Tag Archive | dyslexia

Dyslexia and Handwriting

With cursive writing being dropped from some of the public schools’ curriculum and teachers using it in the classroom less and less, I have been asked by homeschool moms what I think about continuing to teach cursive. I feel it is important, but I wanted to give more information to moms in order to help make an informed decision for handwriting instruction.  I have discovered that cursive is helpful to all students, but particularly dyslexic students. The School of Dyslexia, a blog for educators of dyslexic students, had a great article about this topic.

“Research shows that cursive improves dynamic interplay in the brain, improves fine motor skills, and can help improve the memory of the written concept.The research points to cursive writing engaging massive regions of the brain involving thinking, while typing or block printing keeps the generation of letters separate and less connective thought is involved.  When we are cursive writing, we are making connections from the right side and the left side of the brain; this helps build neural pathways and can increase mental effectiveness.  The brain is plastic, by which I mean it can change depending on how we train it, and cursive writing can help make the right and left-brain connections stronger.

As a school that teaches primarily to dyslexics, we often have students with fine motor challenges.  We often have students that have challenges with doing up buttons, tying shoes, these sorts of tasks.  Cursive writing naturally develops sensory skills, as the student understands angles, pencil position, and mostly motor planning to form each letter in a fluid motion from left to right.
Finally, memory can be greatly affected by the use of cursive.  As letters are connected to form words, more attention is given to the entire word, and by extension the entire thought.  It is easier for students, especially dyslexic and ADD students to think about what they are writing without losing their focus.  The continued attention and fluidity in writing often results in more long-term memory of the concepts.”

source: Derek Rhodenizer,Vice Principal, Heritage Academy 
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada  from a post on School of Dyslexia

Here are some websites that have handwriting worksheets for you to customize:

Handwriting Worksheets

Worksheet Works