Dyslexia, DCD, and dysgraphia – what do those learning differences mean and how do they affect your child?
Dyslexia, DCD, and Dysgraphia are 3 different types of conditions. They are all conditions that are common so there is a chance that your child may have one of these 3. Let’s have a look into each of these learning disorders.
What Is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is best described as an unexpected difficulty with being able to read. Children that have dyslexia may encounter problems when it comes to the recognition and manipulation of sounds with language. Decoding words is something that children with dyslexia will have great difficulty with, which essentially means breaking down these words or phonemes and then sounding out novel words. Dyslexia makes it hard for the child to recognize words, read and write properly, and even spell properly. It’s important to note that a child who has dyslexia does not necessarily lack intelligence. A child with dyslexia may not even be that far behind their other peers in school due to the hard effort they may be putting in to be at the same level as everyone else in their class. However, it must be noted that this is only sustainable for a child with dyslexia for so long. As they start to get older in school they will struggle to keep up with their fellow classmates as the reading, writing, and spelling will, of course, become harder as they grow older. Dyslexia is something that isn’t necessarily an illness but is something that a person will have throughout their entire life.
However, by taking the appropriate measures towards understanding the difficulties and challenges are that come with having dyslexia it can then be made much easier to live with. When really delving into dyslexia and its impact it will have on a person, it is something that is a brain-based issue with language. That is why kids will have issues with being able to work with the sounds of language. It’s important to remember that reading issues may still exist for children with dyslexia even after they have been able to learn and read properly. The ability for a child to read that has dyslexia is more so a mechanical one. This is why children which have dyslexia will best be able to learn with reading programs that are systematic and take an explicit multisensory approach to. By doing this it will enhance the likelihood of a child being able to successfully identify words.
What is DCD?
DCD an abbreviation for developmental coordination disorder is a condition that is lifelong for a human being which makes it difficult for the person to learn motor skills and will also have issues with their coordination. DCD unlike Dyslexia is not known as a learning disorder, but it will have the ability to have an impact on their learning. Instead of being labeled as a learning disorder, it is seen as a neurodevelopment disorder. ADHD which you may be aware of is also a neurodevelopment disorder. Things like physical tasks and activities in school will be what the child with DCD will tend to struggle with. When looking at how many kids are living with this condition, it lands in and around the 5 percent mark. It is important to note, however, that DCD is something that is more common with boys than with girls. There is no way for a child to grow out of having this condition but applying the necessary steps, will go a long way to improving the child’s motor skills. Many things which a child will need to learn when in school will prove to be difficult for them due to them having DCD, examples of this being writing and organisation. It’s not only in school where DCD will be an issue for a child, it’s also outside of the classroom. For instance, their motor skills will be affected when it comes to them brushing their teeth and putting on clothes also. Earlier lessons that kids would have learned will be affected as they will not necessarily remember what they were first thought. If they were told to put a knife in their right hand and a fork in their left, they may not remember this and end up doing the opposite and not learning from their wrongdoings. The key to overcome DCD is to understand as early as possible the difficulties your child is facing and to take the necessary steps to overcome them.
What is Dysgraphia?
Dysgraphia is a disability that affects a person’s ability to write. Not only does it affect ones writing ability it will also cause a person to have issues with their motor skills. Spelling, word spacing, and sizing are things which are aspects that a person with dysgraphia will have. Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms that come from having dysgraphia.
- Painfully gripping a pen or pencil by holding too firm.
- The sentence structure is off what it should be.
- Writing down the thoughts you may have in your head onto the paper.
These symptoms are able to change over time, as usual, it’s the mechanics of writing which young people will tend to have whereas it’d be more so grammar and comprehension difficulties for adults.
So, what causes a person to have dysgraphia? Scientists are not sure as to why it happens to children. When an adult is diagnosed with it, it can be related to a brain injury such as a stroke. Like other disorders which have been previously discussed, there is no cure for Dysgraphia. Things you can try in order to help your child may range from using grips on pencils for comfort to letting them use a computer as an alternative to writing and teach the person typing skills as early as possible.