Dyslexia and Dysgraphia: Same or Different?

What is Dyslexia? 

The International Dyslexia Association and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) define dyslexia as “a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.” In essence, dyslexia is a neurological condition causing difficulty reading, writing and spelling words.

What is Dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia is another language-literacy disability that can be diagnosed and treated. Dysgraphia is a Greek term that means, literally, difficulty (dys) writing(graph), dysgraphia pertains mainly to writing by hand (as opposed to keyboarding).

Some signs of dyslexia

Difficulty with:

  • Learning to speak
  • Learning letters and their sounds
  • Blending sounds to make words
  • Organizing written and spoken language
  • Reading quickly enough to comprehend
  • Persisting with and comprehending longer reading assignments
  • Spelling
  • Learning a foreign language

Some signs of dysgraphia


  • Unsure of right or left handedness
  • Poor or slow handwriting
  • Messy and unorganized papers
  • Difficulty copying
  • Poor fine motor skills

 What is the Connection Between Dyslexia and Dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia is often related to other problems such as difficulty with spelling and written expression, dyslexia and even oral expression. Since handwriting skills require memory for the movement path for each letter as well as for how letters connect, children with working memory and/or attention deficits can have difficulty mastering handwriting skills. Dyslexia and dysgraphia can overlap because they are both neurological language disorders. In addition, both disorders make it difficult to convert phonemes (sounds) into graphemes (letters in written form). Both language disorders can occur by themselves or in conjunction with other difficulties.

Treating Dysgraphia and/or Dyslexia:


Dyslexia and dysgraphia are often genetic and, while they cannot be “cured” they can both be treated using methods that resonate with the different way dyslexics and dysgraphics learn. 

The International Dyslexia Association suggests that “Instruction for individuals with learning differences should be:structured_literacy_strategies.jpg

  • Explicit – directly teaches skills for reading, spelling, and writing
  • Systematic and Cumulative – has a definite, logical sequence of concept introduction
  • Structured – has step-by-step procedures for introducing, reviewing, and practicing concepts
  • Multisensory – engages the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic channels simultaneously or in rapid succession” (International Dyslexia Association, 2014).

Lexercise’s Structured Literacy and Chancery Script  curricula follow these guidelines and are used to help dyslexics and dysgraphics meet their academic potential. If you think your child may be dyslexic or dysgraphic and want to get them the right type of help that they need please call us at 1-919-747-4557 or take our free dyslexia screener here.

“Effective Reading Instruction.” International Dyslexia Association. N.p., 31 Oct. 2014. Web. 13 Aug. 2015. <http://eida.org/effective-reading-instruction/>.

Moats, Louisa C. Ed.D, and Karen E. Dakin, M.Ed. “Dyslexia Basics.” International Dyslexia Association. N.p., 15 Dec. 2014. Web. 13 Aug. 2015. <http://eida.org/dyslexia-basics/>.


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Marie Lunney

Marie struggled with reading, writing and spelling as a child and knows the frustrations of finding and receiving language therapy. She has since overcome her childhood struggles and recently graduated Cum Laude from Elon University with a BS/BA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Marie is enthusiastic about helping families find convenient, personalized and effective language therapy.