Many people have poor handwriting, but dysgraphia is more serious. Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder that generally appears when children are first learning to write. Experts are not sure what causes it, but early treatment can help prevent or reduce problems.

Dysgraphia is a specific learning disability that affects written expression. Dysgraphia can appear as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper. Dysgraphia can be a language based, and/or non-language based disorder.

Writing requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. Not only does it require the ability to organize and express ideas in the mind. It also requires the ability to get the muscles in the hands and fingers to form those ideas, letter by letter, on paper.

Common features of Dysgraphia are:

  • Generally illegible writing

  • Inconsistencies in writing, e.g. mixtures of printing and cursive writing, upper and lower case, or irregular sizes, shapes, or slant of letters

  • Unfinished words or letters, omitted words

  • Inconsistent position of letters on the page with respect to lines and margins

  • Inconsistent spaces between words and letters

  • Cramped or unusual grip of the writing instrument, especially

  • holding the writing instrument very close to the paper, or

  • holding thumb over two fingers and writing from the wrist

  • Strange wrist, body, or paper position

  • Talking to ones-self whilst writing, or carefully watching the hand that is writing

  • Slow or laboured copying or writing

  • Large gap between written ideas and understanding demonstrated through speech.

  • ​Difficulty organising thoughts on paper.