Dysgrahia

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Dysgraphia: How It Affects A Student’s Performance and What Can Be Done About It

Alyssa L. Crouch Jennifer J. Jakubecy

A Case Study Published in

TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus
Volume 3, Issue 3, January 2007

Copyright © 2007 by the author. This work is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Dysgraphia: How It Affects A Student’s Performance and What Can Be Done About It

Alyssa L. Crouch Jennifer J. Jakubecy

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to apply two techniques, drill activities and fine motor activities, to find whether they help improve the handwriting of a student with dysgraphia. This action research used an ABAB single subject design to find which technique worked better over an eight-week period. The results were inconclusive on which technique worked better. However, the combination of both improved the subject’s handwriting and increased his score by 50%. Therefore, this study suggests that using both techniques can help improve the problems associated with dysgraphia, especially in the area of handwriting.

Keywords
handwriting, dysgraphia

SUGGESTED CITATION: Crouch, A. L., & Jakubecy, J. J. (2007). Dysgraphia: How it affects a student’s performance and what can be done about it. TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus, 3(3) Article 5. Retrieved [date] from http://escholarship.bc.edu/education/tecplus/vol3/iss3/art5

“The ability to write is truly one of the most important factors in the academic process.” Timothy Dikowski

Introduction Writing is a skill highly valued in our society, even in a time of computers and technology. In the past, handwriting was prized because it was a primary form of communication; people needed to get notes to others that were legible (Ediger, 2002). Now that typewriters and computers are used to communicate between people, handwriting has become a rare form of communication. However, handwriting is still a critical skill and needed for many reasons that people might not readily recognize. Writing notes, recipes, prescriptions, messages, checks, and filling out applications are among a few reasons why the developing and teaching of handwriting skills needs to be continued in the schools and at home. Additionally, research has shown that handwriting is causally related to writing, and that explicit and supplemental instruction of handwriting are important elements in an elementary program to prevent writing difficulties (Graham, Harris, & Fink, 2000). Unfortunately, many students struggle in school because of dysgraphia, a problem with expressing thoughts in written form (Richards, 1999). Dysgraphia can have a negative impact on the success of a child in school. Many children with dysgraphia are not able to keep up with written assignments, cannot put coherent thoughts together on paper, or write legibly. This disability needs to be recognized and remediated before it creates long lasting negative consequences for the child. Literature review The term Dysgraphia is not widely used in schools. One reason is that handwrit-

ing difficulties can be included under the label of learning disabilities. Another reason is that there is no consensus in the field on one definition or identification process for dysgraphia. Richards (1999) defines dysgraphia as a problem with expressing thoughts in a written form. Meese (2001) describes dysgraphia as handwriting problems, specifically, a partial inability to remember how to make certain alphabet or arithmetic symbols. For the purpose of this paper, we are using the latter definition, and will be focusing on the mechanics of handwriting. The treatment of dysgraphia can be elusive. Many instructional strategies have been proposed to help students with dysgraphia, but only some have empirical evidence to support them. Dysgraphia ! Teachers should be aware of the signs and symptoms of dysgraphia and not dismiss a child as simply having sloppy handwriting. If a teacher starts to...
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