Advanced search

Year 3 cannot write

(44 Posts)
onlyoranges Thu 15-Oct-15 16:56:54

I really don't know what to do next. After so many interventions I have lost count my dd still cannot form her letters. She is now starting to notice she is different from her peers. What can I do? Been into school they will continue with interventions but nothing is working. Any suggestions? Every other area is fine eg maths, science etc. She is eloquent and has a good vocab. She does not struggle to hold a pencil. She cannot read back her own writing. We have always do loads at school. She has an elder brother who has had no difficulties. Help!!

bigTillyMint Thu 15-Oct-15 17:02:00

Is it handwriting formation that is the problem, or is it thinking what to write, spelling, grammar, etc?

Given that she has been given many interventions and there is still a problem, I would ask for a proper assessment - OT for handwriting-type problem, Dyslexia Specialist for anything more.

mumteacher Thu 15-Oct-15 17:03:49

What kind of interventions.
I see this sometimes in children who have been introduced to writing before they were ready.
Pm if you're not happy to share here and I can let you have details of someone I know who maybe able to help.

Sirzy Thu 15-Oct-15 17:03:53

I was going to suggest asking for an OT assessment.

Is she ok with reading?

cmt1375 Thu 15-Oct-15 17:14:38

Have you considered Dyspraxia? It is dyspraxia awareness week and there was an feature on girls and dyspraxia on woman's hour the other day, it might be worth a listen,

Frustratedmummy79 Thu 15-Oct-15 20:33:50

Your daughter definitely would benefit from an assessment from an OT. Unfortunately OT services are often stretched very thinly and waiting lists can be long. Some of the advice I give (I work in a therapy team) are to try "write from the start" by Teodorescu or "speed up" by Lois Addy. You can get both off Amazon. Write from the start tends to work better for younger kids who are really really struggling with basic pencil control, whereas speed up looks to improve fluency, legibility and speed, particularly good if they've started on cursive writing as the patterns are based on this.
It may also be worth starting to consider alternatives to handwriting ie using IT to record work. As she's young it really would be beneficial to get her started with familiarising herself with keyboard layout and basic typing. There are some great kids typing games on the internet - BBC dance mat typing is particularly good and free.
I understand parents' reluctance to start considering alternatives to writing, however it's never about "giving up" on writing, rather about ensuring the child has the ability to demonstrate their knowledge, however that may be, writing or typing.
Hope that helps!

Hocusfocus Thu 15-Oct-15 23:10:20

I have a YR3 DC who struggles with writing. Endorse write from the start (Lois Addy). Also lots of dot to dot/colouring in. My DC likes the faber castel grip pencils.

Understand your thoughts on this - if no improvement I would see a paediatric OT

hiccupgirl Fri 16-Oct-15 13:20:33

I would second everything frustratedmummy said above and I work with children with motor difficulties in schools.

IME by year 3 there is likely to be an underlying reason why your DD struggles to hand write and conditions like dyspraxia/developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD) can be the most common cause. It makes it much harder for children to master the fine motor skills and visual memory skills needed for handwriting well.

I would def start encouraging her to learn to use a keyboard at home (and at school if they are up for it) so she has other ways of getting her writing down and hopefully isn't as frustrated.

onlyoranges Fri 16-Oct-15 14:47:32

She is bursting with ideas but cannot form the letter. Grammar etc is not an issue as her writing is a page of illegible lines. She holds the pencil as she should. She is below the expected level for reading but only just. School will not do anything further so I am on my own. I requested an ed psych assessment which they decline. I have considered a private assessment. Would that be worth doing? Can I request a private OT assessment? Her self esteem is nose diving and her friends are just starting to make comments. She asks me why she can't write. Her maths is slightly above expected levels.

Ferguson Fri 16-Oct-15 17:34:22

When I worked as a TA with Yr2 boys who wouldn't/couldn't write, I used to get them to DICTATE their ideas to me, and I would type it on the computer. They enjoyed seeing their words coming up on the screen, and they would produce much more than if they had to hand-write text.

So if you have a tape recorder, or a phone that can be used to record, get her to dictate her text into it; she can then listen to it back, amend if necessary, and eventually write or type it.

To help with letter formation, you could resort to writing very large letters in a tray of sand or flour, to get the 'feel' of a shape, and make sure she does know where to start each letter and its correct formation. Also, maybe exaggerate ascenders and descenders (up and down 'sticks') to make clear the distinction between 'a' and 'b' or 'd' etc.

I also would advocate her trying to learn to touch-type; I was taught in the RAF in 1958, and have been typing ever since! It is essential to use the 'home keys' correctly, and correct 'fingering'. But if she does have real brain/hand control problems, even this may be really hard for her. If that is the case, then perhaps you need your GP to get it investigated fully.

mrz Fri 16-Oct-15 17:43:33

Does she physically struggle to form the letters or does she struggle to remember how to form the letters.

mrz Fri 16-Oct-15 17:46:51

You can request a paediatric OT referral from your GP.

RoganJosh Fri 16-Oct-15 17:47:12

And to follow that question, can she draw?

onlyoranges Fri 16-Oct-15 20:33:22

We have done 100s of hours practising letter formation and I mean 100s she just cannot remember from one line to the next. B and d are always, always the wrong way. School teach her to type and we have apps at home and bought her a laptop to practise. We do some homework typed to ensure her ideas and great vocabulary is shown sometimes. She has a wonderful imagination but everything falls down when it comes to writing it down. So do you think we should go to the GP and ask for a referral? Any thoughts on the ed psych? Should I hold on? Think they are around £300-£400ish. Thanks for the replies so far. It's so hard seeing her getting more and more down.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Fri 16-Oct-15 20:46:32

Sorry but what was the Heads reason for not submitting your DD for Ed Psych? It's just when you say school aren't willing to do anything further with her I'd honestly be looking for a school who will.

mrz Fri 16-Oct-15 20:50:15

b-d-p-9 are commonly confused and on their own aren't a concern.

Does she print or use a cursive style?

Were they taught in letter families (c,a,d,o,g,s,q, e,f are the caterpillar family beginning from the number 2 on the clock face and moving anti clockwise. L, i, j,u, y, t are the ladder family starting with a straight vertical line. r, n,m,k, h, p, are the robot family and z,X,v,w are zigzag family.

I would chant when forming letters round to the left, up, up, down, down and flick d. Down, down, up round to the right join at the bottom b until it becomes automatic.

I'd also write the letters with the tip of the index finger on a rough surface then on paper with a soft pencil.
I wouldn't generally encourage dictation or typing for most children who are physically able to make a mark.

mrz Fri 16-Oct-15 20:52:49

I would ask for a GP referral to an OT.

minimalistaspirati0ns Fri 16-Oct-15 21:31:36

Try GP first. Failing that pay for an assessment yourself.

onlyoranges Fri 16-Oct-15 22:49:06

The reason for not undertaking a psych assessment is that she is 'nowhere near needing that, it won't really prove anything'. Personally I think it's a funding issue.
Her writing does curve rather than print. I was a little surprised when they said they were stopping her writing but she was getting very upset and frustrated in class and she does enjoy it when she can type a story and then is able to read her own work. It's her self esteem in relation to education I think I am most worried about also what happens if she gets to year 4 and can't write. Does that happen? Could it happen?

mrz Sat 17-Oct-15 06:37:50

I agree that an EP assessment is unlikely to show why she has difficulty writing.

Babbafish Sat 17-Oct-15 07:06:29

We have this with our son .... Just found out our daughter has very hypermobile fingers ... Son has an assessment in November... This is defo his problem too!!! Phew. Already contacted the SENCO. She's got him a writing slope. I've bought him some ergonomic Pens .. Thing slightly improving X

hmcReborn Sat 17-Oct-15 07:27:26

An Ed Psych assessment costs circa £500 if you choose to go down that route privately.

She sounds as if she is above average generally (eloquent, good vocab, good at maths, science etc) so why then would her reading be below average? ...and her inability to write. You've said b and d are reversed...also she cannot recall letters when you have taught them to her. I'd want to get her tested for dyslexia in this case (in fact I did for dd when she was in Y2 - her school didn't appreciate that there was a problem)

hiccupgirl Sat 17-Oct-15 07:51:39

Personally I would pay for a private OT assessment rather than an EP because it sounds like the problem is a motor and visual processing one rather than a cognitive one. Or go to your GP and ask for an OT referral - the school SENCo may also be able to refer her directly but this varies in different areas.

Learning to type should be alongside practising writing skills as adults do need to be able to write legibily to sign paperwork, write lists and notes etc, but being able to type well will mean your DD can get her work down by herself but also be a fantastic skill for the future. I would ask the school to carry on with handwriting practise but OT input would really help make it more effective for your DD.

onlyoranges Sat 17-Oct-15 10:48:30

Hmc that is her in a nutshell! They did an assessment which showed she did not have any dyslexia indicators? She has had so many interventions I have lost count now but none have made any difference whatsoever. School have put in lots of time but I just feel as do they that they are missing something. The word they used at the last meeting was an anomaly. But as the gap widens she is becoming less and less engaged. Who wouldn't. She has worked so hard for so long and for nothing as she sees it. Now she is stuck on the same intervention she has been on for two years. I just want her to be happy and not have this stress and to be able to reach her full potential whatever that may be. What would the OT be able to tell us? Never had contact with one.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Sat 17-Oct-15 15:13:25

What would the OT be able to tell us? Never had contact with one.

Might be worth starting a new thread under children's health topic?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: