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 president of JST Coaching, focused on ADHD youth coaching. She is co-founder of the Institute for the Advancement of ADHD Coaching and the author of Empowering Youth with ADHD.
 
 
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