If your child has dysgraphia, or if you think you’re seeing signs of dysgraphia, you may be wondering how doctors and specialists can help. There’s no “cure” for dysgraphia. But there are therapies and other tools that can make writing easier for your child and help your child thrive.
Are there medications to help kids with dysgraphia?
There aren’t any medications that doctors prescribe specifically to treat dysgraphia. However, it’s not unusual for children who have dysgraphia to also have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some of these kids find that medication for ADHD can help alleviate some of their writing difficulties. But keep in mind that medication in this case is for ADHD, not dysgraphia.
Some kids with dysgraphia may also deal with anxiety or depression. If this is the case for your child, talk to her doctor about whether an anti-anxiety medication or an antidepressant medication could help.
What types of therapy and intervention can help kids with dysgraphia?
Occupational therapy (OT) can be helpful for kids who have trouble with the physical aspects of writing. Exercises such as squeezing a foam ball or playing with clay can strengthen hand muscles. An occupational therapist can also work to improve fine motor (small muscle) skills as well as arm position and body posture. These can all have an impact on hand movement.
Kids with dysgraphia may also benefit from educational therapy. This type of therapy helps students with different kinds of learning and attention issues develop strategies to work around their weaknesses. An educational therapist can help your child approach writing assignments in ways that can make them less frustrating.
If your child has ADHD and dysgraphia, therapies for ADHD issues could help. These kinds of therapies can reduce anxiety about school and make it easier to perform in class. If your child is experiencing low self-esteem, anxiety or stress as a result of dealing with dysgraphia-related challenges, psychological counseling could also help with school performance.
What educational strategies can help kids with dysgraphia?
Classroom accommodations, such as letting students answer test questions orally, can help kids with dysgraphia. You may also want to explore handwriting programs like Loops and Other Groups, or Handwriting Without Tears. These programs use patterns of movement so kids can feel how letters are made in addition to seeing how they’re made.
You can talk to your child’s teacher about different instructional strategies, too.
What else can help kids with dysgraphia?
Tech Finder has recommendations for games and apps that can make writing easier and maybe even fun for your child. Learn more about what helps with dysgraphia in the classroom and at home.