Supporting Students with Dysgraphia in the Classroom

Do you have students who struggle with dysgraphia? These tips and tools can help students manage handwriting tasks and gain confidence in their writing abilities.

Dysgraphia Defined

Dysgraphia is a learning difference that causes an unexpected difficulty with writing, spelling, and letter formation. Students with dysgraphia are often misunderstood, and their parents and teachers may attribute their struggles with handwriting to laziness. This is inaccurate and can cause students to lose confidence in their writing abilities. The process of writing can be laborious for students with dysgraphia; they may spend so much energy on the physical act of writing that they struggle to transfer their complete thoughts to paper.

Writing Support

There are many ways to help students with dysgraphia show what they know. Typing and speech-to-text apps can help students express their thoughts and develop writing assignments. Offering students guided notes can reduce the amount of writing during class and ensure that students are capturing the main ideas of lessons.

Classroom Tools

There are also a number of classroom tools that can benefit students with dysgraphia. Paper with raised lines or paper with the bottom portion highlighted can provide visual and tactile guides for letter formation. Grips may help students find a more comfortable way of holding a pencil, and a slant board can help support proper wrist placement and posture. To help students develop fine motor control, you can offer activities such as pencil obstacle courses, mazes, and sculpting with clay.

For more tips on how to help kids with dysgraphia, check out this article, explore our many resources on integrating executive function into writing, or watch the video below from Edutopia (one of our favorite blogs).

  • Caitlin Vanderberg, SMARTS Intern

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum:

Research Institute for Learning and Development:

The Institute for Learning and Development: