Bad Handwriting: What Are The Causes?

Parents will be the very first people to notice their kids writing difficulties. But after identifying the problem, it can take time to sort out what’s really causing the issue.


Finding out what’s causing your child’s trouble with writing and how to help are important first steps in an ongoing journey. Just getting started in this way can make you feel more hopeful and confident about helping your child.


Below you will find simple steps that can help you identify your child’s writing difficulties. 

Step 1: Talk with your child’s instructor.

Knowing what the instructor is seeing at school is an important piece of the puzzle. The trainer can tell you how your child’s trouble with writing is affecting her learning. Remember to share that information when you talk with other professionals about your child’s struggles. The trainer may also try out some informal accommodations in class to see if they help your child with her writing.

Step 2: Consider an educational evaluation.

Having your child evaluated by the school might reveal the cause of her struggle with writing. It may also result in support and services to assist with her writing issues. Either you or your child’s trainer can request an evaluation. If the school agrees, the examination will be free. If your child is eligible for support, the school will commit to providing a written education plan, either an Individualized Education Program (IEP). If your child is under age 3, you also can contact your state’s early intervention system.

Step 4: Talk with your child’s doctor.

You can also start getting answers by telling your child’s doctor what you’ve observed at your home and what the trainer has noticed. That includes trouble with the physical act of writing and other fine motor skills. The doctor may be able to rule out some medical causes (such as vision impairment). She may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation.

Step 5: Seek advice from specialists.

There are a number of professionals who can help figure out what’s behind your child’s trouble with writing. Neurologists, psychologists, occupational therapists as well as some learning specialists can assist you identify the issue. They can also suggest helpful interventions.

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