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Disorder of written expression

Definition

Disorder of written expression is a childhood condition which involves poor writing skills.

Alternative Names

Written expression disorder

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Although no body-wide (systemic) studies have been conducted to determine how common this disorder is, it is thought to be about as common as learning and reading disorders.

This disorder appears by itself or along with other learning disabilities such as:

Symptoms

  • Errors in grammar and punctuation
  • Poor handwriting
  • Poor spelling

Signs and tests

Other causes of learning disabilities must be ruled out before the diagnosis can be confirmed.

Treatment

Remedial education is the best approach to this type of disorder.

Expectations (prognosis)

The degree of recovery depends on the severity of the disorder. Marked improvement is often seen after treatment.

Complications

  • Learning problems
  • Low self-esteem
  • Problems with socializing

Calling your health care provider

Parents who are concerned about their child's language ability should have the child tested by educational professionals.

Prevention

Learning disorders often run in families. Affected or potentially affected families should make every effort to recognize problems early. Intervention can begin as early as preschool or kindergarten.

References

Kelly DP. Patterns of development and function in the school-aged child. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 30.


Review Date: 10/18/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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