Dysgraphia represents certain impairments in handwriting. “Dysgraphia is a specific learning disability that affects how easily children acquire written language and how well they use written language to express their thoughts.ˮ32 Children who have dysgraphia have difficulty with writing words, sentences and even copying letters is a big issue for them. These difficulties can be accompanied with pain in the hand muscles and emotional problems. Teachers may often think that the student is lazy and clumsy because of the poor quality of their writing and its inaccuracy. Dysgraphia is not easy to diagnose, and the tests should be carried out by a trained person. Dysgraphia, just as dyslexia, cannot be cured, but its effects on the child's writing can be diminished. The most common features of dysgraphia are:
Slow and unclear writing;
Dissonant space between words;
A too tight grip on the writing tool;
Cramped fingers when writing;
Inconsistent letter size and form;
Excessive erasing in writing.
“Students must be taught both compensation and remediation strategies to help them cope with or improve their writing ability.ˮ33 All kinds of exercises for warming up the hands before writing can be helpful. For instance, the children can clench and release their fists, model clay, press their fingers together and shake their hands. The teacher should help the dysgraphic child to find a pencil grip that suits the child best and which will make writing easier for the child. Writing should be an automatic skill, but with dysgraphic children it is really hard because they have to pay attention to the capital letters, spelling, punctuation and if they are writing a bigger piece of text they have to think about organizing their ideas. This is making them really slow and without help they can become very frustrated when there is a writing assignment to do.
Dysgraphic children can be evaluated for special education because their difficulties affect their success at school activities. Teachers can help them in a certain way, yet this help is sometimes not enough. The teachers can reduce the length and complexity of written tasks, include small breaks so the students have the chance to rest their hands, prolong the time given for a certain assignment, they can check whether the pupil is holding the pencil too tight in order to help them to loosen up their grip, or similar actions that can reduce exhaustion caused by dysgraphia. “A strategy developed to assist students who have problems organizing their writings into correct paragraph form is the mnemonic POWER:
P - Plan your paper;
O - Organize your thoughts and ideas;
W - Write your draft;
E - Edit your work; and
R - Revise your work before producing a final draft.ˮ34
Parents can do a lot to help their children to overcome problems created by dysgraphia. They usually need patience and more support than other students of their age. Parents can help the child by writing down when the child dictates...