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Disorder of Written Expression

A disorder resulting from problems in poor writing skills. Students with written expression disorder have a problem with their writing skills. Their writing skills are significantly below what is normal considering the student’s age, intelligence, and education. The poor writing skills cause problems with the student's academic success or other important areas of life.

As measured by functional assessment or by a standardized test that is given individually, the
      patient's writing ability is substantially less than you would expect considering age, intelligence
     and education.

The difficulty with writing grammatically correct sentences and organized paragraphs materially
     impedes academic achievement or daily living.

If there is also a sensory defect, the writing deficiency is worse than you would expect with it.

Associated Features:

* Low self-esteem
* Social problems
* Increased dropout rate at school

Differential Diagnosis 

Some disorders have similar or even the same symptoms. The clinician, therefore, in his/her diagnostic attempt has to differentiate against the following disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.

* Conduct disorder
* Attention deficit disorder
* Depression
* Other learning disorders


Three to 10% of school age children have some degree of this disorder. Children that have disorder of written expression have trouble in spelling, errors in punctuation, errors in grammar, and poor handwriting. These abilities are generally critical for success in school and college. This disorder appears by itself or in conjunction with other learning disabilities. Other disabilities linked with the disorder of written expression are: reading disorder, expressive language disorder, mathematics disorder and developmental coordination disorder.


Although educators attempt to intervene, there is no proven effective treatment for the disorder of written expression.

Educational Psychology [ See Educational Psychology Section ]:

Emphasis on the remedial teaching of writing and a heavy emphasis on student practice of writing may be helpful.

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