My Handwriting is Terrible!

Dear Donna,

I heard that you are a Handwriting Analyst and I find that totally interesting.  I would love to have you analyze my writing but here is the thing….My writing is terrible!!!  I am totally embarrassed by it.   It doesn’t fit with the rest of the way I present myself.  Ugh.  I hate to write!


Dear Joselyn (and anyone with a history of “bad handwriting”),

I want to tell you a little something about Dysgraphia.  Dysgraphia is a learning disability but many people go undiagnosed.  My own daughter struggled with handwriting despite being an intelligent, athletic and artistic student.  She was not diagnosed with this in school.  Instead she was criticized and marked down based on her poor handwriting and many doodles on the page.  This got me interested in learning more about dysgraphia and here is what I have found.

Up to 15% of people in the US have poor enough writing and enough trouble with writing to be diagnosed with dysgraphia.  It can only be diagnosed in people with average or above average intelligence.  People with dysgraphia fatigue easily when writing.  Their writing usually gets worse as it goes down the page.  Writing takes longer for people with dysgraphia and for them copying is easier than free writing.  Their margins are often poor as is spelling, grammar and punctuation.  When someone is known for “bad handwriting” it is likely that they are dysgraphic.

If you have dysgraphia it is likely that you were criticized for it.  People with dysgraphia often develop self esteem problems from such criticism.  People with dysgraphia are even discriminated against at times such as when written job applications are needed.

Dysgraphia is a brain based learning disability and you really can’t fix it.  Children in school with dysgraphia are eligible to be on IEP’s or 504 plans and they should not be graded on their writing or ever have their grade affected by the quality of the written work.  Accommodations should be offered so the dysgraphic student is not at a disadvantage compared to their peers.  This is also why handwriting analysis would do a disservice to you.  Handwriting analysis would not be valid if someone has dysgraphia.

I don’t know whether or not you have dysgraphia but if this sounds familiar, just know that dysgraphia is NOT your fault.  It is not laziness or lack of caring.  Hold your head high and lean on technology to help you communicate your ideas. 

Best wishes to you and I hope that the next time someone criticizes you writing you can educate them about dysgraphia, thus spreading the word and stopping the shaming!