What is Dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia is the condition of impaired handwriting that can interfere with learning to spell words in writing and speed and accuracy of writing text. Children with this specific learning disability may have problems including illegible handwriting, inconsistent spacing, poor spatial planning on paper, poor spelling, and difficulty composing writing as well as thinking and writing at the same time. Dysgraphia has been shown to be caused by underlying neurological dysfunction that makes writing skills difficult for the person.


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What Causes Dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia is known to be caused by differences in brain function and impaired communication between areas of the brain involved in writing. Scientific studies show that the areas of the brain that control orthographic working memory, short-term memory, and motor planning for writing are lacking in their performance. The irregular brain functioning pattern is due to higher levels of slow brain activity and impaired communication between brain areas that perform these writing-related functions. This irregular brain pattern can result in difficulty with performance of written skills. Children with dysgraphia have difficulty with both orthographic coding and planning sequential finger movements for the process of writing. Both writing skills are planned in the brain. In working memory, the brain takes in information through the senses and stores it to use later. Before a person starts writing, he retrieves information from his short- or long-term memory and gets organized to begin writing. In a person with dysgraphia, these steps in the writing process go off track neurologically.

What are the Symptoms of Dysgraphia?

The symptoms to Dysgraphia are often overlooked or attributed to student laziness. Children with impaired handwriting may also have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This is because the irregular brain pattern that underlies Dysgraphia is similar to that of ADD, but in different areas of the brain. Dysgraphia may occur alone or with Dyslexia (impaired reading disability) or with oral and written language learning for the same reason. To be diagnosed with Dysgraphia, one must have some, but not necessarily all, of the following symptoms:

  • Poor legibility of handwriting
  • Odd wrist, arm, body, or paper orientations
  • Excessive erasures
  • Mixed upper case and lower case letters
  • Inconsistent form and size of letters
  • Unfinished letters
  • Misuse of lines and margins
  • Inefficient speed of copying
  • Poor attention to details when writing
  • Frequent need of verbal cues
  • Vision heavily referred to for writing
  • Poor handwriting interferes with spelling and written composition
  • Having a hard time translating ideas to writing
  • Wrong word use
  • Cramping of fingers while writing short entries
  • Pain while writing

How Can Dysgraphia Symptoms Be Reduced?

Dysgraphia is known to be caused and made worse by the underlying qEEG Brain irregularities indicating neurological dysfunction. When this pattern improves, symptoms reduce. Chronic stress, which can make the brain pattern irregularities even greater, can make Dysgraphia worse. Decreasing the use of the Dysgraphia neurological pattern and exacerbating stress pattern can significantly improve symptoms.

When these factors are evaluated and then treated in concert, symptoms can reduce quickly. At Leigh Brain & Spine, the doctors identify the disruptive brain patterns and then retrain the brain to operate better using Neurofeedback Therapy.

How is Dysgraphia Diagnosed?

Dysgraphia signs often appear in early elementary school. But the signs may not become apparent until middle school or later. Sometimes the signs go unnoticed entirely. As with all learning and attention issues, the earlier the signs of Dysgraphia are recognized and addressed, the better. Dysgraphia is typically identified by professionals who specialize in learning disabilities. They will give your child academic assessments and writing tests. These tests measure fine motor skills and written expression production. This testing will confirm how your child’s handwriting is being impacted by Dysgraphia.

What is the Best Test for Dysgraphia?

Scientists have identified a brain pattern that is used when a person has strong cognitive functions in all areas. Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG) technology was used to find this brain pattern. Abnormal qEEG findings are known to be at the root of Dysgraphia. A qEEG Brain Map can identify if the brain is suffering from neurological dysfunction that is causing the person’s writing challenges. This assessment shows you why handwriting challenges are occurring and what you can do about it. In this way, advances in neuroscience and technology are making it easier to identify and treat Dysgraphia and other learning challenges.

How Can Neurofeedback Improve Dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia is known to be associated with abnormal brain functioning patterns. The brain has difficulty implementing writing functions due to problems with orthographic working memory and communication between brain areas involved in writing. This brain pattern, identified on qEEG, can give the person significant challenges with written tasks. Stress and anxiety are a co-occurring condition for children with Dysgraphia. Neurofeedback Therapy improves the way the brain is performing and thus reduces the difficulties with writing, improved writing performance and the symptoms of anxiety.

Neurofeedback Therapy re-wires brain irregularities for better performance. Scientific studies prove that Neurofeedback has high success rates by providing auditory and visual feedback to improve the way the brain is operating. With better brain function comes alleviation of symptoms.

What’s the Most Effective Treatment for Dysgraphia?

Neurofeedback Therapy is a clinically proven, drug free, non-invasive treatment option that can improve the brain pattern toward the optimal one proven to be symptom-free. When the brain is working better, the flow of neural information that controls writing skills can work better and symptoms can be reduced.

Neurofeedback is:

  • Drug-Free
  • Non-Invasive
  • No Side-Effects
  • Clinically Proven
  • Long-lasting Benefits
  • Proven successful with 65-year legacy

Neurofeedback Therapy works directly with the person’s brain for an enjoyable experience that is proven effective.

What Do I Do If I Have Dysgraphia?

If you would like to reduce your Dysgraphia symptoms and associated anxiety, call the professionals at Leigh Brain & Spine. The doctors can perform a qEEG Brain Map to determine if you are a strong candidate for Neurofeedback Therapy.