The concept of “writing” encompasses a broad spectrum of tasks: from transcribing one document to creating, revising, and proofreading a doctoral dissertation.
Dysgraphia, a neurological condition, can affect a person’s ability to express themselves in writing, with special emphasis on difficulty with handwriting and forming coherent thoughts.
In this article we explain what learning difficulties are with a specific focus on dysgraphia, we explore the challenges that individuals (and especially students) affected by it have to face on a daily basis and, finally, we’ll provide some writing hacks that could be useful to people dealing with dysgraphia.
Let’s dive right in!
Learning difficulties are a common issue faced by many individuals, especially children.
They can vary greatly and can affect a person’s ability to understand and process information, which can lead to difficulty with reading, writing, math, or other academic tasks.
Despite their prevalence, learning difficulties are often misunderstood and can be difficult to identify.
Many believe that people with learning difficulties are not intelligent: this couldn’t be further from the truth! People with learning difficulties have a wide range of intellectual abilities and skills, some may even be gifted in certain areas and certain conditions (such as dyslexia) have absolutely nothing to do with a person’s intelligence.
Others believe that people with learning difficulties are all alike. However, every person’s experience can be different: the challenges faced and the needs for support and accommodations in school or at work can vary greatly.
Finally, it is sometimes believed that learning difficulties only affect young children: some people think that once a child grows up, their issues related to a learning difficulty will go away—but this isn’t always true. Learning difficulties can persist into adulthood and require ongoing support throughout one’s life so individuals can continue to thrive personally and professionally as they age.
Common Learning Difficulties
A person may have a single learning difficulty or a combination of them, with different levels of intensity.
An individual who has been given a diagnosis of a learning difficulty may experience difficulty facing such news, as could similarly the person’s family. Should the obstacle have been present for an extended amount of time, it is likely that upon getting labeled the individual would be somewhat relieved, especially if the diagnosis happened later on in their life.
That’s why therapy is so important for people with learning difficulties: it can help them to better understand their condition, and to develop coping strategies that enable them to manage their symptoms more effectively. Therapy also provides a safe space for individuals to express and explore their emotions, as well as giving them the opportunity to build positive relationships with professionals and other people who share similar experiences.
Extra accommodations at work or in school and medications could also be very useful to people with learning difficulties.
Writing is a complex and multifaceted process: it encompasses a broad range of tasks, from transcribing one document to creating, revising, and proofreading a doctoral dissertation. It can involve researching topics, organizing ideas into logical arguments or narratives, and crafting words into effective sentences that convey meaning.
However, sometimes, people can have a hard time with writing, experiencing issues that go beyond the classic writer’s block.
What is Dysgraphia?
Dysgraphia is a condition that affects an individual’s ability to write. It is characterized by impaired handwriting, difficulty with spelling and trouble organizing written work. Dysgraphia can also cause challenges with writing speed, producing legible work, and difficulty expressing thoughts on paper.
The causes of dysgraphia are not yet well understood, but some research suggests that it may be related to developmental issues in the areas of language processing or motor skills.
A 2020 study published in Translational Pediatrics showed that, while the true rate is uncertain, approximately 10-30% of kids in the US experience difficulty in writing, which could potentially be a symptom of dysgraphia.
Symptoms of dysgraphia often include: unclear/irregular handwriting, difficulties writing in a straight line, having difficulty remembering how letters are written or being aware of when to use lower or upper case letters, challenges in maintaining a steady grip or controlling a writing tool.
Dysgraphia affects handwriting and fine motor skills. It impedes the capacity to spell accurately, precisely establish word spacing and coherently fill blank pages with one’s thoughts.
Writing is made to become a slow, laborious process and the output is usually indecipherable.
Thankfully, it's possible to use certain strategies to make writing easier for those with dysgraphia.
Let’s take a look!
AI Writing Tool
Adults and especially students with dysgraphia have a hard time writing, especially in terms of spelling.
TextCortex can be a useful addition to your collection of tools: our primary goal is always to ensure our community feels safe and seen, which is why we work hard to make sure we fulfill the needs of each individual so that our AI assistant is both useful and comfortable to use.
Our AI companion provides users with an intuitive user experience that helps them create quality written content quickly and easily. The platform includes features like auto-correction of typos and grammar errors, automated text summarization, speech recognition capabilities, and more – all designed to help users produce error-free written documents quickly and efficiently.
The platform also offers personalized feedback on the content created by users so they can improve their writing skills over time. Additionally, it allows users to save their drafts so they can come back to them later if needed – eliminating the need for rewrites or long editing sessions when revising work at a later date.
Our AI tool makes it easy for people living with dysgraphia to create high-quality written content without having to worry about common mistakes due to their condition – making life just a little bit easier!
Developing touch-typing skills can enhance the performance of people with dysgraphia: computers are recommended as they lessen the amount of elements that need to be controlled, such as assembling letters, words and letter spacing, and writing sentences left to right on a straight line.
Using them also makes it simpler to accurately fix mistakes as they don’t show visible correction marks and often come with spell-checking functions.
If you have to handwrite anything, many experts consider cursive as easier than print due to the continuity between letters.
This lessens the interruption caused by spacing. Moreover, cursive writing demands a continuous and consistent motion, which can be advantageous to people with limited fine motor abilities.
Writing is a mentally demanding process that becomes even more challenging when one needs to both take in information from a lecture and write it down.
It is advisable for people to either take audio recordings or be given handouts on the topics discussed. Moreover, having a note-taker buddy paired with a dysgraphic student may be beneficial.
Outlines & Multiple Drafts
When it’s hard to organize and express ideas, a person with dysgraphia may wish to formulate an outline that lays out their ideas coherently.
Working in multiple drafts takes off the strain of having to get something perfect straight away and it’s also a more natural approach to writing. Examining existing material, reworking and structuring it in order to facilitate comprehension are all established habits found in any successful writer.