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9 yr old is hysterical about writing, and I don't understand.

(8 Posts)
saladsmoothie Wed 26-Apr-17 06:58:15

He's just turned 9.

He doesn't like writing, and will often put far more time and effort into avoiding doing a bit of homework than it would take to just get on and do it. We've had 2 hours of drama over 5 minutes of writing in the past, though I'm better at managing things now and I avoid these stand-offs.

When he does buckle down he is perfectly capable. He can dash off a reasonable page of writing. His spelling is good. His handwriting is fairly awful - big and all over the place, like the writing of a much younger child, but tbh he isn't interested and never practices, so it's not surprising. His fine motor skills aren't great, and we do plenty of fun games to work on that (mostly without him even realising that's what we're doing).

His ideas and knowledge are very good. He is typically curious and informed as most kids his age are, he asks great questions and has fabulous ideas and theories. All up to speed.

But then we have this bloody block when it comes to writing it down.

I've never really worried about it before - he doesn't like writing, and is a bit lazy. But today he needed to write a quick post-card thank you to his grandparents. No stress, no pressure, he'd chosen a card and was dreaming away, gazing out of the window, avoiding actually putting pen to paper as usual. I said something along the lines of "come on DS! Dear Granny and Granda, we're having a great time... write that to start with" and left him to it. 10 minutes later, still not a mark on the paper. "Come on ds! Write Dear Granny and Granda..." and then we get the sulky lip, and he's sighing, and gearing up to make a fuss.

I asked him if he didn't want to write it. He said he did. I asked him if he agreed he was capable of writing it. He said he was. I asked what the problem was, and he had a sort of hysterical panic about it all. Hyperventilating, and crying, and running off to howl in his bedroom.

I just don't understand. He CAN do it. He's being supported. He can write four sodding words on a post card.

Please help me with this.

Other than the writing thing he is a cheerful, easy going, confident, laid back kid who has plenty of friends, likes school, gets on with his teachers, enjoys sport, has a happy family life, eats well, gets enough sleep... it's all good until writing.

saladsmoothie Wed 26-Apr-17 06:58:57

Oh lordy, that's the longest post I've ever written on Mumsnet. Sorry. Maybe I'm being hysterical about it too.

MollyHuaCha Wed 26-Apr-17 07:03:19

My dyslexic DS was the same. He actually said he'd sooner not have the money than write the thank you letters.

DS is now 16. Did GCSEs using a laptop. Still can't write, won't write.

Full sympathies to you!

CassandraAusten Wed 26-Apr-17 07:10:04

How does he manage in school when he has to write something? Presumably he gets on with it without too much fuss?

If so, I think this is surprisingly normal behaviour. It never ceases to amaze me how kids can spend far more time complaining about an activity than it would take to just do it (whether it's homework, tidying their room, doing their piano practice or whatever). I think you're doing everything right.

Acornantics Wed 26-Apr-17 07:12:04

salad I could've written the same post about my DS, now 11. All I can say is that he grew out of it, but only recently and it was a hellish couple of years!

Same as your DS, perfectly capable but absolutely hysterical when it came to writing. I researched dysgraphia, dyslexia, spoke to school, tried ignoring it, bribery, persuasion, coercion, the lot!!

I don't know what happened but he's now much better and is about to sit SATs, scoring a great 116+ in practice tests so he's clearly capable. His handwriting is still not great, but the content is wonderful and he can happily write at length which he'll need to do for high school.

He's a day dreamer and his lovely teacher this year has helped him focus and encouraged his creativity. I honestly think his writing reluctance was confidence related, and with consistent support and praise from us and his teacher, things have finally clicked.

saladsmoothie Wed 26-Apr-17 07:19:02

Dyslexia is often mentioned, but his teachers and I agree it's not the case with DS. He reads a lot for pleasure, and can produce neat, correctly spelled, cohesive work when he really has to.

He doesn't get on with it without fuss at school either. His teachers all spend a lot of time and effort helping him with it at school too. It's as frustrating for them as it is for me as there just isn't a reason for it. Last year he did all his writing sitting in Ms E's chair instead of at his desk in the classroom (her idea, and it did work).

Acorn, your post is encouraging, thank you.

OhTheRoses Wed 26-Apr-17 07:33:13

Well after struggling with writing throughout childhood dd moved schools and her very mild dyspraxia was identified and she now uses a laptop including for exams. She got 4A*, 4A and 3B at GCSE - she underpetformed her target of 6*/5A and had always never quite followed through on the flashes of brilliance.

The lap top didn't really help the underlying depression and anxiety which had led to cutting, poisoning and anorexia. Although she was better at a new school and with good quality psychiatric support in the background - she didn't meet CAMHS thresholds.

After an escalation last summer where she took too many tablets (not that many) and CAMHS didn't cut it again. Her psychiatrist diagnosed ADHD, ADD variant. Everything fell into place. She is now recovering well and on target for 3 A* A'Levels.

Get him assessed OP, the NHS probably won't do it but it is worth it.

Did I say MH services for young people in this country are a disgrace.

saladsmoothie Wed 26-Apr-17 10:19:54

I'm sorry you and your dd have been through so much Roses. Very glad to know she's doing well now, it must have been very tough for you.

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