1. Classroom Management

Recognizing and Supporting Students with Dysgraphia

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What: Dysgraphia is a learning disorder that affects writing. Psychologists refer to it as “an impairment in written expression” (source). Researchers say that students with Dysgraphia currently make up “7 to 15 percent of students” (source). It is likely that we have students in our classrooms that struggle with Dysgraphia. This blog discusses why it’s important to recognize Dysgraphia in students and how to help students with Dysgraphia. 

Why: It is important to recognize Dysgraphia in students because there are simple accommodations that will assist students to be successful with writing assignments in your classroom. Students with Dysgraphia have an extremely difficult time with written assignments because they have a core deficit in manipulating the sounds of language (source). Students who struggle with Dysgraphia do not have difficulty seeing or hearing but simply processing what they see and hear (source). “To better understand the processing differences that students with dysgraphia struggle with, consider this analogy: You enter a destination into Google Maps, but instead of being directed onto the wide-open highway, you find yourself on windy back roads, and the trip takes three times longer than it should. You still get to the destination, but you have to focus harder because of the roads taken”(source). You can recognize Dysgraphia by looking for the following signs: “poor phonological awareness, poor pencil grip, persistent inconsistent letter formation, illegible writing, difficulty copying visual information accurately, and inaccurate spelling” (source). 

How to: You can assist students struggling with Dysgraphia by offering these options: “allow extra time on written assignments, allow speech-to-text tools (or teacher or peers scribes for written assignments), allow students to write numeric formulas as opposed to math word problems, provide a written copy of whiteboards notes, create an inclusive classroom that allows all students to use accommodations (not just the students who need them) (source). You can also help students by offering these suggested strategies: “stretch out your hands, learn to touch-type, use cursive vs. print, request accommodations, try different paper and pens, make audio-recordings, recite spelling out loud, brainstorm ideas before writing, and use outlines and multiple drafts” (source). 

Next Steps

Interested in learning more? Check out the websites below for great information. 

References:

All sourced information is hyperlinked as applicable above. 

TLDR (too long didn’t read):

Dysgraphia is a learning disorder that affects writing. Psychologists refer to it as “an impairment in written expression” (source). Researchers say that students with Dysgraphia currently make up “7 to 15 percent of students” (source). It is likely that we have students in our classrooms that struggle with Dysgraphia. This blog discusses why it’s important to recognize Dysgraphia in students and how to help students with Dysgraphia. 

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