If your child has dysgraphia and poor handwriting speed, what can you do to help?
According to Amundson (1995), the average typing speed of a child aged 10 is about 10 to 12 words per minute and when that child reaches an age of 14 their writing speed increases to around 16 words per minute. If your child has a learning difference such as dysgraphia their handwriting speed will be significantly slower. Their handwriting can be illegible and difficult to read. Dysgraphia is a nervous system problem that affects the fine motor skills needed to write. It makes it hard for a child to do handwriting homework or classwork.
As a Parent you will be worried at your child’s slow handwriting speed so what can you do to improve it. Try these tips to help improve your child’s handwriting skills and make lessons more productive and enjoyable for you and your child.
- Use a research-based handwriting program. Your child’s teacher may recommend one that suits your child.
- Provide short bursts of handwriting exercise instead of long, drawn-out sessions. Many kids with dysgraphia need to work on fine motor skills. Activities such as colouring, cutting, painting, model-building, working with clay, working pencil mazes, and threading beads will increase dexterity and build fine motor skills.
- Schedule handwriting practice time for 15 minutes a day.
- If your child can’t remember how to form letters consistently, writing them correctly at times, but incorrectly at other times. This could be a sign that he has problems with your child’s working memory.
- Work on correct letter formation by using multisensory methods and techniques that don’t require writing. Finger writing in the air, in the sand, in shaving cream, or on sandpaper are all great exercises that can encourage improvement in proper letter formation.
If your child’s handwriting speed doesn’t improve within six months using the techniques described above. Then it might be worth looking at introducing technology to assist your child with his / her writing skills. The best way would be to introduce your child to a computer and keyboard and learn how to touch type. Touch typing is being able to type without having to look at keys on the keyboard.
If you are interested in getting your child to learn how to touch type at any of Searsol educational centres https://searsol.com/find-centers/