Learning Disabilities in Writing
In Virginia, a writing disability is recognized as one of the conditions under the category of Specific Learning Disability (SLD). According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) and the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Students with Disabilities in Virginia (“the Virginia Regulations”) at 8VAC-20-81-10, Specific Learning Disability is an umbrella term used to describe:
“a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual abilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.”
A writing disability is often referred to as dysgraphia. Dysgraphia is defined in the following manner:
According to the International Dyslexia Association, dysgraphia is the condition of impaired letter writing by hand, that is, disabled handwriting. Impaired handwriting can interfere with learning to spell words in writing and speed of writing text. Children with dysgraphia may have only impaired handwriting, only impaired spelling (without reading problems), or both impaired handwriting and impaired spelling.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders defines dysgraphia as a neurological disorder characterized by writing disabilities. Specifically, the disorder causes a person's writing to be distorted or incorrect. In children, the disorder generally emerges when they are first introduced to writing. They make inappropriately sized and spaced letters, or write wrong or misspelled words, despite thorough instruction.
- Virginia's Guidelines for Educating Students with Specific Learning Disabilities-This is a PDF document. Also available as Accessible Word Document-This is a Word document. – A resource for teachers and administrators as they address the educational needs of students with a Specific Learning Disability (SLD). These guidelines offer an overview of best practices for educating individuals with SLD. Parents of children with SLD may find this document useful as well.
- Accessible Instructional Materials – Virginia (AIM-VA) – Accessible Instructional Materials of Virginia provides accessible instructional materials at no cost to Virginia students with Individualized Education Programs (IEP) who qualify for the service.
- Virginia Depart of Education’s Assistive Technology resources: What is Assistive Technology?-This is a PDF document. and Assistive Technology: A Framework for Consideration and Assessment-This is a PDF document.
- International Dyslexia Association’s fact sheet – Understanding Dysgraphia
- LD online resources- What is dysgraphia? and Strategies for Dealing with Dysgraphia –
- Dysgraphia-Learning Disabilities Association of America
- National Center of Learning Disabilities works every day to improve these outcomes and ensure that individuals with learning and attention issues have the supports, protections, and opportunities they need to succeed.
- Understood - Dysgraphia resources for parents and educators