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Handwriting suggestions please

(79 Posts)
claw2 Mon 22-Apr-13 10:46:06

Ds aged 9, has great difficulty with writing. He can write if its something that interests him, but other than that just refuses point blank.

He has hypermobility, uses the wrong muscles etc to write with, so its obviously a tiring experience for him.

His tutor has tried a scribe etc, but it doesnt appear to make it any easier for him.

His tutor has just left, she couldnt get him to write and has left it for me to do.

I have tried encouraging him. He has some sweets he can have after and ive told ds no x-box etc until he writes 2 lines.

Any suggestions?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:49:09

Can you have an amazing week where he can have whatever he wants provided he writes you a note about it in a full sentence?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:49:38

How's it all going?

UnChartered Mon 22-Apr-13 10:51:42

i don't understand why he has to write so much

writing is just another way of communicating, which our DCs with ASD (hope i'm correct in that assumption?) often find difficult to do unless it makes sense to them

DD can write reams about kindness to dogs, but ask her to put her spellings list into a sentence and she's flummoxed

claw2 Mon 22-Apr-13 10:58:45

No amount of bribery seems to work when it comes to handwriting, he will do it for me...eventually. But it will involve hours of him laying on the settee, with a blanket over his head, screaming for me to go away. It seems to be a real mental block, when it comes to handwriting.

Some improvements Star, he is now getting dressed in the mornings for when the tutor comes. Well i have to dress him, but at least he is now allowing me to.

His engagement with the tutor varies from day to day, ranging from excellent to extremely poor. But more good days, than bad now.

moondog Mon 22-Apr-13 10:59:04

Harness his interests.
Get him to write desired family events up on a calendar and organise shopping lists.
You're on the right track with the issue of him accessing reinforcers but turn it around a little so it's less of a 'you can't have this unless you do this' into a 'let's do this really quickly and then we'll do this!'
Get him to time himself against a clock. How many words/letters can he write?

A little bit of practice every night works wonders. My kids are used to this and it's now an accepted part of their routine.

For my nearly 9 year old ds, 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' has it seems, turned on a light inside him. He asked me to buy him a diary and he writes reams and reams every night. He is so inspired. He now wants one with a lock.

We went on a very long bike ride yesterday and he moaned for a lot of it, saying that his favourite things were reading and writing not 'bloody biking'. How my heart soared! (MIld irritation at grumpy swearing child notwithstanding!)

claw2 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:05:08

Unchartered, that is EXACTLY what ds has said to me, when i asked him why he didnt want to write. Its a blurb of 2 lines and his words "i dont see the point"

and it does impact of the things he does like to do, such as reading, he loves reading. But the minute the tutor asks him to write about the book, he then refuses to read.

I have been doing the writing for him ie he tells me what to write, just so he will read.

Tutors words "if he was in school, he would have to write"

UnChartered Mon 22-Apr-13 11:06:50

can he talk about the books he reads?

UnChartered Mon 22-Apr-13 11:07:57

and i'm not so sure he would have to write if he was in school...he might have a scribe there, or use a keyboard

but anyway, he's not in school, so that statement is irrelevant

zzzzz Mon 22-Apr-13 11:11:11

He has to be able to write (has to is a bit strong but it would be good eh? ). I don't think he has to write a blurb or whatever. What a waste of time to argue about it. You're going to suck the joy out mod reading if you hang such a unlinked past time on to it.

I'd let him tell you what be jinks of the book and write about the stuff he likes.

zzzzz Mon 22-Apr-13 11:11:31

Jinks =thinks blush

Badvoc Mon 22-Apr-13 11:16:29

Would he use a dictaphone to dictate his thoughts about his work/books/films whatever...?
Then you could transcribe them so there is a paper copy?
(Can you tell I am an audio typist? smile)
You could also try something like dragon VR software but I don't know how expensive that is.
Agree 100% about harnessing his interests, whatever they are.
With ds1 it's currently history (ESP WW 1 & 2), farming, how to train your dragon etc.

claw2 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:17:00

Moondog, the writing he is being asked to do is part of the 'theme', his fav theme, animals. So it is something that interests him. We are also printing out pics of animals and he is requred to look up info and facts about the animals and write notes. Something else he wont do.

I am trying to work with positive reinforcements such as you have sweets in the kitchen which you can have after we have written etc. We have rewards chart etc, which earn him x-box time, McDonalds, sweets etc.

Timers and clocks just send him into a panic.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 11:20:35

You can do it really slowly. The 'challenge' may be too big.

Start by just getting him to do what you say. At say 8am each day ask him to do something. Don't call it writing

'ds, draw three sticks with a pencil' ' yay, end of lesson and end of me naggin, go and play'.

next day:

'ds, draw three sticks and a circle' ' yay, end of lesson, and end of me nagging, go and play'

Keep going EVERY day at the same time so he expects it, and he knows that it is easy and he will shortly have you off his back.

Increase the demand by a very tiny amount each day, until he is writing a word, then a three word sentence, then a 5 word sentence. Always stop on a positive.

Could that work?

UnChartered Mon 22-Apr-13 11:21:50

i can only go from what DD says (she's almost 6yrs) but this is her take on it

"why does she have to write about something that is already written, if she knows a lot about (chosen subject) and you want to hear how much she knows, she will tell you confused it's much quicker and she hates writing words she doesn't know how to spell."

can you turn the writing into a quiz for DS? this will show his comprehension, give him practice at writing and have something on paper for the anal tutor to tick?

claw2 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:21:54

Unchartered, yes he is more than happy to talk AND he will write eventually, its just such a long drawn out, stressful experience for him, unless he has choosen to write.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 11:29:25

So what makes him 'choose' to write?

claw2 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:30:01

Star, the problem seems to be, is that he will write, when it suits him. This is how the tutor sees it.

This morning, he had written, on a worksheet, facts. Such as one word answers, the title of the book. Numbers in answer to how many chapters etc.

The last thing was to write a blurb on 2 lines. He refused to do it. Maybe more abstract. Then the tutor was telling him what to write and he still refused. I can see that the tutor telling him what to write, would also be a problem for ds. He wants it to be his idea, not someone elses.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:30:20

The tutor should not be pushing him to write or delegating it to you. imo hours of chronic stress are not worth it and it is counter-productive. For now let him draw - still learning fine motor skills and improving them. He needs to learn to touch-type and use voice recognition software. There are different ways of recording your thoughts and writing without physically making marks on paper.

claw2 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:33:21

Prior to him having his 'episode' in October and not being able to attend school. He would write poetry or write me notes about how wonderful i am, draw pictures and label them. Since October he hasnt really choosen to write anything

claw2 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:58:13

I have just reserved a dictaphone from Argos, ds was very keen on the idea of recording his thoughts. Maybe once the pressue of writing is off, he might want to write, rather than being forced to.

UnChartered Mon 22-Apr-13 11:59:54

absolutely yes to taking the pressure off

good luck, but watch out for stealth recordings grin

claw2 Mon 22-Apr-13 12:02:33

Oh yes, ds quite fancies himself as a bit of a 'spy'!

UnChartered Mon 22-Apr-13 12:08:22

mind, if he's anything again like DD, her stealth tactics leave a lot to be desired hmm

her sneaking involves you turning your back, and promising not to look until she tells you it's ok grin

claw2 Mon 22-Apr-13 12:15:27

Lol oh ds doesnt even wait for you to turn your back! He hides under the table while you are looking at him!

I doubt the tutor will be happy about me getting the dictaphone, but seen as she is leaving it for me to do, i will try to do it my way. There is very much a feeling of me not pushing ds and only letting him do things he is comfort with. All im trying to show is that is more than one way to skin a cat and forcing him really isnt the answer. The more you force him, the more he will dig his heels in. A battle of wills with a 9 year old, there isnt really a winner!

Hopefully, i will be able to show results.

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