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Dysgraphia: causes, symptoms and treatment

Dysgraphia: causes, symptoms and treatment

September 16, 2022

Dysgraphia is one of the disorders whose effects are felt in the development of boys and girls from around the world, since it has to do with the difficulties when carrying out one of the most useful actions today: writing.

If this skill is not well understood in childhood, this can lead to a much lower capacity when communicating with other people, making lists and writing to better organize ones day-to-day life, or opting for high-value-added jobs. , among other negative consequences.

In this article we will see what characteristics, symptoms and causes are related to dysgraphia , as well as the types of treatments recommended to mitigate their effects on the development of childhood.

  • Related article: "Learning difficulties: definition and warning signs"

What is dysgraphia?

It is known as dysgraphia the phenomenon by which a person (usually a boy or a girl) presents serious difficulties to write well, either for questions of spelling, calligraphy or both types of problems at the same time. It is, therefore, a group of disorders of written expression, which in turn can be encompassed in the category of specific learning disorders .

In turn, dysgraphia is frequently accompanied by other specific learning disorders, such as dyscalculia or dyslexia.

The components of writing that can be affected by dysgraphia are varied, so the symptoms of this alteration are also. Among the most prominent are the following, always taking into account the age range to which the person belongs.

  • Inconsistent calligraphy or so strange that it costs to read.
  • Problems to accentuate.
  • Bad management of spaces between words, phrases and lines.
  • Bad score .
  • Grammatical problems
  • Replacing letters .
  • Strange links of words.
  • Inappropriate grasp of pencil or ballpoint pen .

Types of dysgraphia

The cases of dysgraphia can be classified into two main types , according to the characteristics of the difficulties when writing.


It consists of the presence of significant problems in learning the rules of spelling in the practice of writing .

Motor dysgraphia

This form of dysgraphia has to do with problems of posture, coordination and integration between movements and visual information in regard to writing In addition to these two types, there are cases in which it is difficult to classify what happens, given that there is a wide variety of symptoms.

Prevalence: what percentage of children present it?

Although there is currently little data on this, It is estimated that around 3% of boys and girls presents some problems to comply with orthographic rules that can be considered cases of dysgraphia, while the rest of difficulties associated with writing would occur with a somewhat lower frequency.


What is produced by dysgraphia is still not well understood, but it is most likely that behind most of the cases there are several causes acting at the same time. For example, may be acting genetic predispositions that lead to producing an encephalon design in which the neuronal structures that must be coordinated to produce the writing are not as well connected as they should be, or perinatal brain lesions that affect these groups of neurons can occur.

Thus, the causes of dysgraphia are nonspecific, in the sense that different variables may be acting as genesis in their appearance in the first years of development during childhood. In turn, the longer the stage in which there are serious problems at the time of writing, the more difficult it will be to overcome this phenomenon, as pessimistic expectations appear, giving way to self-fulfilling prophecy.

Possibly several types of malformations and microlesions lead to similar results, since there is no easily identifiable brain region that is responsible for writing itself.

In addition, dysgraphia can also be caused by a harmful learning dynamic , or even by the effect of stress and anticipatory anxiety linked to the activity of writing.

  • Related article: "Parts of the human brain (and functions)"

Treatment for dysgraphia

Being a disorder that occurs in childhood, it is necessary to intervene in it as soon as possible so that its negative effects do not accumulate making the child stay in a situation of vulnerability in their learning trajectory . The objective of these initiatives will be to compensate this situation of disadvantage through an extra effort to write well that must be channeled through the appropriate learning and training techniques, so as not to produce exhaustion and frustration.

The main technique of intervention is the chain, that is, the improvement of specific skills that little by little are becoming more sophisticated and can be integrated in previous learning.

On the other hand, this form of training and learning (which must be guided by a specialist) must be accompanied by interventions aimed at dealing with the problems of beliefs, expectations and self-esteem that usually go hand in hand with dysgraphia.

At the same time, as long as there is no rapprochement between the level of writing you have and the minimum level of writing required, it is good to present alternatives in learning assessment methods, such as oral exams. In this way the development of other cognitive skills will not be impeded, thus avoiding the appearance of a serious learning bottleneck due to having difficulties in a specific area of ​​behavior, in this case writing.

Bibliographic references:

  • A. Suarez, Difficulties in learning: a diagnostic model in education. Editorial Santillana.
  • Center, INSERM Collective Expertise (2007). Dyslexia Dysorthography Dyscalculia. Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale. PMID 21348173
  • Helman, A. L .; Calhoon, M.B .; Kern, L. (2015). "Improving science vocabulary of high school English language learners with reading disabilities". Learning Disability Quarterly. 38 (1): 40-52.
  • Rodis, P., Garrod, A., & Boscardin, M.L. (Eds.). (2001). Learning Disabilities & Life Stories. Boston, USA: Allan & Bacon.

Dysgraphia ¦ Treatment and Symptoms (September 2022).

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