Handwriting support for dyslexia
Dyslexia literally means ‘difficulty with words’ in Greek and occurs independently of intelligence. People with dyslexia often have difficulties with processing information. As a result, coordinating the cognitive, linguistic and motor processes in order to translate the pattern of written letters and numbers to recreate them on paper is something that dyslexic children can struggle with.
Continuous cursive writing style
When first learning to write, children are often taught to print letters before moving on to joined up writing when they have a good grasp of the basics. Dyslexic children in particular can find it confusing to learn two different styles and so teaching one style from the beginning will make the handwriting process easier to grasp.
‘Joined up’ writing, or continuous cursive, is the most widely taught style of handwriting. Each letter is formed without taking the pencil off the paper, creating a flowing movement that becomes smoother with both practice and age. The flow of words from left to right makes it less likely that children will write difficult letters like b and d or p and q backwards. Continuous cursive also allows children to develop a ‘physical memory’ of each letter, so their hands effectively ‘remember’ how to make the shape correctly.
Top practice tips
Dyslexic children may need extra practice to get the hang of handwriting. Focusing on the basics and not overcomplicating it will help them process the information more easily. For example, using lined paper will help keep their writing straight on the page and also help with letter sizing. Make sure your child is sitting properly at the table and align their paper slightly to the left if they are right-handed or slightly to the right if they are left-handed.
Finding the right pen or pencil will make writing much more comfortable. Start out with a STABILO EASYergo 3.15. The retractable graphite pencil has an ergonomic pen design with comfortable non-slip grip zone designed to promote a correct but relaxed grip. When moving on to writing in pen, why not try STABILO’s EASYoriginal. The ergonomically designed rollerball also features a non-slip grip zone and allows a relaxed hold for tidy handwriting.
It is advised to use a recommended teaching resource when practising handwriting at home. Our Early Writers Pack has comprehensive guidance notes and hands on activity sheets to support young children with their early writing skills. The National Handwriting Association also has a help page for parents and teachers with advice, FAQs and worksheets on handwriting patterns.
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