If My Child Has a Writing Disorder

If a child has a writing disorder, early signs may include an aversion to coloring or not wanting to use pens and crayons. Putting out some coloring books and crayons is always a great way to keep kids busy, right? What happens if you notice that your child has no interest in coloring? Maybe your child just doesn’t want to color and they get frustrated with anything related to paper and pens or crayons. It’s may be possible that your child has early signs of a learning disability called dysgraphia

In pulling the word dysgraphia apart, you get the prefix dys-, which means difficulty, and -graphia, which means to form letters by hand. In general, dysgraphia is a neurodevelopmental disorder that makes it challenging for kids to learn how to write.

The Top 3 Ways to Identify Dysgraphia 

While dysgraphia is best known as a writing disorder, it also impacts other areas of learning. Here are the top three ways to identify dysgraphia:

  1. Difficulty forming letters, numbers, and words by hand
  2. Challenges with learning to spell, spelling correctly, remembering words, and writing quickly
  3. Trouble with organizing thoughts and concepts on paper

Dysgraphia also affects a portion of the brain that controls working memory, which makes it harder for students to pull up the right letters for spelling. Thus, children with dysgraphia can have trouble storing new words in their permanent memory banks. And this makes it difficult to retrieve words for writing, pronouncing, spelling, and remembering the meanings of words.

Children may have dysgraphia without any other co-occurring disorder. However, it commonly co-occurs with a diagnosis of dyslexia. Children with dysgraphia may have trouble with other motor skills like tying their shoes and zipping up their coats. Writing disorders sometimes affect children’s verbal skills while other children with dysgraphia have strong verbal skills and are good at reading and public speaking.

If your child has a writing disorder (dysgraphia), they might have an easier time with learning by using these aids:

  • pencil grips,
  • slant boards,
  • key board devices,
  • assistive technology,
  • and electronic applications.

Various teaching methods, strategies, and other accommodations can also help students learn their lessons in school and at home.

It’s important to be patient if your child has a writing disorder, and to not misinterpret poor writing skills for laziness.  Be sympathetic and accept your student’s best effort. This will help build confidence in their writing for their future.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We can offer you ideas about how to support  your child if you suspect your child has a writing disorder. Our therapists provide support for families in Carlsbad, San Diego, Encinitas, San Marcos, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, Vista, and surrounding areas in San Diego County.

About Susan Gehrig, PhD

Susan Gehrig, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and founder of Paradox Psychological Services located in Carlsbad. She has a passion for supporting the wellbeing of children and teens. Her expertise is in child mindfulness and self-compassion, cognitive behavioral therapy, and child development. Dr. Gehrig provides psychoeducational testing and therapy services to help build a plan for success. Paradox provides services for families of San Diego North County and greater areas.

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