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Thread: Dysgraphia in teen

  1. #1
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    Default Dysgraphia in teen

    We just realized my son Ben may have this. The symptoms fit. He has hated writing always. I am with a charter school and can have him tested for free. Is this the way to go?

    What are the best resources? Diane Craft?

    What can I do in the meantime? We just started with a tutor for writing which is a great help. She is our wonderful IEW instructor. Thankfully the charter pays for her too.

    Wow, just wow.

    Any words of advice? I am all ears.

    Thanks ladies!
    Last edited by Cindy in CA; 01-30-2016 at 09:21 PM.
    Cindy, Single Mom of two precious sons, Nicholas (12-97) & Ben (4-01). Loving FIAR since 2004!


  2. #2
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    Hi, Cindy! I have one with dysgraphia and I do have lots to say about it. I'll dig up my resources tomorrow and post those for you tomorrow.
    Esther wife to Steve, Mom to John Henry-16yrs, Paul-12.5yrs, Sam-11yrs and Lizzy-7yrs
    To teach children, you must love who they are, not what you want them to be. The Trouble With Boys, Peg Tyre

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esther-Alabama View Post
    Hi, Cindy! I have one with dysgraphia and I do have lots to say about it. I'll dig up my resources tomorrow and post those for you tomorrow.
    Thanks Esther, looking forward to anything you can share.
    Cindy, Single Mom of two precious sons, Nicholas (12-97) & Ben (4-01). Loving FIAR since 2004!


  4. #4
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    If your charter school offers the testing for free, then do that, definitely. If they also pay for the tutor, then they will probably pay for any therapy if he needs it. Definitely go that route if someone else is paying for it.
    Wife to Pastor Tim and Mom to April (2010 homeschool/Cornerstone Univ grad.), Erica (2012 homeschool/culinary/Ashland Univ grad.), Jacob (12th gr.), and Jesse (3rd gr).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CINDY LB OH View Post
    If your charter school offers the testing for free, then do that, definitely. If they also pay for the tutor, then they will probably pay for any therapy if he needs it. Definitely go that route if someone else is paying for it.
    The tutoring comes out of our funding which is for classes, curriculum, etc. We get a generous amount so we have extra to pay our friend/ tutor since she is a vendor for the charter. He tests very high on all the state testing. A matter of fact got a perfect score on the Math portion and was in the Advanced catagory in LA, BUT both boys had to use an extra day to test, while all their peers finished way before them. Ben has a very high testing ability due to figuring things out in his head but this takes a long, long time which is frustrating for him. If he qualifies for an IP then there would be additional help but not with a 504.
    I am planning to do the testing and he is on board but it will be a drawn out process due to the charter.

    Thanks, Cindy. Any helpful websites?
    Last edited by Cindy in CA; 01-30-2016 at 04:15 PM.
    Cindy, Single Mom of two precious sons, Nicholas (12-97) & Ben (4-01). Loving FIAR since 2004!


  6. #6
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    I have a son with dysgraphia and we have learned a lot over the years about how to help him. He struggles with the physical act of handwriting, spelling, and organization of ideas and sentence structure, etc... We have worked on each one of these for years and here are some things I will share;

    First and foremost, get him tested. Get him the label. It is necessary for college. Absolutely necessary. Here in Alabama, testing for 15+ is free through vocational rehabilitation services. Each state has this, but services vary. Once testing occurs, he will be followed through college and into his first job for services and help. It is a wonderful, little known program that makes a big difference in those with learning disabilities. On to my recommendations.

    1. Type. Type everything. If it cannot be typed...my son's performance goes way down.
    2. Use an adaptive software especially for those with this disability. Some that are helpful include
    WordQ (http://www.goqsoftware.com)
    Co-Writer, ( http://donjohnston.com/cowriter/ )
    These programs have small differences, but give extreme help with spelling and grammar while the student types. It even recognizes phonetic spellings and will speak the words to help with recognition.

    3. Work on hand exercises...my son plays guitar. He used to do hand strengthening exercises...squeezing a ball while watching tv or whatever...things like this. He no longer does, but he plays guitar hours a day, so we figure that is enough.

    4. Organizing is a huge chore. I sit with him weekly to organize his week, his subjects, and his extras. He is learning tools to help him, but he will probably always struggle with this. He struggles to organize his thoughts on paper. He struggles to organize lots of work in front of him. He is getting better with this, but again...not a strength.

    5. Dianne Craft has wonderful programs. We are beyond those, but used her program for years. This son also has dyslexia, so we used the reading and writing tips from her.

    6. Spelling ...what helped him most was Sequential Spelling. He learned this method and while not a strong speller, is much better.

    I hope this helps some. Let me know if you have specific questions.
    Last edited by Esther-Alabama; 01-30-2016 at 08:18 PM.
    Esther wife to Steve, Mom to John Henry-16yrs, Paul-12.5yrs, Sam-11yrs and Lizzy-7yrs
    To teach children, you must love who they are, not what you want them to be. The Trouble With Boys, Peg Tyre

  7. #7
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    thank you, Esther!
    Hollie, Special Needs Forum Moderator
    Wife to my best friend Tom and mom to 19yo Eli, 17yo Kyle, and 13yo Noah (with Down syndrome)
    If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. Ignacio Estrada


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollie in SC View Post
    thank you, Esther!
    Cindy, Single Mom of two precious sons, Nicholas (12-97) & Ben (4-01). Loving FIAR since 2004!


  9. #9
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    Thank you Esther.

    Any of you have a teen that has learning issues but is unwilling to recognize them? I have one that struggles greatly with handwriting. Its painful to watch him and he is very, very slow. I'm certain he has dysgraphia. Also has dyslexia. I took him for testing a couple of years ago and the tester was not super helpful. I want to get another set of tests done before we start college testing. He is very bright and has worked around his disabilities, but I think its important also for him to recognize his limitations so that we can help. I think he makes work harder than it needs to be because he won't take help. Any suggestions?
    Leslie Nelsen, Family Room Moderator
    Wife to Roger, Mom to Christopher (24) married to Emily, Rebecca (21), Joshua (17), Isaiah (15), Daniel (13), and Eliana Joy (10).

  10. #10
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    Yes, Leslie. My John has known he had dyslexia since he was 8 years old. He refused to acknowledge it for many years. He would not talk about it, would not accept help, wouldn't use the adaptive technology... It was getting bad. It was getting to the point I was worried he would ever never accept his differences and be able to excel as a student.

    He went for testing at age 15. Colleges need your testing to be less than 5 years old to accept it for accommodations. He spent about three hours working with a very nice examiner. She was so encouraging and so kind. He was able to HEAR all the things she said to him. Things I'd been saying for years.

    You know....
    You are smart. You can do this. You are going to be successful....

    She encouraged him to use the accommodations and work hard. She told him life would get easier IF he would accept this difference and work hard at his strengths.

    Anyway...he is now doing dual enrollment classes through Troy University back in Alabama. He got an email yesterday from his professor. It said,"This is the best essay I've seen all year. May I share it with the rest of the class after removing all your identifying info?" This is the SECOND class a professor has pronounced his writing the best in the class.

    Seriously. Life is just so odd. My dyslexic, dysgraphia kid is writing the best college essays in the class.

    Embracing his differences and assistive technology was tough, but he has finally at 17 fully given himself to it and is doing really well. It took so much prayer and so much talking, but finally an angel disguised as a test examiner.
    Esther wife to Steve, Mom to John Henry-16yrs, Paul-12.5yrs, Sam-11yrs and Lizzy-7yrs
    To teach children, you must love who they are, not what you want them to be. The Trouble With Boys, Peg Tyre

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