What we struggle with is not that we are lazy or stupid, but in fact the opposite. When we write, we are trying to cram emotions, thoughts, ideas, sounds, shapes, the past, the present, and the future into a narrow, logical, and linear box called the written word.
In short, our thoughts are three-dimensional, but the medium of writing is at best two-dimensional, drawing primarily on logical and sequential skills.
Johnathan Mooney & David Cole, Authors of “Learning Outside the Lines” (p. 158-159)
The literal translation of the Latin term Dysgraphia is ‘difficulty with writing‘.
A processing problem which can easily lead to ‘writing fatigue’, Dysgraphia is often described as interfering with the communication of ideas from the brain to the paper. Some samples of what we see are to the right..
Dysgraphia has a tendency to occur in concordance with other learning disabilities especially dyslexia, which can make it harder to identify.
Certain characteristics can still be observed and these include:-
- Poor organization on the line or page
- Irregular shapes and sizes of letters and grammar notation
- Difficulty using writing as a communication tool
- Misuse of line and margin
- Decreased writing speed
- Relies heavily on verbal cues
- Relies on vision to monitor hand when writing
- Odd wrist body and paper positioning
- General illegibility
- Inconsistent letter formation and slant
- Easily suffers ‘writers cramp’
Students who have Dysgraphia may struggle with the written word but this does not mean that they struggle to express themselves in other ways. Their verbal ability is often high as they try to find alternatives to writing. This can lead to a superior verbal ability compared to many other students. Writing will often take them longer and their work may be riddled with mistakes and at times or in severe cases illegible.
At Meadowbrook Educational Services we check for many different areas that contribute to the Dysgraphia label. We address symptoms of Dysgraphia through the specific mental and physical exercises needed for those areas.
If you know children, students, or adults who avoid writing let them know we can change their lives. Tell your loved ones, “Writing doesn’t have to be laborious, make you feel sick, or take all day!”