For more information, see 'Learning Disorders'

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Writing skills, as measured by individually administered standardized tests (or functional assessment of writing skills), are substantially below those expected given the person's chronological age, measured intelligence, and age-appropriate education.

B. The disturbance in Criterion A significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require the composition of written texts (e.g., writing grammatically correct sentences and organized paragraphs).

C. If a sensory deficit is present, the difficulties in writing skills are in excess of those usually associated with it.

Note: If a general medical (e.g., neurological) condition or sensory deficit is present, record the condition.

Differential Diagnosis

Developmental Coordination Disorder

A disorder in spelling or handwriting alone, in the absence of other difficulties of written expression, generally does not qualify for a diagnosis of Disorder of Written Expression. If poor handwriting is due to impairment in motor coordination, a diagnosis of Developmental Coordination Disorder should be considered.


See 'Specific Learning Disorder'

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