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I don't want to make too much of this but...(dysgraphia?)

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Dd has become a good math student after a very rough start, with the first months of hsing being a trial of several different math curricula. Even now that we've been settled with a curriculum that she enjoys and is successful with, math usually takes her well over an hour. This was true as a second grader and it's true now in sixth grade.


Due to her not feeling well lately, I've offered her the option of letting me write for her. When I write do, the CLE lessons only take about 20 minutes, and I'm seeing that her mind works at a good pace so sometimes I really have to put an effort into keeping up with what she's teling me to write.


I know this same dd has struggled with writing. When she was younger, it was the physical act of it (lax ligaments at play?), and she formed some letters a bit oddly, like starting at the bottom. I attributed that to lack of instruction, but it hasn't particularly helped when I've tried to correct her either.


Personally, now, I think she writes well. Her handwriting is still so-so, but her style, structure, and content are good. She still doesn't enjoy the process, but I think it's becoming less of a chore than it used to be. In the old days, she would get so very frustrated with it and just drop her head on the table. The thinking and the writing together seemed too much. (Yes, I know what SWB says about this. ;))


I've wondered a bit about dysgraphia before, but I thought it was probably just me thinking too much. At the same time, the difference in how long it takes her to do math with her writing and with me writing is really significant.


At the same time, could we just be dealing with an attention issue, with my being there keeping her on task? She has complained before of an inability to concentrate.


What about working memory? Is she getting bogged down when there's both the thinking and the writing to worry about, whether it's math or other writing?


Any thoughts?

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You know, a lot makes more sense to me now that I've started thinking in terms of *processing speed*. It's linked to working memory of course, but think about all the processing involved in the things you described. For instance, our np pointed out that dd's handwriting wouldn't improve unless she were only doing ONE THING with it. For instance, she can't think about spelling AND hold 7 words in her working memory AND remember how to form the letters AND...

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She sounds a lot like my oldest daughter. Poor math performance, visual-spatial issues, poor handwriting... She is 14 now and still has to use a keyboard for almost all her written assignments (except for fill-in-the-blank worksheet type stuff).. She can't effectively write with a pencil. It's too much for her to organize her thoughts, focus on pencil grip, AND write neatly. With her laptop, her fingers just FLY and she can spit out any assignment in no time flat. My daughter has not been officially diagnosed with dysgraphia, but I think she does have it. She did do some OT when she was very young (age 4) for fine motor delay and sensory issues.. Way before she was diagnosed with anything. Now, as a teen, she has found reasons to write and she also draws A LOT.. Her handwriting has improved immensely just in the past year or so. But she still could not ever in a million years handwrite an essay in 20 minutes (for the SAT). If you suspect your dd has this issue, I would make sure she is evaluated and diagnosed (if necessary) with something that reflects a fine motor issue or disorder of written expression if you plan for her to take the SAT or other tests. She may need accommodations.

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