What is Dysgraphia?

According to a recent article by the National Center for Learning Disabilities or NCLD, Dysgraphia is

a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills.  Dysgraphia makes the act of writing difficult.  It can lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting and putting thoughts on paper.  Other difficulties are: trouble organizing letters and placing numbers & words on a line or page.

–both of the following difficulties can affect the above mentioned problems:

  • Visual-Spatial difficulties: trouble processing what the eye sees.
  • Language processing difficulties: trouble processing and making sense of what the ear hears.


Some characteristics of Dyslexia and Dysgraphia can seem similar.  When testing a child it is important to be aware of the differences because the accommodations are vastly different for each.  Just as taking the wrong medication would not be helpful, so would not be receiving the appropriate accommodations.

As a parent or teacher who may have concerns about their child or student, here are some warning signs to be aware of:

Dysgraphia: Warning Signs By Age:
Young Children
Trouble With: Tight, awkward pencil grip and body position
Avoiding writing or drawing tasks
Trouble forming letter shapes
Inconsistent spacing between letters or words
Poor understanding of uppercase and lowercase letters
Inability to write or draw in a line or within margins
Tiring quickly while writing

School-Age Children
Trouble With: Illegible handwriting
Mixture of cursive and print writing
Saying words out loud while writing
Concentrating so hard on writing that comprehension of what’s written is missed
Trouble thinking of words to write
Omitting or not finishing words in sentences

Teenagers and Adults
Trouble With:
Trouble organizing thoughts on paper
Trouble keeping track of thoughts already written down
Difficulty with syntax structure and grammar
Large gap between written ideas and understanding demonstrated through speech


In the video below, Dr. Sheldon H. Horowitz shares an excellent visual explanation of Dysgraphia:

Be sure to visit our Facebook Page today for 10 helpful Dysgraphia resources.