By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My 9 year old son who is in 3rd grade has always scored in the high
average in school tests (80 - 90 percentile) in both Maths & English &
his teacher has referred to his as being bright, he has always been
fluent reader & reads books above his age level.
The problem is his written work is appalling both his handwriting &
ie: (no use of full stops, capital letters etc.. basic spelling
mistakes). When I call back the words to him he can spell them no
problem. Is this just laziness on his behave or a boy thing, he
absolutely would do anything to get out of written work, his current and
past teachers have commented that his written work & presentation need
Is it possible that some children who appear to be bright can struggle
with written work??
Any advice would be appreciated.
Your description is not very clear and detailed, so I am assuming that
your son may possibly have dysgraphia. Briefly, dysgraphia is a learning
disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor
and information processing skills. This condition makes the act of
writing difficult lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting, and
putting thoughts on paper. Individuals with dysgraphia can have trouble
organizing letters, numbers, and words on a line or page.
Some of the symptoms may include tight, awkward pencil grip and body
position; avoidance of writing or drawing tasks; trouble forming letter
shapes; inconsistent spacing between letters or words; poor
understanding of uppercase and lowercase letters; inability to write or
draw in a line or within margins and getting tired quickly while
writing. Due to these, they may avoid writing. Your son is not lazy; he
is struggling and needs help.
However, your description alone is not sufficient for a diagnosis. I
suggest you get a professional opinion with all the necessary details
and samples of his handwriting. Some articles that may be of help:
Hope this helps. Wishing you all the best!