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Dysgraphia Explained: Things you must know

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Dysgraphia Explained: Things you must know

Neuro Sciences | by CMRI | Published on 14/11/2022

What is dysgraphia?

A common tendency in children to write distorted words while framing sentences is often regarded as a part of the learning process. However, prolonged signs can indicate a neurological disorder which can hamper a child’s growth. A child may experience difficulty forming letters and often use the wrong words while writing, making it difficult to convey the meaning.

Such neurological disorder is commonly recognised as dysgraphia which is a learning disorder characterized by learning difficulties such as impaired handwriting, poor spelling and issues selecting correct words to use. It can make it hard for a child to perform tasks or assignments associated with handwriting or framing sentences.

The condition mostly affects children and adults and can lead to trauma such as a stroke. Let us know more about dysgraphia and how you can help your child or anyone around you cope with the condition.

What are the symptoms of dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia symptoms vary in children and adults depending on their age, medical condition, etc. Kids with dysgraphia have unclear and inconsistent handwriting distinguished with different slants and shapes. Here are some common symptoms which can first appear during assignments in schools or later in life.

  • Poor handwriting.
  • Incorrect spelling.
  • A mix of cursive and print writing style.
  • Using incorrect sentences.
  • Omitting words from sentences.
  • Slow writing speed.
  • Fatigue after writing short pieces.
  • Inappropriate letter sizing.
  • Inappropriate letter spacing.
  • Difficulty with grammar and sentence structure.
  • Unusual position of the body or hands when writing.
  • Saying words aloud when writing them down.
  • Tight or unusual pencil grip.
  • Avoiding tasks involving writing or drawing.
  • Difficulty taking notes at school or work.

What are the causes of dysgraphia?

There is no known cause of dysgraphia in children as it is a neurological disorder associated with ADHD and dyslexia. However, in adults, the condition is often associated with a brain injury like a stroke.

How to diagnose dysgraphia?

The initial diagnosis for dysgraphia includes a child’s psychology tests which can help distinguish the condition from other neurological disorders. The doctor will give your child academic tests that can measure their ability to put thoughts into words. For adults, dysgraphia diagnosis includes an IQ test and an assessment of their academic work. The doctor may also observe them as they write to look for fine motor skills.

How to treat dysgraphia?

There are certain treatment methods that can vary depending on the age, and severity of the neurological disorder in an individual. While there is no cure for dysgraphia, people can learn to manage the symptoms to improve their quality of life. Dysgraphia treatment includes the following:

  • Medications for co-occurring conditions can be helpful in managing their symptoms. Individuals exhibiting both dysgraphia and ADHD symptoms may experience improvement for a better quality of life.
  • Therapies such as occupational therapy and management strategies can help children and adults acquire specific skills and techniques to make writing easier. However, the strategies an individual learns may depend on their age and abilities. In children, the doctor may suggest strategies involving classroom material, strategies for giving instructions and completing assignments which can improve their fine motor skills.


Is dysgraphia a form of dyslexia?

Dyslexia refers to a reading disorder whereas dysgraphia is a writing disorder. While the two conditions may seem similar, the symptoms may vary. People with dyslexia may also have writing and spelling difficulties and it is possible to have both.

At what age is dysgraphia diagnosed?

Dysgraphia can be diagnosed at any age once the individual is aware of the symptoms. Dysgraphia symptoms can be present in children as they turn 5 years or may become apparent in adulthood. Due to the increased need for writing in school and academic years, it becomes important to diagnose dysgraphia as early as possible.

Is dysgraphia a symptom of ADHD?

No, it is not a symptom of ADHD. However, in certain cases, dysgraphia symptoms accompany ADHD symptoms affecting handwriting and spelling skills.

Does dysgraphia count as a disability?

Yes, it is a learning disability which is mostly diagnosed in children in their academic years. Children with dysgraphia usually experience problems with writing and spelling.

Does dysgraphia affect intelligence?

While many people associate dysgraphia with low intelligence, it is indeed a myth. Kids with dysgraphia usually have average or above-average intelligence.