Why Dysgraphia is More than Just a Disability

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Dysgraphia is a scientific term used to define a special form of learning disability that is revealed in poor writing skills and is more common for little children. This disorder is expressed in bad handwriting, difficulties with word spelling as well as troubles with expressing oneself in the written form. This kind of disability can be of two forms: language and non-language. In fact, some people think that dysgraphia means just poor handwriting, but in reality this disorder is much more serious. Therefore, the following essay will try to answer the question why dysgraphia is more than just a simple learning disorder by providing the most widely known facts about this kind of learning disability. The essay will also examine the symptoms and signs of this disorder. The truth is that dysgraphia is a neurological disease that can be observed in young children who start learning how to write. Existing studies on this matter do not clearly show what causes this disorder, but in any case early treatment can prevent dreadful consequences or at least mitigate the problem.

It is evident that writing requires a whole set of information processing abilities and motor skills. It does not only require the ability of a person to express his/her thoughts and ideas clearly, but also the ability to use hands and fingers in order to transfer those ideas to the paper. In most cases, dysgraphia can be characterized as a difficulty with transforming the linguistic sounds into a written form or distinguish spelling that should be used for every particular sound. Therefore, this disease is also known as a language disorder. A person suffering from dysgraphia might write the letters in a reverse order or have difficulties remembering how letters should be formed and when to use different types of letters. This means that such people tend to have trouble forming written sentences and use punctuation, spelling and grammar correctly. As a rule, people with dysgraphia make such errors as omitted words, incorrect order, improper use of verbs and pronouns or inappropriate ending of words. Besides, people suffering from this disability usually speak much easier than they write.

Another form of dysgraphia is non-language disorder which is generally caused by the inability of a person to use motor skills required for writing. This happens when the motor movements of a person are impaired. This disorder is also known as apraxia and can be revealed in a sequence of restricted movements, for example, writing one or several letters with much difficulty. Nowadays, we all know much about various learning disabilities, but dysgraphia is rather a highly uncommon disorder. Writing difficulties are more widespread among little children and can be caused by a whole range of attention and learning problems. Every parent should therefore be proactive in order to detect dysgraphia in their children and get help without hesitation. Although there is no remedy for dysgraphia, the condition of a child can be greatly improved. Various therapies are currently used to help children improve their writing as this is what will make all the difference when a child will go to school.

Some people think that such illness as dysgraphia might be caused by laziness of a child and his/her unwillingness to perform well. However, this is not so. For many children suffering from this disorder, simple holding of a pen and making letters organized can be difficult. As a result, their handwriting tends to be quite untidy and messy. Many of them struggle with expressing their ideas on the paper. All this adds to the condition of a child and might lead to dreadful consequences if measures are not taken timely and efficiently. Disregarding the circumstances, it is important to realize that sloppy or slow handwriting does not necessarily mean that a child is not trying to do his/her best while doing some writing assignments. Children with dysgraphia might practice a lot and receive much feedback on their writing, but if the problem exists, it needs to be solved immediately to prevent the situation from getting worse.

What are the causes of dysgraphia? Normally, our brain processes the information it receives through our senses and then stores it for later usage. When a person is about to write something, he/she retrieves the necessary information from the memory and gets ready to begin writing. If a person suffers from dysgraphia, however, there might be some difficulties in the process of organizing information that is kept in one’s memory and transferring the words to the paper by means of handwriting. This further leads to a situation when a person writes a text full of errors and hard to understand. More importantly, it does not mean that the child does not know what he/she wanted to tell the readers and what he/she intended to write. In this regard, our working memory also plays a significant role in the development of dysgraphia. Sometimes, children find it hard to keep unfamiliar words and expressions in their working memory, so this further prevents them from writing correctly. All this proves that dysgraphia is not just a writing disability, but rather a brain disorder that needs efficient and timely treatment.

Let us further discuss the major symptoms of dysgraphia to clarify the above ideas. The symptoms of this disorder can be classified into several categories. A child might suffer from this condition in case he/she has at least several of the symptoms listed below:

  • Difficulties with organizing words on the paper in a correct order
  • Writing sloppy letters that might go in every direction or run together on a single piece of paper
  • Difficulties with writing inside the margins or strictly on one line
  • Difficulties with reading maps or reproducing certain shapes
  • Troubles holding a pen in a right way, keyboarding or texting, cutting food, etc.
  • Inability to use scissors in a right way or paste the lines with color correctly
  • Holding one’s arm, wrist or body in a strange position during the writing process.

There are many other signs and symptoms of dysgraphia, but the above ones are the most common. Nowadays, with the advancement in the medical field, there are different treatment options for this disorder. In this case, the most important requirement is to address the problem in a timely manner to prevent negative consequences for the child’s heath.

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