Jump to content

Menu

OT/VT at home for dysgraphia


Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

it was suggested that I open a new thread as a spin-off to my dysgraphia thread.  My son has a range of visual issues as well as poor control of his hands in addition to sensory problems.  I am not sure if his dysgraphia stems from vision, motor or combined difficulties.

 

I did some OT with him when he was little to deal with the sensory issues and he has made good progress on that front, enough that this is not affecting his daily life much anymore.  

 

However, I have no idea how to approach the inability to write.  He has correct pencil grip but he cannot get his hands to move in a manner that would produce legible writing.  He has been evaluated for OT and VT, everybody agrees there are problems but he has never qualified for OT or VT on the basis that there are accommodations (like velcro shoes, pants without buttons and he can ask restaurant staff to cut his meat), other kids are worse off than him and the like.  Since his academic achievements were high, the schools said there was no educational need for therapy and thus it was denied.  We have also gone through private practice. Insurance declined on the basis that we can accommodate and his disabilities did not result from injury.

 

With much practice he has mastered many things albeit he is still slow and it takes much effort but the writing is something we have been utterly unable to improve.

 

Does anybody have any ideas for some activities or resources?  I have been trying to strengthen his hand muscles but that does not seem to have helped much other than that being able to apply greater pressure made his writing more visible.  I guess that is progress.

 

He types most of his written work but I would like him to be able to write short notes (like filling in a form, writing down his phone number or having a reliable signature).

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have any suggestions but I wanted to send you sympathy and hopes that someone else will respond with something useful.  

 

FWIW, one of my nephews has profound dysgraphia.  No one can read his handwriting, including himself.  It is truly abysmal. He types everything.  Everything humanly possible to type, he types it.  He has a Smart Phone and a laptop and an IPad.  He uses them all in varying degrees.  When he can't type something, he gets someone to scribe for him.   He is in college with a 4.0.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For starters, both my kids are low tone, and their uncle and two cousins have some combo of SPD and DCD. My DS is diagnosed dysgraphia, and my DD struggles with hand pain while writing. I expect DD will be tested later in the year.  

 

When my kids were evaluated by the OT, an assessment was made of their static/dynamic balance, visual perception, motor planning, developmental motor (AKA primitive reflexes), handedness, and core/pincer strength.  

 

Here's a link for checking reflexes. DS had the spinal galant, ATNR, and the STNR retained, and they were integrated by working with an OT for 6-7 weeks and a ped PT for another 6 weeks.  My DS required many postural exercises after slumping at a desk for so long and required weights to address a left side weakness.  

 

Here is a website that contains directions for half of the exercises DD performed 5 times per week using a slightly deflated stability ball: ball push-up with feet up, ball chest fly, and ball dumbbell press with small weights.  

 

Movement with cross body type exercises and balance are very important with these kids. Both of my kids use the elliptical for 5 minutes minimum.  DS seems to have benefited from agility and balance exercises. The beginner and intermediate poster set on this link contain pictures of exercises both kids performed.

 

Since your son is a teenager, he may benefit by working out with a sports trainer on base.  You would need someone sensitive to the growing body of a teen aged male.  Maybe a football coach?  

 

I don't know a thing about at home VT work. To address motor planning with the handwriting, we used the HWT app on the IPad, and the LOE white board. I can't think of anything else at the moment. Good luck!

Edited by Heathermomster
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, we had this exact same thing with both boys. Even diwn to the school thing though our insurance did pay for it but not for as long as needed.

 

What worked for us. And our cases were really bad...still working on the little guy.

 

Stress balls, an yup. Ya gonna have to let em bounce em too or they won't want to use them lol

 

Hand grippers . they made it a game with dad.

 

Tightning bolts with a wrench. This one was rough but helped alot. And with fine motor .

 

TRACING , that's the important part is tracing the draw write now books. It's a picture and writing about the picture below and it's nice big writing. We clipped the train paper top and bottom to the page in the book and at first I held their hand to guide so to help with flow , ease, comfort, and most of all confidence. That's what got my guys, confidence.

Then used colored pencils to color in the picture. ...the handwriting portion was important to trace BC it trains their eyes and hands on focus and flow.

 

We started out with the draw write now books for just about 5 min. Each time and each week added 5 more min.

As the week's went on we added....with back to holding their hand to show correct amount of pressure.

 

We built up time and pressure as weeks went on. Worked like a champ fir my 12 yo.

He has beautiful handwriting now but we still practice the books. Only every now and again tho .

The younger one is still working on I. He's come a very long way tho.

 

The wonderful incentive there is they get a beautiful masterpiece when they are done :)

 

I hang them up on display and make a big deal about how beautiful they are. This has worked really well.

 

It's hard for our kiddos to do this so, more incentive and praise the better.

 

Your goig to have to guide their hand at first tho and periodically throughout . just to make sure they are getting it but most if all...to progress.

This worked REALLY well

 

Small water balloons. Fill them up with the hose outside and try to break them with their hands. Ours took 2 hands to start then graduated to one hand. This worked well to. Who doesn't love a good water balloon lol

 

If they like those squshy balls with the spiney things comin out...therapy places sell them but I started getting mine from the dollar store. They loves the texture and did wonders for sensory and Hans strength at same time.

 

Whatever on the sensory balls they like...get and make a game of it. Set a timer and see how long they can do it. For each milestone (whatever you set as a good one) they get to add to a paper chain you start.

Cut small rectangles and have them staple it together and hang it. They LOVE their paperchains and adding to them.

This strengthens with cutting and the stapeling. Try to get them to staple with one hand...or work uo to it.

It's amazing how well a paperchains hanging in their room or rec room will please and excite them and constantly remind them how well they are doing and build loads of confidence . show daddy everyday and praise. All goes a long way.

 

 

I at first made it a once a day goal to work in one of these....then twice a day adding a second fun thing to do...then to three...and each time adding linger lengths of time at each setting.

 

Morning noon and nite and always make one be the draw write now tracing and coloring to learn to print and teaches them to draw.

 

That's what I did and it worked really well. Their PS teachers couldn't believe what beautiful handwriting my seriously at a deficit 12 yo ...that he had.

 

My lil guy is coming along.

Both of them ...you couldn't tell anything they wrote..or attempted to write...was scribble..really it was bad.

 

He is so pleased with his handwriting now and loves to write :)

The younger one is , as he gets better, a starting to draw or write himself now. Which for them is HUGE.

Good luck..and make u fun and add that sensory in. They'll want to do it then.

Building uo stamina a Nd firm is so hard .

Edited by Kat w
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, this one was really good and helped with alot.

 

Paper plate puppets. Whatever stry wenwrre reading ( read alouds are good too)

Wed make paper plate puppets to act out the story (cement story and comprehension)

Cut out construction paper eye, nose , AND best of all. Thins strips of the construction paper for the hair. This their eyes really have to follow and work with their hands and have to make alot of them when they are really thin strips ( this would be over the course of several days at first to make them and work on begging middle n end if story)

Staple not glue all the face parts and hair. Glue on popsicle sticks.

At first I'd tell them what to say about the story , they'd pick the characters they'd want to be. And the would go behind the couch and put on the puppet show for m then again for dad....this also gets them ( after you've helped them with recalling facts in the story and tell them the sequences, that's how they learn I then they eventually catch in and start to take over more and more themselves )

Theyd act it out with their puppets and make funny voices etc.

Then again when dad comes home. Then before ya know it they are acting it out themselves ...and learning story recall)

 

Made my boys work hard to try to get as many facts about the story as they could and eventually want to write them down ( cuz draw write now books taught them how to write well... Tracing the words that is)

They would want to read more stories. Cut your more paper plate puppets and act it out more and more.

Before I knew it they were doing g it in their own. AND recalling storey facts and beginning middle and end. Boy was that part hard fir my boys.

 

I had contests who couldake the crazies n tiniest hair. ...worked on eyes following and it cutting lol. Trickery gets me everywhere haha.

 

And I'd do a paperchains for this one too.

I still do this. We have to for comprehenshion.

 

They love those paper chains. They'll cut n cut n cut to win the craziest hair contest...requires more stapeling too haha.

Edited by Kat w
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tightning bolts with a wrench. This one was rough but helped alot. And with fine motor .

 

TRACING , that's the important part is tracing the draw write now books. It's a picture and writing about the picture below and it's nice big writing. We clipped the train paper top and bottom to the page in the book and at first I held their hand to guide so to help with flow , ease, comfort, and most of all confidence. That's what got my guys, confidence.

Then used colored pencils to color in the picture. ...the handwriting portion was important to trace BC it trains their eyes and hands on focus and flow.

 

We started out with the draw write now books for just about 5 min. Each time and each week added 5 more min.

As the week's went on we added....with back to holding their hand to show correct amount of pressure.

 

We built up time and pressure as weeks went on. Worked like a champ fir my 12 yo.

He has beautiful handwriting now but we still practice the books. Only every now and again tho .

The younger one is still working on I. He's come a very long way tho.

 

The wonderful incentive there is they get a beautiful masterpiece when they are done :)

 

I hang them up on display and make a big deal about how beautiful they are. This has worked really well.

Ok, this is brilliant!!  I have this set (bought used at a sale) and I've been trying to figure out how to use it with him!!  So you used tracing paper?  What kind of paper?

 

And it works to trace the writing?  It would jump over so many hurdles, that's for sure.  That is wild.  It's so obvious and brilliant when you explain it this way.  :D

 

And the wrenches, wow would that go over big!! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kat, tell me more about the paper plate puppets and paper chains for comprehension...  so you had several kids doing this, so each one made one and it let you work on retelling?  But what if you only have one kid?  Then what would you do?  And with the chains, then it's one chain for each event?  

 

So you started a book on Monday and started the puppet on Wed?  Did they work on the puppets WHILE you read or after?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awww thank you so much for those kind words OhE. Perked me uo a bi :) tanx.

 

The tracing paper, Wed use ALOT of paper clips on the top and bottom ( again fine motor skills and eyes focusing) ID have them start left to right with the paper plates too to work on training their eyes which way to move across the page to read.

I bought the good tracing paper. It's legal sized which is even better cuz then the have to cut some off the bottom haha. Trickery.

Then we started with the reading of the sentences they were about to trace. I always got the writing part of of the way first cuz its harder then they've ended their couple days project on a good fun note with tracing the picture last then coloring it in.

I always at first put my hand over there's the help them, show them rhythm of writing and proper form. Vaporization, punctuation .

This they love my big guy still dies it for fun, he's getting constant practice and writing practice. How sentence should be structured etc.

This took us from literal scribble to really pretty and dark ( cuz he learned how much pressure to apply from my hand being over top of his practicing. He adores his writing niw AND one thing I forgot ...they'll go back and read what they "wrote" from the draw write now books over and over . I try to keep alot of them displayed and swap em out some too. They jus walk uo to them and read em. And admire their work. Also I can show anyone who comes in the house and they get praise thst way too.

 

The paper plate puppets ...oh...we love these. We do them with almost every story. We are still on short stories ..a tad bit below ir on what they can read so that we can work on recalling facts, sequencing, and paragraph building. (Topic sentence , supporting facts, and closing ,) I use the step into reading books for this and they have lots of pretty pictures to start to "visualize" the characters , theme/plot.

I try to do shared reading on this( we all take a turn reading a page and comment something about it, so I know we're on track with comprehending)

The book may take 2 days to read, but when were done reading it...they oic which characters they want to be. Usually they are more than one character but not always. The step into reading books usually have a person or 2 and an animal of some sort. They fight over who gets to be the animal. It also gives me opportunity to have them find what each character said cuz they have to look for quotation marks.

 

They now like to start to write down what they're going to say in their play. I don't correct spelling grammar nothin..I make all this fir " fun" lol

 

Then we get the paper plates and construction paper...sometimes they make the puppet look just like the book sometimes they make them look different. That part was huge for me to push cuz it makes them visualize. Huge huge thing alot of our kids have trouble with. Then they cut out the eyes, nose, cheek color. I stretch them more and more to add details. ( the more visual details thwy can do the more details one day they can add to their writing and really....Micah 12 yo this is the only way he understood what an adjective was. .....still typing.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I stretch them to add more details to their puppet. Then the hair is the beat part BC that takes them into really fine focus, and motor skills...long strips of construction paper and to build hand strength to be able to write as an older students ...the construction paper is way thicker than anything else and really builds those muscles . I have em do small fine strips cuzthen it also keeps them cutting fir longer...takes alot to fill in hair when they are small strips lol.

 

EVERYTHING is stapled cuz that really builds hand strength and the motor planning that takes to make that happen is huge. My lil guy couldn't do it at first and I just kept putting my hand over his showing and guiding.

 

Then we glue the craft sticks to the bottom of the plate ( that's the handle) while the glue dries we go over the story. Start with beginning middle and end...then they either write out ( only I they want ...this is to be fun) and decide what facts we can't to put in our story from the book ( you can do it with any book)

This works on fact recal ...they practice it a couple times til we get the sequencing right. ( sequencing is so important and hard for kids who struggle) .....

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We run through it a couple times and I help them add voice inflection and funny voices ( which later on next book we read will make them want to add that, show sadness etc. Which just recognizing that is hard sometimes ) then they funly bicjer over who didn't do what right haha...laugh at the funny voice someone created lol)

 

By then the glue is normally dry, they go behind the couch with their puppets...someone usually has 2 so one puppet pops up then another goes away.....this is awesome fir motor planning. My boys struugle in that area before we started doing this.

 

They mess it up somewhere along the line.....i laugh with them and tell them how cute and funny it is....all while correcting them and they don't even realize it.

 

...till we get it right. The sequencing, begginging middle and end.

Ten I'll ask em how else the story could have ended ir what they think would happen next. ( prediction n drawing conclusions )

 

Then sometimes they'll make up a different story line.

This is where they will "practice " through play the stry over and over again. Cuz....they love their puppets.

We have an entire bin. They'll go get past stories out n "have to " reread the book to get it right.

 

Tricking them into reading a story over and over again. Before this, they hated reading and reading it more than once.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's grammar, language, ot, speech ( cuz I can really work with him on his Annunciation and articulation here....cuz...hell let me. He wants his funny character voice tosound good lol.

 

It's writing ( learning how sentences and fir Micah...paragraphs should flow and include. Topic, supporting facts and close...and handwriting if they choose to writ it out and read from it.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To encourage them to write it out without asking them to....I'll hang what they wrote with the plate puppets up top. And go back and read it over and over. They'll see if they missed a period etc and want to fix it cuz...it's on da wall lol. They want it to look good and...be able to read it n make sense.

I usually....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

, if they don't write it out give them a contest of some sort thst involves cutting...like the hair...then who wins the contest gets to add a chain to their paper chain. More cutting and stapeling.

 

And they LIVE watching their paperchains grow :)

 

Right now we....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To encourage them to write it out without asking them to....I'll hang what they wrote with the plate puppets up top. And go back and read it over and over. They'll see if they missed a period etc and want to fix it cuz...it's on da wall lol. They want it to look good and...be able to read it n make sense.

I usually....

 

Oh my goodness, I have these HUGE pads of paper I got at Walmart one year.  I knew I wanted them but didn't know exactly how to use them, till now.  :D

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are working on contest for who adds the most details to their plate characters.

Studies show that LC kids learn to write more details in theor writing by first adding more details to pictures, crafts etc. Its really the biggest cheapest bang fir your buck. Grammar writing, reading, technical part if writing and all most of it, by theor own accord cuz...they don't want no junk hung up lol

( I know...grammar was wrong...was for effect :))

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

...also teaching plot character setting and I throw in a chain to add if they can tell my why they think the author wrote the book.

 

Now they are into...announcing the title author and illustrator before they do their play.

 

They will literally dothis over and over again.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, do you know what the specific glitches are with your kids? I have a kid with the same labels as yours, and we're just now making progress on the handwriting front this year.  The activities mentioned above by other posters would not have been helpful to my ds.  (They were things we did with a different dd, for other issues).  In ds's instance, he had too much tone in his forearm.  Ds seems to have a gap in his visualization technique.

 

What's working:  a lot of motor/coordination work with gross motor skills---ball bouncing, measured jumping, and other dyspraxia type work--kind of like the exercises described in "beating dyspraxia with a hop, skip and a jump"--combined with primitive reflex work.  He also has specific handwriting instruction focusing on stroke sequence, visualizing the letter in his brain, and then putting that onto paper.  He had been looking at each letter and copying it. His therapist has him looking at a word, thinking about writing that word, visualizing it in his head, and then writing it down without looking back at the copywork prompt.  It seems to be working.  Oddly, these things have jumped his Beery scores several grades.  

 

My ds will always need to rely on technology, but he can now fill out short forms in a way that can be read by others.

 

We've had to be cash pay for services for everything. I totally understand the frustration of a tight budget + no coverage from the school district or private insurance.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I'm still missing what the paper chains do.  Are they like one for each step in the plot?  So then it's a chain for author/illustrator, a chain for title, a chain for each step in the plot, a chain for the moral/why, etc.?  Any code to the chains, or just chains?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hahahaha....cake mmm. I want some...me cookie monster lol...or..cake monster. Oh, I have stuff to make a cake. Comfort food...and fractions lol.

 

Awww..OhE, thank you so much for that. Now I'm crying in a good way...big huge virtual hug.

 

You're exactly what I needed right now. You're such an awesome friend and encourager. I needed that.

 

I'm gonna go hug my boys...and make a cake . hope it's chocolate :) with lots of chocolate icing lol.

 

And ...I'm not cooking tonite cuz...my dishwashers still broken :)

 

Man. What a day. Thanks again...really. Big hugs and I'll send you a peice of virtual cake.

 

We all had coffee the other day...today I'll pass out cake :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh the paper chains hang from the ceiling ..you cut construction paper in rectangles and taple circles interlocking each other ...it looks almost like garland on a Christmas tree. You start by making one circle. Just stapeling it. The you hopp thru another rectangle and make into a circle and staple that one I jus tack the first couple to the ceiling.

It's like and interlocking chain .

 

They have to earn a circle ( that they cut and staple )

They earn it by competing on who has the most and craziest hair...who had the most details in their paper plate face, if they write it out to read from they both get to make a link to their own chain and staple it .

 

They compete who can get the longer chain. Every 8 or so chains I tack it to the ceiling. So it makes it look like what you'd do to decorate streamers for a party.

 

I'll see if this slow old phone will let me upload a pic.

Lemme try real quick

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, tats what I was saying about bouncing the stress balls. And for us..handwriting was so bad we could have never started off with copying. We had to trace it...and yes...the visualizing is a must. We bring it in our tracing . I have to hold their hands to show them proper pressure. Ours was too light so I put my hand over theirs to press harder. You could do the same with backing off pressure. The whole think is building strength (stress ball squeezing and bouncing ) and practicing thru tracing the draw write now books you physically show them the ebb and flow and appropriate pressure .

Visualizing I mentioned as you go helos to solidify it in your mind / hand connection

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prairiewind and Heathermonster,

 

I just deleted my reply because as I was rereading your posts I noticed both of you mentioned dyspraxia.  At the moment I am rather dumbfounded because as I didn't really know what it was I looked it up before continuing.  My son deals with every single symptom, only two of them do not show in academic work but they do in every day life, memory and sequencing.  He would lose his head if it wasn't screwed on but he has superior working memory and can remember things, particularly conversations,for years after he learned them.  He does well in math and excels in languages and social studies.  He also never threw tantrums or had emotional outbursts. 

 

After bringing up all these issues again and again to pediatricians, teachers and psychologists, I find it rather depressing that not one of them was able to put things together and diagnose that.  I wonder how much easier his life could have been if he had had the right support from an early age.  On the other hand, it seems we have done a lot of things right even if it was unbeknownst to us.

 

He is spending the summer with grandma (it's not quite as bucolic for him as it sounds, grandma is an avid swimmer, cycler and hiker :lol: ).  When he returns he will start with a personal trainer, it is already set up.  I will also make an appointment with our doctor and ask specifically about dyspraxia and see again if I can get him into some sort of therapy.  Luckily he is quite willing to follow suggestions.  If not, now I have some great resources to work with him on my own.

 

I have never thought about primitive reflexes but reading through the home tests, I am sure that some of them are present as we have done those exercises before for different reasons and his reactions would indicate retention.  I will ask about those too.  

 

Kat and Oh Elizabeth,

 

thank you so much for your contributions, there are some great ideas.  My daughter is actually trying to make the world's longest paper chain, it will be easy to get big brother to help her with that.  The wrench idea is brilliant.  I have been working on screw tops on bottles but he can't really handle those.  A wrench will be a lot easier to start with.  I did a lot of tracing with him when he was little but he kept balking at that because of the sensory issues.  I will try again.

 

Thanks again everyone for your help.  This is really encouraging.

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The trainer will think of this, but there are basic things like push-ups that will be really good for core, for upper body, for handwriting.  They can do it with a ball, whatever.  It's why I put my ds in gymnastics, absolutely!  Recreation and OT merge at a lot of points.  Not everywhere, but a lot.  So it's good to weave into their lifestyle this stuff!  And the input from the weights and the exercise can really calm and stabilize the sensory.  My ds will go in very wacked out and come out calm.  Now he might still have behaviors, but that's in his head (the ASD, how he thinks about his problems and how to communicate and solve them), not so much the sensory.  So I'm all for the physical stuff for them, yes!

 

Now your chains make sense!  And you know, I'm wondering if that's part of why ds has this thing for stapling?  I knew someone once who had the theory that our kids get attracted to stuff as a form of self-therapy, that they intuitively know things would help them.  He LOVES staplers and it really might be for that, hmmm.  

 

Well I love your ideas.  Thank you for sharing them!  There's a whole book about this, Nuturing Narratives, and it breaks everything down into steps.  But it's the developmental steps, not so much how to make it fun or engaging.  :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some awesome ideas in this thread, thanks ladies. We are trying to do OT at home this year since I broke the relationship with the clinic where he was originally getting speech and OT. There were just two many negative emotional memories tied to that place (for both ofnus, lol) and his anxiety has decreased immensely since quitting. So we are just going to PROMPT and working with the behaviorist (Play Project). His SLP always has an OT like activity in his sessions, but I am pretty sure I can recreate a lot of what he did at the other clinic.

 

I am most concerned about reflex work since he has many that need integrated: Moro, Palmer, rooting, STNR and ATNR. If anyone has any ideas on how to get this stuff worked on at home, that would be great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prairiewind and Heathermonster,

 

I just deleted my reply because as I was rereading your posts I noticed both of you mentioned dyspraxia.  At the moment I am rather dumbfounded because as I didn't really know what it was I looked it up before continuing.  My son deals with every single symptom, only two of them do not show in academic work but they do in every day life, memory and sequencing.  He would lose his head if it wasn't screwed on but he has superior working memory and can remember things, particularly conversations,for years after he learned them.  He does well in math and excels in languages and social studies.  He also never threw tantrums or had emotional outbursts. 

 

After bringing up all these issues again and again to pediatricians, teachers and psychologists, I find it rather depressing that not one of them was able to put things together and diagnose that.  I wonder how much easier his life could have been if he had had the right support from an early age.  On the other hand, it seems we have done a lot of things right even if it was unbeknownst to us.

 

He is spending the summer with grandma (it's not quite as bucolic for him as it sounds, grandma is an avid swimmer, cycler and hiker :lol: ).  When he returns he will start with a personal trainer, it is already set up.  I will also make an appointment with our doctor and ask specifically about dyspraxia and see again if I can get him into some sort of therapy.  Luckily he is quite willing to follow suggestions.  If not, now I have some great resources to work with him on my own.

 

I have never thought about primitive reflexes but reading through the home tests, I am sure that some of them are present as we have done those exercises before for different reasons and his reactions would indicate retention.  I will ask about those too.  

 

Kat and Oh Elizabeth,

 

thank you so much for your contributions, there are some great ideas.  My daughter is actually trying to make the world's longest paper chain, it will be easy to get big brother to help her with that.  The wrench idea is brilliant.  I have been working on screw tops on bottles but he can't really handle those.  A wrench will be a lot easier to start with.  I did a lot of tracing with him when he was little but he kept balking at that because of the sensory issues.  I will try again.

 

Thanks again everyone for your help.  This is really encouraging.

Well now that you brought up sequencing in everyday life, I'll mention that executive functioning is a challenge for my DS.  We have been working with a CBT since the spring, and we are finally seeing fruit from that experience.  

 

My DS worked with a ped PT when he was 15 yo old.  I sought her out after speaking with a reading specialist friend.  The PT asked a ton of questions and evaluated my boy.   It was amazing to sit down with the PT and add up all of son's ER visits.  I felt terrible about not finding her sooner, but then the PT assured me that there was work that could be done to stregthen the connections in son's brain across the corpus collasum.  DS worked with the PT twice per week for about 12 sessions.  Afterwards, DS finally learned to swim, which is huge, and he started football.  His posture is so much better now, and he can actually perfrom agility exercises.  I can read most of his math, but he had to type up the math problems from chemistry using Word's math mod.   He doesn't typically have emotional outbursts.

 

You raise an interesting question about filling out forms and/or signing names.  I almost wonder whether it would be good for him to carry name labels in his wallet or a self-inking stamper.  IDK, maybe it would be nice to have access to forms ahead of time so that they can be filled out prior?  I know that not every situation may be anticipated.  We need a mature adult living with severe dysgraphia to address this situation.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the other hand, it might be helpful to understand how our fingers work?

 

If you look at your elbow?

Each of your fingers, is controlled by a separate muscle in the top of your forearm. that connects to your elbow,

Also each of your fingers, is connected to separate muscles, under your forearm.

So that these muscles are used to 'extend and retract a finger'.

But these muscles only enable an 'in/out' movement of the fingers.

 

What adds to this, are the muscles on the back of our hands?

Perhaps you could spread your fingers on a hand?

Then try to bring each finger together with the finger next to it?

From the little finger, across to the index finger?

 

While you can probably easily bring your index finger, and the next finger together easily?

Without any movement of your other fingers?

It probably wont be the same, when you try to bring your little finger together with the next finger?

 

But perhaps you could now make a 'circular movement' with your index finger?

Then consider how you actually make this 'circular movement'?

While a forearm muscle contraction can make an 'I' movement.

 

A graduated use of the muscles on the top of the hand?

Can swing the 'I' to either side and back, and turn an 'I' into a 'C'.

 

So that their is a difference between a difficulty with writing an 'I', as opposed to a difficulty with writing a 'c'?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some awesome ideas in this thread, thanks ladies. We are trying to do OT at home this year since I broke the relationship with the clinic where he was originally getting speech and OT. There were just two many negative emotional memories tied to that place (for both ofnus, lol) and his anxiety has decreased immensely since quitting. So we are just going to PROMPT and working with the behaviorist (Play Project). His SLP always has an OT like activity in his sessions, but I am pretty sure I can recreate a lot of what he did at the other clinic.

 

I am most concerned about reflex work since he has many that need integrated: Moro, Palmer, rooting, STNR and ATNR. If anyone has any ideas on how to get this stuff worked on at home, that would be great.

 

I don't think they want you to work on retained reflexes before 5.  I would do some of the yoga for kids things (SuperDuper, YogaPretzels, whatever), Sitting Like a Frog, gymnastics at your Y (they may have Rat Pack for that age), School Moves/Focus Moves.  Just lots of overall good stuff, kwim?  

 

I didn't realize you had left the other place.  That's good that your stress has gone down and his!  I've heard GOOD THINGS about Play Project, so that's awesome!  And, you know, it might be that the therapists at the other place were making more demands than he was ready to handle.  Once you get with someone who really is thinking in terms of behavior, they control the amount of demands and bring it into reach.  So it looks like you're not doing much, but you're doing what they can handle.  I'm glad you've found a better partner for this.  A team approach is good, so build your team!  :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

LOL, I though about business cards for him.  I should have asked here years ago; being able to look at it all in one place seems to make it so much more manageable.  We can now have an objective look at what he can and can't do and prioritize the areas that need work.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think they want you to work on retained reflexes before 5. I would do some of the yoga for kids things (SuperDuper, YogaPretzels, whatever), Sitting Like a Frog, gymnastics at your Y (they may have Rat Pack for that age), School Moves/Focus Moves. Just lots of overall good stuff, kwim?

 

I didn't realize you had left the other place. That's good that your stress has gone down and his! I've heard GOOD THINGS about Play Project, so that's awesome! And, you know, it might be that the therapists at the other place were making more demands than he was ready to handle. Once you get with someone who really is thinking in terms of behavior, they control the amount of demands and bring it into reach. So it looks like you're not doing much, but you're doing what they can handle. I'm glad you've found a better partner for this. A team approach is good, so build your team! :)

I have never heard no reflex integration til they are 5. Hmmmm. That is news. Yes good things happening with Play Project therapist. First and foremost, we are on the same page worldview wise, and I cannot tell you what a difference that makes. Instead of fighting philosophical positions with his therapists, she fully supports our family values. So I know longer feel under scratiny or at odds with stated or implied goals either in Speech Therapy or with behavior therapy. Now I just need to find a new OT. Edited by Mom28GreatKids
Link to comment
Share on other sites

LOL, I though about business cards for him.  I should have asked here years ago; being able to look at it all in one place seems to make it so much more manageable.  We can now have an objective look at what he can and can't do and prioritize the areas that need work.  

or a handheld, rechargeable label maker....This would be funny if it weren't so serious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sigh, I thought of that as well as it would allow him to write anything plus he could put the print outs on forms.  I just want to scream every time I hear that kids don't need penmanship anymore because they can just type everything. People don't seem to realize how ineffective that is in real life.  

 

Thanks to you guys I found some resources though that I think will be of great help

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I watch TV and see news stories with kids sitting in the classroom, bad pecil grips bombard me.  Yesterday, I watched a kid on public television taking notes for a science experiment holding a pencil and writing with a fist.  The kid looked to be 9 or 10 and was happy as a lark, writing away on his clip board.  My wrist hurts thinking about it. 

Edited by Heathermomster
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are multiple accepted grips, and some of them are pretty funky.  

 

For the op, what age is this dc?  Honestly, there was a point with my dd where we had to sort of cut our losses and move on.  Her handwriting is now, at best, charmingly scattered.  OT claimed her motor planning for it is now automatic, but it's just stilted.  That's why I'm latching onto Kat's tracing idea for ds, because even with all the work with dd (OT, metronome, 8's, wheelbarrows, blah blah blah) around that age (15) it moved into the oh well, move on category.  

 

We went through the alphabet and numbers, picked the letters that were worst for her (the ones that really didn't look like anything because they were coming out so wrong), made alternative plans for each one, decided how she would connect/stroke to each one (connect or leave separate, essentially blending manuscript and cursive, which is the NORMAL thing for most people to do), practiced those changes for a little bit till she felt confident in them, and called them done.

 

She can write a thank you note with that and it's reasonably legible. If I had my way, she'd redo the thank you and make it better, but she already did the best she could.  It's not my preferred outcome, but it's the best we got to.  And she's ok with it.  And honestly her handwriting is more charming than some people I know with no labels at all who have overtly bad, garbled, awkward handwriting!  I told her let's make changes that fit you, personalize.  So she went for a Tolkien, elf kind of look to her writing.  Long tails, swooshes.  So it might look like crap, but it's kinda elven crap, kwim?  And the swooshes and personality kind of carry over the parts that aren't so hot.  That's why the overall effect is charming, even if it's still crunchy.

 

It was the best we could do.  Maybe ds will do better.  Honestly though, writing for him is way harder than it was for dd.  We're gonna trace, and beyond that it will be in the give up.  I tell him to get his name legible and keep his name legible.  I'm not saying cop out, but sometimes no matter what you do reality hits.  And age 15, honestly, is getting close to the end of that.  At some point you're gonna cut and run, and that's where we made our list of what REALLY MATTERED.

Edited by OhElizabeth
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the other hand, it might be helpful to understand how our fingers work?

 

If you look at your elbow?

Each of your fingers, is controlled by a separate muscle in the top of your forearm. that connects to your elbow,

Also each of your fingers, is connected to separate muscles, under your forearm.

So that these muscles are used to 'extend and retract a finger'.

But these muscles only enable an 'in/out' movement of the fingers.

 

What adds to this, are the muscles on the back of our hands?

Perhaps you could spread your fingers on a hand?

Then try to bring each finger together with the finger next to it?

From the little finger, across to the index finger?

 

While you can probably easily bring your index finger, and the next finger together easily?

Without any movement of your other fingers?

It probably wont be the same, when you try to bring your little finger together with the next finger?

 

But perhaps you could now make a 'circular movement' with your index finger?

Then consider how you actually make this 'circular movement'?

While a forearm muscle contraction can make an 'I' movement.

 

A graduated use of the muscles on the top of the hand?

Can swing the 'I' to either side and back, and turn an 'I' into a 'C'.

 

So that their is a difference between a difficulty with writing an 'I', as opposed to a difficulty with writing a 'c'?

That's really good advise. I forgot about that with my dd26. She has CP ( totally overcame) but when she was little , ( her fingers are too short) we did alot of this with PT and ot.

 

I completely forgot about that. And that's true the functionality of how and what makes the fingers work .

 

Thanks, I'm going to so that with my boys. Gonna have to dig out all her stuff. ( big boxes in shed...great lol)

 

Op. That is REALLY good advise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well now that you brought up sequencing in everyday life, I'll mention that executive functioning is a challenge for my DS. We have been working with a CBT since the spring, and we are finally seeing fruit from that experience.

 

My DS worked with a ped PT when he was 15 yo old. I sought her out after speaking with a reading specialist friend. The PT asked a ton of questions and evaluated my boy. It was amazing to sit down with the PT and add up all of son's ER visits. I felt terrible about not finding her sooner, but then the PT assured me that there was work that could be done to stregthen the connections in son's brain across the corpus collasum. DS worked with the PT twice per week for about 12 sessions. Afterwards, DS finally learned to swim, which is huge, and he started football. His posture is so much better now, and he can actually perfrom agility exercises. I can read most of his math, but he had to type up the math problems from chemistry using Word's math mod. He doesn't typically have emotional outbursts.

 

You raise an interesting question about filling out forms and/or signing names. I almost wonder whether it would be good for him to carry name labels in his wallet or a self-inking stamper. IDK, maybe it would be nice to have access to forms ahead of time so that they can be filled out prior? I know that not every situation may be anticipated. We need a mature adult living with severe dysgraphia to address this situation.

I have heard you talk alot about CBT and the benefits. I'm so glad you have, the things you describe , we need.

 

My youngest son has MAJOR kow tone. Posture is still a huge issue despite years if therapy.

 

I think we need to step it up a notch. I'm not sure if we ever had a therapist talk about CBT . they may have, all this x2 boys...it gets a bit, well...alot! Lol

 

We need this for him. He still can't swim, lots he can't do. We work work work on things to no avail. Semi-wasted efforts.

 

Adding to my list to call about in Monday.

My list keeps growing lol.

Thanks a bunch. Its good to keep hearing things and the why's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are multiple accepted grips, and some of them are pretty funky.

 

For the op, what age is this dc? Honestly, there was a point with my dd where we had to sort of cut our losses and move on. Her handwriting is now, at best, charmingly scattered. OT claimed her motor planning for it is now automatic, but it's just stilted. That's why I'm latching onto Kat's tracing idea for ds, because even with all the work with dd (OT, metronome, 8's, wheelbarrows, blah blah blah) around that age (15) it moved into the oh well, move on category.

 

We went through the alphabet and numbers, picked the letters that were worst for her (the ones that really didn't look like anything because they were coming out so wrong), made alternative plans for each one, decided how she would connect/stroke to each one (connect or leave separate, essentially blending manuscript and cursive, which is the NORMAL thing for most people to do), practiced those changes for a little bit till she felt confident in them, and called them done.

 

She can write a thank you note with that and it's reasonably legible. If I had my way, she'd redo the thank you and make it better, but she already did the best she could. It's not my preferred outcome, but it's the best we got to. And she's ok with it. And honestly her handwriting is more charming than some people I know with no labels at all who have overtly bad, garbled, awkward handwriting! I told her let's make changes that fit you, personalize. So she went for a Tolkien, elf kind of look to her writing. Long tails, swooshes. So it might look like crap, but it's kinda elven crap, kwim? And the swooshes and personality kind of carry over the parts that aren't so hot. That's why the overall effect is charming, even if it's still crunchy.

 

It was the best we could do. Maybe ds will do better. Honestly though, writing for him is way harder than it was for dd. We're gonna trace, and beyond that it will be in the give up. I tell him to get his name legible and keep his name legible. I'm not saying cop out, but sometimes no matter what you do reality hits. And age 15, honestly, is getting close to the end of that. At some point you're gonna cut and run, and that's where we made our list of what REALLY MATTERED.

There is wisdom for sure in the 'cut and run' theory at some point.

I know this can be hard to accept . dd26 her fingers are too short.

Handwriting is horrible to this day. She is in college and works around it with various helps. (Computer notes she takes herself in class).

 

Signing for adult things like bank signatures and such. It is what it is, for address and the like, I got her cards made up. We knew a family a long time ago with 6 kids that used to pass them out to church members and suck fir playdates, coop stuff.

 

I stole her idea and ran with it lol. For my eldest, she has totally worked around it. She works at shands/UF p/t and doesn't stop her a bit.

 

Hey, tell her to be a doctor, noone can read their handwriting lol.

 

Humor and adaption ...gets us everywhere.

 

I think, as upsetting as it is now, I know I've been there. But it seems as though you all have overcome alot. And in the big scheme of things, maybe it, (as life unfolds) won't be as big if a problem as once thought.

That's how it was for us. She doesn't even care anymore about the handwriting issue. In the grand scheme of things, it's been totally workable ...for us.

 

The cards have been invaluable for her, reduces embarrassment ( fir her completely takes it away) and gets the job done. :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You must be careful when selecting a CBT.  Our first CBT was a waste of time but somehow helped me to focus specifically on what we hope to achieve.  Movement towards the goal is slow and fraught with setbacks.  The whole "help these kids organize themselves" trip confuses me.  I don't struggle with son's 3 SLDs; however, the EF issues blow me away.  Anyhoo...The CBT that we use now has tons of training and does not accept insurance.  

 

For posture and balance work, a local ped PT helped sort that out.  You have to be careful when sorting PT/OTs as well.  Our first OT had a limited bag of tricks and didn't impress me much the 2nd time with my DD.  Sometimes you have to go the sports med route, and the ped PT that we used speaks to parents and educators at conferences.

 

This has been mentioned before, but I'll say this again:  Service providers and therapists are myopic and often don't see past their specialty. As the parent, my problem has been learning how to formulate and ask the proper question to get help.

 

As an aside..A few years back, I asked DH to make me business cards because I started making friends with local quilters.  I had to throw the cards away because DH titled me as a **quitter** and opposed to a **quilter**.  

Edited by Heathermomster
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bahahahahah...omg Heather...THAT is Sooo funny!

 

Totally something my dh would do.

 

Oh man. I was ready to cry ( not the best day(s) here last several ) and overwhelmed.

 

Oh my . that cheered me up :)

 

On the therapist. I know. The first private practice was so incredible. Insurance law suits and lots of politics in Florida few years back, made several really good places close up shop , or move to ga.

 

I cannot express how utterly discouraging it has been since they left.

 

We have friends going through same issue. Finding the right therapist makes all the difference. We wasted our 100% pays through insurance and, got not much forward motion. THAT, really made dh not happy :/

 

It's been almost a year since the boys have had private therapy.

Before our place closed uo they gave us a course plan for each boy anticipating future needs. (They had been with my boys since birth and 18 mo.) It was disheartening to all of us.

 

We got referalls and some work done at the university earlier in the year.

They are a long way away and that's just a hard and not feasible long term solution.

 

I found a good PROMPT SLP. I'm hoping we can get some leads there. She has a great rep. Educated community on PROMPT etc.

 

I had all my big kids in year round swim team. We started it firbmy oldest and was just good for everyone.

I want to have the boys on like a YMCA swim team. ( no travel lol) but, we just aren't there yet.

We've done lessons etc. But they aren't trained in the specifics. Though, we did have an instructor who had worked with kids like mine before and that was helpful. If course, she's gone too now ugh.

 

We need another good PT and OT fir my youngest.

He has same issues like you described and I think a couple more. ( hard to remember, brains full lol)

 

Back to the drawing board. I don't like drawing boards! Ha-ha :)

 

Thanks, I appreciate tips. Save time, trouble , and money . I need to make the most of our set amount if visits BC then it's self pay.

 

I'm going to call the place OhE suggested too. Familiesbwe know, and asking those in county who should know , have all said no.

But, she had a specific name for it. I'm going to call THAT specific place.

 

Trouble for us is we are just barely at the lines both ways, ID and pay, that prohibits the few places to get services.

 

We were private adoptions, so no help from thsts there.

It really is a maze. And noone seems to be forthcoming with information , and it you don't ask the *exact* right question, you're sure not gonna get the answer.

 

So all this is helpful . thanks a bunch.

 

And, will be thinking if 'quitter' and chuckling through the day. Baha! Oh man. So something thst would happen here :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just reread so I could take some notes, I HAVE to keep a notebook , no way I could remember everything , let alone be the most effective without it.

 

Anyway , I read over again the part about 'get these kids organized ' boy, isn't that the sticker. That has been ~very~ challenging for both boys their entire lives. We have had improvement. Lots of improvement, yet still so far to go. I've always, (thankfully God gave me the ability to focus on successes rather than the work that needs to be done), but right now, with no support through therapies, and we have been out of the public school system several years now ( not any real help there either, not for what my boys need), that I guess for the first time since they were born, I have...NO help.

 

Hey, that just really dawned on me. No wonder we are all struggling so much right now) , first time ever, without support. Sigh.

 

And the planning it takes for my boys to do basic things. The youngest, MAJOR planning issues. Just to eat, breath , and swallow is like...big. He's a very slow eater, but gets the job done.

Then you put academics on top of that and that's not even mentioning behavior. But fir him, that's not much if an issue. He's my, non engager. Always pulling him in.

 

My big kids have been great offering and pitching in to spend 'sibling day' with the boys . each if them usually take a day a month and they know the drill, puzzles, games, color, cards..all that.

I don't , and I try to stay very villigent,with not asking and / ir burdening them with it.

They've been really sweet and they love their brothers, so, worked out so far.

 

Wow, thanks for lettin me rattle.

Saying things outloud really does help see..whew. I'm in new territory here. Need to , and Sooo hopeful the prompt therapist knows some therapist who can do some real help.

 

We've don't alot of work, but still alot to be done. And right now, I am an island unto thyself lol.

 

Did not even realize that until...just..now. Thanks.

 

*feeling hopeful for August when we go to PROMPT*

 

Ladies. You guys are SERIOUSLY the best . :)

Can't thank you enough .

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh Elizabeth,

 

he will be 18 in a few months.  I would be ecstatic if he could produce a single legible letter, he can't.  I am more than willing to accept what cannot be changed (there is plenty of that left).  I don't believe that this cannot be improved at all.  Heathermonster's pointing me towards dyspraxia has been priceless.  I think I can see now where his hang-ups are and we will try to work with that.  He has overcome every other obstacle, I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be able to jump over this hurdle too.  So far the problem seems to be that we have not seen the hurdle because we have been looking in another direction.  No wonder we keep running into it.

 

From everything I have learned over the past few days, I need to primarily deal with his visual abilities, not his motor skills. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, sigh.  Your OT eval was through the ps?  They're not asking what is going on, only what they have to give specialized services for, ie. what is preventing his ability to access his education.  At this age, they don't care anymore.  

 

Is a private OT eval or a neuropsych eval on the table?

 

I'm a little confused why you're saying vision when you were cleared by a developmental optometrist.  A neuropsych eval will let them check motor planning, etc., and they can diagnose DCD, give you some referrals, help you sort it out.  At this point it would be good to have it explained.  There could be multiple explanations, but that would be the way to get it.  

Edited by OhElizabeth
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He has had several evaluations, some through a school, others through a private neuropsych and one through a developmental optometrist.  He was not "cleared" by the developmental optometrist, therapy was not recommended. We were told that his visual difficulties would impact his reading but not his ability to write. Since his reading abilities were superior they didn't think his vision issues were the problem but rather poor motor planning and recommended to see an OT.  Much of it didn't make sense to me then and it doesn't make sense to me now.  He scored very low on coding, symbol search, relocation, spatial perception and visual integration.  He was deemed to need tinted lenses due to light sensitivity and is nearsighted to the point that he will need surgery because they will not be able to correct with glasses much longer.

 

He was evaluated by an OT who said that while his motor planning showed deficits, his hand writing issues would stem from vision and they didn't think OT would help with his handwriting.  

 

I am lost with handwriting and fine motor skills because one side says it is a vision problem and the other says it is a motor issue.  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you get a 2nd opinion on the vision eval?  Maybe try a Fellow with COVD.  COVD keeps, or at least used to keep (check), email contacts for the practices.  So you could email some people, explain the complexity, and see who bites.  

 

Was the OT finding anything that would make the VT *not* work?  Like if you have really bad sensory integration, retained reflexes, midline, etc., then I can see saying do OT first.  OT first can put things in a better position, yes!  But if the OT isn't finding issues like that, then maybe a 2nd opinion and just go ahead and do the VT?  We've had other people say their dc began writing by hand after VT.  (look for Julie in KY's posts)  You do not have to have reading problems to benefit from VT, mercy.  My dd was a terrific reader before VT.

 

Isn't coding also what they look at as part of a dysgraphia diagnosis?  Dunno.  But yes, to me a lot of those things on your list would respond well to VT.  I'm not sure why they're not doing it.  2nd opinion, maybe moving up to a Fellow...

 

Let us know if you call and what they say.  I'll be very interested to hear what you find out!

Edited by OhElizabeth
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...