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What can/should I expect in terms of handwriting support in yr7?

(7 Posts)
Durab Fri 28-Sep-12 13:59:22

DS1 has hypermobility (what we used to call double jointedness) As a result he has poor control of his fingers. Things like doing up buttons and using a knife and fork came late to him. He still hasn't quite mastered shoe laces despite intensive tuition over 2 summers!

He was very late to write, in the infants I was told "he's a boy, it'll come" in yr 3 & 4 he was labeled "lazy" (and there is something in that, although some of it stemmed from him just finding it so damn hard)

Anyway, at the end of my tether I approached my GP and we were referred to OT where we got the hpermobility diagnosis. He did a Speed Up writing course with OT and things improved a lot. He improve his test results by 2 years, which meant he was writing just below the level he was "supposed" to be at.

He still has to hold his pen very tight, which means his hand and arm tires quickly, his writing is still very untidy (unreadable) and he has to be pushed hard to produce much more than a few lines. However, he was achieving OK at primary school, so there was no additional support there.

However, I think his writing has been holding him back. He managed to achieve 4a in English & 5c in maths in his yr6 SATS despite this, but I just know he could have done so much more. It's not that he can't answer, it's that he can't write it down, or it can't be read, or he writes the bear minimum. His reading age was off the scale (13.6?) from yr3. Also, now he sees so many different teachers, they won't get used to his writing in the way his junior teacher did and of course there will ultimately be written exams.

We had our first meeting with his new form tutor last night who appears concerned for his difficulties and promised (enthusiastically) to find out how the school can support him and get back to me. What, realistically, can I expect?

homework Fri 28-Sep-12 14:36:52

Could the school not help out with photocopying of stuff that requires writing . Could he not also have help from a scripe for some lesson that require lots of writing . That way there's proof that he requires either extra time in exams for his slow writing or maybe even a scripe . My son gets some of these options at the moment . Plus he has to attend extra handwriting lesson before school once a week . Although saying that his handwriting hasn't improved much in my opinion. They also looking at him using a computer more often once move into new build school as all rooms will have wifi to access the school system where as it the moment there's only one terminal . So there are things that the school can do to help . Also speak to the senco , so that all his teachers are informed .

Durab Fri 28-Sep-12 14:51:43

I don't know homework, that what I was asking!

the (lovely) form tutor said she'll speak to the senco and find out what they can do to support him. I was just wondering what she should come back with, so I can fight is corner if it's inadequate, or be gushing in my thanks if they come up trumps.

creamteas Fri 28-Sep-12 15:01:37

My DC used alphasmart neos all through secondary school.

Lightweight, durable and not attractive enough to be stolen!

homework Fri 28-Sep-12 15:15:46

At My son school . His help is that in history , geography and English someone mainly the TA help him with the writing if he's not keeping up . So he has to start the written work and if falls behind what they are doing she will take over . If he's to answer questions , he quietly tells her what he thinks the answers are and she writes them down for him. Other lessons he's mainly on his own as less writing involved. Homework sometimes if they remember comes back on sheets . Some subjects like science rather than copy down stuff he's given sheets and has two write few sentence answers, rather than long eassys . They are also working on his handwriting once a week extra lesson on a one to one basis before school starts to help with his letter formation. The senco is the person who has arranged all this . Exams he is given both a scripe at the moment and extra time for reading the questions . They get tested every six to eight weeks . We are discussing about computer access for after Easter when they move into the new build school . He is being encourage to do more of his homework on the computer at home as easier for everyone to understand but still takes him a long time to get it done as not much quicker at the moment than writing . A lot depends on how supportive the school want to be .

gillviola Fri 28-Sep-12 18:04:04

You need to ask for a WRAT test, to make sure that he is given extra time or / a scribe. You could also find out if the school has any netbooks which he could use in lessons and possibly in exams. I used to let one of my pupils use my (teacher) laptop in lessons, he had his own log in details and it worked perfectly well.

Durab Fri 28-Sep-12 18:17:04

Thanks all.

Gillviola, would that be the test the OT used at the end of the Speed Up course, which gave him a writing age? On that he scores just below where he "should" be for his age, so as far as the primary school were concerned there was no problem, but in everything else he just above where he "should" be so IMO, that does show writing is a problem for him, albeit that there are others with more severe problems.

The primary school didn't think a lap top was the right way to go for him, as that way he would get even less writing practice, a bit chicken & egg I suppose.

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