Types of writing learning difficulties?

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Writing disabilities can be grouped into dysgraphia or expressive language learning disorders, and can be related to autism or dyslexia. Dysgraphia affects mechanics of writing, while expressive language disability affects expressing ideas in writing. Resources are available in public schools to help students with writing disabilities.

Writing learning disabilities can generally be grouped into a learning disability in basic writing skills, also called dysgraphia, or an expressive language learning disorder. , high-functioning autism spectrum disorders, or reading disorders such as dyslexia. Students with writing disabilities are on average neither more intelligent nor less intelligent than the general population; they simply have difficulty functioning in a particular area.

A learning disability in basic writing skills means that a person has difficulties with the mechanics of writing, such as having extremely poor handwriting, a tendency to write letters backwards, or difficulties with spelling. Some students with this disability report phantom pain in tendons in the hand or arm that are not actually used when writing. In some cases, the student seems to have difficulty understanding the connection between sounds and letters. Regardless of the specific symptoms, students with this disability often have so much trouble with the mechanical aspects of writing that they find it difficult to concentrate on the content they are supposed to be writing.

A student with an expressive language disability, on the other hand, does not necessarily have difficulty with the mechanics of forming words, but rather with expressing ideas in writing. In some people, this appears to be related to an inability to translate sensory information into words. For example, a student might be asked to describe a penguin in writing. He or she knows what a penguin looks like, but is unable to explain it on paper. Students with this disability may sometimes be able to write well from a prompt, but other times they seem to freeze and not write anything. He or she may or may not have difficulty expressing ideas out loud.

Diagnostic criteria for handwriting difficulties vary from state to state in the United States. Resources are often available in public schools to help students with the mechanical, conceptual, and verbal aspects of writing learning disabilities. Students with both types of disabilities may have fewer problems with typing or cursive writing than with printing, so they may be noticed as writers earlier than their peers. For some assignments they may even be allowed to dictate their answers to a teacher or teacher’s aide so they are still generating their own content, but don’t have to go through the physical tasks of writing.

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