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Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, & Dyscalculia Resources

RIDE is highlighting supports and resources of prominence regarding dyslexia and related disorders to help educators and families work together to better support students who struggle with reading, writing, and math.

Struggling readers may demonstrate signs of Dyslexia, a common language-based learning disability. The International Dyslexia Association believes that approximately “15-20 percent of the population as a whole—have some of the symptoms of dyslexia, including slow or inaccurate reading, poor spelling, poor writing, or mixing up similar words.” The impact of dyslexia for students varies. “Not all [students] will qualify for special education, but they are likely to struggle with many aspects of academic learning and are likely to benefit from systematic, explicit, instruction in reading, writing and language. (IDA, 2012)”

Excerpt from Rhode Island Comprehensive Literacy Guidance, page 127.

Rhode Island has adopted the International Dyslexia Association’s definition of dyslexia (https://dyslexiaida.org/definition-of-dyslexia/):

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. Adopted by the IDA Board of Directions, Nov. 12, 2002. 

To find out more about what dyslexia is, what causes dyslexia, and how dyslexia is diagnosed, refer to the module below:

There are many common assessments (e.g., WIAT, CTOPP) to evaluate students for language-based learning differences. If you would like to learn more about these assessments, what they measure, and what their scores mean, watch this presentation to deepen your understanding.

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLB), “Dysgraphia is the medical term used to describe a learning disability in writing. Dysgraphia affects a child’s visual-spatial processing, fine motor skills, and language processing skills.” Dysgraphia can interfere with spelling, speed of writing, and writing words on a page in an organized manner. The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) explains that that dysgraphia stems from a weakness in the ability to “store written words in working memory while the letters in the word are analyzed, or the ability to create permanent memory of written words linked to their pronunciation and meaning.” Moats & Tolman (2018) state that dysgraphia occurs when there is a “breakdown in the communication pathways between the mind’s image of a letter and the hand’s ability to produce that letter in written form.”

Dyscalculia is defined as a failure to achieve in mathematics commensurate with chronological age, normal intelligence, and adequate instruction. It is marked by difficulties with visualization; visual-spatial perception, processing and discrimination; counting; pattern recognition; sequential memory; working-memory for numbers; retrieval of learned facts and procedures; directional confusion; quantitative processing speed; kinesthetic sequences; and perception of time.

Terms for Dyscalculia

  • Specific Learning Disability / Disorder in Mathematics (SLD-Math)
  • Math Learning Disability / Disorder (MLD)
  • Developmental Dyscalculia (DD)
  • Acalculia
  • Gerstmann's Syndrome
  • Math Dyslexia or Dyslexia in Math
  • Math Anxiety
  • Numerical Impairment
  • Number Agnosia
  • Nonverbal Learning Disorder / Disability (NLD)