What Is Dysgraphia?

13_46Most people have heard of dyslexia, a type of learning disorder that makes reading difficult. But did you know there’s a type of learning disorder that affects writing? It’s called dysgraphia. Children with dysgraphia have normal levels of intelligence and typically have no problems expressing themselves verbally. However, writing is extremely difficult.

There are three types of dysgraphia: motor, spatial and processing. Motor dysgraphia is attributed to poor fine-motor skills. A child with motor dysgraphia may also show difficult with other fine-motor tasks, such as using silverware. This type of dysgraphia is typically treated by an occupational therapist. Spatial dysgraphia and processing dysgraphia are more linguistically involved, and may benefit from speech-language therapy. Children with spatial dysgraphia struggle understanding how letters and words are positioned relative to one another and often have trouble telling if written information is the same or different. Processing dysgraphia (sometimes also called dyslexic dysgraphia) involves a “disconnect” between working memory and the muscle system used for writing. Children with processing dysgraphia have poor spelling and composition skills, but can copy work with little difficulty.

For some children with dysgraphia, speech therapy can play an important role in managing the disorder. A speech therapist can evaluate where the child’s personal weaknesses are in writing, and help devise strategies to compensate. A speech-language pathologist can also work with classroom teachers in devising modifications and accommodations that may help the child succeed with their academic work.

Do you know someone who struggles with dysgraphia? How has the disorder affected your life and what strategies have you used to overcome it? Share your story below in the comments section!

For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!

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