• Visit us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on instagram
We have changed our name! Kids on the Spectrum is now called Living on the Spectrum

What is Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia?

The three Ds. It almost seems ironic that three brain-based conditions that all entail difficulty in writing, comprehension, and math have such complicated names and all start with D. Because of this irony It does indeed seem like a joke to be honest. But we are all about simplicity, so we break down all three conditions.


Dyslexia is a brain-based condition. Individuals with dyslexia have trouble matching the letters they see on the page with the sounds those letters and combinations of letters make.

Dyslexic children and adults struggle to read fluently and spell words correctly. These difficulties have no connection to the overall intelligence of an individual. While people with dyslexia are slow readers, they are often very fast and creative thinkers. And can have strong reasoning abilities.

Dyslexia signs and characteristics.

  • Delay in talking.
  • Learning new words slowly.
  • Problems forming words correctly, such as reversing sounds in words or confusing words that sound alike.
  • Problems remembering or naming letters, numbers, and colours.
  • Difficulty learning nursery rhymes or playing rhyming games.


Dysgraphia is a specific learning disorder featuring difficulties with language, (regardless of reading ability), including the inability to; produce legible, meaningful, structured writing; express ideas clearly; and spell accurately. Quite surprisingly, there are two types of dysgraphia: motor-based and language-based.

Motor-based dysgraphia sufferers experience difficulties with fine motor skills that affect their handwriting. Some signs of this type of dysgraphia include:

  • Writing unclear, irregular, inconsistent letters which may have different slants, shapes, a mixture of upper and lower case letters, and a mixture of print and cursive
  • Frequently erasing their work or missing letters
  • Copying and writing slowly, especially when copying from the board
  • Having an awkward or cramped grip or unusual wrist, body or paper position when writing which sometimes results in a tired or sore hand
  • Having poor spatial planning (difficulty spacing things out on paper)

Language-based dysgraphia is where sufferers have issues changing the sounds of a language into a written form. Some signs of this type include:

  • Experiencing troubles with sentence structure when writing but not when speaking.
  • Having difficulty organising sentences and ideas on paper and keeping track of thoughts.
  • Displaying a wide gap between spoken and written comprehension of a topic.
  • Having issues with writing and thinking simultaneously.
  • Having difficulties with creative writing tasks.


Dyscalculia refers to a wide range of math difficulties, including weaknesses in understanding the meaning of numbers and difficulty applying mathematical principles to solve problems. Interestingly, this condition is rarely identified early.

Dyscalculia signs and characteristics.

  • Not knowing which of two digits is larger, i.e. understanding the magnitude and relationship of numbers
  • Lacking effective counting strategies
  • Poor fluency in the identification of numbers
  • Inability to add simple single-digit numbers mentally
  • Limitations in working memory capacity

Download our Media kit