Tips for Parents

Learning Handwriting

Learning Handwriting

Learning Handwriting

If you haven't yet, consider an evaluation with an occupational therapist that specializes in children. Many people don't realize that OT helps with life skills, not just "work." OT can help kids improve cognitive, physical, sensory and motor skills.

Parents can also help children with their handwriting in many ways:

  • There are fun tools and games to build hand-strength and fine motor skills - find some of these on the Resources page.

  • Children with writing difficulties should learn how to write letters using a multi-sensory approach. Besides just writing, could they say the letter and the sound out loud? Trace or create it in a fun way (playdough, with touch on the inside of your hand). Be creative and use eyes, ears, and touch at the same time!  

  • Consider cursive - see our blog post about it. All the letters start at the bottom. 

  • For older children, teach typing as soon as possible. Provide a laptop or tablet for your teen to take notes and write assignments. You may be able to qualify for a free laptop or tablet through your school district or through a nonprofit organization. 

  • Let your teen talk through a writing assignment with you first. Walking through it out loud can help them organize their thoughts better before the writing starts. 


Composition & Comprehension

Some people with dysgraphia have a very difficult time with spelling. 

  • It is best to teaching reading and writing with a structured, phonetic methodology, such as a curriculum based on the Orton-Gillingham approach.  

  • If hand-writing and spelling are both difficult for your child, try to have them spell words for you verbally to make the task easier.

  • Spell-check is important for older children, teens, and adults. View it as a helpful tool (like eyeglasses for poor vision). 

  • Proofreading is key.  Help proofread for your child and teach them to regularly proofread their own work as well as to be comfortable asking others to read things over for them. 

  • Practice proofreading skills by having your child proofread something that you or others have written that contains errors. 

As children get older, composition becomes very important. So does expressing their ideas for a variety of subjects outside of Language Arts​.

  • Let your older child or teen talk through a writing assignment with you first. Walking through it out loud can help them organize their thoughts better before the writing starts. 

  • For math or science, if the student needs to "explain your answer" have them explain to you (or a peer) first. It's not uncommon for the student to understand and be able to express the answer verbally but struggle to get it down on paper. Speaking it out loud first may help.

  • Does the answer have to be written? In some cases, would the teacher allow them to send him/her a video of them explaining the answers? (See our page on Effective Advocacy). 

  • Proofread again! Ask your child to re-read what he or she wrote. Does it make sense? Is it what he/she meant to say?

Dysgraphia Life

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