Autism or Neurological?

Have you ever seen anything like this before. This is how Gavin writes now. It never used to be like this but as of late this is a very common occurance and dominates the way he writes.

I don’t know if this something related to Autism but I think this may be more of a neurological issue. I getting more and more concerned about this whole neurological thing. Gavin starts out writing using most of the page but a few lines later he begins using less and less of the page until he’s whittled it down to only one or two words on each line.

I fear this is another emerging symptom pointing to some sort of a neurological disorder.

Does anyone have experience with something like this? If so, what was causing it? It’s not a writing style. It’s more like a perceptual thing. I do know that he doesn’t realize he’s doing this.

I’m worried. Very worried. Any advice would be appreciated.


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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Looks like pyramids. But that may just be because I am a weirdo and…pyramids! Everything is arranged in pyramids whenever possible. Looks like upside down pyramids. I used to do that. But not upside down. Or I made things in general with my writing. Concrete poetry style. My sister also pushed her writing further over sometimes. Or writes really big. So that she has less room to write and is done sooner. She doesn't really do that anymore because she has to re-do it if anyone notices before she takes it to school. So…it could be deliberate. My sister was doing that in kindergarten and first grade. She is in second grade now. Age is irrelevant. High school kids aren't the only kids who try to weasel out of properly doing an assignment.


Hi Rob, I would tend to agree with everything already said. I also used to do this as a kid (well into high school) although I would realise after 4-5 lines. I think Gavin is just becoming completely absorbed in his writing and doesn't realise he's doing it. The highlighter is a great idea, or you could use a green marker. I often use green and red as 'traffic lights' for handwriting activities. Like you say, it's probably more relevant that it's a new development and it will be interesting to know what the neurologists opinion is. Loved the OT posts by the way, I'm forever explaining what I do!


As always, thank you Julia


What strikes me is that it's so consistent. And that multiple people here say that they've done it or their kids have, for multiple different reasons.

If it were me I'd show it to his doctor or OT…it seems like it could be perceptual or it could be just a quirk….

Anyway, thinking of you in all things…


Yeah. I tend to agree with you. What concerns me is that he never used to do this. I'm concerned that is may be something new beginning to surface. I'm actually going to email the neurologist the pics as well.
I agree that many things this happens for various reasons. However, with Gavin obsessed with writing these stories and so he is very focused. it seems to go along with the overall downward trend. I'm also going to show the OT or perhaps one of my OT readers (cough cough Julia cough cough) could shed some light on this from a providers perspective.

I appreciate everyone's advice. Hopefully it's just one of Gavin quirks and nothing to worry about.

Thanks again


<div id="idc-comment-msg-div-180769095" class="idc-message"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(180769095)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(180769095)">Close Message Rob, I really, really don't see anything worrying about this – I used to do it ALL THE TIME when I was a kid and for a very, very simple, silly reason.

I'm right handed, so when I write, my left hand is leaning on the paper at the top of the page. When I drop to the next line, my left hand drops with the right, but it followed the flow of my writing – ie moving more and more to the right. Soooo by the end of the page, I'd look up at what I'd written, notice the spaces all down the left hand side of the page, "crap!" and then get rollocked by the teacher for wasting paper … I hardly even noticed I was doing it until I got sick of being told off for it, so I stopped 😛

It's SIMPLY lack of concentration because he's so into what he's writing. It's NOTHING to be concerned about at all.

My recent post <a href="; target="_blank">A good night’s sleep!


Remember that sensory processing includes visual processing — so it is not unheard of for a kid on the spectrum to have visual processing disorders, which can cause handwriting problems. In fact, with my oldest, it is one of the only noticeable signs of autism that he has. He has to use a computer in school for everything, and with standardized tests, he is allowed to circle in the booklet and it is transcribed for him. Other things are done for him orally, and so on. Years of OT and other therapies did not help, so now we accomodate. The only thing, though, is given that this is new for you, it should be brought up with a doctor next time you speak with one (neurologist). Also, if he gets any occupational therapy, bring it up with them as well — they have screening tests specifically for visual processing issues/writing ones. Lastly, there IS vision therapy, which is the one thing we did NOT try, because it isn't covered in our state AND is rather expensive. Hope this helps.
My recent post YES


HimRob my 11 yo aespie girl doest this but not nearly as neat…great handwriting Gav

Jodi Mathis

My son, now 10, used to do this in Kindergarten. He is not living with autism, and is a typically developing kid. His teacher (we publicly educated back then) suggested using the highlighter trick. It worked. She suggested that he was doing it so he could finish his assignment sooner. IE, he would finish a page faster if he started each line farther and father over, or if asked to write a spelling word as many times as he could on one line he would be done sooner if e moved the margin. I called hogwash on that, as I didn't believe it was so intentional. I mean, really, that's high school mentality. We've all played with the margins to get the quota of "pages" for an assignment fulfilled, but not in Kindergarten. And not likely in Gavin's case either.

I have no clue how this relates to Gavin, but I think you should know it is not uncommon. Maybe it is just a step back. Your posts indicate you go through that often. I offer up this point of view only to try to help relieve some of your worry. I would say something at his next doctor's appointment, but I don't think you should worry too much about it unless the doctor seems to think it's related.

(Sorry Rob, the lingo here is all new to me, but I hope you can appreciate that like your mission statement indicates I am trying to become more aware. So if I say something not quite right, please forgive me, it will never be intentional.)


Thanks Jodi. You just fine. I appreciate your support. The thing is with Gavin he lives to write these stories. So I don't think he's trying to get out of anything although it does get worse with fatigue.

Thanks again..

Jodi Mathis

Maybe he is just really into his story writing and it just happens. I believe that was the case for my son, and I note that someone mentioned that possiblity below. Try not to worry, you do enough of that already. (I know, if only it were that easy, huh? 🙂 )

Amy Knox

Did you mention this to the doctor? That does seem alarming esp. if its a new development. I’m so sorry you have a whole new basket of worries with this new medical stuff. I know you will stay on top of his needs and we will cover your family in prayer. (sorry thats the best advice I’ve got… perseverance and prayer!)


I've seen many kids loose the margin as they write, both kids with autism and typically developing kids. I tend to think that is caused by fatigue and lack of attention. Something you can try is to highlight the left margin with a bright color.