27 May Brain differences seen in children with dyslexia and dysgraphia
Researchers at the University of Washington presented findings that suggested that providing the same sort of special educational support for students with dyslexia and students with dysgraphia may not be effective. Data they collected identifies “structural white matter and functional gray matter differences in the brain between children with dyslexia and dysgraphia, and between those children and typical language learners.”
This particular study involved 40 children in grades 4 to 9. Seventeen of the children were diagnosed with dyslexia and 14 were diagnosed with dysgraphia. The study also included nine typical language learners. The children were given a fiber-optic pen that recorded their writing and measured their brain functioning with an fMRI, or functional magnetic resonance imaging. The students were asked to perform several tasked that involved alphabetic sequencing, text planning in addition to a period of rest without any specific task..
Results showed that the two specific learning disabilities are not the same because the white matter connections and patterns and number of gray matter functional connections were not the same in the children with dyslexia and dysgraphia — on either the writing or cognitive thinking tasks.
Current federal law treats dyslexia and dysgraphia under one general learning disabilities category, and many schools do not recognize the differences between them or offer specialized instruction for either diagnosis.
Read more about the study here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150428141919.htm