Learning Disabilities and Dysgraphia

Topics: Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Educational psychology Pages: 5 (1472 words) Published: December 26, 2007

Children with Dysgrapia and Other Learning Disabilities

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There are many types of learning disabilities that are prevalent among children in the world today. This paper will not necessarily explore in detail the prevalence of the disorders, but explore the different types, causes, and treatment for the variety of learning disabilities among children today. This paper will focus particularly on one disorder. This learning disorder is called dysgraphia. To make it simple, dysgraphia is a disorder of written language expression that is more prevalent in children than in adults. Dysgraphia can be seen in letter inconsistencies, irregular letter sizes, and a struggle to use writing as a tool to communicate with other people.

Children With Dysgraphia and Other Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities are a major problem in the world today. Almost every day, there is news of a child or an adult that has a learning disability that greatly affects their lives. The diagnosis of a learning disorder is given when there is a clear impairment in school performance or in daily living activities (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2004). Learning disabilities can result in a person having low self-esteem, possibly dropping out of school at an early age, and possibly depression or criminal behavior. Approximately one in seven children that attend a public school struggle with some type of learning disability in their lives, which causes them to not reach their full potential in the classroom. Ten to thirty percent of elementary school children suffer from difficulties during the act of writing (Rosenblum, & Weiss, & Parush, 2004). There are many learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and dyspraxia. Dyslexia is a reading disorder where the child cannot identify different word sounds. Dysgraphia is a developmental writing disorder that leads to problems with creating sentences that make sense to others. Dysgraphia can be the result of low classroom efficiency. Dyscalculia is a developmental arithmetic disorder which causes trouble with calculations or with abstract math concepts. Dyspraxia is just a problem in fine motor skills that can cause difficulties in learning. True learning disabilities are due to anomalies in the brain functions, which can be inherited. Also, toxins in a person's early environment can also cause learning disabilities.

Dysgraphia is the one particular disorder that this paper will focus on the most. The term dysgraphia has customarily been used in reference to a disorder of written language expression in childhood opposed to a disorder of written language acquired in adulthood. Written language is the brain's way of executing sequential symbols to communicate thoughts and information. Writing is the most likely to be insulted, injured, and have adverse genetic influences because it represents the last and most complex skill of development. Activating phonological information is a necessary stage of the spelling process (Miceli, & Capasso, 2006). Dysgraphia is identified in letter inconsistencies, mixture of upper and lower case letters, irregular sizes and shapes of letters, and unfinished letters. Some people that have dysgraphia write legibly, but write very slowly or very small. Most people may characterize dysgraphia as a child just being lazy, careless, or sloppy. Dysgraphia cannot be diagnosed solely by looking at handwriting of a person. A qualified clinician must directly test the person. Such tests include writing self-generated sentences and paragraph. Also, the patient may have to copy age appropriate text. The clinician not only examines the finished work, but also the process that is taking place. The clinician may look at posture, positions, pencil grip, tremor of the hand, or cramping factors. The examiner may asses fine-motor...

References: Brunsdon, R., & Coltheart, M., & Nickels, L. (2005). Treatment of irregular word spelling in developmental surface dysgraphia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 22(2), 213-251.
Butcher, J., Mineka, S., & Hooley, J. (2004). Abnormal psychology. New York, NY: Pearson.
Hillis, A. (2004). Progress in cognitive neuroscience research on dysgraphia: introduction. Neurocase, 10(2), 89-90.
Miceli, G., & Capasso, R. (2006). Spelling and dysgraphia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 23(1), 110-134.
Rapp, B. (2005). The relationship between treatment outcomes and the underlying cognitive deficit: evidence from the remediation of acquired dysgraphia. Aphasiology, 19(10-11), 994-1008.
Rosenblum, S., & Weiss, P., & Parush, S. (2004). Handwriting evaluation for development dysgraphia: process versus product. Reading and Writing, 17(5), 433-458.
Siegel, L. (1988). Agatha christie 's learning disability. Canadian Psychology, 29(2), 213-216.
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