Dysgraphia as kids get older - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 09-20-2010, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wonder if anyone has experience with kids who have dysgraphia as they get older? My middle schooler is dysgraphic and has had years of OT for fine motor and hand writing help. I have to be completely honest and say that I frankly see absolutely no difference. The OT's have been great-lots of fun sensory activities, handwriting and posture tips, etc. But, handwriting is still pretty marginal without a lot of effort-difficult to sustain for long periods, as in writing paragraphs. I have supported OT during the school day, but my child really dislikes it, and hates being pulled out of class. There are other LD issues that mean class pull outs, so I am starting to wonder whether continuing with OT is really worth it when we have other disruptions during the day?

Anyone want to weigh in on this? Or maybe an OT with experience with older kids? I am starting to feel like we are needing to make a transition to keyboarding and spell check for dyslexic issues because I don't know if we are really seeing progress otherwise. I get that kids can dislike what's hard for them, and middle school is a tough time to feel "different", so I am willing to support therapies that can make a difference. I guess I'm just not seeing it, and I am seeing a lot of frustration on my child's part. I don't know whether to hang on, or think about whether this is really worth it? I hate to give up something that could help, yet when do kids with dysgraphia become "cured"? Or do they end up as keyboarding adults with terrible handwriting?

Any thoughts?
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#2 of 16 Old 09-21-2010, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bumping myself. Anyone with any experience??
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#3 of 16 Old 09-21-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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No experience but also interested in any responses. DS is 8 and has dysgraphia. I think we're moving to keyboarding this year as I want to work on both - keyboarding so he can express himself and "show what he knows" at school, but printing as I think it's a lifeskill.

Have you looked at the Eides' sites? You might try emailing them as if anyone knows they would.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#4 of 16 Old 09-21-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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Well, I don't have personal experience with older kids, but we've just come to learn that our 7yo is dysgraphic (and dyslexic and ADHD). My understanding is that the physical issue of writing is only one component in (some) people with dysgraphia. OT can be great, but hand strengthening exercises (etc.) are only going to do so much when there's a neurological processing issue at play.

I have every intention of beginning keyboarding with her next year. She's an intelligent girl, but her confidence is being flushed down the toilet by her frustration, and she's becoming increasingly resistant to any school work. I'm not willing to trade her love of learning for pretty handwriting!

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#5 of 16 Old 09-21-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyFullHouse View Post
Well, I don't have personal experience with older kids, but we've just come to learn that our 7yo is dysgraphic (and dyslexic and ADHD). My understanding is that the physical issue of writing is only one component in (some) people with dysgraphia. OT can be great, but hand strengthening exercises (etc.) are only going to do so much when there's a neurological processing issue at play.

I have every intention of beginning keyboarding with her next year. She's an intelligent girl, but her confidence is being flushed down the toilet by her frustration, and she's becoming increasingly resistant to any school work. I'm not willing to trade her love of learning for pretty handwriting!
Have you read any of the Eides' stuff? They do a lot of work on these various issues, and have a particular passion for dyslexia going.

http://neurolearning.com/Library/

http://www.dyslexicadvantage.com/
(I have to say, for people who are so into how people process information, this site is very visually cluttered )

http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com/

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#6 of 16 Old 09-21-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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My brother has dealt with what I now recognize as dysgraphia his whole life. He is currently a lawyer and spends a lot of time writing, though it is still something he considers himself comparatively weak at. His handwriting was atrocious (and probably still is). And, he doesn't compose well when handwriting at all. For him, the transition to keyboarding when he got to college was transformative. For the first time in his life, he was able to write as well as he thought.

DS1 struggles with dysgraphia. Having seen the difference it made for my brother, I am encouraging him to move to keyboarding as quickly as I can. He invents amazing stories and it is so frustrating to him to not be able to get them on paper - and I don't have time to transcribe them for him.

Kate
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#7 of 16 Old 09-21-2010, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our school system has seemed hesitant to move to keyboarding, but I think it's the direction we need to take. I guess my struggle is whether we're at a point where we're no longer remediating the handwriting, but rather moving on to alternate forms of communicating, ie keyboarding. It probably seems like a small difference, but to me letting go of the idea that the handwriting will improve is a big step.
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#8 of 16 Old 09-21-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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My sister has dysgraphia. She is in her 20's and deals with it. She was taught skills that she uses everyday. I would say she has been able to overcome it and the skills she has learned are just a part of her.
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#9 of 16 Old 09-21-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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I have dysgraphia, which like my dyslexia wasn't diagnosed until I was 17 (in the early 80s). DS has dysgraphia and after 4 years of OT, we are moving toward keyboard skills for him. I struggled for years with hand writing. Mine is appalling, I can't read my own half the time. If I need to write by hand for work, I print since my cursive isn't readable. I rarely write anything, but my grocery list and an occasional note for DH. I feel computers are a gift from a greater being. Realistically, how often do most people write by hand any more?

DS is 8 and we've seen slow improvement for the last year. We will keep working on those skills, but he is slowed down by his writing skills and unable to esxpress himself. We home school so we have more flexibility.
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#10 of 16 Old 09-21-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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I'll tell you something. My oldest daughter, who's now 19, was diagnosed with dysgraphia in third grade. A teacher in a summer program she attended told us that with dysgraphia, it gets better (but never to the point where they have beautiful handwriting or great spelling) at puberty. And wouldn't you know? She was right. The handwriting became legible and the spelling better (but never quite perfect) at around the age of 13.

Most teacher will tell you that the best solution for a child with dysgraphia is to teach them typing and get them a laptop. A cop-out? Maybe. But all the teachers my daughter had mentioned a laptop.
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#11 of 16 Old 09-22-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyFullHouse View Post
OT can be great, but hand strengthening exercises (etc.) are only going to do so much when there's a neurological processing issue at play.
yep. may be it depends on if it is *just* dysgraphia or part of a larger problem. My DD is on the autism spectrum, so there's a lot going on.

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Our school system has seemed hesitant to move to keyboarding, but I think it's the direction we need to take.
I'd push for it. My DD's 504 said that assignments involved handwriting could be modified to ensure success.

Quote:
I guess my struggle is whether we're at a point where we're no longer remediating the handwriting, but rather moving on to alternate forms of communicating, ie keyboarding.
keyboarding isn't a cure all. Carrying around and using a lap top in middle school is next to impossible, and my DDs fine motor skills are off enough that she can't keyboard very well either.

Keyboarding HELPS, but it is not a magic pill that solves this problem (at least for my DD)

Quote:
It probably seems like a small difference, but to me letting go of the idea that the handwriting will improve is a big step.
It's a huge step. It's moving from *delay* to deficit. It's letting go of a hope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Shifra View Post
A teacher in a summer program she attended told us that with dysgraphia, it gets better (but never to the point where they have beautiful handwriting or great spelling) at puberty. And wouldn't you know? She was right. The handwriting became legible and the spelling better (but never quite perfect) at around the age of 13.
I'm sure that it depends on what all was going on for the child in the first place, but that wasn't the case for my DD, who turns 14 next month. Yes, it's much better than it was 2 years ago. It's easier for her and she writes more. Most of it is still illegible, even to her, and it effects her ability to do math because she can't line up the problem or read what she's written.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 16 Old 09-22-2010, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's a huge step. It's moving from *delay* to deficit. It's letting go of a hope.

Exactly. I don't think the school is ready to say this yet-in fact I know they aren't. I just struggle with what I see as not much significant progress.
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#13 of 16 Old 09-22-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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My 10 yr old son has dysgraphia and it has been a big struggle for him but slowly he is improving. He can write his numbers pretty legible now. I think the OT he does at school is realy helping him but his teacher is great at making him write a lot and I think its the practice that realy helps him. He can form all his letters correctly, he just does not space the letters out correctly and he writes too big. Using special writing paper like Wilson paper helps him too. I would keep going with the OT. Progress can be slow, but I am hopefull my son will be able to write when he is an adult.

Jessica.
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#14 of 16 Old 09-22-2010, 11:05 AM
 
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I struggled for years with hand writing. Mine is appalling, I can't read my own half the time. If I need to write by hand for work, I print since my cursive isn't readable. I rarely write anything, but my grocery list and an occasional note for DH. I feel computers are a gift from a greater being. Realistically, how often do most people write by hand any more?
This is me also, I had OT and handwriting help help in elementary but recently found an old report I did in 5th grade, my handwriting has not improved 1 bit and I am 34 now. I my computer!

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."- Kurt Cobain
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#15 of 16 Old 09-23-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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I have dysgraphia as well. I often cannot read my own handwriting. I did not get any therapy for it, and I have to say I would have benefited immensely from accomodations in high school & university, as I found it very difficult to complete written exams with legible handwriting in the required time period.

That said, I find it very easy now, in my 30s, as 99.9% of my written communication is email or other keyboarding. As a PP said, I love my computer!
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#16 of 16 Old 02-28-2013, 08:15 PM
 
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Actually, there is a great blog I have found that is written by a teenage girl with dysgraphia. It has given me tons of insights!

 

http://dysgraphicteenager.blogspot.com

 

Good luck!

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