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Dysgraphia - How to get tested?

(23 Posts)
TheArticFunky Fri 27-Sep-13 11:57:56

I think ds ( 9) may have dysgraphia he is a bright boy ahead in reading and Maths but has always struggled with writing. He has received extra help at school however it has got to the point where I think we need him tested as I'm worried he will struggle at secondary school.

I've tried googling for further information on testing but I've drawn a blank. Does anyone have experience in this field?

TheArticFunky Fri 27-Sep-13 16:26:06


ameliasmama89 Sat 28-Sep-13 20:39:26

Hi there, you need to get in touch with the schools SENCO (special educational need co-coordinator) High light all the things you want clarifying, and they should look into it. If you get no where with the school, go to your local council they will have a children's and family unit that will be able to point you in the right direction.x

TheArticFunky Sat 28-Sep-13 22:18:39

Thank you Ameliasmama. We have parents evening coming up, I will ask for an appointment with the SENCO.

ameliasmama89 Sat 28-Sep-13 23:12:23

Be firm with them, don't get pushed aside. You need answers to help your child to development. Remember, your the parent. Parent knows best smile x

aciddrops Tue 01-Oct-13 16:22:28

Will they know what dysgraphia is? IME you are better off bypassing the school and seeking your own help.

bundaberg Tue 01-Oct-13 16:28:15

no experience but having read it I am wondering if ds1 has it!! so will watch this with interest

educatingarti Tue 01-Oct-13 16:35:47

You can also raise the issue with your GP who can refer you to a paediatric OT. they can assess for dysgraphia/dyspraxia and advise on relevant exercises and activities to help.

aciddrops Tue 01-Oct-13 16:52:19

Is it just writing that your DS has a problem with or is it reading as well? Have you considered dyslexia or Irlens Meares? The writing problem could be part of a bigger issue. My DS has a huge problem with writing but he is dyslexic and has Irlens Meares. Another of my DS's writing was terrible. He is also dyslexic but he can manage now - the writing is just scruffy. However, the other DS finds writing so difficult that he has a melt down every time he has to do writing homework. It is a complete nightmare and is a very significant problem for him. The school do not understand at all and I am in the process of speaking to them about his problems.

TheArticFunky Tue 01-Oct-13 17:47:34

Ds finds writing difficult. His writing isn't particularly scruffy it's actually quite neat but it requires huge effort and he is incredibly slow. His reading is above average for his age (level 4 at the end of year 4).

It's been a problem since quite early on and I was hoping it would improve with maturity but it isn't improving and I'm concerned that he won't keep up when he moves up to secondary school.

aciddrops Tue 01-Oct-13 18:02:09

Perhaps he could use a laptop? I am considering this for my DS but I guess if you do that the writing will never improve. it is a tricky one.

bundaberg Tue 01-Oct-13 19:49:03

i've been googling and read online that you need an assessment from a behavioural optometrist to get/help get a diagnosis. I think we might see if we can find one for DS1 to go to!

amistillsexy Tue 01-Oct-13 19:57:21

I asked for an OT assessment at DS's last annual review, since we spent nearly half the time discussing his handwriting and whether it was a 'won't do' or a 'can't do' problem.
In the end, I pointed out we'd been discussing this every year for the last 5 years, and I was flagging up concerns about his lack of mark-making in private nursery at the age of 18 months (I actually moved nurseries due to this (an the Angel Delight for puddings grin), so it was about time something more was done.
We had the OT assessment two weeks ago, and she diagnosed dysgraphia. She said it is not even worth him doing any exercises-it's flogging a dead horse- and he's best learning to use technology instead shock.
I was a bit surprised at how categorical she was about it being pointless to try to do anything about it. I assume it's because he is so bad that nothing will help sad

bundaberg Tue 01-Oct-13 20:02:41

really? it might be worth getting a second opinion? from what i've read online there are various strategies used to try and help children with it... personally I think i'd feel awful if I didn't at least try some of them even if that was alongside using a laptop or whatever as well

aciddrops Tue 01-Oct-13 21:50:33

I was a bit surprised at how categorical she was about it being pointless to try to do anything about it. I assume it's because he is so bad that nothing will help
I'm coming to the same conclusion for my DS. It is heart wrenching watching him struggle to write. You wouldn't force a person who needed a wheelchair to walk.

amistillsexy Tue 01-Oct-13 22:12:49

Bundaberg believe me, it is not for want of trying. We have worn out the whips trying to flog this particular dead horse. Over the years, several different strategies (including those specifically aimed at children with dysgraphia, even prior to this diagnosis) have been used, to no avail.

aciddrops, I think that's how our OT sees it, DS's handwriting is barely functional. He mixes upper and lower case letters, and cannot control the sizes of letters at all. Watching him write is like watching someone walk on a broken leg (to use your wheelchair analogy).

TheArticFunky, have you asked about OT for your DS?

educatingarti Wed 02-Oct-13 10:21:44

If anyone is in Greater Manchester, I know a really good handwriting tutor. She is a trained and experienced paediatric OT but now working as a tutor. She has helped lots of students tremendously. That doesn't mean to say, of course, that some students shouldn't use computers etc as their primary means of writing, just that if there are any handwriting improvements that can be made, she would be able to help with it IYSWIM. PM me if you want details

sjane23 Mon 22-Jan-18 02:32:53

Hi is it quicker to go through senco, ot or paediatrician? Thankfully we have a good support network, my youngest is 12 but writing looks more like 5/6 very large, hardly spaces, no punctuation etc she did all tge clever hands and speed up sessions in her primary school but they made ni difference. She is capable of writing smaller yet it requires so much energy for her and concentration she has meltdowns.

SnapesTears Fri 26-Jan-18 07:09:37

Arctic - I would say definitely try to get some alternative to handwriting in place.

My boy is in Year 7 and we have known he has (but haven’t had diagnosis of) dysgraphia for some years. We have tried all kinds of things to help but his writing is still terrible. He also has ADHD, Tourette’s, hypermobility and sensory processing disorder.

He struggled in primary school but because he has always been a good reader and had a really good y6 teacher he scored highly in his SATs he has now ended up in top sets at secondary. He is pleased with this but is really finding it difficult because he cannot copy notes from the board and all his exercise books are an absolute mess. He cries about every homework task.

He did a chemistry test last week and did very badly because he hadn’t been able to revise properly from his almost non-existent notes and on his test paper he had just ignored any question that required a long answer. He just physically can’t write without it causing him discomfort.

So I have been in touch with the SENCO and I want all his teachers to have alternative ways for him to work in class - ie being able to type instead of write.

I am so worried that his intelligence will otherwise be assessed purely on what he writes. The fact his teacher had written on his test paper ‘your written work is not as strong as your verbal work’ is evidence I think that he is bright.

So yeah - do get the dysgraphia recognised and look for alternatives to handwriting, then push for school to use alternatives in the classroom.

dairymilkmonster Sat 10-Feb-18 17:14:50

School approached us about dyspraxia - we went to the GP who referred to community paeds. They saw us and excluded various other problems, ASD etc and referred to paed OT.
Unfortunately I then discovered there was a 9-12mo wait for the OT, so we paid privately for a full OT assessment to avoid delays. I'm sure the NHS assessment would have been absolutely fine, just we didn't want to waste another year.
An educational psychologist would also be able to help you.

UncleWalt Tue 01-May-18 12:42:09

I hope this thread isn't dead! I think my son (aged 7) has dysgraphia, but it may be joint hypermobility, I'm not sure (his fingers and thumbs bend backwards, like he can touch his wrist with his thumbtip sort of thing). I've been relying on google to try to figure it out, as the school refuses to do any testing until he is in year 3. In the meantime he is turning into an anxious child, has low self-esteem, and fights doing homework or any written tasks. He especially avoids his maths homework because he writes the numbers backwards or illegibly.

Should I wait until the school takes him seriously, or should I pay for a private evaluation? Also, he is in a fee-paying school, so their SEN support is poor - I'm afraid that if he gets a formal diagnosis they will make him leave his school (this has happened to 3 kids I know already) which will make his anxiety and low self-esteem worse.

Any advice would be welcome, thanks.

Canoeeless2018 Wed 09-May-18 15:13:55

If you think there is a Problem..Your usually correct Transposing letters and Numbers poor fine Motor Skills?But fab Vocab and reading ability i would get them tested i went to local Dyslexia center.On a Computer my son out smarts us all..So if you as a Parent has good IT skills (I don't!)Then it could well help We use letts (Make It Easy books lots off Praize and no forcing off work he has to do the basics in the morning -to tired by the evening and wants to chill..)SATURDAY is rest day!Try not to pull your hair out focus on your childs possitive Abbilities !And give them heaps off praise for any work done!Even reading a couple off pages (Negative Replies are not helpful Constructive Criticsm!!)

dotsy1980 Tue 09-Oct-18 20:54:32

@UncleWalt - i could have written your post myself. I suspect my son has dysgraphia. He is 7 and we are at a fee- paying school and although i havent got or even properly investigated getting a diagnosis yet - i am wondering the same things as you - will he be able to stay if he does get diagnosed?? whats the best way to get diagnosed?? how to help him when/if he does get diagnosed?? I really feel for him at the moment - he literally sobs every time we have any kind of written work to do. His fingers ache (he has hypermobility too) and like your son, his confidence has really taken a knock. Interestingly though I have found that although he cannot spell a word when it comes to writing it down he is pretty much letter perfect when he verbally spells a word?!!! which blows my mind a little! have you managed to make any progress with help? and how is your son getting on this new school year??

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