Dysgraphia? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 10-08-2010, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've suspected for some time that my oldest son has dysgraphia. He's always struggled with fine motor skills, but never in a manner that interfered with his academic successes.

He started high school this year and immediately the issue has presented itself. He's having trouble keeping up with notes, teachers reading his work, his self-esteem as he compares himself to his peers, and a bias toward beautiful handwriting.

We're considering having him staffed or at least getting him on a 504 plan.

For contextual reasons here's some background: he's 14 years old, makes honor roll typically, and is taking all honors and one AP class this year. He goes to a high school for the performing arts and he's in the Theatre track. He adores the school, and I'm not concerned about grades as much as I am concerned about teachers making comments about his handwriting.

Any experience or thoughts?
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#2 of 6 Old 10-09-2010, 05:33 AM
 
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I had your kid (figuratively, of course) as a student. It enraged me to no end that *I* was the first person bringing this problem up. Most of the teachers were just giving him "A"s on his written work because they assumed it was right based on his test scores (not much writing on those--so it was objective).

It's really not hard to get a 504 plan in place. He just needs access to a laptop/computer with a printer for his written work. That's what we did for the student I had.

If they want to do an IEP, I'd pressure them about why: usually, IEPs come with funding where 504s don't. And although a parent can now dissolve an IEP, that's a relatively new thing (as of early 2009). 504s are much easier to deal with in that respect.

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#3 of 6 Old 10-09-2012, 02:35 PM
 
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Hi,

 

My son's teacher recently recomended a 504 for him because of his dysgraphia (though she did not call it that).   Do you know of any reason this could adversely affect him in the future?  I have read a couple of your posts and really appreciate your concern for that particular student.  My son is in 5th grade and I have had a couple of teachers who detered us from testing. I dont feel like an IEP would have been appropriate for him but his handwriting is really becoming an issue now. Thanks

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#4 of 6 Old 10-12-2012, 06:27 PM
 
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Yeah, It can really become a problem as the child gets older.  The accommodations are very easy, things like a copy of the notes or the power point presentations, allowing them to record lectures, having a computer in class to type notes.  Extra time on written exams.  Only having to print (I still can not write in cursive).

 

All these things are easy accommodations, and I never had any repercussions.  I really do not have problems now, but I still only print.  And while my handwriting is legible, it will never be "pretty."

 

In elementary, I was given a written calendar with the homework assignments, so I did not have to copy them from the board and I was allowed to do short answers instead of full sentences on tests.  I was also allowed to print everything.

 

In high school, I got copies of the transparencies, to add my noted to, and access to the computer lab for writing assignments.  By the time I got to college, my only accom was a copy of every power point presentation (which I could have done without, but I was lazy).

 

I can say I really struggled, and I hated being told I had "boy handwriting."  I never had and IEP, so the accoms were up to the teacher.  An IEP would make the accoms MANDATORY for the teacher.  The IEPs can be removed later if they are no longer a problem.


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#5 of 6 Old 10-14-2012, 07:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

I had your kid (figuratively, of course) as a student. It enraged me to no end that *I* was the first person bringing this problem up. Most of the teachers were just giving him "A"s on his written work because they assumed it was right based on his test scores (not much writing on those--so it was objective).

It's really not hard to get a 504 plan in place. He just needs access to a laptop/computer with a printer for his written work. That's what we did for the student I had.

If they want to do an IEP, I'd pressure them about why: usually, IEPs come with funding where 504s don't. And although a parent can now dissolve an IEP, that's a relatively new thing (as of early 2009). 504s are much easier to deal with in that respect.

I am not following- why no IEP?  I would think the school would want to test/evaluate and if parents provide dr. dx they would try to find the right type of accommodations to fit student's needs.  My ds has an IEP and he has dyslexia and dysgraphia (although the school does not label).   1/2 of his IEP is dedicated to writing.  He can have staff write lengthy answers for him on exams, notes/dictation, and papers.  He also gets double time for tests.  He works with a special ed teacher for a portion of the day on "writing", but she wants to change his goal to learning to type.  Because he has 4 teachers in 6th grade and will only have more as he gets older, we like having the IEP because it helps the teachers set reasonable expectations for his abilities and disabilities.  

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#6 of 6 Old 10-22-2012, 01:10 PM
 
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Having either an IEP or 504 plan is going to be helpful at mitigating some of the impacts of dysgraphia, especially in secondary school (and college).  The expectations for written work will only go up, up, up, and will make nearly all subjects more difficult (Aside from traditional "writing", I've noticed it even affects math work--and math teachers can be surprisingly picky about the "neatness" of written work).  Having something in writing makes it much easier to communicate with multiple teachers who will all have different beliefs/ideas about the relative merits of writing and penmanship relative to their subject areas.

 

Other people have mentioned some of the accommodations that are typical with dysgraphia:  reducing some of writing demands, allowing more time for written responses, or alternative response formats. 

 

Dysgraphia doesn't "go away" and the need for learning strategies and coping mechanisms is usually lifelong.  Having documentation of the condition will not hurt in any way that I can imagine, and even in post-secondary/workplace settings, it might be useful.  It's particularly helpful to have some sort of precedent in place before attempting to seek accommodations in college (where the writing demands are fearsome compared to anything encountered prior to that).
 

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