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Writing Disorder May Be Common Among Kids
Date:5/5/2009

iversity, said the findings may not offer a complete picture of the problem. The study relied partly on diagnoses by school employees and others, and they can often miss learning disabilities in girls, she said.

"One hypothesis for this is because boys tend to have more acting out behavioral problems than girls do, and thus draw more attention in the assessment process," Harris said.

She also noted that the study was limited because it looked at one city with a largely white, middle-class population.

Katusic said that tutoring can help children learn how to write but that adults need to realize that writing is just as important as reading and math skills.

Michael Siegal, a learning disorder specialist, said that more research needs to be done to place written-language disorder in the large picture of learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.

More awareness of the condition "might focus the attention of parents and teachers on underlying language disorders that have to do with recognizing patterns in how words are spelled and how these are articulated in speech to improve written composition and punctuation," said Siegal, a psychology professor at the University of Trieste in Italy.

More information

The Learning Disabilities Association of America has more on learning disabilities.



SOURCES: Slavica K. Katusic, M.D., epidemiologist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Michael Siegal, professor and Marie Curie chair in psychology, University of Trieste, Italy; Karen R. Harris, Ed.D., professor, special education and literacy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.; May 2009 Pediatrics


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