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Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects a person's ability to write. People with dysgraphia may struggle with their handwriting, orthographic coding, and movement of their finger muscles to write. People with dysgraphia usually struggle with other learning disabilities like:
- speech impairment
- attention deficit disorder
- developmental coordination disorder
The Dysgraphia and Hand Writing
According to The National Center for Learning Disabilities, people who have dysgraphia may be able to write, but their writing might not be what is expected at a particular developmental stage. Some of their other fine motor skills might be affected, but not necessarily. For example, someone has dysgraphia might struggle not only with holding a pencil correctly but also in how to tie shoes. People with dysgraphia might also struggle with grammar and spelling. They might have difficulty with letters like q, p, b, and d.
There are three subcategories of dysgraphia. They are:
- dyslexic dysgraphia
- motor dysgraphia
- spatial dysgraphia
If someone has dyslexic dysgraphia his/her writing and spelling is usually illegible. Someone with motor dysgraphia has a poor muscle tone in his/her hands and is unable to manipulate a writing instrument to make the letters. Finally, a person who has spatial dysgraphia is unable to create legible written work, but also struggles with drawing.
Dysgraphia is usually identified in younger children when they are introduced to the necessary writing skills either in the home or in the early grades of school. Even though it is usually identified in young children, people of any age can have dysgraphia. There are several symptoms that are used to help identify dysgraphia. People with dysgraphia have many symptoms, not just one. Some of these symptoms include, cramping of fingers while writing, strange arm movements while writing, excessive use of an eraser, illegible writing, inability to stay within the confines of lines and margins, and the mixed use of upper and lower case letters.
Dysgraphia is different from agraphia. In agraphia, a person has a brain lesion that prevents them from being able to write at all.