Understanding why kids struggle with writing

Some kids struggle with writing. They may have messy handwriting or write a sentence full of spelling mistakes. Or they might not even be able to start when asked to write something.

These types of writing difficulties aren’t uncommon. But when are they something to be concerned about?

There are two main areas of writing where kids may struggle:

  1. Handwriting and spelling
  2. Expressing ideas in writing

Even bright kids can have trouble in one or both areas. They might struggle for a number of reasons. Kids develop writing skills at different rates, and some take longer than others to learn these skills. And sometimes kids just need extra help to get better at writing.

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About the author

About the author

Andrew M.I. Lee, JD is an editor and attorney who strives to help people understand complex legal, education, and parenting issues.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Charles A. MacArthur, PhD is a professor emeritus of special education. He researches writing instruction, self-regulated strategies, and assistive technology.