Symptom Tests

[Screener] Dysgraphia in Adults

Could your lifelong difficulties with handwriting and fine motor skills be symptoms of the writing learning disability called dysgraphia? Use this screener test to see if your symptoms align with those of dysgraphia.

The learning disability associated with writing is known as dysgraphia. The word comes from the Greek “dys,” meaning “impaired,” and “graphia,” meaning “writing by hand” — and dysgraphia is, in essence, an impairment in one’s ability to write by hand. But it also can also affect other fine motor skills, like tying shoes, as well as the thought processes involved in writing: organizing thoughts, following rules of grammar, and spelling words correctly.

Dysgraphia is one of the most frequently missed learning disabilities — meaning that many people with the condition get to adulthood without knowing there was a specific cause for their writing-related difficulties. Why is it so often missed or misunderstood? Because it appears to others instead like writing anxiety or laziness or even carelessness. In some cases, this leads to adults with dysgraphia struggling with self-esteem or feelings of inferiority — feelings that an accurate diagnosis can help put a stop to. But a diagnosis can bring more than just relief — it can also open the doorway to accommodations at work, occupational therapy, and an improved outlook on life.

Take the results of this screener test to an occupational therapist in private practice. who can help you determine whether your symptoms truly align with dysgraphia — and work with you to devise interventions that addresses your challenges and builds up weak skills.

This screener is created from criteria found on the website of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA). This is not a diagnostic tool. If you have concerns about the possibility of dysgraphia, see a health professional. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation. This screener is for personal use only.

Do you feel like you can explain yourself clearly when you’re speaking, but not when you’re writing?

1 out of 15

Is your handwriting hard to read, even for you?

2 out of 15

Do you put off working on writing tasks, procrastinating until the last minute?

3 out of 15

Do you think of the physical act of writing as “painful” or “difficult?”

4 out of 15

Do you avoid or dislike drawing, tracing, or painting?

5 out of 15

Are you told that you hold a pen “strangely” or “awkwardly?”

6 out of 15

When working on long writing assignments, do you struggle to pull together your thoughts into a well-organized outline?

7 out of 15

Do you have trouble filling in forms by hand — at work, for example, or at the doctor’s office?

8 out of 15

Do you have difficulties cutting food, doing puzzles, or manipulating small objects by hand?

9 out of 15

Are you anxious in social situations, even if you know the people around you?

10 out of 15

Do you mix lowercase and uppercase letters while writing, use inconsistent spacing between words or lines of text, or switch randomly between print and cursive?

11 out of 15

Do you struggle when reading a map?

12 out of 15

Do you avoid writing whenever possible — preferring a grocery list app over a written list, for instance?

13 out of 15

Do you make spelling errors, even in words you use often?

14 out of 15

Do you attempt to write a ‘perfect’ first draft in order to avoid revisions and rewrites?

15 out of 15

(Optional) Would you like to receive your dysgraphia symptom test results — plus more helpful resources — via email from ADDitude?

Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.


Dysgraphia in Adults: Next Steps

1. Read:What Dysgraphia Looks Like in Adults
2. Take This Test: Dyscalculia in Adults
3. LearnHow to Treat the Symptoms of Dysgraphia
4. Take This Test: Autism Symptom Test for Adults
5. Read: What Is Dysgraphia?

Updated on January 31, 2020

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