What is Dysgraphia?

When discussing what dysgraphia is, there are many common misconceptions. In summary, dysgraphia is a learning difference that can occur in individuals from a very young age.

People with dysgraphia may have challenges with spelling, written expression, and fine motor skills related to writing. It’s crucial to note that there is a significant difference between dyslexia and dysgraphia. When looking into the symptoms, dysgraphia is always linked to the writing process and/or motor skills. On the other hand, dyslexia is a learning disability affecting one’s reading capabilities.

Nowadays, when discussing learning disabilities, difficulties or disorders, the narrative tends to shift towards what the affected individuals cannot do as opposed to what they can do.

So, it’s crucial to note that people with dysgraphia are often excellent listeners, great storytellers, and efficient problem solvers. At Leaf Complex Care, we nurture people’s strengths, and our social workers take a humanised and supportive approach.


How Dysgraphia Affects Writing?

Children and older individuals may have challenges with correct word order, verb and pronoun usage, and correct word endings. Difficulties with writing letters correctly—like writing them in backward order or not remembering their shapes are characteristics linked to dysgraphia as well. Furthermore, dysgraphia might make it challenging for individuals to identify when to use uppercase and lowercase letters.

Despite these circumstances, people with dysgraphia often find it easier to speak and express themselves fluently.

However, from written language to motor skills, this learning disability often has different characteristics in different individuals.

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Different Types of Dysgraphia

To understand some of the characteristics, we must examine the different types of dysgraphia.

Dyslexic Dysgraphia

This type makes it harder for individuals to write letters that are considered easy to read when they write independently. So, copying words from a book or similar source may be more manageable.

The biggest challenge with this type of dysgraphia is writing letters without seeing them first. However, the speed and ability of the motor skills are not affected. So, with proper support and tailored strategies, individuals with dyslexic dysgraphia might make a lot of progress with spelling and writing.

Motor Dysgraphia

In some cases, it’s more than just the written expression that needs to be examined but also the process of writing.

Early signs of dysgraphia can be noticed when children have difficulties with dexterity, hand grasp, and muscle tone. So, because fine motor skills are affected, letter formation can be a significant challenge. Hence, things such as handwriting on writing assignments can appear less neat and, in some cases, hard to read. Luckily, technology makes it easier for these individuals to express themselves without having to manoeuvre a pen or pencil.

Spatial Dysgraphia

With this type of dysgraphia, children or adults have no spelling challenges. However, appropriately spacing letters and writing on lines can sometimes be challenging for people with spatial dysgraphia. This is due to what professionals call a visual-spatial deficit. Signs of this type of dysgraphia can be noticed in drawings as well.

Motor skills are unaffected, and writing difficulties are specifically linked to spacing. Using paper with raised lines can eliminate some of these challenges.

Phonological Dysgraphia

People with this type of dysgraphia experience difficulty with writing and spelling when it comes to unfamiliar words or words that don’t follow standard phonetic rules. Retaining the sounds (phonemes) that make up words and putting them together in the correct order to form a specific word can be challenging.

​Lexical Dysgraphia

An individual with lexical dysgraphia may be able to spell without difficulty but might rely on standard sound-to-letter patterns. However, people with this condition tend to misspell words that don’t follow these patterns. Specifically, native speakers of English or French might face limitations with written expression because the languages are less phonetic than others.

This form of dysgraphia is relatively uncommon among children.

Аcquired Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia may also occur suddenly due to head injury or brain trauma. The symptoms, in this case, may overlap with those previously mentioned. Still, the specific nature and extent of the conditions can vary.

Research into acquired dysgraphia is ongoing, and experts are still exploring effective ways to support individuals who experience this condition.

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Signs and Symptoms of Dysgraphia in Children and Adults

The most common signs of dysgraphia include:

Having one or multiple symptoms doesn’t mean you or your child have dysgraphia. However, if these signs appear and an individual has trouble overcoming them, it’s essential to seek advice from a professional and get tested.

Whatever the situation may be, there are a significant number of people living life fully and functioning with learning disabilities. Nowadays, many organisations, special education programs, and strategies can accommodate individuals with dysgraphia with a tailored learning style. Additionally, individuals can follow a learning pace that best works for the individual.

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Causes of Dysgraphia

Experts do not yet understand the exact cause of dysgraphia in children. Our writing skills are directly linked to several areas in the brain, so the current hypotheses point out some differences in the most complex organ in our bodies. However, nothing has been medically reviewed as of now.

Acquired dysgraphia in adults can be caused by:

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why is dysgraphia diagnosis critical
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Dysgraphia Diagnosis

The initial process to diagnose dysgraphia involves eliminating other potential neurodivergent variants or learning disabilities that could lead to difficulties in writing or affect fine motor control skills.

Professionals in the field can assess a child’s writing and academic abilities through a series of tests that gauge their ability to express thoughts through writing and motor skills.

These tests often include:

It’s essential to address a child’s writing difficulties as soon as you notice them, mainly because this can help them overcome any troubles more effectively and efficiently.

Why is Dysgraphia Diagnosis Critical?

It’s crucial to remember that dysgraphia doesn’t affect IQ in any situation. People with dysgraphia may encounter challenges during their education or career because of a lack of support tailored to their needs.

That’s why our support workers deliver personalised care and support with humanised touch, always respecting the needs of the people we assist.

Underperforming because of the challenges of learning disabilities can result in frustration, a decline in confidence, discouragement, and stress. Early diagnosis can prevent all this and provide a positive environment for individuals with the condition.

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Treatment Options for Dysgraphia

Occupational therapy is widely used to treat dysgraphia in children, with some OTs offering services to adults as well. These sessions may involve utilising different materials to enhance hand and wrist strength, practising written words, and writing in cursive and print.

Adults undiagnosed with dysgraphia in childhood might experience lingering feelings of shame or anger associated with the learning disorder. Regardless of age, individuals with dysgraphia must recognise that their condition is not something to feel ashamed of, and psychotherapy can be a beneficial tool in managing anger and increasing self-confidence.

Aside from therapy work, there are other strategies one can implement to support individuals with the condition.

Helping Children with Dysgraphia at Home

At Leaf Complex Care, we deliver humanised care to children with learning difficulties. Our highly skilled support workers approach their work compassionately, infusing their education methods with empathy, patience, and a deep commitment to helping those in their care.

Providing tailored care is more than just a job for our support workers- it’s their calling.

Support for Students with Dysgraphia

Our support workers are certified to assist students with dysgraphia with their work. This type of support can benefit individuals with a specific learning disorder and, in some cases, improve their performance, handwriting skills, motor skills, and orthographic coding.

However, it’s important to note that this can vary from one individual to another.

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Living With Dysgraphia

Living with dysgraphia can be challenging, mainly because it can affect a child’s or an individual’s confidence, sense of self-worth, stress levels, and ambition.

After getting the proper assessment, it’s crucial to offer support and understanding, as well as accommodations such as assistive technology and alternative methods of written expression. This will enable individuals to express their ideas, no matter the form of the condition.

The most crucial part is reassuring individuals that their writing challenges can improve no matter what is causing them. Support and encouragement can help them feel more confident and motivated.

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How Can Leaf Complex Care Support Individuals With Dysgraphia?

At Leaf Complex Care, we offer tailored support for individuals living with dysgraphia within the UK.

Our support workers value each person’s unique traits and provide personalised care in their homes. Additionally, the clinicians provide comprehensive support by accompanying them to school and offering assistance and guidance during class. Our clinicians go the extra mile to help with homework, projects, and any other school-related tasks the children may need support with.

Our goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment for the individuals we care for, where they can feel comfortable and confident in their ability to learn and succeed.

In addition, our clinicians identify the strengths of the individuals they’re supporting and leverage them, providing opportunities to develop their skills and talents further.

Contact us to learn how to benefit your loved one with our services.