Dyslexia is a learning difficulty which affects the ability to adopt the automatic reflexes needed to read and write. Several studies have sought to identify the source of the problems encountered by individuals with dyslexia when they read. Little attention, however, has been paid to the mechanisms involved in writing. Sonia Kandel, Professor at the GIPSA-Lab of the Université Grenoble Alpes and her team decided to look at the purely motor aspects of writing in children diagnosed with dyslexia.
A series of studies conducted at the GIPSA-Lab in Grenoble revealed that handwriting is not a simple manual process. Researchers especially focused on the relationship between learning how to spell and the physical writing process. For example, they observed that the gestures involved in writing M-O-N are easier to execute in a word that is pronounced as it is spelled, (e.g. “montagne”) than in a word that is orthographically irregular (e.g. “monsieur”).
Dyslexia and Spelling
Image © Sonia Kandel, GIPSA-Lab (CNRS/Université Grenoble Alpes/Grenoble INP).
Above: the word “cuvette” written by a child with dyslexia. The child had serious difficulties with the double “t” in this word. Black lines show what the child actually wrote on the page; grey lines, recorded by the tablet, show in-air movements when the child paused. Blue squares indicate that the child lifted his or her head to look at the spelling of the word on the computer screen.
To provide effective support to dyslexic children, this research suggests that precise diagnosis is needed, along with a treatment protocol that combines spelling and motor aspects.
This research shows the importance of fluent handwriting. When children cannot quickly and accurately write letters, they also have problems with spelling and written language. StepUp programs use daily practice, with both air writing and workbook writing, to help children develop the skills and the fluency they need in order to use handwriting as a tool for learning. StepUp's cloud-based programs enrich any PreK - Grade 2 curriculum. Try it free for 30 days!
Note by Nancy W Rowe, M.S., CCC/A
Article reposted from The French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)