Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia Testing

Specific learning disorders in reading, writing and mathematics (otherwise also known as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia respectively) are indicative of particular learning challenges that children and adults may face.

Early intervention for learning disorders can be helpful in teaching strategies to cope and alternative learning methods to compensate and, also identifying exam accommodations to provide an equal opportunity for successful performance.

What is Dyslexia?

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).

Individuals with dyslexia experience difficulties with reading accuracy, rate, written expression and comprehension that is consistent with the pattern of their cognitive strengths and weaknesses. They are likely to struggle with phonological processing (hearing and manipulating the separate sounds within words) and processing visual information (understanding and navigating written symbols).

There are different types of dyslexia. They are: Phonological Dyslexia (75% of people with dyslexia have difficulty coming up with identifying the individual sounds that make up a word), Surface Dyslexia (tendency to take longer to process language beyond the decoding stage and Visual Dyslexia (impacts on visual processing, meaning the brain does not receive the full picture of what the eyes are seeing).

Symptoms of Dyslexia

  • Struggle with learning the relationship between letters and sounds
  • Frequently misread/misspell common words
  • Often forget instructions
  • Often substitute words that looks 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?

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.

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.

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 organizing thoughts on paper
  • Have trouble copying information

What is Dyscalculia?

Individuals with Dyscalculia struggle with these basic ‘building blocks’ of numbers, making it hard for them to move on to more advanced mathematics. Difficulty with math can also happen at all levels. It can be as hard to learn addition as it is to learn algebra. Basic concepts like quantities can also be a challenge.

Dyscalculia refers to a specific maths learning disability that is not consistent with their cognitive ability, age and education.

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

People do not outgrow learning challenges. Children who have these challenges may continue to struggle with it as adults.

Psychologists at Psych Connect are trained and experienced in assessing for learning disorders and identifying key targets for treatment

Meanwhile, our Educational Therapists are experienced in developing and implementing intervention programs for children with learning disorders, such as, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia. Our educational therapists are equipped to use intervention programs such as Orton-Gillingham, Lindamood Bell and, Alpha to Omega (The Hornsby Course in Dyslexia and Literacy). Our therapists also work together with other professionals (e.g. school personnel, occupational therapists and speech therapists) to make treatment as comprehensive as possible.