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Could this be Dysgraphia?

(7 Posts)
IvaNighSpare Wed 19-Mar-14 20:48:27

Last week we had a parent/teacher meeting about DS who is 8.
The teacher told us that he is top of his class in both maths and reading but she is seriously concerned about his writing, which is very slow and of poor quality.
We took the bull by the horns and have tried to encourage writing practice at home, however this is met with much stress and resistance no matter what material we encourage him to copy, including favourite stories.
I have noticed that the way he writes is by holding the pencil like a claw, more like a left-handed person would even though he is right-handed. His handwriting is very sporadic and untidy and he obviously detests writing. Spelling is not a problem, he can verbally rattle off spelling tests with applomb.
I googled "right hander writing like left hander" and came up with lots of links with Dysgraphia. DS seems to fit some of the symptoms but not all.
His teacher describes him as a bit of an enigma, as he seems to be a real day-dreamer and lacking concentration, but then he pulls it out the bag and aces any tests he is set. His vocabulary is extremely advanced (he amazes me with the words he uses in the correct context) and he has a highly scientific and enquiring mind, which has also been lauded by his teachers.
But the writing is holding him back.
I was wondering if I should get him tested, and how I should go about it (we live in East Kent).
Does anyone have any similar experience?

toomuchicecream Wed 19-Mar-14 21:28:30

What would you do with a test result? Meaning, if things that are suggested to support children with dysgraphia help him, then surely you're going to do them whether he has a diagnosis or not. Yes - you could pay to have him tested, but why not do some reading around, find some relevant strategies and try them out. If they work, share them with the teacher, who is obviously aware of his issues as she flagged them up to you. Instead of spending money on a test you could spend it on resources to help him. Well - that's what I'd do!

amistillsexy Wed 19-Mar-14 21:36:19

I got school to refer ds to an OT, and she assessed him as having days graphic. She arranged for him to be seen at school by someone who can recommend softwear for him to use. He does already have a statement though, which might be why it was so so easy.
While I was talking to the OT, I spoke to her about ds, who also has problems with hand writing, and she assessed him as well. It turns out he doesn't have days graphic, just dreadful handwriting, and his school are doing a weekly group to help him and some others.
I'd ask school to refer to an OT and see if that gets you anywhere, OP.

stargirl1701 Wed 19-Mar-14 21:40:08

Has the teacher suggested using 'Speed Up'? If not, you could try it at home.

IvaNighSpare Thu 20-Mar-14 09:53:28

Thank you for your replies smile

dalziel1 Fri 21-Mar-14 14:06:03

It sounds a lot like dysgraphia which is diagnosed (at some considerable cost) by an educational psychologist.

then you take their report to the school and to an occupational therapist.

The school are asked to make adjustments to allow for the learning disability. they can do things like permit you son to use a special pen, give him a writing slope and also allow extra time in exams.

The OT will write another report - another huge expense - then she'll suggest individual ways to support the child e.g. a writing slope, learning to type, special pen, extra time for exams.

The two main advantages of our child's diagnosis were both in the understanding. the school understood and any irritation with the slow, illegible writing immediately ceased. Also we understood and helped DS come to terms with it. Now he understands why he knows things but is unable to write down everything he knows. Currently, the joint school-home strategy is to encourage DS to write concise, content rich answers.

dalziel1 Fri 21-Mar-14 16:11:59

also Google DME dual or multiple exceptionality. If he is dysgraphic it may be that he is also cleverer than his written work may imply.

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