Dysgraphia affects written expression; it is either language or non-language based. It can appear as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper.

Dysgraphia that is caused by a language disorder may be characterised by the person having difficulty converting the sounds of language into written form, or knowing which alternate spelling to use for each sound. A person with dysgraphia may write their letters in reverse, have trouble recalling how letters are formed, or when to use lower or upper case letters. A person with dysgraphia may struggle to form written sentences with correct grammar and punctuation, with common problems including omitting words, words ordered incorrectly, incorrect verb and pronoun usage and word ending errors. People with dysgraphia may speak more easily and fluently than they write.

Non-language based dysgraphia is caused by difficulties performing the controlled fine motor skills required to write.

AJ-Books-2-2400px Impact on Study:


  • Unfinished words or letters, omitted words
  • Strange wrist, body, or paper position
  • Slow or laboured copying or writing
  • Large gap between written ideas and understanding demonstrated through speech
  • Difficulty organising thoughts on paper


  • Inconsistent and often illegible writing – makes work difficult to mark
  • Student’s thoughts may often be misinterpreted
  • Student may struggle to reach deadlines owing to slow working speed
  • Likely to find keeping sufficient notes in lectures impossible


color-icons-BW-help-2400px How to Help:

  • Accommodations: providing alternatives to written expression, such as adjusting assessments (oral)
  • Modifications: changing expectations or tasks to minimize or avoid the area of weakness
  • Remediation: providing instruction for improving handwriting and writing skills


Additional Information