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Helping Your Child Cope With Dysgraphia

When a child first enters school and begins learning the basic skills they need to make their way in life, any bump in the road can be an enormous source of frustration and anxiety. Such is certainly the case for children with dysgraphia, a learning disability that affects their ability to write.

At Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy, under the experienced and compassionate guidance of pediatric occupational therapist Danielle McDaniel, our team specializes in a wide range of issues that can potentially affect how a child develops. Included in this is dysgraphia, which can have a significant impact on your child’s ability to write, a fundamental life skill.

Here’s a look at the problem and how we can help your child cope with dysgraphia.

Struggling with the written word

At its core, dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects a child’s ability to negotiate the motor and information processing skills needed for handwriting. There are three main types of dysgraphia:

Dysgraphia can be a very tricky condition to diagnose because all children face challenges when they first learn to write. In most cases, the condition becomes clearer as children progress, leaving the child struggling with dysgraphia behind. 

In other words, dysgraphia isn’t sloppy handwriting, but a problem in which your child may:

This list of signs of dysgraphia is by no means comprehensive, but it gives you an idea of some of the more common problems these kids face. At our practice, we don’t diagnose dysgraphia, which is usually discovered in elementary school. Our role is to help your child overcome the problem in a safe, fun, and controlled environment.

Smoothing the road forward

Our team has extensive experience with dysgraphia, and we understand the frustration your child faces when they’re in a school environment. The fact is that, in most cases, no amount of enforced practice will improve the situation and may even make it worse. 

To smooth the way forward and take the anxiety out of the mix, we offer a wonderful program called Handwriting Without Tears™ (HWT).

This effective curriculum provides multisensory strategies and materials to teach your child how to grip a writing instrument, how to form letters, and, ultimately, provide them with literacy skills that will serve them for a lifetime. 

The multisensory program relies on play-based instruction in which your child can move, touch, feel, and manipulate objects, which helps them learn the skills necessary for handwriting. The HWT program accounts for the fact that not every child learns in the same way, which is why the curriculum includes visual, tactile, auditory, and kinesthetic aids.

As we teach your child the correct formation, spacing, and sequencing of words, we mix in fun activities that are all geared toward the same goal. Our multisensory experience includes the use of music, and we turn to games like Voices, Letter Stories, Door Tracing, Air Writing, and Mystery Letter Game to help your child both form and place letters.

If you’d like to learn more about our highly successful dysgraphia program, please contact our office in Charlotte, North Carolina, at (704) 912-1011.

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