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ASD handwriting problems / dysgraphia - any ideas? assistive technology?

(10 Posts)
tartanterror Thu 17-Nov-16 20:53:32

DS is in Y3 and has made progress with handwriting but it's getting him down now and holding him back. His teacher is keen to "sort it" and "not let him get his way" (ie avoid doing it). I applaud this approach, but she is now the 3rd teacher to have a crack at him and I think we need to move on before his self esteem disintegrates.

He struggles to sit still and stay on the lines on the paper. We have tried writing slopes and cushions - but he doesn't like appearing "different". Letter formation is OK. His sentences are a bit odd as he doesn't get the reader's perspective. If he goes on Word to type, he gets distracted with fonts and mucks about. He should be starting touch typing tutorials online soon.

Any suggestions for what we can try next? Should we be looking to get him a keyboard/Alphasmart sort of thing?

Toffeelatteplease Thu 17-Nov-16 21:13:16

You need a referral to Occupational therapy for them to take a look at it.

it then depends on what the problem is as to what the solution is. DS over the years has done work on his shoulder muscles (look for "winging" of the shoulders blade when crawling), fine motor work, hand strengthening exercises and currently working on in hand strength and dexterity through an OT handwriting programme called speed up. all this has taken him from being unable to write the first letter of his own name (and not even being willing to pick up anything resembling a pencil) to being able to write a page of (large scale) handwritten work in the space of only 3 years (started mid way through year 2). Given noone was convinced at the start he would ever be able to write, the progress with the right imput has been phenomenal.

He's also got access to a programme called clicker 7 on the I pad. This was done by OT referral to the adaptive technology team who assessed him. It helps his to formulate sentences quicker than he could write them. Although atm despite his handwriting being very bad in many ways he still prefers writing).

Writing slopes and pencil grips are fantastic and it's well worth putting in the effort to normalise them (School need to pick up their socks here I can guarantee he won't be the only child in school who should have them). Get one at home and make sure it's used for any writing that happens you included! !

There is so much stuff that can be tried to improve the situation. Most of it is accessed through a decent OT and if they have enough time to work with your child.

reader108 Thu 17-Nov-16 21:20:47

I second some OT input. My son struggled till year 4 then OT diagnosed core strength difficulties. Within a month of exercises noticeable improvement. We still do the exercises writing is still a chore due to hyper mobile joints, however now legible and maths is miles better, because he can read his own numbers previously 0 8 6 all looked exactly the same

tartanterror Thu 17-Nov-16 21:50:58

Thanks. We're waiting for the OT referral to come through. We will wait to see what they have to say. I'll maybe ask the school to try the writing slope again...

lucysnowe Sat 19-Nov-16 09:19:18

Watching with interest. We have the same problems with DD and up till now the school has mainly focused on behavioural issues. But I think that if she got help with writing, she would feel a lot happier generally...

tartanterror Sun 20-Nov-16 20:19:36

Someone on a separate thread mentioned Magic Link Handwriting and I thought that we would give it a go as we have nothing to lose. It is a 30 step programme which breaks down letter formation into really small steps. It is a production-line system: no variation for any child, no special cushions, no writing slopes.... Some basic triangular pencils and some strict rules about how to sit/hold a pencil. I've offered DS an incentive if he puts the effort in and does well, but if he didn't like the system this wouldn't work. After only 1 session he is obviously pleased with how his handwriting his looking. DS is an aspie with hypermobile hands. Lots of literature suggests giving up and going for keyboarding, but I have to say Magic Link may be worth a look before doing that. Its rule based system seems to be very appealing to aspies.... I will keep you posted as there are probably another 8-9 sessions to go, but so far so good.

Waitingforsleep Wed 23-Nov-16 23:29:30

I shall use some of these suggestions thank you!
With my Dd, we went to a tutor to help with her writing and the fact she cannot spell. The tutor said she knew why and that she was dysgraphic
She advised me against getting it fixed and to see an ep to get the diagnosis in writing then start the intervention.
It cost me £400 bit the ep was fantastic and has a great reputation. We now have a great report and school follows this and Dd is protected I future with a formal dx.
She also sees an ot who has been helpful and I feel with the correct intervention we will
Make strides. Not sure that helped really confused

tartanterror Thu 24-Nov-16 06:47:09

Interesting waiting. What sort of things are in the school plan?

SVJAA Thu 24-Nov-16 06:55:17

DS1 really struggled with handwriting too, and DP did some research and came up with a weighted wristband. He made it out of 2ps and gaffer tape then sewed an old sweatshirt cuff round it so it just looked like a sweatband. Apparently the sensation of the weight helps to focus concentration on the hand that is writing. It's worked a treat for DS!

Waitingforsleep Thu 24-Nov-16 15:07:16

Will reply! X

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