Generalisation after treatment of acquired spelling impairments: A review

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2015;25(4):503-54. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2014.983135. Epub 2014 Nov 18.


This paper provides a comprehensive review of treatment studies of acquired dysgraphia and the occurrence of generalisation after this treatment. The aim is to examine what determines the occurrence of generalisation by investigating the link between the level of impairment, the method of treatment, and the outcome of therapy. We present the outcomes of treatment with regard to generalisation in 40 treatment studies. We derive general principles of generalisation which provide us with a better understanding of the mechanism of generalisation: (1) Direct treatment effects on representations or processes; (2) interactive processing and summation of activation; and (3) strategies and compensatory skills. We discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of the cognitive processes used for spelling. Finally, we provide suggestions for the direction of further research into this important area, as a better understanding of the mechanism of generalisation could maximise treatment effects for an individual with acquired dysgraphia.

Keywords: Acquired dysgraphia; Generalisation; Spelling; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agraphia / psychology*
  • Agraphia / therapy*
  • Generalization, Psychological*
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome