Hello! Anyone have experience with this? I suspect my 8yo 3rd grader could have dysgraphia. His teacher is not familiar with this condition. If I want to have him tested, how should I proceed? Get in touch with the district? Look into a private evaluation? Thanks in advance for any guidance on getting him assessed. Any info on dysgraphia in particular would be most welcome.
My ds has dysgraphia. We had him assessed in 10th grade, when he first entered school full-time (he was homeschooled prior to that). We just requested they do testing to document dysgraphia that we were pretty sure he had. In most districts that would entail an OT assessment. Our district doesn't have an OT or similar on staff (district is too small) so they did what they always do which is bring in a psychologist from outside to do comprehensive testing. He got immediate accommodations. In our case he was already super competent on a computer keyboard and had his own laptop; we were just looking for official permission to use it in situations where it might not otherwise be allowed (standardized testing, eg.).
I'd suggest that you start by requesting testing through the school. Put it in writing ... our district had a request and permission form I had to fill out. You'll have more success getting them to take their own evaluator's recommendations seriously. So long as the testing results within the school district seem realistic and the recommendations helpful, you won't need to go private.
Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up
My son was noted as having dysgraphia during his time in occupational therapy. He wasn't in OT for dysgraphia, it just came out while they were assessing him for other things. He started getting accommodations based on perceived need in 2nd grade so we never really needed to do and submit specific dysgraphia testing or get an IEP. I did work with him at home on the writing during elementary using "handwriting without tears" just to keep him legible. He's in 8th grade now and his writing is still more like a 3rd grader but he can type most everything. I had similar struggles growing up but we didn't have a name for it. I'd just get failing grades in penmanship and was eventually told to type everything and not bother turning in handwritten work. Penmanship didn't snap into place until college during a drafting class. Something about that class made me see things differently, maybe having to write on graphing paper, I don't know but and I've had pretty nice handwriting ever since. Or maybe it was just growing up. Not sure.
You can request testing from the school. You'll be asking for general Learning Disability testing and like PP mentioned, put it in writing. It can take forever to come through. The frustration is that a lot of schools don't test for issues they don't have direct services for so if they test and DON'T come back with dysgraphia that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have it.
You can talk to his pediatrician and request occupational therapy. That might be a route should the school not offer any help.