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Dysgraphia & Dyscalculia

What is Dysgraphia?


Dysgraphia is a specific learning disability which causes impaired handwriting abilities. This condition does more than cause uneven or illegible penmanship but can cause a person to have poor spatial awareness when they put pen to paper. 


What is Dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability which causes poor comprehension of mathematical symbols and numbers. This makes it difficult for children to differentiate between quantities and the concepts of "more or less" of something. Dyscalculia is also a lifelong condition, and many persons with it have an overlap of symptoms with dyslexia and dysgraphia.

What causes them?

Scientists are still trying to identify the exact source of these Specific Learning Disabilities, but what they have identified is that persons who have a family history of these conditions have a higher likelihood of seeing them develop. The estimated number of students with dysgraphia is 4%, whereas the number for dyscalculia is estimated to be slightly higher at 5-7%.

What are they not?

Neither of these conditions are problems with someone's vision. Although scientists have not pinpointed the exact cause(s), they agree that it is caused by a neurological condition; a different wiring of the brain.


Being diagnosed with these conditions is not indicative of reasoning abilities or knowledge. In the same vein, it also does not mean that someone is mentally retarded, or as it's popularly termed in the Caribbean, 'slow'.

Signs & Symptoms

Common indicators of dysgraphia include.

  • Issues forming letters on paper.

  • Trouble spelling short words.

  • Awkward or painful grip of writing instruments.

  • Trouble writing in a straight line.

  • Copying other text is slow and appears painful.

  • Difficulty organizing thoughts onto paper, but not when typed.

Common indicators of dyscalculia include.

  • Has trouble learning count, and skips over numbers long after kids the same age can remember them.

  • Issues understanding the concepts of more and less.

  • Trouble recognizing quantities.

  • May still use their fingers to count.

  • Struggles to keep score without writing down.

  • Trouble making estimates and budgeting with money.

The effects of both dysgraphia and dyscalculia can be reduced with the use of technology for creating and presenting documents as opposed to written text. At Spark Learning we have tutors who follow the Orton-Gillingham model of teaching, where we integrate technology & special ways of presenting information to make sure that it sticks.

If you're interested in registering for our one-on-one or group classes, please visit our Tutoring page.


If you or someone you know are experiencing the symptoms above, take our online preliminary diagnosis, or schedule an appointment.

Contact An Expert


Natasha Gray

Natasha Gray, Founder of Spark Learning, is an Educational Consultant who specializes in Learning Disabilities (LD).

Schedule An Appointment

Screen Early Children can be screened from as early as 5 years old to determine their risk of having dyslexia. N.B. This test is not a diagnosis for dyslexia. It will i...
Dyslexia Screening
45 min

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