Learning disorders like Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia are indicative of particular learning challenges. Early intervention for Learning Disorders can be helpful in teaching strategies to cope or alternative learning methods to compensate.
Dyslexia & Related Disorders
What is Dyslexia?
Individuals with dyslexia experience difficulties with reading accuracy, rate, written expression and comprehension that is not consistent with their cognitive ability.
They are also likely to struggle with phonological processing (hearing and manipulating the separate sounds within words).
In the reading process, the lack of phonological awareness skills leads to difficulty recognising that letters or groups of letters within written words can represent sounds.
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability “characterised by difficulties with accurate and /or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities” (Annals of Dyslexia, 2003).
Symptoms of Dyslexia
- Struggles with learning the relationship between letters and sounds
- Frequently misread/misspell common words
- Often forget instructions
- Often substitute words that look similar while reading
- Difficulty applying spelling rules
- Reading does not seem to improve after extra help
- Tend to avoid literacy activities
- Seem to put in great effort but work output does not show
- Have problems comprehending after they read a passage due to poor word recognition
What is Dysgraphia?
Language based Dysgraphia may be characterized by difficulty converting sounds of language into written form or difficulty with alternate spelling use for each sound. People with Dysgraphia have substantial difficulty with written language despite having formal instruction. Their handwriting may include reversals, spelling errors and may be illegible. Some people with Dysgraphia may also have difficulty with language processing and the connection between words and ideas they represent.
Non-language based Dysgraphia includes difficulty performing the controlled fine motor skills required to write. It affects the planning of what to do and how to do it. The generic term Apraxia refers to a wide variety of motor skill deficits in which the voluntary execution of a skilled motor movement is impaired. Apraxia can involve a single controlled movement or a sequence of movements, such as writing a single letter or entire words.
Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder that appears when children are first learning to write. Dysgraphia can be a language based and/or non- language based disability.
Symptoms of Dysgraphia
- A person with Dysgraphia may write their letters in reverse, have trouble recalling how letters are formed, or when to use lower or upper case letters
- A person with Dysgraphia may struggle to form written sentences with correct grammar and punctuation. Common problems include omitting words, incorrect word order, incorrect verb and pronoun usage and word ending errors
- People with Dysgraphia may speak more easily and fluently than they write
- Large gaps between written ideas and speech
- Difficulty organising thoughts on paper
- Have trouble copying information
What is Dyscalculia?
Dyscalculia refers to a specific maths learning disability that is not consistent with their cognitive ability, age and education.
It can occur after brain damage and when no other thinking or memory functions are affected.
Children with Dyscalculia struggle with these basic ‘building blocks’ of numbers, making it hard for them to move on to more advanced mathematics.
Symptoms of Dyscalculia
- Problems counting
- Not knowing which number is larger
- Poor memory of math facts (multiplication tables)
- Confusion over printed symbols and signs
- Difficulty with time and direction
- Inability to recall schedules, sequences of past or future events; unable to keep track of time, always late
- Mistakes when writing, reading and recalling numbers
- Difficulty grasping and remembering math concepts
- Difficulty understanding spatial orientation causing difficulties in following directions or map reading
Treatment for Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia
Think Psychological Services is experienced in developing and implementing intervention programs for children with learning disorders, such as, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia.
For children who are at-risk of literacy failure, our therapists are equipped to use these intervention programs, such as, Avid and Orton-Gillingham to help children learn more effectively.
Where necessary, Think Psychological Services will work together with other professionals (e.g. occupational therapists and speech therapists) to make treatment with your child as comprehensive as possible.