People that suffer from dysgraphia have a learning disability that impairs their ability to write. The condition is often diagnosed in childhood, because it is during the early years that dysgraphia symptoms are first noticeable. The most prominent dysgraphia symptom is illegible handwriting. In addition to being illegible, the handwriting may also have poor spelling, omitted words, and lack of punctuation.
There are three primary types of dysgraphia — motor, spatial, and dyslexic. Inadequate motor skills and poor dexterity cause motor dysgraphia. Spatial is caused by a person’s inability to understand space when writing, and dyslexic dysgraphia often interferes with a person’s ability to write spontaneously, while copied work is fine.
Another common symptom of dysgraphia is an unusual pencil grip. A person with the condition may hold a pencil or pen at the very tip or too far up. In some cases, a person with dysgraphia may grip the writing instrument with a fist. In addition to being able to hold writing instruments adequately, a person with dysgraphia may also have difficulty using silverware, tying shoes, and buttoning and zipping clothing.
Difficulty with cursive writing is another indication of dysgraphia. Someone with dysgraphia may have difficulty learning to write in cursive. Additionally, cursive letters such as f, b, m, n, and w may consistently confuse someone with the condition.
Individuals who have dysgraphia can usually communicate verbally without problem. The condition is restricted to the person’s writing skills. In some cases, a person may use a computer or typewriter to eliminate the frustration caused by trying to communicate through writing.
The condition robs a person of their ability to communicate through writing, so it isn’t unusual for a person with dysgraphia symptoms to have strong verbal skills. Those with dysgraphia are often great verbal communicators. They often have large vocabularies because they must rely on this form of communication to survive.
It isn’t uncommon for a person with dysgraphia symptoms to suffer from other learning disabilities. Learning disorders such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder are commonly seen in people with dysgraphia. The problem may also be diagnosed in individuals that have Asperger’s syndrome or Tourette’s syndrome.
A psychologist usually diagnoses dysgraphia. The condition is usually diagnosed after simply observing the patient handle writing instruments. Psychologists can treat dysgraphia symptoms through cognitive therapy. A health professional can give an individual the tools they need to manage and cope with the condition and diminish dysgraphia symptoms.