Special Education

The Forgotten Learning Disability

By Christina A. Samuels — May 12, 2009 1 min read

Just as many children may have trouble writing words as reading them, according a study in the May 2009 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The authors titled their paper “The Forgotten Learning Disability” because they say there have been no epidemiological studies of how frequently writing disorders occur. According to their work, the prevalence of writing disorders ranged from about 7 percent to 14 percent in the group of children they studied, depending on what formula the researchers used.

Boys were two to three more times likely to be affected than girls. And there was a lot of overlap with reading disabilities, though interestingly, about 25 percent of the affected children didn’t have an additional reading disorder.

The full study is available for purchase here. A short news article on the subject is here.

I’m aware of any number of lesson plans that are created to treat children with dyslexia. Is writing usually a part of the practice? There’s such a large overlap between the two groups that it seems worthwhile to address both issues in tandem.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.