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  • Writer's pictureTaja Estrada, Ph.D.

What is Dysgraphia? How Can Writing Be Easier for Me?

Many kids, teens, and even young adults have asked me, in various ways, “Why is writing so hard for me?” One of those reasons may be that they have dysgraphia, a brain-based condition that affects the areas of the brain that process motor, language, and/or spatial functioning.

One of the first signs I hear is that they experience discomfort or even pain when writing. They may struggle to form letters fully or use an incorrect and painful grip when writing. Sometimes, they have trouble spacing their letters and words or have difficulty writing within the margins. Spelling can also be impacted. While they may excel in creatively brainstorming their writing tasks, they often struggle to transfer these ideas to written forms. Others have trouble using correct grammar, punctuation, and overall sentence structure when writing. All of these signs, and more, are taken into account when assessing whether someone has dysgraphia.

While writing tasks are certainly a challenge for those with dysgraphia, there are many supports that can be put in place in school or work settings to help make writing tasks more manageable. These include:

  • Recording lectures or meetings to listen to later

  • Using a scribe in class or receiving a copy of lecture notes ahead of time

  • Typing written work instead of writing

  • Using speech-to-text functions instead of writing

  • Receiving additional time to complete writing activities

  • Using special paper with raised lines

  • Using special pencils and grips to improve comfort with writing tasks

Oftentimes, occupational therapy can also be beneficial to help improve fine motor control. While many think of occupational therapy as a therapy for kids, many teens and adults also utilize these services to improve overall writing skills.

If you relate to these signs and are interested in learning more about the evaluation process for dysgraphia, please contact us.

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