agatha Christie! They did not let their disabilities define them and thus came out victorious in life.

Conclusion

A learning condition called dysgraphia results in problems with spelling and handwriting, and individuals' lives may be significantly impacted by it. Treatment and the right interventions, however, can aid individuals in managing their symptoms and minimizing the effects of dysgraphia on their daily life.


  • Related Articles

Advertisements