What is Dysgraphia?
What is dysgraphia? If your doctor has mentioned it, you're probably still wondering about it and want to find out more.
This learning disability has to do with the ability to write. It causes people to have difficulty recognizing and writing letters and numbers. They often have difficulty with sounds and with spoken words, too. Though many are of above average intelligence, dysgraphia can still be present in the relationship of words and writing.
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Dysgraphia is a condition linked to dyslexia in that dyslexia is a subtype of this learning disability. Dysgraphia involves the difficulty of an individual to use fine motor skills. This may include muscle coordination, motor memory and even the movement that is used during the writing process. Because of this, it's believed that the areas of the brain that regulate language, visual elements, motor centers and perceptual centers all play a role in the condition.
Though there's no known cause present in all cases, some research suggests that the condition is hereditary. It may also come from brain injuries and strokes at any age. Some who have the condition also have some level of autism, though like dyslexia, the conditions are not always linked to dysgraphia.
Those who have dysgraphia often display some of the following symptoms:
- These children often have substantial difficulty with the written language
- They do not pick up on writing easily even with a quality education
- Handwriting is often difficult to read
- Many students have constant spelling errors and will have letter reversals (when letters are displayed backward in the writing)
- Some students have difficulty processing language
- Difficulty between connecting words and ideas is often present
Treatments and Overcoming Dysgraphia
Each child or adult who displays symptoms of dysgraphia is likely to have his or her own unique set of symptoms, which requires a unique treatment plan. Since most cases of this condition occur in children during schooling years, the most common treatment is through an IEP, or individual education program. This term may seem a bit daunting but it simply refers to the development of an education plan that meets the child's particular needs. It may include:
- A unique language therapy program
- Occupational therapy
- Unique education to focus on fine motor skills such as pencil holding, hand coordination and other areas
- Focused learning on speech recognition and letters, sounds and words
What is dysgraphia? In short, it's a challenge that even very intelligent children may need to face. Through careful diagnosis and a unique education plan, many students can overcome this condition.
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