Our interpretation of the definition of Dysgraphia is:
Dysgraphia is indicated by the presence of poor handwriting that is less than 75% legible when read without context. Poor Handwriting must have persisted for at least 6 months. For Dysgraphia to be indicated there will have been no significant improvement in legibility despite the provision of targeted evidence-based interventions including handwriting and motor skills interventions.
Handwriting is a complex skill which requires motor, sensory, perceptual and cognitive functions, and the integration of these functions. A difficulty in any of these areas could lead to the diagnosis of Dysgraphia. Therefore at HSR Psychology we recognise the following types of Dysgraphia.
There are a number of indicators which may suggest that an individual has Dysgraphia, including:
At HSR Psychology we ensure that we meet the needs of children and young people. To achieve this we ensure that any specific assessments, intervention, or direct work, is only carried out following an initial discussion.
An initial discussion allows us to understand the background and your expectations of our involvement. Having an initial discussion ensures any services we provide appropriately identify or address needs.
Our process for any specific assessments, intervention, or direct work is as follows:
An initial discussion allows us to understand the background and your expectations of our involvement. Arrange an initial discussion
Following an initial discussion we will send you an email that includes:
On receipt of the next steps recommendations and costing you can decide how to proceed. Once you have decided contact us to arrange the chosen services.
We assess Dysgraphia by assessing the child or young person’s motor, sensory, perceptual and cognitive functions.
Examples of outcome measures we use include the following:
The DASH is used to assess the speed of handwriting. During the assessment our psychologists can observe how the child or young person writes in terms of posture, facial expressions, strategies used alongside letter formation.
A free writing task will be used to assess the legibility of the child or young person’s writing.
The Beery VMI is an assessment which looks at how a child or young person integrates what they see in connection with a movement, in this case writing or drawing.
A cognitive assessment is used to create a profile of strengths and difficulties in addition to checking cognitive ability.
A combination of results related to written language, processing speed, fine motor, visual spatial and perceptual skills work together to form a conclusion relating to the child or young person’s needs.
The specific assessments used will be chosen based on the child or young person. The main assessments we use are:
There are other assessments which may be used during a Dysgraphia assessment, if these are predicted beforehand then they will be discussed during the initial discussion. If it is thought during the initial discussion that it would be more appropriate for one of our in house occupational therapists (OTs) to carry out the DASH 17 and the Beery VMI then this would be discussed beforehand.
After an assessment we may recommend a targeted evidence-based intervention or strategies to be put in place. Following a period of intervention we would then carry out a re-assessment after 6 months to see if there has been an improvement. If there has been a significant improvement in handwriting following intervention then the intervention has been successful and can continue if required. If there has been no significant improvement in 6 months a diagnosis of Dysgraphia may be made and we can recommend further support strategies. A report will be provided following an assessment.
It is important to note that in some cases Dysgraphia may be a transient diagnosis as the child or young person continues to develop.
Recommendations for intervention would be suggested according to areas of need found during the assessment process, which may include working on a specific fine motor skill. Evidence-based handwriting interventions which have not previously been used may be recommended. A recommendation may involve focusing on alternative forms of written expression such as typing, or speech to text software, or mind mapping and notetaking strategies.
An assessment for Dysgraphia can vary due to individual differences. The following costings are based on the average time an assessment and a report takes to complete:
We will be able to provide a formal quote following an initial discussion which allows us to learn more about the child or young person’s background and about interventions and assessments which may have taken place.
If you believe that you require a Dysgraphia assessment then please contact us to find out more.