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Dyslexia vs. dysgraphia – what are the differences?

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Dyslexia vs. dysgraphia - what are the differences? Here is everything you need to know about these two disabilities.

Dyslexia vs. dysgraphia – what are the differences?

What is the difference between dyslexia and dysgraphia? Are these two language processing conditions the same? Do they always occur in pairs? 

The relationship between dyslexia and dysgraphia

While dyslexia and dysgraphia are not the same conditions, they are both neurological conditions and are often connected. As you might know, dyslexia is a learning disability that is characterized by poor spelling, reading, and writing. 

Dysgraphia, on the other hand, means that the person has difficulty writing. But it only refers to writing by hand. This means that these two often come together. A person might have problems with the act of writing and reading at the same time. 

Difference between dyslexia and dysgraphia

Analyzing these two conditions separately can show obvious differences between them. Dyslexia is mostly related to reading, and while it may manifest in other forms, the majority of people struggling with it will have trouble distinguishing letters and words while reading. It is a reading disability.

People with dysgraphia will struggle to write by hand. In the majority of cases, they won’t have any problems using a keyboard. It is the hand motion that requires writing letters on paper that will cause a problem. 

Needless to say, both dyslexia and dysgraphia can have a negative effect on one’s self-esteem.

Signs of dyslexia

Now, if you are wondering if you have dyslexia, there are a couple of common signs that will point to this condition. As with nearly any other condition, the symptoms may vary. There are different degrees of dyslexia, and it doesn’t mean that a person will have all the symptoms and signs

Problems with forming words

One of the major pointers of dyslexia is if someone has problems forming words. They might be a late talker and have issues with learning new words, naming letters, colors, numbers, and others. 

Dyslexia can be diagnosed at an early age, and addressing the problem is crucial as soon as signs are noticed. 

Difficulty reading

Needless to say, one of the biggest tells of dyslexia is difficulty reading. This difficulty will show regardless of age. A person with dyslexia will often have problems reading aloud, spending extra time on each page, and feeling like the entire process is exhausting. 

It is not rare for them to be unable to summarize the story, learn a new language, and even actively avoid any type of activity that involves reading skills. 

Problems spelling

Reading and spelling are connected, and while it is not always the case, people with dyslexia might struggle with writing words. What is interesting is that spelling issues are a particular weakness for both dyslexia and dysgraphia, which is why the person should consult their doctor as soon as possible. 

It won’t be easy determining which of these two conditions (or both) are present, and it will affect the treatment of the condition. 

Signs of dysgraphia

How do you recognize if someone has the writing disorder dysgraphia? Do they just have bad handwriting, or is there something else happening that should be addressed? 

There are a couple of different signs that may point to dysgraphia, and some of them overlap with dyslexia signs. As always, the best course of action would be to consult a specialist that will be able to form a diagnosis and start the treatment. Dysgraphia affects both children and adults. 

Forming letters 

People with dysgraphia will have problems with letter formation. In the majority of cases, letters will be illegible and non-consistent, and the person will spend a lot of time on them. This specifically applies to lowercase letters. 

They will spend a lot of time writing each word (especially cursive), and you can easily spot the difference when you compare them with non-dysgraphic people.  


Illegible handwriting and the spacing of words are inconsistent. It is also not rare to see people inserting random uppercase letters while writing. Furthermore, you will be able to spot both uppercase and lowercase letters used incorrectly. 

Since both reading comprehension and writing require memory and focus, people with dysgraphia will often struggle with grammar. 

Punctuation, spelling, and written assessments

Anything that involves writing will be a problem. This includes both punctuation and spelling. A person with dysgraphia will struggle with writing assignments, and they might not be able to complete them. 

All of these can be clear signs of dysgraphia, and they can be spotted at an early age. 

Other learning disabilities similar to dyslexia

Dyslexia is one of many learning disabilities, and there are many others with similar symptoms. As mentioned earlier, dysgraphia is a writing disorder, but children can also have dyscalculia, dysphasia, dyspraxia, ADHD, autism, and others. 

Dyscalculia is the inability to do math and understand the concept of numbers. Dysphasia refers to difficulties with pronunciation. Additionally, dyspraxia means that a person will have problems with fine motor skills, which can also affect writing skills.

Overcome learning disorders and learning differences with Speechify’s text to speech app

One way to overcome learning differences is by using Speechify. This text to speech app can solve so many problems, especially when it comes to dyslexia. Instead of spending a lot of time on each page, a person can just copy the text and let the app read it for them. 

There are plenty of different customization options, Speechify supports various languages and accents, and the app will work on any type of operating system. In addition, listening to content such as audiobooks is always easier for people with these language disorders, and Speechify also offers a wide range of audiobooks.

Try Speechify text to speech or audiobooks for free today.


What is the difference between dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia?

Dyslexia is a reading disorder, while dysgraphia is a writing disorder. It is not rare for people to have both of these conditions, and there are a few overlapping symptoms (such as issues with spelling). 

What are the 5 types of dysgraphia?

Five types of dysgraphia are dyslexic dysgraphia, motor dysgraphia, spatial dysgraphia, phonological dysgraphia, and lexical dysgraphia. 

How is dysgraphia treated?

The most common treatment for dysgraphia is occupational therapy. Other methods include using tools such as special keyboards and text to speech apps like Speechify.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.