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X is DysleXia ;)

Had to get creative with this one? Only so many words start with an /X/! Plus let's just say, this topic is a HUGE one and relates to handwriting in so many ways.

Let's start by quickly defining Dyslexia... Dyslexia is one part of an umbrella of learning differences (Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia are the other two). Dyslexia involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds (phonological) and how sounds relate to letters and words (decoding). As an aside, Dysgraphia is also known as a disorder of written expression (which can have both physical and cognitive components) and Dyscalculia is related to the ability to understand numbers and math concepts.

At times, children with Dyslexia may struggle with writing for several reasons. One struggle may be that the cognitive demand to figure out what letter to write when spelling out a word can be significant and therefore actual letter formation suffers. Another reason is the associated executive function and working memory difficulties that can coexist with Dyslexia can create difficulties when learning to write and throughout the writing process. Though a child might not have a Dysgraphia diagnosis, children with Dyslexia can definitely have handwriting challenges both physically and cognitively.

The good news is that just like with Dyslexia remediation, we can use explicit and systematic and individualized programs to improve a child's ability to write. We can address the physical aspects of writing that are interfering with their performance as well as the cognitive barriers. We can introduce accommodations, modifications, and assistive technologies if needed. At times, children's writing will even improve simply with remediation of their reading skills! How amazing is that! It is proof that our brain and neurons are plastic and can create new pathways leading to growth and improved performance.

Let us know if you suspect your child or student is struggling with handwriting. Whether they have a diagnosis or not, we can help figure out the underlying struggles impacting their written expression.



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