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My 3rd grade son fits this to a "T". I've looked online at different programs, books, tips, etc., but would like to hear from homeschoolers that actually have a child with dysgpraphia. What has worked for you? Should I get a typing program? Is it OK to let him do math in his head (which he prefers) and write for him? Is letting him spell orally OK? Or doing spelling online?

 

Any advice, tips you can offer would be awesome!!!

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My 13 yo has dysgraphia. I regret not having him evaluated by an OT when he was diagnosed at 8yo.

 

He can write, the handwriting is messy though. He types 40wpm and learned in 5th grade.

 

Scribe for your son. Try speech to text software and by all means, teach him to type. Take off the pressure of writing whenever you can. Obviously, have him continue to develop hwing automaticity but don't kill him with it.

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My 13 yo has dysgraphia. I regret not having him evaluated by an OT when he was diagnosed at 8yo.

 

He can write, the handwriting is messy though. He types 40wpm and learned in 5th grade.

 

Scribe for your son. Try speech to text software and by all means, teach him to type. Take off the pressure of writing whenever you can. Obviously, have him continue to develop hwing automaticity but don't kill him with it.

 

 

How would you have him develop HW automatically. He mixes capitals and lowercase, starts letters from the bottom and doesn't remember to space words. Should I get him something like HWWT and have him do it periodically? Do you have a typing program you recommend?

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HWT would work. You want him to practice so that he has correct letter formation automatically, without thinking about it. Some moms here may recommend different programs. An OT can help too. I'm not familiar with other programs. I think the board may need a master thread for handwriting remediation options.

 

We used a reg typing program, Typing Instructor, Typer Island Platinum. Not all kids learn best this way. Some have to use more specific typing programs designed for dyslexics. DS practiced 20 min, 5 days per week for a semester. I tried to make it fun and gave rewards when he was done.

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My son has dysgraphia and I think scribing and doing things orally are very appropriate accommodations. That's what you are doing - accommodating the disability. We do try to practice handwriting too, but we don't use writing as a way to show what he knows, if that makes sense. Handwriting practice is a separate subject. My son has done HWT a lot and he still has difficulty with automaticity. I think it's important to remember that repetitive handwriting practice is not going to remediate dysgraphia. It's a brain-based condition. I have heard that programs like Neuronet, Interactive Metronome and Dianne Craft's Writing 8 exercise can help. I agree too that an OT can be helpful. There is no easy fix though.

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My son has dysgraphia and I think scribing and doing things orally are very appropriate accommodations. That's what you are doing - accommodating the disability. We do try to practice handwriting too, but we don't use writing as a way to show what he knows, if that makes sense. Handwriting practice is a separate subject. My son has done HWT a lot and he still has difficulty with automaticity. I think it's important to remember that repetitive handwriting practice is not going to remediate dysgraphia. It's a brain-based condition. I have heard that programs like Neuronet, Interactive Metronome and Dianne Craft's Writing 8 exercise can help. I agree too that an OT can be helpful. There is no easy fix though.

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I would do the following:

  • See about setting up some OT.
  • Get HWT and have him write for five minutes each day (you may need to work up to it). You need to watch his every move to be sure he is forming the letters correctly. Do not allow him to draw the letters. You may have to watch his every move for several months to be sure he is not falling into bad habits again.
  • Teach him to type.
  • Scribe *everything* for him until he is ready to take over. It will be a gradual process that could take several years.

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I would do the following:

  • See about setting up some OT.
  • Get HWT and have him write for five minutes each day (you may need to work up to it). You need to watch his every move to be sure he is forming the letters correctly. Do not allow him to draw the letters. You may have to watch his every move for several months to be sure he is not falling into bad habits again.
  • Teach him to type.
  • Scribe *everything* for him until he is ready to take over. It will be a gradual process that could take several years.

 

I agree with Kai on everything, especially how to handle handwriting practice. I personally used the Getty-Dubay Italic style & like that better. It's another option to consider for font.

 

I also used the Startwrite software to create handwriting practice worksheets. You can choose font styles that correspond to the most common handwriting programs (including HWOT and Getty-Dubay Italic), font sizes, solid or dotted lines for tracing with dots to show the starting point, etc. I used this for my son all the way through 8th grade and created worksheets for copywork practice on sentences and passages that corresponded to his literature. For an individual sentence, he would trace a sentence that had start dots, trace a sentence w/o start dots, then copy the sentence to a blank line. Because his hand would get tired, we often had to break it up rather than doing a whole sheet in one sitting.

 

At the end of 8th grade, my son still had very little automaticity, but he could write legibly if he took his time. His neuropsych testing at 15yo confirmed his continuing difficulty, but amazingly, within the last year (he is now 18yo) there has been some physical development and he has gotten so he can write faster and without tiring so much. However, legibility still suffers. Sometimes he prefers handwriting his lecture notes in his CC classes, though I think it's not as functional as he thinks it is.

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I do not think there is a need for him to do spelling with handwriting. Handwriting is not a way for my son to learn ----- as much as it is a way for other kids to learn, it is just not for him. He is less likely to learn when handwriting is involved -- he is too consumed with the handwriting. He does not have that "motor memory" where you trace a word on your hand and have the feeling of the letters as you go to write a word. He just does not have it. If he gets it someday, that would be great, but in the meantime, he doesn't have it. I know there are a lot of people/programs who swear by a learning process that involves kids writing (as they listen, as they think) but it is just not reality for every single person, as well as it works for the people it works for. And if he could have that process with typing instead of handwriting, I don't think that is a problem, I would be happy if my son gets to that point. Or continues to progress in his handwriting. I don't know right now where he will end up ---- I just know right now he does not learn through handwriting in any way.

 

I think you can do letter tiles for spelling, orally if that is good, whatever works. My son does oral. I also scribe for him -- sometimes he can see a mistake after I have written for him, and it seems to be helpful to him in learning. (Not that he is a good speller, but he could be worse, and I am happy for every word he can spell correctly.)

 

My son does go to OT and it is helpful, but it is not a "cure" for him. He is making improvement, though.

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I missed the part about spelling. I agree with Lecka about not handwriting spelling words for practice or tests. My son really couldn't do oral spelling either, so we floundered for many years. Using letter tiles helped somewhat.

 

What really worked best for my son for spelling drill was an online program called WizardsSpell. This is purely a drill program. You can use pre-made lists or input your own lists. My son finally began to make progress when we used this program. However, part of the beauty of it was that he was developing the kinesthetic feel of the sequence of keystrokes to develop automaticity in spelling- much like the kinesthetic feel of writing letters for typical student. He just couldn't develop that feel when writing words by hand, but did seem to get it for typing. All that to say, if your son has not yet learned to type, it would be better to wait on this type of program until he can touch type. I think that will be more effective than using hunt and peck for inputting the letters.

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Thank you SO much ladies! I called our county ESD today to find out if they offered OT and am waiting for someone to get back with me. We have been using AAS this year (still on level 1) and so far so good. My son does really well with remembering the rules it teaches and it has really helped his reading (which didn't take off until this year-3rd grade). We have done spelling orally most of this year which is obviously so much better for him. I have also been scribing for Math and English He does his math in his head, but I know he will eventually need to write the steps once he gets in higher math because he most likely won't be able to do the equations mentally.

 

I sent my DH an article yesterday after I stumbled upon Dysgraphia and realized my DS had it. My DH cried after reading it because he realized that it is also what he had while growing up. He still hates to write and it's all chicken scratches, but I think it gave him some sort of relief after all these years.

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There is a really good article on SWB site about dysgraphia and how to help a child. Let me find the link.

 

I agree that we practice handwriting separately from other subjects. I scribe for many things. For math, we work problems together. I write the answers but he has to show me where to write the numbers and tell me what numbers to write. So that i know he understands the concepts.

 

I may be the lone dissenter but I don't like HWT with tears at all for a child with dysgraphia. I have no clinical "proof" but what I have seen (I have used HWT with all four of my boys) is that my one who has dysgraphia struggles more and I think the problem is that by emphasizing all the uppercase letters first it imprints those in their mind and they are easier to write but with a child with dysgraphia this is hard to overcome and I find that his default in writing (automatic writing without thinking) will be a lot more capital letters with easy lower case letters thrown in. I wish that we had started with Getty Dubay (which I have switched all my boys too). The writing is easier to move to cursive (which helps with reversals) and I just like the way that they introduce the letters better. All of that is just my opinion.

 

We are currently in OT which we just started. We are also working on typing and we practice using the Diane Craft's Writing 8 exercises. I actually think the fluidity of the Writing 8 helps with the automatic flow of writing.

 

Adding links...

 

Here is my pinterest board with handwriting and dysgraphia links.

 

http://pinterest.com/timbosbeautiful/language-arts-penmanship/

 

Article by Karen Hollis on WTM site.

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/guest-post-karen-hollis-on-working-with-the-dysgraphic-child/

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My oldest had this. I scribed for him until he was around 16. I use to find it so frustrating, but he could not write. He would start out writing, and crunch up the paper,then start on another sheet and repeat, until he was surrounded with crunched up paper and said he was on strike. It was so frustrating for both of us! :bored: At 17 he did his very first essay all by himself for a university course, and got 76%. I was ecstatic. :hurray: . My point is DON'T DESPAIR. Don't feel you are letting your child off easy by scribing for them. If you don't they get held back by their lack of ability to write. My DS is now at Uni studying Aerospace Engineering. he is one of the top students in his class. He does all of his own writing. Even 3 years ago I would not have believed it if a fortune teller told me that he would get there.

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Melissa, Tks so much for the inspiration. And congratulations to you and your son!

 

Ds has dysgraphia. He started to improve a few months in that he's willing and able to write fairly straightforward narrations. Letter formation is still not automatic but so much better. Once the material requires more thinking however, the writing goes to pots. So we're back to typing/scribing, but we're holding on to the gain that he's able to write narrations.

 

Baby steps.

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We've been using the Dianne Craft Brain Integration Therapy for a writing glitch in my 8 y.o. son. since the day after Christmas. We have started a GFCF diet and added probiotics and cod liver oil. We've also started working with our neurofunctional chiropractor for 2 visits a month. He gives us addiitonal exercises for activating the right frontal region of my son's brain that we are supposed to do 9 times a day. Last week we had a major break through. DS-8 now says that writing is much easier, and his handwriting has improved dramatically. There are still other issues that we will be working on, so we'll move to the auditory processing glitch brain training section of the Dianne Craft materials next week. I have made tons of accomodations for my son for the past three years, math curriculum with minimal writing, spelling on a white board, copy work/scribing instead of writing (all with tears). I just wanted to encourage you. We started a lap book last week. Two weeks ago my son would have cried if he had to fill out a worksheet! I really think superimposing his alphabet during the writing 8 exercise has been a huge part of that improvement. We even eliminated his reversal issues. HTH!

 

P.S. I thought I was the only one who had a Brain Training board on Pinterest! :) It is good to know I am not alone!

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Yes, we were given the "Smart Kids Who Hate to Write" DVD by DIane Craft in the fall. We started right away. I can't tell you how much writing 8s have helped. He is still slow, but he has an incredibly slow processing speed. He no longer struggles with letter/number reversals and writing has become automatic. I'm trying to decide what to do next for processing speed. http://www.dianecraft.org/

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We had DS in PS for elementary years and the accomadation experts decided not to teach cursive. We should have required the teaching just not the grade because now he can't read it and we are still working on coming up with a legal signature. I would love to go back and teach him cursive but he's 16. Practically writing will never be automatic in the way that verbal processing is so we have used scribing, keyboarding (alpha smart and computer), now we use Dragon. For math we found graph paper incredibly helpful for lining columns up.

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