Demystifying Dysgraphia: Intervention

Evidenced Based-Interventions for the Treatment of Written Language Disorders (Dysgraphia) Instructional activities that improve the handwriting of children with Dysgraphia.  Note: the following was taken from the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). What kinds of instructional activities improve the handwriting of children with dysgraphia? Initially, children with impaired handwriting benefit from activities that support learning to form letters:
  • playing with clay to strengthen hand muscles;
  • keeping lines within mazes to develop motor control;
  • connecting dots or dashes to create complete letter forms;
  • tracing letters with index finger or eraser end of pencil;
  • imitating the teacher modeling sequential strokes in letter formation; and
  • copying letters from models.
Subsequently, once children learn to form legible letters, they benefit from instruction that helps them develop automatic letter writing, using the following steps to practice each of the 26 letters of the alphabet in a different order daily:
  • studying numbered arrow cues that provide a consistent plan for letter formation
  • covering the letter with a 3 x 5 card and imaging the letter in the mind’s eye
  • writing the letter from memory after interval that increases in duration over the handwriting lessons
  • writing letters from dictation (spoken name to letter form).
In addition, to developing handwriting speed, they benefit from writing letters during composing daily for 5 to 10 minutes on a teacher-provided topic. Students benefit from explicit instruction in spelling throughout K-12:
  • initially in high frequency Anglo-Saxon words;
  • subsequently in coordinating the phonological, orthographic, and morphological processes relevant for the spelling of longer, more complex, less frequent words; and
  • at all grade levels in the most common and important words used for the different academic domains of the curriculum.
Throughout K -12, students benefit from strategies for composing:
  • planning, generating, reviewing/evaluating, and revising
  • compositions of different genre including narrative, informational, compare and contrast, and persuasive
  • self-regulation strategies for managing the complex executive functions involved in composing.
In addition to the aforementioned interventions, a referral to an educational interventionist or occupational therapist (OT) may be warranted.  Dr. Andersen is well connected with various providers across the valley so do not hesitate to reach out!