Disorder of written expression

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

  • Alternative Names
    • Written expression disorder; Dysgraphia; Specific learning disorder with impairment in written expression

  • Causes
  • Symptoms
    • Symptoms may include:

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

  • Outlook (Prognosis)
    • The degree of recovery depends on the severity of the disorder. Marked improvement is often seen after treatment.

  • Possible Complications
    • Complications that may occur include:

      • Learning problems
      • Low self-esteem
      • Problems with socializing
  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • Parents who are concerned about their child's writing 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
    • Katusic SK, Colligan RC, Weaver AL, Barbaresi WJ, eds. The Forgotten Learning Disability: Epidemiology of Written-Language Disorder in a Population-Based Birth Cohort (1976-1982). Pediatrics. May 2009; 123:5 1306-1313.

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