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Dysgraphia

(10 Posts)
HaveYouSeentheWritingontheWall Thu 21-Jul-16 12:56:37

Does anyone teach a child with Dysgraphia? Can you tell me about it?

I've read the medical definition but am interested in the reality of teaching a child with Dysgraphia

LockedOutOfMN Thu 21-Jul-16 16:22:33

I've literally just been filing papers from last term and one was a breakdown on dysgraphia which was produced by our Year 7 coordinator as a student in Year 7 (who I taught English, sharing the class with a colleague) had dysgraphia (as well as many other SEN). This is what the sheet says:

Dysgraphia affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. It can lead to problems with spelling, handwriting and putting thoughts down on paper, as well as organising letters and numbers on a line or page.

(I've skipped warning signs as presume you have these already - but let me know if you want me to post or PM them to you)..

Skills affected:
Academic - takes longer to write so can fall behind or not take adequate notes from which to revise later. May get discouraged or tired and avoid writing.
Basic life skills - weak fine motor skills so buttoning shirts, for example, can be difficult or slow.
Social-emotional - may feel frustrated or anxious about academic and life challenges. Teachers, parents, etc. may criticise them for being lazy or sloppy. Low self esteem in comparison to peers who seem to find things easy.

Strategies:
- considers alternative forms of practising and demonstrating knowledge (other than writing)
- use a word processor or scribe
- allow student to read aloud their work (to themselves) to help identify errors, e.g. in organisation such as mixing up or missing words
- help student to brainstorm ideas about a topic, alone, with teacher or TA, or with a peer, then put them into a "plan", combining similar ideas, putting them in order and discarding any that are irrelevant to the question or task
- reduce external stimuli when engaged in writing activities
- reinforce visual memory, e.g. of spellings or sentence structure, with aids like flashcards, word lists on the board or a poster or on the student's desk
- allow use of a dictionary
- ensure pencil grip is correct and general posture
- allow use of wide lined paper
- provide blank (or partially completed) maps, flowcharts or plans for organising pieces of work
- allow extra time for copying or writing
- use fill in the blanks, true or false or other types of question that reduce writing requirements

Hope this is helpful.

HaveYouSeentheWritingontheWall Thu 21-Jul-16 20:02:32

Thank you, parts of that are helpful, can you post the warning signs anyway?

I have a child with ASD and a separate dx of Hypermobility Syndrome and SPD however I think that there is more than that and I'm thinking Dysgraphia.

There seems to be difficulties with information processing and/or executive functioning, typing and writing speed are very very slow, but spelling is average.

I'm looking at an A4 piece of writing that looks like it is written by a 6yr old.

Can you describe your pupils handwriting etc?

LockedOutOfMN Thu 21-Jul-16 20:57:26

Of course, I'll post the warning signs underneath this post.

My student, who is Year 7 and male, processes information anything from averagely quickly to very slowly, i.e. when answering a verbal question. Instructions to do things, e.g. take out book, turn to Page x, etc. take him a very long time to process and action. He takes a very long time to put away his equipment at the end of the lesson despite being very diligent - not chatting to others or messing around. He will usually leave something behind at the end of each class although another student or I tend to spot it. He cannot use scissors at all, using glue often results in a huge mess.

Spelling is a bit above average.

Handwriting is very difficult to read. Not messy, but very loopy and intricate. He does write in a straight line but never on the ruled line, usually halfway between the lines (which makes his work even harder to decipher).

Layout of the work is, to me, nonsensical.
e.g.

Work from the end of the lesson (all written, say, on the far right hand third of the page, in a narrow column - not a list but sentences)

Title (written after date and perhaps forgot that he'd written date)
Date (written first)

lots of blank space

Work from second part of the lesson

lots more blank space

Work from the first part of the lesson, in the centre of the page

LockedOutOfMN Thu 21-Jul-16 21:00:39

Warning signs (Key Stage Three)

Struggles to write on a line and / or inside margins

Copies text slowly

Awkward position of hand, wrist, arm or whole body when writing (and / or puts the page in an awkward place to write)

Struggles to write down ideas quickly

Spelling errors including spelling the same word in more than one way

Mixes uppercase and lowercase letters

Avoids writing

Doesn't know how to punctuate

Has trouble when sequencing information, including verbally, e.g. may start in the middle

Writes jumbled sentences with strange word order or missing or repeated words

HaveYouSeentheWritingontheWall Fri 22-Jul-16 01:06:53

OK, what I'm looking at here is:

Mixed Upper and lower case letters, using lower case for names and days (sunday, thomas) but in the next sentence getting it right ( same thing throughout the whole page)
Letters not on the lines, eg the letter e frequently dropping below the line and the letters g and y are frequently above the line but not touching the line, other letters midway between lines.
Gaps in the middle of words, eg b ring, but ter etc.
Incorrect use of paragraphs and punctuation.
Messy crossing out, going over letters, inconsistent pressure of pen on paper particularly on certain letters, incomplete letter formation, inconsistent letter size, inconsistent spacing between words.

It is the same with numbers, inconsistent size and spacing, messy crossing out, inconsistent formation.

I know he has trouble with getting information from his head to paper and it is slow and laborious, he also has trouble copying from the board or from books.

Seryph Mon 25-Jul-16 21:31:39

Have you considered dyspraxia as well? It does seem to go hand in hand with hypermobility, and can cause problems with writing, getting things down, etc etc.

HaveYouSeentheWritingontheWall Tue 26-Jul-16 08:43:22

Willing to look into anything, although Dyspraxia was ruled out in favour of AS (but that was years ago). We may need to look into that again.

The Hypermobility isn't as bad now, but I don't know of anyone who has Hypermobility and AS and has a writing speed and typing speed as low as ds, tbh I was shocked at the results of the access arrangement assessment. I had absolutely no idea that the difficulties are so bad, I know that spiky profiles are common in AS but ds goes from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Obviously it's great that the arrangements are now in place.

LockedOutOfMN Wed 27-Jul-16 20:06:48

Agree with previous poster that dyspraxia sounds possible in addition to dysgraphia; the student I've had the most experience of who has dysgraphia also has dyspraxia. Of the things you've mentioned, I've seen students with dysgraphia regularly display the following:

trouble with getting information from his head to paper and it is slow and laborious - very strongly

he also has trouble copying from the board or from books - very strongly

Mixed Upper and lower case letters, using lower case for names and days (sunday, thomas) but in the next sentence getting it right ( same thing throughout the whole page)

Letters not on the lines

Messy crossing out, going over letters, inconsistent pressure of pen on paper particularly on certain letters, incomplete letter formation, inconsistent letter size, inconsistent spacing between words. Also seen this often with dyspraxic students.

From time to time:
Gaps in the middle of words, eg b ring, but ter etc.
Incorrect use of paragraphs and punctuation.

HaveYouSeentheWritingontheWall Sun 31-Jul-16 23:54:41

Thank you, we do have an appointment with an EP coming up so will see what they have to say and then look at getting OT involved as well.

Last OT report (movement ABC)shows the total test score equates to the 9th percentile, VMI classification Very low, VP classification Low and MC classification Low.

There is definitely more to this than simply AS.

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