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Yr 3 no action plan in place for my DS Hand writing.

(20 Posts)
MrsC24 Sun 23-Sep-12 21:35:17

My DS has been at the same school for 3 years and his hand writing has always been an issue. Last year he did have extra help with the TA with his hand writing and his letter formation has improved and he can do joined up writing in the cursive script but it is very messy and all over the place. He hates writing, colouring and drawing and seems to have week fine motor skills. I did speak to his yr 2 teacher at the end of last term and said this needs to follow through as I did not want to get to Jan and be told he needs extra help. I also spoke to his teacher at the beginning of term telling her my concerns as his writing is having an impact on everything else as he struggles to record the information down as he will write as little as possible but to me he has the ideas in his head. She said to leave it a couple of weeks so she could get to know the children.

I then had a phone call on Friday saying she had concerns over DS Writing but he was not getting any additional help but support from the TA or herself. She asked if I had tried a triangular grip or if she could send some hand writing exercises home for him to do. After I said that we quite often have battles with his writing at home and after school he has had enough of writing and wants to go out and play she said that maybe he could miss assembly and do some writing with the TA.

Surely they should have an action plan in place as his writing is a level 1 in his end of year report so quite clearly does need extra help to get him up to the required standard.

It also doesn't help that his birthday is 31st August and is always playing catch up in lots of areas.

Any ideas how to approach this or what normally happens in other schools as I'm sure this is not an unusual problem.

Misssss Sun 23-Sep-12 23:20:03

I don't really understand what else the teacher can do, she has offered to send extra work home and also offered your DS extra time with a TA. I think that this is their action plan. I'm a Y4 primary teacher and used to have children who found handwriting difficult practice with the TA and we had a daily handwriting session. I would take the teacher up on the extra sheets for practice too. I know it may seem like a pain to your DS but handwriting is one of those things that just needs to be practiced.

SkipTheLightFanjango Sun 23-Sep-12 23:25:31

Can you speak to the schools SENCO about this? My eldest has dysgraphia and younger son has just been referred to the school doctor by the senco for writin problems. I would see if there is any extra help they can provide.

SkipTheLightFanjango Sun 23-Sep-12 23:26:35

writing..blush bad spelling is also a sign of the problem grin

IvanaNap Sun 23-Sep-12 23:30:13

Out of interest, what are the rest of his joints like? I heard recently that hyper-mobility can be a contributing factor. Do you / the school practice fine motor skills and pencil control doing other things too, rather than just letter formation?

Pythonesque Mon 24-Sep-12 06:12:22

One thing you could look out for is "triple ruled" writing books. They have two lines that the small letters are written between, and lines that indicate where tall letters go up to and tails go down to. The sizes vary so don't get one too small (ie lines too close), but they can be very good at many stages of handwriting development.

I agree it sounds like you need a plan to be coming from school - but to be enough you will need to support it with a routine for writing practice at home. Doesn't necessarily need to take a lot of time, just be regular - work out when makes sense. Could be as soon as you get home/straight after snack, just before bed, or when you get up in the morning. If he is very resistant maybe try using a timer, say, for 5 minutes.

My mother was a private remedial teacher for years. The best marker of whether a child would make good progress with her was not how severe or mild their difficulties were, but how supportive their parents were.

Agree with approaching the school's SENCO to help clarify what the problems are and plan an approach together. Maybe go in with the attitude that you need to know how the school is helping him so that you can know what to do with him at home. Good luck and here's to some real progress for your son this term smile

lionheart Mon 24-Sep-12 09:21:42

There are a couple of threads about behavioural optemotrists that are current (and some old ones)--they might be of interest to you OP.

CachuHwch Mon 24-Sep-12 09:39:18

Hi. I'm in a similar situation- My DS has awful handwriting, a late July baby, and is now in Y3. I have pointed my concerns out to his teacher, who has promised to send some handwriting practice home. In the meantime, I do a lot with him at home- If it's only 20 minutes each night, it names a difference. I do think you need to commit to working with him at home as well as expecting the school to do a bit. My DS doesn't really want to do this work either, but once he starts and praise is heaped upon him, he enjoys it.
This is a fantastic website where you can print your own worksheets for free. Also, search on amazon for handwriting practice books- there are some fun ones by Letts.
You can buy the three-lined papers mentioned above on amazon. I use these to get DS to write to family members- It's nice getting post, it makes him feel grown up and he's practising!

Also, googling "practice fine motor skills" helps.

smee Mon 24-Sep-12 10:51:14

Does he still do letter reversals? Is his spelling poor? My son was diagnosed as dyslexic over the summer (just started yr4). He can read really well, so nobody suspected he might be. Not saying your son is, but if there are any signs, it's worth looking into.

mrsbaffled Mon 24-Sep-12 16:54:32

My DS (8) really struggles with writing, but his reading is really excellent. We went to the GP (initially we though he had dyspraxia, but that's another story) who referred us to a paediatrician who referred us onto various people. A specialist teacher came into school and diagnosed Specific Learning Difficulties in Spelling, Writing and Fine Motor Control. Though Dyslexia wasn't written on the paper, that's what it is really.

We were given OT exercises to do and school are providing an alphasmart computer so he can type as it's easier for him (I had to teach him touch typing first). He also does Word Wasp for his spelling at school.

By getting outside help he automatically went onto SA+ (school action plus) which meant he was given lots of help at school.

Although all of this is great, quite honestly, the best thing we did was to take him to a behaviour optometrist. He had significant eye tracking issues and these were fixed in a matter of months. As a result he can see what he's trying to write now and his letters have got smaller. He can copy now too, which he couldn't do before.

TheSmallPrint Mon 24-Sep-12 17:21:52

I've never heard of Dysgraphia before but it sounds quite a lot like my Yr4 son. He's very bright but his writing looks like I did it with my left foot. He has a terrible terrible grip that we cannot get him to change and he also is very poor at drawing. DH and I are in professions where we have artistic skills and very neat presentation so this makes us weep with frustration.

In reception they noticed his poor grip and tried to help with little success.
Yr 1 the teacher told us not to worry about his writing.
Yr 2 the teacher told us his writing was terrible but gave us absolutley zero help in trying to get it sorted.
Yr 3 when he started using a pen I thought it was improving for a bit but then it got even worse. The junior school ran a handwriting club for children who were struggling but he was never put forward for this - I suspect it was because he is extremely academic otherwise.
Get to now and the summer holiday has again made his writing slip back and we are having the usual wars about writing (he tries to do as little as possible as he hates it so much and what he does looks like spider scrawls with different sizes, random capitals, drifting off the lines etc.) I have spoken to his teacher and almost begged her to put him in the morning class but maybe he just can't do it?

smee Mon 24-Sep-12 18:50:45

mrsbaffled, if you get a minute, can you explain a bit more about how help outside automatically leads to school action plus. DS's school are offering nothing in terms of help for his dyslexia. He's doing well so apparently doesn't need any. hmm

mrsbaffled Mon 24-Sep-12 20:12:53

Well, I can only talk about my own experience. School didn't want to help at all before I was refered to professionals. Because the specialist teacher made recommendations that school have to follow he was put on at SA+. If any outside agency is involved the child goes on the SEN register at SA+.

The Specialist teacher's recommendations were written into DS's IPM (another word for an IEP) which has to be followed (actually, it wasn't carried out to the letter, so I have complained and the new SENCO willl make sure it happens this year - I hope (!))

smee Mon 24-Sep-12 21:01:27

Thanks MrsB. Am v.new to it all and quite appalled how dismissive DS's school have been. We have an Ed Psyc report stating dyslexia, but no IEP in sight. I will have to research before I steam in. Good luck with your DS. Hope they get back on track with it all.

MrsC24 Mon 24-Sep-12 21:16:09

Thanks for all the advice and I do get him to do writing at home but we have meltdowns but I feel he does need additional help and his pen control is week. He is very coordinated in other areas, is sporty and very good at football. I have booked him onto a course for private handwriting lessons which he has just started and seems to enjoy so hopefully will increase his confidence. Today though I got a phone call from the school after lunch saying he had a sore tummy. I left work to collect him and quickly sussed out he wasn't ill and it turns out that the teacher said they were going to be doing lots of writing after lunch! He has never done this before and quite clearly has a fear of writing and said he doesn't get any help. It's difficult to know what exactly is going on or whether other children are teasing him saying his writing isn't neat enough because I know the school make a point of saying everything has to be neat. I will be speaking to his teacher and arrange a meeting to work out a way forward before it all gets too out of hand.

Bigwheel Mon 24-Sep-12 21:39:16

Has he been seen by an ot? If not either yourself, gp or school need to refer him. Does he also have problems with buttons, zips, small pieces of Lego etc? My ds has hypermobilty in his hands. The ot hve given all sorts of recommendations including using a grotto grip, a hand strap and a slanted board to write on.

mrsbaffled Tue 25-Sep-12 12:31:37

DS used to complain about sore tummies too when he had to write. I took him to the docs about it. Tummy absolutely fine, but it strengthened the case for referral.

MrsC24 Tue 25-Sep-12 21:08:54

Bigwheel - yes he can do his buttons but sometimes struggles with the top button. When he first had to wear shirts in yr 1 age just turned 5 he really struggled and hated getting changed for PE as he got frustrated at not being able to do it. We are struggling at trying to get him to tie his laces on his football boots as he finds the co-ordination difficult but will not try because it's difficult. Not great with small pieces of lego. Have a meeting with his teacher on Friday and will suggest being referred to OT.

Bigwheel Tue 25-Sep-12 22:03:54

He sounds very similar to my ds. Really push for an ot assessment. They may say he's fine, in which case great. But if not there's loads they can do to help him. Hope you get it sorted, you may have to keep on at people though, it's like getting blood out of stone sometimes :-)

Bigwheel Tue 25-Sep-12 22:06:29

Just to also add that my ds hates handwriting, it just leaves both myself and ds stressed when we try and practice it at home. He's better doing mazes and dot to dots. Not exactly handwriting I know, but still helps with pen control.

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