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6yr old with really varying abilities

(5 Posts)
wandymum Mon 26-Jan-15 13:36:39

Hi, I'd appreciate some advice for my DS as we are struggling a bit..

He's a totally obsessive reader and has been devouring everything he can find since he was 4. I suspect he also has a photographic memory. Consequently he has, according to school who recently tested him, a reading age of 12. They checked comprehension etc.. too. It also means his general knowledge is amazing because he has read so much and remembers everything he reads.

But, his writing ability is miles behind. His spelling ad grammar are good. It seems to be the actual mechanics of writing. His handwriting is worse than his younger sister's and unbelievably slow.

He is good at maths but spectacularly uncoordinated so whilst he tries hard at and enjoys sport he is fairly useless.

His school say not to worry as his writing is within the range they'd expect for his age it just seems worse as everything else is advanced. Which would be fine, but DS is now getting very upset and frustrated whenever he has to do written work and I worry that unless we do something, the gap between it and his reading/comprehension is only going to get worse.

Anyone else had this problem and have any advice or suggestions?

tenderbuttons Mon 26-Jan-15 13:56:49

Yes, this is very similar to what we have going on, and I'd say you probably need to get him checked out, not just for dyspraxia but also hyper mobility, which can also cause problems with writing.

You could also try any of: pencil grips, the stabilo easy grip pencils and a writing slope in the meantime.

But having said all this, it's a really really common situation in two ways. Firstly, it's quite rare that children's physical co-ordination is as ahead as their reading skills, so that the writing lags behind is probably normal. Secondly, that kind of perfectionism is also common - and that's probably what you need to focus on a bit.

var123 Tue 27-Jan-15 16:04:43

DS has dysgraphia. There are several types but I think its only one type that leaves spelling ability untouched (Thankfully this is what DS has).

At first, teachers etc said it was normal not to be good at everything and he was within the range but they expected his writing would catch up.
Then they said it was at the bottom of the "average" or "normal" range but still you can't be good at everything etc.

Finally, his year 6 teacher came down hard on him... year 6 sats were coming up and she felt he needed to improve his writing. She seemed to think that he was writing slowly and illegibly to annoy her. I took him to a tutor who suspected dysgraphia instantly. Then he was tested and diagnosed.

Sometimes, it works out and sometimes it doesn't. My advice would be to measure his free writing speed on a subject he knows very well (himself perhaps) and if his writing is off the scale slow, then get him tested before he starts to feel bad about himself.

wandymum Wed 28-Jan-15 16:58:35

thanks for the replies. var123 how do you get them tested for dysgraphia - sounds like that could well be a possibility.

var123 Wed 28-Jan-15 18:58:38

Its done by an educational psychologist. They do a full educational assessment, testing each tiny bit of each skill separately. If there is a specific learning difficulty, then it stands out like a sore thumb.

State funded assessments are hard to get unless the school will agree to put the DC forward. Private ones take months to come around and cost well in excess of £1000.

However, Helen Arkell Dyslexia centre trains people to deal with SEN (TAs etc) and you may be able to get one done more cheaply by someone who trained there and who has the proper certification to say they may do the tests.

Then the next stage is to get the school to recognise the diagnosis, although they have little choice is you put it to them formally and the person who did the test was qualified.

Then its a question of devising ways to help the child minimise the impact of the SEN. An occupational therapist is the ideal, but again costs over a thousand just to do their own assessment and write their report. (I didn't do this part).

I guess the final stage is to get the school to do what the OT recommended. As you may imagine, its easy to agree and then forget to regularly do it unless they are genuinely on board.

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