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Dysgraphia

5 Common Myths About Dysgraphia

By The Understood Team

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Are you unsure if what you’re hearing about dysgraphia is accurate? Here, we set the facts straight by debunking five common myths about dysgraphia and writing difficulties.

229Found this helpful
Close-up of a young child writing letters
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Myth #1: Messy handwriting is a sure sign of dysgraphia.

Fact: Although many people with dysgraphia have poor, hard-to-read handwriting, not all do. In fact, some can write neatly—even though it might take them a lot of time and effort. There are other signs of dysgraphia besides sloppy handwriting. They include slow, labored writing and inappropriately sized and spaced letters.

Tween girl having a conversation with her teacher
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Myth #2: Kids with dysgraphia have below-average intelligence.

Fact: It’s a myth that people with learning and attention issues have poor intelligence, and children with dysgraphia are no exception. In fact, kids with dysgraphia usually have average or above-average intelligence. They just struggle with writing down on paper what they know.

Young boy working on his homework in his room
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Myth #3: Students with dysgraphia are just being lazy.

Fact: Dysgraphia can make the act of writing a slow and taxing process. Some kids may avoid writing assignments in school simply because writing is so frustrating for them. This might look like laziness, but there are underlying factors you might not see. Watching peers who don’t struggle with writing doesn’t help, either. It can make kids with dysgraphia feel discouraged. The good news is there are ways to help kids with dysgraphia in school.

Close up of young child tracing numbers on a worksheet
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Myth #4: Dysgraphia is the same thing as dyslexia.

Fact: It’s true that both dysgraphia and dyslexia can affect kids’ ability to spell. The two, however, are distinct conditions. Dyslexia makes it more difficult for a child to learn to read. On its own, dysgraphia doesn’t affect a child’s ability to read. Learn more about how dyslexia and dysgraphia are different.

Teens sitting outside school going over homework together
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Myth #5: Most kids outgrow dysgraphia, so it’s not necessary to spend time helping them.

Fact: Dysgraphia is a lifelong condition—there’s no cure to make it go away. That doesn’t mean, though, that people with dysgraphia can’t succeed at writing and other language-based activities. There are a lot of ways to get help for dysgraphia, including apps and accommodations.

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About the Author

Understood Team Graphic

The Understood Team is composed of writers, editors and community moderators, many of whom have children with learning and attention issues.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Sheldon Horowitz

Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D., is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

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