struggling at school

Justin Clark MEd, MLearningInnovation, BEd, BA

I am an experienced, qualified and registered Primary and Secondary school teacher based in Brisbane.  I have a passion for teaching children, whose academic performance does not accord with their intelligence due to learning difficulties such as dysgraphia.  My qualifications include a Masters degrees majoring in learning disabilities as well as  Masters in  Learning Innovation, along with a Bachelors Degree in Education & a Bachelor of Arts specialising in Psychology & Theology.

Characteristics of Dysgraphia

If you are seeking help because you believe that your child (or yourself) has dysgraphia, you may have noticed some of the following characteristics of dysgraphia:-

  • Your child’s teachers have expressed the belief that your child is lacking motivation or struggles in learning engagement because their written work is not at the same level as their oral work.
  • Your child’s writing includes a mix of lower and upper case letters; has words or parts of words missing from a sentence and may include misspelled words that previously seem to have been mastered.
  • Your child has difficulty with sequencing and organising words in a sentence and poor spatial planning on paper.
  • Your child’s handwriting includes poorly formed letters and inconsistently sized letters.
  • Your child avoids handwriting and may not want to go to school along with other types of learning avoidance.
Dysgraphia Help Through Private Tutoring

Many children with dysgraphia experience a high level of frustration and anxiety which can turn into learning avoidance and even misbehaviour as a child acts out his or her frustrations.  It is extremely important that dysgraphia children develop a level of confidence in themselves and their abilities in order for them to be able to be engaged in learning, rather than the opposite which is usually the case for children with learning difficulties.

There is no substitute for one-one-one tutoring for dysgraphia students.  Overtime with an understanding, knowledgeable and very patient tutor, dysgraphia students can improve their writing skills and reduce their levels of frustration and disillusionment.  The work of a tutor thus is not just in teaching your child, but also in building up his or her sense of identity and changing their attitude to learning.

Teaching Strategies for Dysgraphia Students

There are several different strategies that can help dysgraphia students to improve their writing skills.  One such method is chunking whereby I help children to breakdown tasks into smaller more manageable steps.  This helps remove some of the feelings of being overwhelmed and frustration in feeling that they’re unable to do the work or complete assessments.  Reduction of the amount of written work in class and homework will assist dysgraphic students in their learning engagement and cut down on their frustration, along with being provided extended time to produce written work and assistive technology to allow dictation.

Students with dysgraphia need additional assistance from their teachers and the school they attend.  They need to have assistance in reducing the amount of written work that they encounter.  Therefore, a teacher could provide the student with a partially completed outline of the notes from a lesson so that the student can then fill in details under subheadings during the lesson.  Dysgraphia students should also be allowed more time on tests or preferably to be able to take tests vocally rather than written, or a scribe provided for the student.

Overall Strategies for Students with Dysgraphia

The use of a laptop is often of great benefit to dysgraphia children.  A child with dysgraphia is likely to find that typing is easier than hand writing due to their poor fine motor skills.  A word processing program will also provide suggested spelling along with assistance with grammar.  This also enables them to edit and restructure their written work.  Along with these strategies, students with dysgraphia need to be provided with  opportunities for learning engagement and have learning strategies that motivate them.

Private Tutoring for Dysgraphia

If you are looking for a private tutor to help your child with their writing I would love to hear from you.  I provide one-on-one targeted lessons at my home office in the northern Brisbane suburb of Boondall.  I tutor from 8am to 8.30pm Monday through to Friday.  Please give me a call on 0407 407 223 so we can discuss the best way to help your child and obtain input from you regarding his/her particular writing difficulties and needs.

tutoring for dysgraphia

Justin Clark Learning Difficulties Tutor

If you have any questions, call us on 0407 407 223.