Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Term Paper




School of Unrestricted Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Grace Veach


Envision a kindergarten student sitting in school with an assignment to copy. As she sits down, she already knows the challenge writing presents for her but does not speak up or say anything because this time probably will not be any different than when she requested help before. She has been labeled as a lazy writer and has never had the most readable handwriting. All of the other children around her finish the assignment and she inevitably she remains unable to complete the first sentence. This scene does not have to play out this way. Students in schools across the world are created uniquely with different strengths and weaknesses. Teacher to student ratio, few learning disability training resources, and confusion regarding whether a child has a legitimate learning challenge all contribute to the inability of schools to accurately detect early learning disabilities (Judd 97). Without proper training, some difficult to identify diagnoses of childhood learning and behavioral struggles include but are not limited to; Dyslexia, Autism, Dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Disorder, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia. While each of these disorders has an approach for accommodation or correction, the preceding challenges of recognition within the classroom pose the most formidable obstacle to progress toward a solution for the student with the learning disability.

Students who have typical or even superior intelligence may fail at school, which requires successful completion of written work to pass content subjects; not be promoted to the next grade level; not graduate from high school; and not pass high-stakes tests given in the state. Students who cannot communicate in written language are also at risk of dropping out of school altogether. All of these unfortunate outcomes may also result in emotional problems such as anxiety, work avoidance, and depression (Berninger 260).

This paper will narrow down the broad range of Learning Disabilities to focus on the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of dysgraphia. While many of the other childhood learning disabilities follow similar patterns for recognition and diagnosis, dysgraphia poses a unique challenge in that it persists as an externally identifiable issue such as laziness in classroom work ethic or merely poor writing skill and not for what it indeed is, a fully diagnosable and treatable learning disability.