Handwriting without tears is something parents of dysgraphia kids often can only dream about. Fortunately, that reality may be coming sooner than you think.
You may have noticed there has been a lot of talk in the news lately about handwriting. The issue was sparked when the media picked up on a new elementary school trend. Cursive is no longer being taught anymore at many schools. Cursive is that artsy handwriting style that we once used to write our term papers in school.
Today, the demand for cursive has gone by the wayside.
For dysgraphia sufferers, the idea of handwriting without tears first has turned into “keyboarding to avoid tears”. The keyboard has been able to transform so many lives of dysgraphia sufferers. What once was a huge creativity void during the struggle to write correctly yields now to a creativity glutton once the struggle with the pencil has ended.
That’s no reason to avoid writing altogether. No matter how pervasive computers become, there will always be writing. In fact long ago it was thought computers would eliminate paper – but it seems there is more paper now than ever before.
An article on “The Week.com” eloquently produced all the neural benefits of writing. According to them, handwriting does the following for the brain:
- Enhances the speed of creativity. Studies have shown that ideas are produced more rapidly and in abundance than keyboard users.
- MRI results have shown greater brain activity from those that hand write. Participants in that study were asked to either write letters or point at letters, the ones who wrote showed higher brain usage than the pointers.
- A study at Vanderbilt University showed good handwriting increased your chances of college admission. Given the same essay, the one that was most pleasant to the eye was given the highest score. That study also revealed that hard to read and illegible essay answers were dismissed as zero.
So don’t give up on writing. While it’s hard for dysgraphia sufferers, it isn’t impossible to get better at it. In fact, our Dysgraphia Toolkit has several fun exercises to help kids learn to write -without copying sentences or writing the same thing over and over. Check it out when you get a chance.
Finally, back in 1985 a book writer named Robert Stone, replied (in an interview with the Paris Review) about whether he uses a computer or not, “Yes, until something becomes elusive. Then I write in longhand in order to be precise. On a typewriter or word processor you can rush something that shouldn’t be rushed — you can lose nuance, richness, lucidity. The pen compels lucidity.”
To get fun activities that help kids with writing, pick up a free copy of my Dysgraphia Toolkit: How Singing, Playing Games and Other Fun Activities Can Help Defeat Writing Disabilities.