For Teachers

Lend a Hand with 8 Easy Handwriting Strategies

The mechanics of writing can be tough to master for students with ADHD. Here are eight good ways for teachers to offer a helping hand.

ADHD in School: Tips for Teachers on Handwriting Help
ADHD in School: Tips for Teachers on Handwriting Help

Kids who struggle with handwriting might know the subject matter; they just aren’t able to show you with paper and pencil that they do.

That’s because handwriting is a source of great frustration for many children with ADHD.

Try these strategies to help easing pencil-and-paper tasks:

  • Permit writing directly on the page or test booklet, instead of having a child copy answers onto another page or answer sheet.
  • Experiment with a variety of pencil grips to find one that is comfortable for the student’s use.

[Click to Read: Helping Students Who Struggle with Handwriting]

  • Give visual cues, such as a starting dot and numbered arrows, as a guide to form letters correctly.
  • Provide a clipboard to anchor papers.
  • Allow an upper-grade student to print instead of writing in cursive, if it is easier and faster for him.
  • Pass out photocopied pages of instructions or problems rather than requiring students to copy work from the board.
  • Allow a child to use adaptive technologies for writing, like working on a computer or a portable word processor, such as Alpha Smart, as much as possible.
  • Tape a strip or chart of alphabet letters (manuscript or cursive) on the child’s desk as a reference for letter formation. Draw directional arrows on the letters that the child finds confusing or difficult to write.

[Read This Next: “How I Trained My Brain to Unleash Wonders My Fingers Couldn’t”]

Adapted with permission from, and How to Reach & Teach Children with ADD/ADHD, Second Edition, copyright 2005, and The ADD/ADHD Checklist, Second Edition, copyright 2008, by Sandra F. Rief.

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