Reply To: Any resources for writing issues?

Devon Frye

This reply was originally posted by user brlk13 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

My son is 10 and has always struggled with writing. By 2nd grade any written assignment caused anxiety and he would break down and refuse to do them. Even for shorter written work he would write incomplete sentences or leave out parts of the answers because the act of writing was so difficult. In 3rd grade we started allowing him to dictate his longest assignments to an aide, a peer, or a parent which allowed him to show his true skills and thinking. In 4th grade the school issued him an iPad to use for all written work. Taking away the stress of physically writing has made all the difference — there’s zero drama around written work, his writing is complete and well structured and he’s able to show his true skill level and thinking. He’s in 5th grade now and it’s great that he has this tool because there’s so much writing at this age and I feel confident that having this skill now will help the transition to middle school next year.

He’s also very creative and loves making up stories and before his mind was moving faster than his hand and he couldn’t get the ideas on paper quickly enough so he would get frustrated and not bother. Now he’s able to capture those thoughts and stories. I know some may say that’s “giving up” but honestly it was more important to us that he grow and show his skills rather than force the handwriting issue. He has an essential tremor which means his hand shakes when attempting fine motor activities. He’s also left handed which adds to the complexity of handwriting. For times when he must write he uses bigger lines or graph paper than the average student and finds that wearing a wrist weight helps a little but it’s too cumbersome to wear for extended projects. He still receives OT and they work on fine motor but less on writing specifically. In today’s world of technology handwriting just doesn’t seem that important. Keep asking questions, exploring out-of-the-box options, and hang in there!