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.

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.

Myth #2: Kids with dysgraphia have below-average intelligence.

Fact: It’s a myth that people with learning and thinking differences 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.

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.

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.

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.

About the Author

About the Author

The Understood Team 

is made up of passionate writers, editors, and community moderators. Many of them learn and think differently, or have kids who do.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Sheldon H. Horowitz, EdD 

is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

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