What are the Causes of Messy Handwriting?

Most individuals expect young children to have messy handwriting. It can be hard to learn how to write letters and place them in the right order to create words. It takes practice and time for children to do this neatly. However, as kids become older, their messy handwriting might appear to others as a sign of laziness. Typically, this isn’t the case. There are actually causes of messy handwriting. 

Causes of Messy Handwriting

Some causes are:

1. Handwriting Style

If you’re like a lot of individuals you learned to print when you were very young and cursive writing came into play after you were already in school for a couple of years. Not everybody transitions from one style of writing to the other smoothly. Cursive writing, particularly when you write on a slant, can be a lot more difficult to write neatly.

2. Lack of Support for Teachers

There isn’t any training course for teachers that teach handwriting instruction. Because of this, many teachers don’t think they’re prepared to effectively teach handwriting. The consequence for the students has been a decline in their ability to write legibly and competently. 


Learning Disabilities Research and Practice published an article showing a lot of studies link ADHD with poor handwriting. This might reflect that kids with ADHD frequently have impaired fine motor skills. If you have a child that has issues with fine motor skills, like poor hand control and “jerky” movements, this could make it difficult for them to write clearly and quickly.

4. Dysgraphia

Your child may have dysgraphia, a type of learning disability. This disorder will impact their ability to organize numbers and letters. It can also make it hard for them to keep their words on a straight line.

An essential step is to write down what you see and talk with your child’s pediatric occupational therapist or teacher. They could be ideal sources of advice and information. Even if you’re not particularly sure what’s causing your child’s poor handwriting, you can still work with them at home to build skills. Try things like drawing exercises, tracing exercises, and pencil grips.

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