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Dysgraphia's characteristics ...
A child who has dysgraphia may exhibit problems with spelling, poor handwriting, and putting thoughts on paper. In addition to this, people with dysgraphia might have trouble organizing letters, numbers, and words on a line or page.
Indicators that a child may have dysgraphia (in Grades 3-8)
- Gripping a pencil comfortably when writing or drawing.
- Writing neatly, evenly, and legibly.
- Using either printed or cursive (or mixing the two styles).
- Leaving consistent spacing between letters and words.
- Writing on a line or within margins.
- Copying letters and numbers neatly and accurately.
- Spelling even familiar words correctly.
- Being consistent in spelling.
- Writing/printing neatly and without a lot of cross-outs and erasures
- Expressing written ideas in an organized way.
- Preparing outlines and organizing written work.
- Writing without saying the words aloud.
- Thinking of words to write.
- Remembering to use all the words he intends to in his written work.
- Focusing on the meaning of what he writes; (because of the physical demands during writing)
- Maintaining energy and easy posture when writing/drawing.
- Aligning numbers correctly when doing math problems
- Being motivated and confident about writing.
- Taking pride in written work.
Instructional accomodations and instructional strategies that benefit children with dysgraphia
- do activities that involve exercising hand muscles and develop motor control
- writing letters from dictation or from composing with a teacher provided topic
- providing writing activities that promote automatic letter writing
- do not mark off points for misspelling
- shorten writing assignments
- allow for more time to complete writing assignments
Dysgraphia and technology in the classroom ..
- word processing software - as the child does need to learn certain computer skills
- speech recognition programs - which would allow a child to dictate papers instead of writing them
For more information ...
Learning Disabilities Association of Halton
National Center for Learning Disabilities