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What do you do about writing???

(17 Posts)
debs40 Sun 13-Sep-09 12:06:04

Ok, I give up. DS (6 and possible AS) has real problems with writing. He hates, hates, hates it. It takes him ages. He hates coming last in class for handwriting practise (not that it's a competition obv) and hates the 'joined up' writing he has to do in school.

He has hypermobility and low muscle tone sp gripping a pen and moving it fluidly across a page is hard for him.

He's bright and curious and it is so sad to see homework turned from an interesting 'let's learn about x,y,z' on the internet to a battle about writing down what he has learnt.

I have just spent an hour and a half persuading him to write three or four lines. There have been tears and tantrums.

I probably should have just stopped and said forget it but these things take you by surprise. It's the first homework back after the hols and I had forgotten how hard it is!

I tried bribery, corruption, encouragement to no avail.

I'm going to talk to the teacher about it as he was in tears last week after handwriting practise too.

Any ideas???

anonandlikeit Sun 13-Sep-09 14:29:13

debs, can he use a laptop instead... not suggesting he shouldn't persevere with handwriting but it will stop him becoming frustrated & at least he is able to get his thoughts etc down on paper so his teacher can see.
Then the handwriting can be tackled alongside, without the added pressure & frustrations.

debs40 Sun 13-Sep-09 14:47:10

Yes, thanks, I was thinking about something like that. I wasn't sure his teachers would go for it but it was such a ridiculous amount of upset over writing soemthing.

Schools seem so keen to teach 'proper' handwriting these days. I find it a bit sad and outdated.My handwriting is thoroughly awful and I'm about as overeducated as you can get so it! I never ever have to write anything either so what's the point in the joined up nonsense???? hmm

anonandlikeit Sun 13-Sep-09 15:42:14

6 is a bit young to be learning joined up, surely they should only be moving up to joined up once they have become fluent writers.

DS2's paed ahs recommended he use a laptop, we just need to get the ed psych in to assess & then he can have one..apparently.. oh & then of course he has to learn to read & spell but thats another battle.

It would be such a shame if your ds was put off learnign just becuase of something that ahs a simple solution.
Do you qualify for the current government child computer scheme? May be a good way of providing your ds with a laptop in stead of trying to get one funded by the LEA.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Sun 13-Sep-09 15:58:30

ds2 is dyspraxia and didn't write or draw till he was gone 9 (being HE means he can do things when ready, not when school wants it)
He typed well before then though.

flyingmum Sun 13-Sep-09 17:15:12

Mine is very very dyspraxic and still can't handwrite aged 14. He's not brilliant on the computer either. For most stuff, he dictates and I scribe. Make sure you make him tell you the punctuation (at aged 6 - just full stops and capital letters). That way the teacher can mark his ideas and work. Then as pay off he has to write just the maths and the one or two sentence stuff.
Or you could scribe for him and then write down a couple of his sentences and then he copies them. My son couldn't tell what was a join and what was a letter. I think you need to go and point out to the teacher what hell this is causing you all. No teacher wants a child to be utterly miserable.
I hate homework. My 9 year old was crying this weekend over his and he has not really got SN (bit dyslexicky crap at spelling but then so was I).

debs40 Sun 13-Sep-09 17:43:19

anonandlikeit - I completely agree but all the schools here teach letters to join up and push them on to 'joined up' writing by Year 2. It seems to be part of national targets.

All pointless.

I told him today to write how he liked and that seemed to encourage him a bit.

His 'freestyle' writing is actually pretty good. He just can't physically get the fluidity on the page to do the joined up stuff because of his grip.

This makes him feel that his writing is rubbish. He thinks it must be if it's that hard for him and takes him so much longer sad

I will definitely speak to the teacher. Thanks

tipsycat Sun 13-Sep-09 20:07:10

My DS (aged 8, ASD) has a laptop provided by the LEA. He has poor muscle tone, and writing was, and is, a major difficulty. He's had a statement since starting school, and had his laptop provided when he was in year 2. His writing has improved since then, but I think it will always be a weakness, so it makes sense to make an effort to improve his keyboard skills, particularly before he starts high school.

debs40 Sun 13-Sep-09 21:10:42

tipsycat - thanks yes. I was tempted to just do that with him today (get him on the laptop) but thought I'd best speak to the teachers first.

DS has not been diagnosed yet and so we seem somteimes to be bumbling along a bit, figuring stuff out as we go

troutpout Sun 13-Sep-09 21:15:47

i feel your pain

have spent many an hour trying bribery,corruption and encouragement to get ds (asd with dypraxia and hypermobility) to write too.
If i could go back and change things it would be tell myself to just get him to do the required amount of time on the work (ds was supposed to spend about 20mins on homework at 6) and then write how long he had spent on the work and then give in. I urge you to do the same. His teacher needs to realise what a struggle it is for him.

He is now 12 and has improved loads (for instance he came downstairs this afternoon and said 'mum i'm just gonna do my english homework'

<<faints>>

His writing will never be superneat i don't think and he still takes longer than most...but he's getting there

The hand OT exercises helped ..but i think being obsessional about lego (all those fiddly bits!) has helped the most in improving dexterity and muscular tone.

debs40 Sun 13-Sep-09 21:31:04

troutpout - what a good idea. Why didn't I think of that? The homework had lots of questions and it is supposed to take about 20 mins. I felt we should try and complete all the questions and it took ages. I will stick to the 20 mins next time! Thanks

sphil Sun 13-Sep-09 23:16:41

DS1 (dyspraxia assessment next Tues) also struggles with and hates writing. I've found that allowing him to chew while he's writing helps - God knows why, but an OT told me to try it - and of course he loves it! grin He does hand exercises before he starts - squeezing a ball and touching each finger to his thumb as fast as he can in sequence. I also give frequent breaks and even more frequent bribes - 'if you spend ten minutes on this you can have 10 more minutes on the DS' type of thing.

ChopsTheDuck Mon 14-Sep-09 09:18:35

I personally do think it is a bit early to give up on handwriting.

I have a ds with dyspraxia and HMS. He has very weak fingers, prone to subluxations. I was starting to think about a laptop at that age, as it didn't seem like he would ever write effectively. His writing was totally illegible at that stage.

However, he is making very slow progress. We use ultra grips and a writing slope. We have to ensure he sits properly, feet flat on the floor, and left hand on the paper or slope to keep his shoulders stable.

I agree that school are a nightmare when it comes to handwriting, I can't believe they want my 4yos to learn cursive style. However, with the OT's support, ds's school have agreed to let him go back to basics and learn to form basic letters again, and forget about cursive or joined up. He has to do ten mins a day practise.

Other stuff that helped ds is praticising big movements (such as drawing giant rainbows) on a vertical wall, and things like playing with giant bubble makers, flags, etc. to help with large movements. He also does stuff like playing with play dough and clay to strengthen his hands.

You really could do with some input from an OT. We tried all sorts of grips and things before they decided on what worked for ds. His writing now is readable, though still very poor for his age. I think eventually he will need a laptop, but at least he will have some workable writing for when he does need it as an adult.

debs40 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:10:17

Hi Chops - I hear what you say completely and many of the things you suggest have been recommended by the OT I have spoken to.

We haven't had an apppointment yet but the head of the service spoke to me on the telephone and gave me some suggestions.

DS is struggling with the ultra grip as he doesn't like the feel of it.

I sent a message to the teacher and hopefullly we can have a chat about it all. It is making DS distressed about school. sad

ChopsTheDuck Mon 14-Sep-09 11:47:10

I know what you mean abotu the grips, I bought ds some new ones and they felt tacky to the touch, not very nice at all really.

Good luck talking to the teacher, I do hope you get something sorted out for him.

this was posted on another thread which might be good for him too, it's a fun typing tutor.

debs40 Mon 14-Sep-09 12:04:55

that looks great - could do with following the typing course myself - I'm a strictly two fingers person!

LeonieSoSleepy Mon 14-Sep-09 13:37:23

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