Reading, Writing and Speech Problems in Children: A presentation of certain types of disorders in the development of the language facility


Samuel Torrey Orton, MD

Former Professor of Neurology and Neuropathology

Columbia University

New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc, 1937



I. Language losses in the adult as the key to the developmental disorders in children

Unilateral cerebral dominance

The aphasias

  1. Alexia (word blindness)
  2. Auditory aphasia (word deafness)
  3. Motor agraphia
  4. Motor aphasia
  5. Apraxia

Laterality (handedness, eyedness, etc)

Studies in laterality

Motor integrading

II. Certain disorders in the development of language in children

Description of syndromes

  1. Developmental alexia (the reading disability)
  2. Developmental agraphia (special writing disability)
  3. Developmental word deafness
  4. Developmental motor aphasia (motor speech delay)
  5. Developmental apraxia (abnormal clumsiness)
  6. Stuttering in childhood
  7. Combined or mixed syndromes

Hereditary factors

Emotional reactions and behavior patterns

III. Interpretation and treatment of certain disorders of language in children



  1. Developmental alexia
  2. Developmental agraphia
  3. Developmental word deafness
  4. Developmental motor aphasia
  5. Developmental apraxia
  6. Stuttering in childhood