1)Resistance to writing tasks that goes above and beyond the “norm” for that child – this can include a refusal to show math work.
2)Anxiety around writing tasks or opposition
3)Poorly formed printing, difficulty learning to write cursively
4)Forgetting to use capitals and punctuation correctly despite knowing the “rules”
5)Writing all the way up to the edge of a page – seeming not to understand the physical limitations of the page space
6)Very large letters or very small letters or what looks like trying to drive the pencil right through the page – all symptoms of “finger agnosia” where the student cannot get enough feedback from their fingers about the pencil and so they grip tighter and tighter, losing control
7)Aversion towards artwork – not all students are like this – or a hatred of colouring tasks
8)Notable difference between a child’s verbal skills/oral expression and their written work – an example of this would be a student who could tell you everything you wanted to know about the atom but when asked to make a poster outlining the parts of an atom, might write the following: Neutron = part of an atom, Proton = part of an atom, Electron = part of an atom.
In testing, we look primarily at visual processing speed, visual motor integration, and fine motor coordination but working memory and expressive language difficulties as well as problems with attention can also wreck havoc on a child’s ability to write.