It may be common to accept that children have poor handwriting, and not many would see any real issue with this. It could very well be that the child simply is a little sloppy, especially if it is still eligible. Many adults are also sloppy writers. However, parents and educators may sometimes have a cause for concern when their children have sloppy writing.
Children who have trouble expressing themselves in writing may have a condition known as ‘Dysgraphia’. The term comes from the Greek words dys, which means “impaired”, and graphia, meaning “writing letter by hand”.
The child’s handwriting will be unusually difficult to read, letters might get mixed up between “b” and “d” or “q” and “a”. The most obvious signs are struggling to differentiate between upper and lower case letters and difficulties with written expression of ideas and thoughts, resulting in a bad composition. It is important to identify between a child with dysgraphia and those with just bad handwriting.
Here are the 5 symptoms to identify if the child has dysgraphia:
- Inconsistencies in writing (Irregular sizes and spaces between words and letters)
- Awkward position of wrist, body or paper when writing
- Slow-paced or laboured when writing or copying words
- Complaint of writing fatigue due to the amount of effort needed to write just one sentence
- Has trouble holding a pencil, tracing, tying shoes or doing puzzles
Messy writing isn’t necessarily a sign that your child isn’t trying hard enough. Writing requires an intricate set of fine motor and language processing skills, and children develop at different rates.
For children with dysgraphia, the writing process is challenging and slower, thus affecting their overall understanding in class. Seeking professionals or therapists can help to alleviate the severity of dysgraphia. Also, consistent praise for the child in their effort and genuine achievement can make a huge difference. This can motivate them to keep improving. When given appropriate help, children with dysgraphia can succeed and overcome the challenge.
CAE’s 12-month Advanced Diploma in Special Education course trains educators and parents in the identification, diagnosis and treatment of these needs and the basic principles and practices of effective teaching and learning. The programme is highly practice-oriented to ensure that what you learn in class can be applied to children with special needs under your charge.
The 6-month Diploma in Education (Special Needs) part-time programme provides an essential introduction to the various categories of exceptional children and educational programmes available. The course will also train you to confidently design and implement an Individualised Education Plan or IEP to aid in specific areas such as language and communications.
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