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The Neuropsychology of Written Language Disorders: A Framework for Effective Interventions

By: Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., NCSP, ABSNP

This presentation will explore the neuropsychological underpinnings of the writing process to assist educators and psychologists in both diagnosing and remediating written language disorders in children. The ability to generate and produce written language requires multiple linguistic skills involving both phonological and orthographical functioning (the elementary components of language), word retrieval skills, executive functioning skills to organize inner thoughts and ideas, and working memory to hold our thoughts in mind long enough for effective motor skills output. A breakdown in these fundamental psychological processes can result in various subtypes of written language disorders. The primary objectives of this presentation include:

  1. Discuss national trends in written language, and explore gender differences in writing performances between boys and girls.
  2. Discuss the neural architecture responsible for written language development in children and learn key brain regions responsible for the organization and production of writing skills.
  3. Discuss three specific subtypes of writing disorders, with particular emphasis on how“frontal lobe” processes such as working memory and executive functioning impact each subtype.
  4. Discuss five essential steps for effective written language instruction, and learn key intervention strategies for each written language disorder subtype.
  5. Introduce the 90-minute dysgraphia evaluation as a more viable means to both identify and remediate written language disorders in children.

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