What Is Dysgraphia?

Educational Center Learning Differences

The student diagnosed with dysgraphia has difficulty with the fine motor skill of handwriting.  Forming letters can be so slow and difficult that the student often forgets what he or she intended to write before the word or the sentence is finished.  Such things as spelling and note-taking in class are affected and the student’s handwriting is often difficult to read.  Even though the student may know the answers to homework or test questions, the student may not be able to write the answers legibly or quickly enough to complete a test.  

Do you suspect your child is dealing with Dysgraphia? If you do, there are some clues that might indicate your child is suffering from this learning disability. Here is a list of symptoms that may be associated with a child struggling with this impairment:

  • Difficulty holding writing utensils

  • Illegible handwriting

  • Spelling errors of common words

  • Difficulty organizing thoughts in written form

  • Trouble with motor skills, drawing and holding small objects

  • Absence of words or letters in sentences

What things would be helpful for someone dealing with Dysgraphia?

Talk to educators about making test taking and learning accommodations such as:

  • Extending time limits on exams

  • Reducing the length of writing assignments and word count criteria

  • Use word processing or technological applications to supplement poor handwriting and misspellings

  • Allow verbal alternatives for writing assignments

  • Supply physical writing aids such as pencil grips

  • Use worksheets and outlines to help organize thoughts and content

    Use physical therapy options to improve fine motor skills such as:

  • Hand strengthening exercises through object manipulation

  • Improve core muscles to improve posture and balance

  • Encourage sports such as gymnastics for positive muscle development

    Distinguish other possible conditions associated with Dysgraphia such as:

  • ADHD

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Dyslexia

  • Behavioral issues

  • Neurological disorders

An academic assessment can determine whether or not your child is suffering from Dysgraphia. There are many options of things that can be done to assist in the learning and education of children and adults with this disorder. With today’s technological tools, specialized classes, and a better understanding of varying learning differences, living with Dysgraphia can be successfully managed.

Learn more about Dysgraphia here

 

Proper Nutrition Promotes Learning!

Educational Support Easton PA

Proper nutrition promotes learning! Not only does proper nutrition improve the student’s mood, it also promotes alertness, maintaining attention, participating in classroom activities, learning and recalling effectively. In addition, it reduces absenteeism in the education system.  

It’s a good idea to start the day with a meal high in protein. Protein rich foods are said to improve cognitive function and help to sustain energy for a longer period of time. Whole grains also help to sustain energy, as opposed to refined grains found in white bread, cereals and pastas.  These tend to quickly spike blood sugar levels which is then followed by an energy crash. These grains are also harder to digest, making us feel sluggish or unmotivated. This is why the gluten-free and grain free diet trends have become so popular. If gluten free is not an option, it is important to be mindful of not adding these refined grains to multiple meals each day. Try adding nuts or peanut butter to breakfast smoothies to increase your child’s daily serving of protein. Nuts also provide a convenient and healthy alternative to crackers, chips and sugary fruit snacks. If nuts are out of the question due to allergies, fibrous vegetables such as celery, broccoli, carrots, cucumber and cauliflower, will also keep them feeling full longer and keep their energy reserve going throughout the day. 

For children who tend to be hyperactive, reducing sugar can greatly improve their productivity.  This helps promote better memory, focus and comprehension. Sugar is fine in moderation, but it is important to be aware of how much is in those fruit drinks and other snacks you’re giving your kids. You might be surprised at the amount of unnecessary sugar that is added to those fruit juices on our grocery store shelves. Try introducing sugar free options without sugar substitutes in them. Moderation is key, and it’s usually better to exchange processed sugars for natural sugars. Fruits such as blueberries and strawberries have natural sugar and are packed with antioxidants and fiber as well. 

Water is a highly underrated component to proper mind and body nutrition. Staying hydrated reduces inflammation of the body and brain, controls energy levels, and affects positive mood, memory, and sharpness. Try to get in the habit of providing an adequate amount of H2O every day and to remind your children of the importance of hydration. 

Finally, sleep is probably one of the most important components of healthy brain function. Certain foods, such as bananas and other magnesium-rich foods help promote healthy sleep cycles, thus encouraging better concentration for the day ahead. Try to stay on a consistent bedtime schedule to ensure sleep without disruption. When we get a sufficient amount of rest our bodies and minds have time to reset and repair themselves. Overall, with some small changes in lifestyle and good nutrition practices you can improve your child’s attitude and encourage positive learning habits! 

If you’re interested in learning more about how proper nutrition can promote learning in the educational system, visit our friends at Virtual Medical Center for a more in-depth look!


Check out our other blog posts below:

Dyscalculia

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Students with dyscalculia have difficulties with mathematics. Often they don’t understand the basic concepts of numerals, quantities or comparisons.  They also may have problems relating the numerals to the words describing them, for example, the numeral 10 and the word ten.  This hinders their ability to perform calculations, especially those calculations with multiple steps or in word problems.

Students with dyslexia and those with ADHD often have dyscalculia as well.  Learn more about dyscalculia here: 

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyscalculia/understanding-dyscalculia

Catch up, keep up, move ahead! 

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Perhaps your child wasn't in class when a key concept was introduced by the teacher, or maybe your child was distracted or simply didn't understand fully what was being taught. Homework or exercises in class on the subject may have confused the issue further and then, as the key concept was built upon in the next lessons, the child may have become uncomfortably bewildered and felt too sheepish to ask for yet another explanation of the original key concept. As the rest of the class advanced in the subject, the child may have fallen even further behind his classmates. Lear Educational Center is here to help students catch up, keep up and move ahead.

Learn more about the need for tutoring here.

 

Visual Processing Issues

The student  with  Visual Processing Issues  has problems processing  signals  that  come  in through  the  eyes. There may be difficulty with visual discrimination (between images or between image and background), sequencing (leading to skipping lines of text or reversing numbers) and visual-motor processing (leading to over-reaching for objects, knocking things over unintentionally).    

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Long and  short  term visual  memory  may be  impaired  and  the  student may  not  recall what  was  seen or  read.

Learn more about Visual Processing Issues here

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by difficulties with speech and nonverbal communication, by unusual and repetitive behaviors, by difficulty with changes in environment and routines, social challenges and often by unique strengths.

There are three main types of Autism Spectrum Disorder: 

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      Autistic Disorder with significant language difficulty; social and communication challenges; repetitive behaviors such as hand flapping, rocking and spinning; obsession with unusual objects and often an intellectual disability.

     Asperger Syndrome with milder symptoms of Autistic Disorder. They might have social challenges and unusual behaviors and interests, yet they have normal language and intellectual ability.

     Pervasive Developmental Disorder– Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) with milder and fewer symptoms than with autistic disorder yet which might cause social and communication challenges. 

Learn more about Autism here

 

ADD/ADHD

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Students diagnosed with ADD/ADHD have difficulty maintaining  their  focus on  goals because they  become distracted or bored easily.  They tend to  fidget and squirm when seated, preferring  to  move about.  They often appear inattentive  when spoken to due to distractions.  They have difficulty remembering and following instructions. 

Learn more about ADD/ADHD here

 

Learn More About Dyslexia

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Students diagnosed with Dyslexia usually have normal intelligence and normal vision yet they have difficulty processing language. Because they cannot readily identify speech sounds or determine how these sounds relate to letters and words (decoding), their ability to understand what they hear and to learn to read is hindered. Dyslexic students have problems forming words correctly, reversing the sounds or confusing words that are different but sound alike, making it difficult for them to express themselves. 

Learn more about Dyslexia at the International Dyslexia Association Website