Reading, Writing, Arithmetic

One possible aspect of dyslexia that we haven't addressed in these blogs is dysgraphia, difficulty in putting thoughts down on paper. As you can imagine, a child who cannot read finds it difficult to write. Also, some of the issues related to reading challenges--difficulty with saying the alphabet in order, difficulty with following directions--also interfere with writing, the process of organizing thoughts on a page of paper. You may never hear the word "dysgraphia" used to describe a child's struggles in putting ideas to paper. Instead you may hear something like "an impairment in written expression" or "a disorder in written expression."

Like dyslexia and other reading challenges, dysgraphia is a function of how the brain works: it is not a sign that a child is lazy, stupid or sloppy. Like reading, writing involves many skills, including recognition of letters, hand and eye coordination and fine motor skills. For children with dysgraphia, the school may need to make some accommodation; for example, allowing the child to use a computer rather than writing by hand, to write shorter papers or to provide shorter answers on timed tests.

Another learning disability sometimes related to dyslexia is dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is often called "math dyslexia." Although not every child with dyslexia has problems with math, clearly reading is as important in arithmetic as it is in any other school subject. Children with dyscalculia often have difficulty understanding relationships (larger and smaller, first and last), understanding the concept of time and recognizing the number of items in a small group, among other problems with numbers.

At Windy Row Learning Center, we understand the subtle connections between dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. We have nationally known programs in addition to Orton-Gillingham that can help a child who is struggling with getting thoughts down on paper or understanding math concepts. If we cannot help, we are happy to make referrals and discuss alternatives. Please info [at] windyrow.org (contact u)s with any questions you have.