Dysgraphia, a transcription learning disability, creates a challenging environment for affected individuals. However, with the use of technology and proper mediation, day to day tasks can be managed, if not overcome.
While dysgraphia is most commonly seen in children, if not addressed and corrected early on it can continue onto to the teen and adult years. It can affect some fine motors skills, such as buttoning shirts or cause unusual difficulty with handwriting, grammar and spelling and is sometimes misdiagnosed as dyslexia.
If the individual is experiencing difficulty in the workplace, the use of a tablet or laptop in meetings can replace a pen and notepad. Eliminating pen and paper will reduce the stress on the individual as well as writing fatigue.
For daily activities (shopping lists, cards, etc.), look for technology alternatives. From apps that allow you to record a note or convert speech into a written word, there are alternative options available. Stick with email for correspondence, e-cards, as well as online calendars and planners.
Students face the biggest obstacles between tests, note taking and written assignments. Luckily, most educational institutions offer many resources and most colleges even have a center for students with learning disabilities. Through those resources, adjustments can be made to the curriculum to foster the greatest chance of success.
Examples of strategies that can be employed include allowing for oral exams versus written, recording lectures, designating a paid note taker (also a fellow student in the same class) to take notes and provide a copy to the student, providing alternatives to written assignments (i.e. typed or video-taped reports). If writing is necessary, wide-rule paper and the use of pencil grips and extended time to complete assignments have been shown to benefit the individual.
Additionally, individuals can focus on using cursive writing instead of printing. The advantages to writing in cursive are numerous. For starters, there is no need to pick up the hand when writing and deciding where to pick up the sentence, which also helps get rid figuring out practical word spacing. A common problem that occurs with dysgraphia is reversing letters (particularly p, q, b and d), but if the hand keeps moving while formulating sentences, this reduces the chance of the error occurring as the letter patterns for these have much more differentiation than when printed.
While dysgraphia certainly creates difficulty for people of all ages, relying on the use of modern technology has bridged a gap creating more ease for affected individuals. Regardless of life stage, communicating your needs to teachers or bosses allows for everyone to work together for better results.