Symptoms of Dysgraphia

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Symptoms of Dysgraphia

An astute teacher or parent may suspect dysgraphia in a student by observing writing performances. All too often, however, the student’s performance is interpreted as poor motivation, carelessness, laziness, or excessive speed. While these observations may be very real, they are on the surface, and the underlying cause may be a dysgraphic pattern which is not within the student’s control. Specific symptoms which may be noted include:

  • Cramped fingers on writing tool.
  • Odd wrist, body and paper positions.
  • Excessive erasures.
  • Mixture of upper and lower case letters.
  • Mixture of printed and cursive letters.
  • Inconsistent letter formations and slant.
  • Irregular letter sizes and shapes.
  • Unfinished cursive letters.
  • Misuse of line and margin.
  • Poor organization on the page.
  • Inefficient speed in copying.
  • General illegibility.
  • Decreased speed of writing.
  • Decreased speed of copying.
  • Inattentiveness about details when writing.
  • Frequently needs verbal cues and sub-vocalizing.
  • Relies heavily on vision to monitor what the hand is doing during writing.
  • Slowly implements verbal directions that involve sequencing and planning.

For a diagnosis of dysgraphia, the student must exhibit a cluster of symptoms (from the above list) plus a difficulty in reciprocity, the ability to automatically make the sequential directional changes necessary for fluent writing.


  • The Source for Dyslexia & Dysgraphia, LinguiSystems © 2000, used with permission.
  • When Writing’s a Problem, © 2004, RET Center Press, used with permission.

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