Clearing Up Bad Handwriting

Q:

I have a fifth-grader whose handwriting is horrible. He can't seem to write from left to right in a straight line.

A:

Before jumping in to get help, answer the following questions:

> Is your son's handwriting worse than other children's in his class or grade?
> What do his teachers notice about his handwriting? Is there a problem?
> Does your son struggle with writing and complain about it being difficult?
> Does he have trouble organizing words and numbers on the page?

If the answers suggest he has a handwriting problem, request that the school evaluate it. It is possible that he has dysgraphia and would benefit from using a computer to do his work, or wide-ruled or graph paper to ease the strain of keeping his handwriting aligned. Seek out advice from a learning specialist and request accommodations to help him work on his writing skills. The Learning Disabilities Association of America is an excellent resource for parents.

Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, MCC, SCAC, BCC is the foremost expert on youth and ADHD coaching. She is a coach, mentor, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, JST Coaching, provides training programs to coaches, educators and mental health professionals worldwide. Her first book, Empowering Youth With ADHD (2010), is the core of the JST Coach training programs and a highly acclaimed tool for parents and professionals alike.
 
 
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