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Gifted with dysgraphia

(14 Posts)
westcoastnortherneragain Sun 05-Nov-17 07:00:00

Does any one have any experience of this?

JuneCarterCash Sun 05-Nov-17 07:13:48

Not Dysgraphia but Dyspraxia in my DC's case. He's a young adult now and has done exceptionally well - but it was hard going at times, especially because some staff in the school (not all) struggled with the concept that he was both very high achieving and academically able, but still needed a laptop, sometimes a scribe, had organisational issues, all the rest of it. In their heads, SEN = low ability, and that's nonsense. But without the SEN support he wouldn't have been able to achieve as well as he did.

westcoastnortherneragain Sun 05-Nov-17 07:22:11

Thank you! We’ve been told he needs a laptop and will be eligible for a scribe

westcoastnortherneragain Sun 05-Nov-17 07:22:38

Next step I think should be occupational therapist

GrabbyMcGrabby Sun 05-Nov-17 07:29:42

Not as such but it something we are looking into for our five year old, who I have realised doesn't do representational drawings, though loves art, and finds writing a real problem. Teacher getting frustrated as Grabby Junior seems bright, with good verbal communication.

Would be interested to hear more about this. Have spoken to an OT who has offered an appointment, but cannot diagnose Dysgraphia formally.

JuneCarterCash Sun 05-Nov-17 07:42:55

What age is he? My DS was taught to touch-type in Y5, arranged by a teacher who was the first to really spot that this was a very clever child whose written work just wasn't matching his verbal ability (because he can barely hold a pencil - even now, at 19, his writing is that of a very young child, takes ages and is illegible). I got back in touch with that teacher quite recently to let her know that boy she helped is now at a Oxbridge college, and it was pretty much down to her.

MissBeehiving Sun 05-Nov-17 09:02:00

I have posted on your other thread - definitely get an OT asssessment - that helped form the basis on the IEP and provide evidence for extra support in exams etc

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sun 05-Nov-17 12:21:09

My hubby is gifted with dyspraxia but only realised that now he’s an adult. Ds 6 has dyspraxia and is gifted. Many joys of 2e.

lummox Sun 05-Nov-17 12:44:42

My 12 year old has dysgraphia and the two graphotherapists he has seen (not in the UK) have both said that he is gifted. He has had a lot of sessions of grapho therapy but still has difficulties. We are getting uncomfortably close to exam time now, and I am starting to think that we need to speak to the school about the possibility of him being allowed to use a laptop for exams.

I'm a bit worried that his school is going to think that he is just lazy and that we are looking for an advantage.

gfrnn Thu 09-Nov-17 06:00:32

There is a good article here
The best dysgraphia specialist in the country is Pam Heather but she may be difficult to see. Her method entails building a bespoke writing style for the child. I have seen the results of her approach in my own child and in samples of other children's work and they were genuinely startling, and fully in line with those described in the article here
Be aware of associated conditions. Hypermobility, dyspraxia and attention deficit all have strong associations with dysgraphia. There is a book by Gillberg which describes the incidence of overlap as being around 50%.
Assistive technology can help. Learning to touch-type with a package like EnglishType can make a big difference. The school should allow use of a laptop. For severe cases, DragonSpeak or similar voice recognition software may be appropriate. Accomodations for exams via extra time / use of laptop / scribe are appropriate and should be arranged well in advance.
In a gifted child, dysgraphia widens the gap between mind and body - the mind may be racing ahead but the pen cannot keep up. This can be a source of acute frustration and can affect self-esteem. Much of the literature on twice-exceptionality (aka dual and multiple exceptionality or 2e or DME) is relevant.

ilovesushi Sun 03-Dec-17 12:16:39

My DS is doing amazingly with Dragon Dictate. He has severe dyslexia. We've never had a dysgraphia diagnosis but handwriting has always been a big issue. He's never got to grips with the whole arranging words from left to right in a horizontal pattern. His letters are all back to front, upside down, all over. We've been down the OT route for handwriting, still plugging away at keyboarding, but speech to text software has really helped unleash his creativity, insightfulness, original and critical thinking. The teachers have switched from referring to him as low ability to very bright. His self esteem has gone from rock bottom to through the roof. Not saying this is the solution for you, but keep an open mind.

ilovesushi Sun 03-Dec-17 12:18:36

DS is 9 by the way. School are finally being supportive about using other methods now they can see the (astounding) results.

YoungYolandaYorgensen39 Wed 06-Dec-17 21:31:22

My son, nearly 12, doesn’t have a diagnosis of dysgraphia but I am certain he has it. He struggled through early years at primary school because of his writing and fine motor skill troubles and was mostly put in low ability groups in class. He saw an occupational therapist for a while who said he was right on the cusp of having dyspraxia but scraped through the physical tests somehow. He does have hypermobility, sensory processing disorder and was diagnosed with Tourette’s at nine. We have also seen ASD traits in him but so far nobody else has picked up on them. Anyway, he’s had his fair share of challenges, BUT -

He worked hard in primary and we did our best to encourage and support him especially with the handwriting. He did the Pindora’s Box programme (devised by Pinderfield’s hospital), lots of writing practice (with tears and complaints), played with theraputty to strengthen his hands and he plays cello which helps his motor skills. That said, he still has terrible, terrible writing, especially if he has to write quickly or for sustained long periods. He says he gets cramp and his hand tics.

He did very well in his year 6 SATs - and is now in all top sets at secondary school which has done wonders for his self esteem and confidence. I don’t necessarily think he is ‘gifted’ but he is very intelligent. He reads well and widely and has an inquiring mind. He just struggles with putting it down on the page and it concerns me that it will hold him back. I really want to get him touch typing as he loves computers and it would help him greatly.

As an aside, I used to be a TA years ago and scribed for a really bright lad who couldn’t write. It wasn’t ideal - he found it embarrassing and clammed up. I remember one question on his science paper about cells and the answer was sperm cell. I knew he knew it but wouldn’t say. I had to sit in frustrated silence, willing him to just say it...but he didn’t.

So after that long winded ramble - yeah, gifted kids can have dysgraphia. Schools need to be more accommodating.

YoungYolandaYorgensen39 Wed 06-Dec-17 21:37:29

I forgot that DS also wa diagnosed with ADD at the same time as TS. His organisational skills are abysmal. That along with the dysgraphia mean that my little seven year olds seem more capable than him. They’re learning cursive and write much better. He learned to print and can’t get letter and numerical shapes and sizes consistently right. The way he forms them is bizarre.

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