Monday 23rd February 2015

Identifying dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder which can be defined as “a disorder in written expression”. It is a Greek term which in English translates to “impaired at writing by hand”.


The Disabled Student’s Allowance for Student Finance England, recognise dysgraphia as a specific learning difference.


Perhaps the first step to identifying dysgraphia is by comparing our handwriting quality to others of the same age.


Individuals with dysgraphia will often have unorthodox or poor quality handwriting due to a number of factors. Factors other than because they simply dislike handwriting and/or have no intention of putting effort in to making their handwriting legible for others.


Things to look out for in our handwriting, other than just poor quality, are:

  • Oversized letters and punctuation
  • Inconsistency in the size of consecutive letters
  • Letters and words not written at a consistent angle (straight, then slanting left, then slanting right)
  • Inconsistently spaced letters, words, sentences, lines, paragraphs and margins (even when margins and lines are provided)
  • Letters and words written in the wrong order
  • Inappropriate use of upper and lower case letters
  • Inappropriate use of punctuation
  • Writing is often crossed out
  • Tenses are often muddled up


However, just because a person has poor quality handwriting and may do some or all of the things listed above, dysgraphia can still not be assumed. The cause of the poor quality handwriting needs to be identified and it is only then that a diagnosis can be made.


An individual with dysgraphia will very often have problems with language processing, their fine motor skills, memory retrieval, their pen/pencil grip, their handwriting posture and visual spacing.


Many use our online dysgraphia testing as a preliminary diagnosis of dysgraphia and use the supporting information and activity materials to improve their handwriting abilities – sent to you via email if we believe dysgraphia to be present.


For more information on testing for dysgraphia go to or alternatively you can email


Lucy Mister

Dysgraphia Help

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Dysgraphia Help, 24 Lindsey Gardens, Market Harborough, Leics, LE16 9JF