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Writing is a complicated skill to learn, and many children encounter problems along the way. Some kids just need to overcome minor hurdles while others experience more complicated and enduring struggles that can be a sign of a learning disability.
If you're concerned about your child, talk to his teacher. "Because the teacher sees your child in a variety of situations at school and can compare your child's progress to that of other children, she's in a good position to notice any potential problems," says Eve Stabinsky-Ackert, an early childhood education specialist in Monroe, Conn.
Early warning signs of a writing problem
According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities and early education specialists, your child may have a problem learning to write if he:
- Is unable to form letters
- Can't comfortably grip pens or pencils
- Is a poor speller
- Has trouble getting started on an assignment (he sits and stares at his paper for a long time)
- Can't communicate details and thoughts in writing
- Is easily frustrated as soon as he sits down to write
- Has no interest in expressing himself on paper
- Is extremely restless and can't sit still to even try to write
If your child has trouble writing, it doesn't necessarily mean he has a learning disability. That's why it's important to talk to his teacher if you have concerns. She may recommend that you give your child more writing practice at home (see our article on fun activities for building writing skills) or that you speak to a learning specialist.