Dyslexia-dysorthographia is a learning disability specific to written language (reading and spelling) and dyscalculia is a learning disability specific to numeracy.
Dyslexia-dysorthographia affects 5 to 10% of school-aged children. This neurodevelopmental disorder (abnormalities in brain development) is more common in boys than in girls. Dyslexia-dysorthographia is most often seen in the first cycle of primary school where learning written language (reading and spelling) is much more difficult for these children. Thus, reading is slow and laborious, with many errors made and comprehension of texts is often affected. In writing, words are misspelled and many grammatical errors persist. These children therefore experience academic difficulties that are often not exclusive to French, as written language is required in other subjects (math, science, ethics and culture, etc.). In addition, approximately 60% of these children have an associated disorder (cognitive: language disorder, coordination acquisition disorder, attention deficit, dyscalculia / psychoaffective: oppositional disorder, anxiety-depression disorders), which can complicate the management of their problems. These children are also more at risk for secondary problems (low self-esteem, school dropout, behavioral problems), especially if no measures/interventions are put in place to help them. Dyslexia-dysorthographia is a disorder for which speech therapy or remedial education is beneficial and many adaptive measures can be allowed in the classroom to allow the child to succeed to his/her potential.
Dyscalculia affects 3 to 6.5% of school-aged children, with a higher prevalence in boys. It is also a neurodevelopmental disorder, which is described as, " a set of problems characterized by difficulties in processing numerical data, learning arithmetic facts, and performing accurate and fluent calculations " (APA, 2013). The child's academic skills in these areas are significantly below what is expected for the age, which interferes significantly with his or her academic functioning. Thus, the child with dyscalculia often fails in mathematics, having difficulty manipulating numbers (counting, reading/writing, transcribing), acquiring number sense (counting, comparing, estimating, principles of seriation, conservation, and quantification), and performing computations (written and mental). Dyscalculia is frequently accompanied by other disorders (attention deficit, language disorders, visuospatial disorders, executive deficits, etc.), which must also be considered in the management of the child.
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