Dysgraphia: What You’re Seeing in Your High-Schooler

By The Understood Team

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In high school, dysgraphia may create more academic challenges as your child is expected to write more and be an independent learner. The following symptoms are typical of dysgraphia. Some of these can also be seen with other issues, such as dyslexia and dyspraxia.

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What You’re Seeing in Your High-Schooler
Teens with dysgraphia may have surprisingly messy handwriting or dread writing assignments. Explore these and other signs of dysgraphia.
Has Lots of Errors When Writing
At home: Your child leaves you a note on the counter, and it’s full of spelling and punctuation errors.
At school: Your child omits letters or word endings when writing, and may even leave out entire words from sentences.
The issue: Kids with dysgraphia often struggle with the basic mechanics and rules of writing, including spelling.
Has Poor Handwriting
At home: Your teen’s writing is so sloppy that he often can’t read back what he wrote.
At school: Your teen’s papers are filled with erasures or cross-outs.
The issue: Kids with dysgraphia can struggle with spatial skills, such as lining up letters and using proper spacing between words.
Drags His Feet on Writing Assignments
At home: Your child dreads doing homework that involves putting thoughts on paper.
At school: Your child procrastinates getting started on a writing assignment and doesn’t complete it by the time it’s due.
The issue: Kids with dysgraphia can have trouble processing language. This can make writing tasks seem overwhelming.
Seems to Know More Than He Writes
At home: Your child articulates things well when speaking, but he struggles to communicate the same thoughts in writing.
At school: Your child does fine on oral tests, but bombs written ones.
The issue: Kids with dysgraphia tend to rely on verbal instead of written expression.
Graphic of Dysgraphia: What You're Seeing in Your High Schooler
Graphic of Dysgraphia: What You're Seeing in Your High Schooler

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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