Dys (Greek – something wrong or improper) + graphia (writing). An inability to write at all is called agraphia but this is very rare. What is a very common learning disorder is dysgraphia – messy, poorly spelled, difficult to read handwriting. Dyslexia (difficulty reading) often but not always is found along with dysgraphia.
Poor handwriting can sometimes be the result of improper teaching of basic writing skills but that would not be considered a “learning disorder” and can be easily corrected with just a bit of focused coaching.
The real disorder is not so easy to correct and depending on factors such as concomitant dyslexia, it may take years to set right. But, dysgraphia as with dyslexia IS treatable. Improvement with sound therapy is very possible and for many kids a complete recovery is possible.
Again, early detection is important. Any signs; bad spelling, messy handwriting, inability to write in straight lines, resistance to writing and even complaints of hand pain while writing should result in a proper professional evaluation of the child. The pros will look into all aspects including proper functioning of nerves and muscles and other possible physical sources like eyesight. Along with the physical tests they will use tests that study whether there is good coordination between the motor and perceptual parts of the brain.
A key issue always with any LD is how the child is developing and whether the child’s development is on par with other kids of the same age. Slower development of some parts of the brain can often be detected in kids that have learning disorders.
Dysgraphia is treatable, so if you have any suspicion that your child’s handwriting is not on par with her/his peers, do get it checked out and don’t get disheartened!
In our experience in dealing with developmental disorders, we have found that nutrition is very important. In my next post I will talk about that and a few other things that parents need to know…