Dysgraphia is a partial disorder of the writing process associated with insufficient formation (or decay) of mental functions involved in the implementation and control of written speech. Dysgraphia is manifested by persistent, typical and repetitive mistakes in writing, which do not disappear on their own, without targeted training. Diagnosis of dysgraphia includes analysis of written works, examination of oral and written speech using a special technique. Correctional work to overcome dysgraphia requires the elimination of violations of sound pronunciation, the development of phonemic processes, vocabulary, grammar, coherent speech, and non-speech functions. Dysgraphia symptoms reasons and classification
Dysgraphia – specific writing deficiencies caused by a violation of the HMF involved in the process of writing. According to research, dysgraphia is detected in 53% of second grade students and 37-39% of middle school students, which indicates the stability of this form of speech impairment. The high prevalence of dysgraphia among schoolchildren is associated with the fact that about half of kindergarten graduates enter the first grade with FFN or ONR , in the presence of which the process of full-fledged literacy is impossible.
According to the severity of disorders of the writing process in Russian speech therapy , dysgraphia and agraphia are distinguished . In dysgraphia, writing is distorted but continues to function as a means of communication. Agraphia is characterized by the primary inability to master the skills of writing, their complete loss. Since writing and reading are inextricably linked, impaired writing (dysgraphia, agraphia) is usually accompanied by reading impairments ( dyslexia , alexia). Dysgraphia symptoms reasons and classification
Mastering the writing process is closely related to the degree of formation of all aspects of oral speech: sound pronunciation, phonemic perception, lexical and grammatical side of speech, coherent speech. Therefore, the development of dysgraphia may be based on the same organic and functional causes that cause dyslalia , alalia , dysarthria , aphasia , and delayed speech development ( RAD ).
- Organic reasons. The subsequent appearance of dysgraphia can lead to underdevelopment or damage to the brain in the prenatal, natal, postnatal periods: pathology of pregnancy, birth trauma , asphyxia , meningitis and encephalitis , infections and severe somatic diseases that cause depletion of the child’s nervous system.
- Socio-psychological factors. They include bilingualism ( bilingualism ) in the family, indistinct or incorrect speech of others, lack of speech contacts, inattention to the child’s speech on the part of adults, unjustifiably early teaching of the child to read and write in the absence of psychological readiness.
The risk group for the onset of dysgraphia is made up of children with constitutional predisposition, various speech disorders, and cerebrovascular accidents . Traumatic brain injuries , strokes , brain tumors , neurosurgical interventions most often lead to dysgraphia or agraphia in adults .
Writing is a complex multi-level process, in the implementation of which various analyzers are involved: speech-motor, speech-auditory, visual, motor, carrying out consecutive translation of an article into a phoneme, a phoneme into a grapheme, and a grapheme into a kineme. The key to successful mastering of writing is a fairly high level of development of oral speech. However, unlike spoken language, written language can only develop with targeted learning.
In accordance with modern concepts, the pathogenesis of dysgraphia in children is associated with the untimely formation of the process of lateralization of the functions of the brain, including the establishment of a dominant cerebral hemisphere in controlling speech functions. Normally, these processes should be completed by the beginning of schooling. If lateralization is delayed and the child has latent left-handedness, cortical control over the writing process is impaired. With dysgraphia, there is a lack of formation of HMF (perception, memory, thinking), emotional-volitional sphere, visual analysis and synthesis, optical-spatial representations, phonemic processes, syllabic analysis and synthesis, lexical and grammatical side of speech.
From the point of view of psycholinguistics, the mechanisms of dysgrphia are considered as a violation of the operations of generating a written statement: intention and internal programming, lexical and grammatical structuring, dividing a sentence into words, phonemic analysis, correlating a phoneme with a grapheme, motor implementation of writing under visual and kinesthetic control.
Depending on the lack of formation or violation of a particular writing operation, 5 forms of dysgraphia are distinguished:
- articulatory-acoustic dysgraphia associated with impaired articulation, sound pronunciation and phonemic perception;
- acoustic dysgraphia associated with impaired phonemic recognition;
- dysgraphia due to the lack of formation of language analysis and synthesis;
- agrammatic dysgraphia associated with the underdevelopment of the lexical and grammatical side of speech;
- optical dysgraphia associated with the lack of formation of visual-spatial representations.
Along with “pure” forms of dysgraphia, mixed forms are encountered in speech therapy practice. The modern classification highlights:
I. Specific letter violations:
- Dysphonological dysgraphias (paralalic, phonemic).
- Metalinguistic dysgraphia (dyspraxic or motor, dysgraphia due to impaired language operations).
2. Dysorphography :
- Morphological dysorphography.
- Syntactic dysorphographs.
II. Nonspecific writing disorders associated with pedagogical neglect , CRA, UO, etc.
Signs that characterize dysgraphia include typical and persistent writing errors that are not associated with ignorance of the rules and norms of the language. Typical errors encountered in various types of dysgraphia can manifest themselves:
- mixing and replacing graphically similar handwritten letters (w-w, t-w, v-d, m-l) or phonetically similar sounds in writing (b – p, d – t, g – k, w-w);
- distortion of the alphanumeric structure of the word (omissions, permutations, the addition of letters and syllables);
- violation of the fusion and separation of the spelling of words;
- grammatics in writing (violation of inflection and agreement of words in a sentence).
In addition, with dysgraphia, children write slowly, their handwriting is usually difficult to distinguish. There may be fluctuations in the height and inclination of letters, slipping off the line, replacing uppercase letters with lowercase letters, and vice versa. It is possible to speak about the presence of dysgraphia only after the child has mastered the writing technique, that is, not earlier than 8–8.5 years of age.
Quite often, dysgraphia reveals non-verbal symptoms: neurological disorders, decreased performance, distraction, hyperactivity , decreased memory, etc. Dysgraphia symptoms reasons and classification
In the case of articulatory-acoustic dysgraphia, specific writing errors are associated with incorrect sound pronunciation (both pronounces and writes). In this case, replacements and omissions of letters in writing repeat the corresponding sound errors in oral speech. Articulatory-acoustic dysgraphia occurs in polymorphic dyslalia, rhinolalia , dysarthria (i.e., in children with phonetic-phonemic speech underdevelopment).
With acoustic dysgraphia, sound pronunciation is not impaired, however, phonemic perception is not sufficiently formed. Errors in writing are in the nature of replacing letters corresponding to phonetically similar sounds (sibilants – hissing, voiced – voiceless and vice versa, the affricate – their components).
Dysgraphia on the basis of a violation of language analysis and synthesis
It is characterized by a violation of the division of words into syllables, and sentences into words. In this form of dysgraphia, the student skips, repeats or rearranges letters and syllables; writes extra letters in a word or does not add the endings of words; writes words with prepositions together, and separately with prefixes. Dysgraphia on the basis of a violation of language analysis and synthesis occurs most often among schoolchildren.
Differs in multiple agrammatisms in writing: incorrect change of words in cases, gender and numbers; violation of the agreement of words in a sentence; violation of prepositional structures (incorrect sequence of words, omissions of sentence members, etc.). Agrammatic dysgraphia usually accompanies a general speech underdevelopment caused by alalia, dysarthria.
In optical dysgraphia, graphically similar letters are replaced or mixed in writing. If recognition and reproduction of isolated letters is impaired, one speaks of literal optical dysgraphia; if the outline of letters in a word is violated, about verbal optical dysgraphia. Typical mistakes encountered in optical dysgraphia include underspecifying or adding elements of letters (“l” instead of “m”; “x” instead of “z” and vice versa), mirror spelling of letters. Dysgraphia symptoms reasons and classification
To identify the organic causes of dysgraphia, as well as to exclude visual and hearing defects that can lead to writing disorders, consultations of a neurologist ( pediatric neurologist ), ophthalmologist ( pediatric ophthalmologist ), otolaryngologist ( pediatric ENT ) are required . Examination of the level of speech function formation is carried out by a speech therapist .
The tasks of diagnosing written speech are to differentiate dysgraphia with an elementary ignorance of the spelling rules, as well as to determine its form. Examination for dysgraphia is carried out in several stages:
- the study and analysis of written works is carried out;
- the general and speech development of the child is carefully studied to clarify the possible causes of dysgraphia;
- attention is drawn to the state of the central nervous system, vision, hearing;
- the structure of the articulatory apparatus, speech and manual motor skills are investigated, the leading hand is determined;
- the state of sound pronunciation, phonemic analysis and synthesis is assessed; auditory differentiation of sounds; syllabic structure of the word; features of vocabulary and grammatical structure of speech.
Only after a comprehensive study of the formation of oral speech do they move on to the examination of written speech: a child or an adult with dysgraphia is given tasks for copying printed and handwritten text, writing under dictation, drawing up a description from a picture, reading syllables, words, texts, etc. Based on the analysis typical errors reflected in the speech examination protocol, a speech therapy conclusion is made.
Speech therapy work on the correction of dysgraphia is built taking into account the mechanisms and forms of impairment of written speech. General approaches to overcoming dysgraphia involve filling gaps in sound pronunciation and phonemic processes; enrichment of the vocabulary and the formation of the grammatical aspect of speech; the development of coherent speech. Dysgraphia symptoms reasons and classification
The development of analytical and synthetic activity, auditory and spatial perception, memory, thinking, and the motor sphere is of great importance in the structure of speech therapy classes for the correction of dysgraphia. The acquired speaking skills are consolidated with the help of written exercises.
For the underlying disease, persons with dysgraphia and agraphia may be prescribed courses of drug therapy and rehabilitation treatment (physiotherapy, massage, exercise therapy, hydrotherapy ).