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. Dyslexia is a prevalent condition, affecting about 20% of people.1
Dysgraphia is another language-literacy disability that can be diagnosed and treated. It comes from a Greek term that means, literally, difficulty (dys) writing (graph). Dysgraphia pertains mainly to writing by hand (as opposed to keyboarding).
Below you will find some of the common signs of dyslexia and dysgraphia.
Dysgraphia typically involves difficulty with handwriting, spelling, and sentence formulation. Dyslexia and dysgraphia often occur together. Writing requires memory for the movement path for each letter as well as for spelling, sentence formulation, and sequencing ideas so children with working memory and/or attention deficits can have particular difficulty with writing skills. Dyslexia and dysgraphia are both neurological language-based disorders, and they often overlap. In both disorders spelling is a particular weakness. Both language disorders can occur by themselves or in conjunction with other difficulties.
Dyslexia and dysgraphia are often genetic and, while they cannot be “cured” they can both be overcome using structured literacy methods.
The International Dyslexia Association lists the instructional elements that are effective for overcoming dyslexia.2
The Lexercise Structured Literacy Curriculum™ follows these guidelines to help struggling readers and writers, including those with dyslexia and dysgraphia, meet their academic potential. If you think your child may be dyslexic or dysgraphic and you want to get them effective help please call us at 1-919-747-4557 or get started with our free dyslexia screener or our dysgraphia test.
Sandie is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in the private practice sector. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and founder/owner of the Language & Learning Clinic, PLLC, a private practice in Elkin, NC, and Greensboro, NC, specializing in communication disorders, including disorders of reading and written language.