The student who struggles with reading and spelling often puzzles teachers and parents. The student displays ability to learn in the absence of print and receives the same classroom instruction that benefits most children; however, the student continues to struggle with some or all of the many facets of reading and spelling. This student may be a student with dyslexia.
Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003 defines dyslexia and related disorders in the following way: “Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity. “Related disorders” include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability. TEC §38.003(d)(1)-(2) (1995) http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.38.htm#38.003
The International Dyslexia Association defines “dyslexia” in the following way: 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 International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002
Dysgraphia is a term used to describe a learning disability in writing. Students identified with dysgraphia may be eligible to receive special education services for a specific learning disability in written expression. The Dyslexia Handbook (2018) describes dysgraphia as a related disorder to dyslexia and provides the following definition: Dysgraphia is best defined as a neurodevelopmental disorder manifested by illegible and/or inefficient handwriting due to difficulty with letter formation. This difficulty is the result of deficits in graphomotor function (hand movements used for writing) and/or storing and retrieving orthographic codes (letter forms) (Berninger, 2015). Secondary consequences may include problems with spelling and written expression. It is not solely due to lack of instruction and is not associated with other developmental or neurological conditions that involve motor impairment. (p. 59)