Dyspraxia vs. dysgraphia: Both of these can affect fine motor skills and impact writing. But they’re two distinct conditions, even though they can co-occur in some kids. This chart can help you understand the areas where dyspraxia and dysgraphia overlap and where they differ.
|What is it?|
An issue that can impact fine and gross motor skills. Trouble with fine motor skills in particular can affect handwriting. Dyspraxia also typically affects a person’s conception of how their body moves in space.
Kids with dyspraxia can have other learning and thinking differences, such as dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and ADHD, but dyspraxia isn’t the cause for these.
An issue that involves difficulty with the physical act of writing. Kids may find it hard to put thoughts into writing.
Kids with dysgraphia can have other learning differences. The two that co-occur most often with dysgraphia are dyslexia and dyspraxia.
|Signs you may notice|
|Possible emotional and social impact|
Kids with dyspraxia may avoid games and sports that call attention to their physical awkwardness. They may also experience anxiety at a higher rate than other kids, for unknown reasons.
As can happen with any learning difference, kids with dysgraphia may feel frustrated or angry about their challenges. They can also have trouble with self-esteem.
|What can help|
|What families can do at home|
When kids have trouble with writing, a full evaluation can help you know what’s causing it. If they’re having difficulty with other aspects of writing, it could also be a learning difference known as written expression disorder.
Families and teachers can talk to compare what happens at home with what happens in the classroom. Together, come up with a plan to help improve kids’ skills. That may include classroom accommodations for dyspraxia or dysgraphia.
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About the author
About the author
Peg Rosen writes for digital and print, including
Keri Wilmot is an occupational therapist who works with children of varying ages and abilities in all areas of pediatrics.