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Common Warning Signs of Dysgraphia in Children in Grades 3–8

Dysgraphia Warning Signs Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. Is your child is having trouble with the physical act of writing or putting thoughts down on paper? If so, the following list of common warning signs of dysgraphia in children in grades 3–8 may help you to more clearly identify the specific areas of concern and seek help to address these problems.



Everyone struggles with learning at times, although learning disabilities such as dysgraphia will persist over time. If your child has displayed any of the signs below for at least the past six months, it may be time to seek help from your child’s school or other professionals.

And because some of the “symptoms” listed below also apply to other types of learning disabilities and/or to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which often co-exist, you may want to review our more comprehensive Interactive Learning Disabilities Checklist.

For At Least the Past Six Months, My Child Has Had Trouble

Writing

  • Gripping a pencil comfortably when writing or drawing.
  • Writing neatly, evenly, and legibly.
  • Using either printed or cursive (or mixing the two styles).
  • Leaving consistent spacing between letters and words.
  • Writing on a line or within margins.
  • Copying letters and numbers neatly and accurately.
  • Spelling even familiar words correctly.
  • Being consistent in spelling.
  • Writing/printing neatly and without a lot of cross-outs and erasures
  • Expressing written ideas in an organized way.
  • Preparing outlines and organizing written work.
  • Writing without saying the words aloud.
  • Thinking of words to write.
  • Remembering to use all the words he intends to in his written work.
  • Focusing on the meaning of what he writes; (because of the physical demands during writing)
  • Maintaining energy and easy posture when writing/drawing.

 

Math

  • Aligning numbers correctly when doing math problems.

 

Social-Emotional

  • Being motivated and confident about writing.
  • Taking pride in written work.


If your child displays several of these warning signs, talk with a professional right away. Use a printed copy of this article—marked with the warning signs that apply to your child—to start the discussion with your child’s teachers or other professionals. By seeking proper identification and support in a timely way, your child will soon be on track for success in school and in life.

Additional Resources

Tags: grade3-8

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