This is a diagnosed learning disability involving sensory or neurological systems and the coordination between the two sides of the brain. It affects a child’s ability to learn how to form letters, organize the alphabet, and organize thoughts on paper. Generally children with dysgraphia will be good in most other areas such as math, sciences, and even reading.
”If a 3 or 4 year old child is not able to copy basic shapes, it may indicate that a particular area of the brain is not working at the optimum,” explains Dr Manish Samnani, consultant occupational therapist with the organization Children First. “The child may also have specific developmental delays in specific aspects of handwriting. Parents must not ignore this.”
And since schools differ in when children are introduced to handwriting – some start with printing in preschool and kindergarten, and others don’t get serious with cursive until the elementary grades – teachers need to be taught how to recognize possible dysgraphia.
“Teachers have to identify children who would require intervention and help them early so that the child can be on a par with others. Asking the child to repeat a class can be psychologically damaging for him or her, as the child may be otherwise bright and may have an IQ that is above average,” says Samnani.
Dr. Samnani recommends that children with handwriting difficulties undergo a thorough assessment by an occupational therapist who will suggest individualized programs. These programs could including tracing patterns on specially-designed worksheets, and writing alphabets on various multisensory mediums such as sand, a tray of powder, or sandpaper.
As children are developing the fine motor skills required for handwriting, they are also in danger of experiencing repetitive stress injury (RSI) to the tendons of the hands and fingers. Why do children need an ergonomic pen? Gripping the pen or pencil too hard, or in the wrong way, can cause RSI pain, and lead to more frustration in learning to write. Make sure your child uses an ergonomic pen. The UGLee Pen has been scientifically designed to be comfortable and relaxing, thus eliminating handwriting pain – one possible cause of a child’s difficulty in learning how to write.