Disorder of written expression

Definition

Disorder of written expression is a childhood condition that involves poor writing skills.

Alternative Names

Written expression disorder; Dysgraphia

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

No studies have been done to determine how common this disorder is. However, some think it is as common as learning and reading disorders.

This disorder appears by itself or along with other learning disabilities, such as:

Symptoms

  • Errors in grammar and punctuation
  • Poor handwriting
  • Poor spelling
  • Poorly organized writing

Signs and tests

Other causes of learning disabilities must be ruled out before the diagnosis can be confirmed.

Treatment

Remedial education is the best approach to this type of disorder.

Expectations (prognosis)

The degree of recovery depends on the severity of the disorder. Marked improvement is often seen after treatment.

Complications

  • Learning problems
  • Low self-esteem
  • Problems with socializing

Calling your health care provider

Parents who are concerned about their child's language ability should have their child tested by educational professionals.

Prevention

Learning disorders often run in families. Affected or potentially affected families should make every effort to recognize problems early. Intervention can begin as early as preschool or kindergarten.

References

Kelly DP, Natale MJ. Neurodevelopmental function and dysfunction in the school-aged child. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JWIII, Schor NF, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 29.

Revision

Last reviewed 12/23/2012 by David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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