Agrammatic dysgraphy is repeated mistakes in writing caused by the underdevelopment of the grammatical structure of the language. It is characterized by incorrect word formation, inflection by gender, cases, numbers, violation of the coordination and control of words in a sentence, inaccuracy of expression of thoughts, insufficient coherence of presentation. Agrammatic dysgraphy is detected by the results of an examination of oral speech, analysis of written works. Areas of correctional work include the expansion of lexical stock, the formation of grammatical categories, the development of coherent utterance.
F81.1 Specific spelling disorder
Agrammatic dysgraphy occurs in children with general underdevelopment of speech, intellectual insufficiency. According to research in the field of speech therapy, about half of older preschoolers have prerequisites for the development of dysgraphy. However, in its pure form, agrammatic dysgraphy is rarely diagnosed during school years. Among second graders, this form of writing violation is detected in 5.6% of cases. It begins to manifest itself especially vividly from the 3rd grade, when there is a transition from the phonetic to the morphemic principle of writing.
The disorder is based on perinatal, early postnatal damage or functional immaturity of the areas of the brain responsible for oral speech and the implementation of writing. This leads to a depleted lexical stock, the lack of formation of the grammatical system of the native language. Agrammatic dysgraphy is observed in children with alalia, dysarthria, mental retardation. A separate group is bilingual children.
Children threatened by the development of agrammatic dysgraphy in the preschool period are often registered with a pediatric neurologist for a residual organic brain lesion of perinatal genesis. Often they are diagnosed with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, insufficient development of fine motor skills, school immaturity.
The prerequisites for a violation of writing arise and can be noticed in a child long before the start of school. Risk factors for the appearance of agrammatic dysgraphy are:
- minimal brain dysfunction;
- organic brain damage;
- multilingualism in the family;
- pedagogical neglect;
- disorders of memory, attention, cognitive activity;
- hidden leftism.
Modern ideas about the mechanism of agrammatic dysgraphy associate it with the underdevelopment of the lexical, morphological and syntactic system of the language. Grammatical errors – agrammatism – occur at the level of a word, sentence, or coherent text. The child lacks the skills of word formation and inflection, ideas about syntactic connections between the structural components of the sentence are not formed, the operations of text formation are violated.
The psycholinguistic theory of pathogenesis considers agrammatic dysgraphy as a consequence of a violation of internal programming and grammatical design of a speech utterance. The neuropsychological approach explains the disorder of writing from the perspective of a violation of the cerebral organization of speech activity: control and regulation of writing (frontal lobes), distinguishing grammatical forms by ear (temporal lobes), composing and understanding logical-grammatical constructions (parietal-occipital lobes).
Grammatical errors can be made in words, sentences, and the narrative as a whole. Depending on this , agrammatism is divided into three groups:
- morphological (expressive) – consist in the incorrect case declension of words, the use of prepositions;
- syntactic – expressed in the omission of the main and secondary members of the sentence, the wrong order of words within the sentence, the difficulties of composing complex sentences;
- agrammatism in coherent speech is manifested by an indistinct transmission of the idea, violation of the sequence of sentences in the text, illogicality of the narrative.
Symptoms of agrammatic dysgraphy
The precursors of this type of dysgraphy are multiple agrammatism in oral speech. The child incorrectly uses numbers, cases, prepositions, finds it difficult to tell a coherent story or retelling. Similar shortcomings are noted on the letter.
At the dictionary level, agrammatic dysgraphy is expressed in the incorrect spelling of endings with inflection by gender and numbers, declension by case. Errors of prepositional management, noun and adjective matching are revealed. Prepositions are incorrectly used, prefixes are replaced, suffixes.
At the level of the proposal, difficulties arise in constructing complex structures. The main sentence is reversed with the subordinate clause, sometimes omitted altogether or shortened. Logical and semantic sequences of presentation are violated in a coherent text. Agrammatic dysgraphy is more evident when writing independently than when writing auditory dictation or copying.
Schoolchildren with agrammatic dysgraphy have poor grades in their native language. The decline in academic performance becomes especially noticeable by the end of the 3rd – beginning of the 4th grade. Before that, a student can be a good student, but then the situation changes dramatically. Parents and teachers often accuse the student of laziness, lack of diligence. This fact further reduces the motivation to learn, provokes conflict behavior. Without speech therapy correction, elements of agrammatic dysgraphy can persist up to high school.
The task of identifying agrammatic dysgraphy is assigned to the speech therapist of the school speech center. To do this, students are examined at the beginning and end of the school year. Work with children threatened by the development of dysgraphy should be started immediately. Stages of diagnosis:
- Analysis of oral speech. The level of speech development is assessed: the volume of vocabulary, the formation of the grammatical side of speech, the functions of inflection and word formation. A high risk of agrammatic dysgraphy is indicated by the diagnosis of GUS at preschool age.
- Analysis of written works. The speech therapist studies the child’s notebooks in the Russian language, identifies specific agrammatism. Additionally, the skill of copying from printed and handwritten text, writing auditory dictation, independent writing is being investigated.
- Consultation of a psychologist. In order to assess mental development, nonverbal intelligence is assessed using test methods (Raven matrices, Wexler test, etc.). This is necessary to distinguish between agrammatic dysgraphy in children with normal mental development and writing disorders in children with mental retardation.
The purpose of the survey is to differentiate the forms of dysgraphy (agrammatic, on the basis of violations of language analysis and synthesis, mixed), the exclusion of dysorphography. The latter is characterized by a variety of spelling errors. It is possible to reliably diagnose agrammatic dysgraphy at the end of the third or beginning of the fourth year of study.
Correction of agrammatic dysgraphy
The main tasks of correctional speech therapy are to eliminate all types of agrammatism, both in oral and written form of speech. The training is organized with a gradual complication of the material. In classes on the elimination of dysgraphy, correction is carried out in parallel in several directions:
- Work on the proposal. The study of the structure of the sentence, the assimilation of its basic elements is carried out. First, they work out simple two-part and common sentences, then more complex – compound, compound sentences. An effective technique is the use of reference graphic schemes for parsing and drafting proposals.
- Work on inflection and word formation. They pay attention to the ways of changing nouns (by numbers, cases), adjectives (by gender, cases, numbers), verbs (by persons, genera, numbers). They study the rules of word management and coordination. They clarify the meanings of prepositions, the functions of prefixes and suffixes. They form the skills of morphological analysis of the word.
Work on the text. The child is taught to highlight the main idea and theme of the story. Pay attention to the sequence of sentences and the logical presentation. Independent work involves drawing up a story plan and a coherent text on a specific topic. The acquired grammatical skills are fixed in various types of written speech.
Prognosis and prevention
Agrammatic dysgraphy is a serious problem that hinders quality education. It is wrong to consider it as inattention, lack of attention of the child or banal typos. Agrammatism does not pass independently in written speech. Subject to timely correction, specific writing errors can be overcome in the middle school, which allows the child to successfully pass the examination tests. Prevention of agrammatic dysgraphy consists in overcoming lexical and grammatical underdevelopment by the beginning of school education.