What are dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia?

?Perhaps you are wondering, "What are all of these dys'?"
Well allow me to enlighten you... they are Neurological differences in the brain that cause people to learn differently than the majority of people learn. Dyslexia is of course the most known of the 4 cousins, but they are all real. 1 in 5 people have dyslexia, 1 in 10 people have dysgraphia. All require people to learn differently than how traditional schools teach students to learn. All of these words are of Greek origin. Dys means badly. Lexia mean to write. Calculia is math and praxia are whole coordination systems.

Dyslexia is a language based learning difference. Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, that result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. Students with dyslexia often experience difficulties with both oral and written other language skills, such as writing, and pronouncing words and writing. Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life. It is referred to as a learning disability because dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed without phonics-based reading instruction that is unavailable in most public schools.. In its more severe forms, a student with dyslexia may qualify for special education with specially designed instruction, and as appropriate, accommodations. Copied from International Dyslexia Association Dyslexia Research, Education & Advocacy

Dysgraphia is a learning difference that affects writing abilities. It can manifest itself as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper. Because writing requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills, saying a student has dysgraphia is not sufficient. A student with disorders in written expression will benefit from specific accommodations in the learning environment, as well as additional practice learning the skills required to be an accomplished writer. Copied from National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)

Dyscalculia is a brain-based condition that makes it hard to make sense of numbers and math concepts. Some kids with dyscalculia can’t grasp basic number concepts. They work hard to learn and memorize basic number facts. They may know what to do in math class but don’t understand why they’re doing it. In other words, they miss the logic behind it.Other kids understand the logic behind the math but aren’t sure how and when to apply their knowledge to solving problems. Dyscalculia goes by many names. Some public schools refer to it as a “mathematics learning disability.” Doctors sometimes call it a “mathematics disorder.” Many kids and parents call it “math dyslexia.” Copied from

Dyspraxia can affect planning of movements and co-ordination as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body. Individuals with dyspraxia often have language problems, and sometimes a degree of difficulty with thought and perception. Dyspraxia, however, does not affect the person's intelligence, although it can cause learning problems in children. Dyspraxia is also known as Motor Learning Difficulties, Perceptuo-Motor Dysfunction, and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Copied from Medical News Today


Hi, Jess! Thank you for this helpful information.
I studied Exceptional Student Education at Miami Dade College. It enlightened me about what these and some other labels mean. I could easily say I fit into one or more of the "disabilities." I am happy to report that I was raised in a country that does not typically label students. I suspect that if I had grown up hearing these things, I would have welcomed my "inabilities" as normal. Take for example, Daymond John, investor on Shark Tank TV show and CEO of FUBU, comes across as if he is proud to say he is dyslexic although I have never seen obvious signs. Labeling is like a disease--once we are marked, it remains on our medical records until we die, and some of us acknowledge this at each opportunity. Is labeling improving learning? Or should we focus on reaching the child based upon his needs, period? And erase what is not a disease after all.
To date, I have not met one person who could tell me of the learning challenges I faced. I suspect that it has everything to do with who I have become (and little to do with the immovable labels in the collar of my T-shirts). If labeling is the right thing to do, I beg not to be stamped. The "special needs" students I have do not focus on their problems because I find what works for them and treat them like "normal" students.
If labeling works, we should continue along the path. If there is no substantial evidence that it does, we should simply recognize the students' challenges and develop their IEPs, period.


Jess A.

Is your Child Bright, but Struggling in School? Those are my students!

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