Topics: Dyslexia, Neuropsychology, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder Pages: 11 (3755 words) Published: February 10, 2013
Do Dysgraphia Treatments Really Work?
Mary E. Pemberton
Wayland Baptist University

Dr. J. Jeffrey Tillman
RSWR 3345
May 9, 2012

Dysgraphia is a neurological learning disability ensuing from a cognitive struggle to express thoughts in writing and graphing. The affliction is commonly referred to as poor spelling and penmanship. The course of the discovery of this disorder and its symptoms is still in the early stages, but has progressed substantially. Doctors and psychologists have researched and administered treatments ranging from educational techniques medicinal treatments. Some dysgraphia treatments have been argued to be more beneficial than others, and some need further study to prove their effectiveness. Keywords: dysgraphia, handwriting, penmanship, spelling, neuropsychological disorders, learning disabilities, orthography

Table of Contents
Background to the Disorder4
Signs and Symptoms4
History of Neuropsychological Research5
Early 1980s Research5
Medical Nomenclature6
Treatments of Dysgraphia6
Pharmaceutical Treatments7
Non-medical Treatments 7
Treatments for Lexical Spelling9
Tripod Pinch Strength 11
Case Studies on Non-traditional Treatments 8
The Paper and Pen or Monitor and Keyboard?9
Text to Speech Therapy for a Patient with Dysgraphia11
Treatments for Other Disorders Could Work for Dysgraphia8
Dysgraphia with Aphasia 12
Dysgraphic Turn-Around12

Do Dysgraphia Treatments Really Work?
Dysgraphia is a neurological learning disability ensuing from the struggle in expressing thoughts in writing and graphing. Dysgraphia is commonly referred to as poor handwriting or penmanship, but is essentially a learning disability that affects the ability to translate thinking into motor skills in the hands (Pechman, 2010, p.93). Dysgraphia is a serious disorder that can affect adults and children. Stroke patients and patients with aphasia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also suffer from the disorder. Doctors and psychologists have researched and administered educational treatments such as a variety of different types of educational therapy along with the complete avoidance of handwriting through use of computers. Some of the practices described below have been suggested to be advantageous and some need further investigation to substantiate claims that they work. Background to the Disorder

Signs and Symptoms
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of dysgraphia is the foundation for treating and ultimately curing a child’s disability. The study of dysgraphia is significant because of its relevance to neurologic disease. Strokes, tumors, or infections relating to any lobe of the cortex in either hemisphere of the brain can affect the production of the written language. Impaired spelling can be the first symptom of a number of degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Dysgraphia may also be a persistent symptom of traumatic brain injury or stroke (Hillis, 2004, p. 89). A individual’s penmanship plays an important role in his/her education. If an educator cannot read a child’s work, it is most often interpreted as an incorrect answer. After diagnosing a child with dysgraphia, the definitive goal is to treat the patient with either practical means of educational exercises or more unconventional therapies. Warshaw (2004, p. 10) states children are typically able to duplicate letters when writing slowly, but due to the nonexistence of instinctive skills used to process and transcribe information, they are incapable of writing intelligibly or spelling properly. A few signs of the child having difficulty are: letters staying on a straight line, holding the pencil awkwardly, and uncomfortably twisting of the arm causing the individual to become extremely tired and rushing to finish (Pechman, 2010, p. 94)....

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