Dysgraphia is a learning disability that impacts writing. It can interfere with almost all aspects of the writing process including poor spelling, impaired handwriting and difficulty with word choice. This is in contrast to Dyslexia which refers to a reading learning disorder.
Both Dysgraphia and Dyslexia are common in children with ADHD or ADD. (Up to half of all children in the USA that are diagnosed with ADHD have a learning disorder.)
The key symptoms of Dysphagia according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities include:
- Trouble forming letters shapes,
- Tight, awkward, or painful grip on a pencil,
- Difficulty following a line or staying within margins,
- Trouble with sentence structure or following rules of grammar when writing, but not when speaking,
- Difficulty organizing or articulating thoughts on paper, and
- Pronounced difference between spoken and written understanding of a topic.
If you are concerned that your child may have Dysgraphia, you can always bring it up to your child's psychologist, occupational therapist, family doctor or pediatrician. Your child may be need to meet with more than one specialist to determine if they have Dysgraphia. They would require your child do do IQ testing, fine motor testing and writing tests. They will want to monitor your child while they are writing to observe posture and pencil grip.
A good place to start learning more about Dysgraphia is the International Dyslexia Association's website. Another great resource is Jeanette Baker's SPD Parent Support Group.