Handwriting is one of the “occupations” an occupational therapist works on with children of all ages. Handwriting continues to be a large part of a child’s school day, even with the changes in technology. Children are asked to write in journals, complete writing assignments, and participate in art projects that involve writing descriptions. They use handwriting to communicate (in writing) to their friends, parents, and teachers. Test taking often requires legible handwriting, as well.
Many children struggle and fight with handwriting, also termed dysgraphia. Dysgraphia can be affected by a child’s pencil grasp, pencil pressure, speed of handwriting, overall control of the pencil, alignment of letters, letter formation, sizing of the letter, spacing between or within words, and the memory of how to start the letter in the correct place.
Difficulty with handwriting can impact self-esteem. For example, children may observe their peers handing in their work faster than they are, or they may do poorly on spelling tests because the teacher cannot read their handwriting.
At Triton Support Services, we specialize in helping children improve their handwriting legibility for the school and home environment. We utilize a neuro-kinesthetic, sensory and motor approach to help children reach their highest potential and increase their self-esteem.
Some Signs and Symptoms of Dysgraphia
- Cramping of fingers while writing short entries
- Odd wrist, arm, body, or paper orientations such as bending an arm into an L shape
- Excessive erasures
- Mixed uppercase and lowercase letters
- Inconsistent form and size of letters, or unfinished letters
- Misuse of lines and margins
- Inefficient speed of copying
- Inattentiveness over details when writing
- Frequent need of verbal cues
- Referring heavily on vision to write
- Poor legibility
- Handwriting abilities that may interfere with spelling and written composition
- Having a hard time translating ideas to writing, sometimes using the wrong words altogether
- May feel pain while writing
- Dysgraphia condition
- Be supportive
- Supply large pencils
- Extra time
- Alternatives to writing
- Play-dough or clay for increased strength
- Tracing activities
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for dysgraphia. But occupational therapy, at-home exercises, and accommodations at school, can make a big difference. If you have noticed symptoms of dysgraphia in your child, consult a psychologist today for diagnosis. Help your kid deal with this learning disability and inform his/her preschool teachers also to ensure everyone is on the same page.