What is the Difference between Dyslexia and Dysgraphia?

Dyslexia is a reading disorder characterized by an inability to make proper speech sounds of letters, numbers and words. The ability to identify speech sounds is called word decoding. That is not the only symptoms with Dyslexia, please see our other pages on Dyslexia to learn more: https://hmlfunctionalcare.com/testing-kids-for-dyslexia/ https://hmlfunctionalcare.com/dyslexia-and-other-learning-disabilities-ld/ Dysgraphia is a learning disability characterized by poor handwriting, spelling, and grammar. This individual has a hard time putting pen to paper. And this isn’t your typical “writer’s block” or lacking in creativity. 

So, what’s the difference? Of course, at HML we think about the neurology. It’s the only way we can explain the differences. What areas of the brain are involved in these conditions? Thought you’d never ask, the following are generalities, just keep that in mind. See our research page for a plethora of downloadable PDFs or links to articles.  https://hmlfunctionalcare.com/research/ Some of the best imaging research shows that the best biological marker for dyslexia for example is the right cerebellum. What you need to know there is that the right cerebellum is what talks to the left brain. Now let’s get more specific!    

Reading involves the right cerebellum, and posterior portion of the left brain, an area called the parietal-temporal-occipital junction (back left corner of your head). And writing involves the right cerebellum and left prefrontal cortex (front left corner of your head). So, if we had a functional MRI, or tractography studies we would see insufficient activity in the right cerebellum and the left PTO for patients with dyslexia. And the right cerebellum and left prefrontal cortex for patients with dysgraphia. 

These are two disorders that are often times diagnosed with each other. And in our opinion that is because the brain develops from the bottom up, inside to outside, and right to left. Therefore, if an individual has dyslexia and that involves the back of the left brain and the back of the left brain fires forward to the left prefrontal cortex to help develop that… That is why a child (or adult) with dyslexia can have dysgraphia. 

Traditional treatments for dyslexia involve tutoring, reading programs and occupational therapy. Treatments for dysgraphia involve occupational therapy primarily. Now doing these treatments does work. However, it may get you only so far, or not work at all. Why? The main factor is how severe is the dyslexia or dysgraphia? Where our minds go at HML is, how many networks in the brain are involved? If its mild, traditional treatments can get you very far. If its severe, it may only get you so far, if at all. And that is because if the conditions are severe that means there is quite the developmental delay in the networks (brain areas) involved. And that is where Functional Neurology is very helpful because we stimulate those areas of the brain with appropriate motor, oculomotor, vestibular, proprioceptive and sensory input therapy to decrease or eliminate the developmental delay.

Want to learn more? Contact us today to see how we can help!