Kids say the darndest things when they read, but does this mean they have dyslexia?
Some kids write their 3’s as E’s or E’s as 3’s, but does this mean they have dysgraphia?
Well, for about 80% of the population, it likely means neither. But for 1 in every 5
individuals who have dyslexia and/or dysgraphia, these could be early signs.
That being said, what’s more important to remember about dyslexia and dysgraphia, is
that they are two separate disorders. Both are much more complex than just mixing up
letters for numbers or reading backwards.
According to the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, dyslexia is an impairment in
reading and dysgraphia is an impairment in writing, but at DSH, we know reading,
writing, speaking and character go hand-in-hand and every child’s learning style will
uniquely impact the way they read, write, speak or succeed.
Dyslexia and dysgraphia are both neurological disorders and can cause problems with
spelling and grammar. Dyslexia is always related to language, whereas dysgraphia can
be related to language, but is often related to motor skills.
There are always exceptions, but it helps to remember that speech therapists often
work with students who have dyslexia, and occupational therapists often work with
students who have dysgraphia. One exception would include a student who has both
dyslexia and dysgraphia, as they can co-exist.
They are often mistaken for the other or grouped together because the symptoms
impact other functions. Just like our ears, nose and throat all work together to help us
breathe, the brain functions in a way that our reading and understanding of words will
impact how we write them, speak them or spell them.
These are all reasons why it’s imperative that educators, therapists and diagnosticians
have the proper training to assess and intervene in these children’s learning
experiences. It’s also important for educational teams to work hand-in-hand to give
every child the best support possible.