Any resources for writing issues?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Devon Frye 3 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #39827

    Penny Williams

    This discussion was originally started by user SDAJ in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.


    My son is 8yo and in 3rd grade. I spoke recently to his RSP teacher who is new this year and she said he is excelling in all areas, except WRITING. I have tried everything I know of to help with his writing but nothing is helping. I made a comment to the RSP teacher that I thought that an occupational therapist (OT) was supposed to come in and evaluate him for his grip on the pencil, etc., but she acted like she never heard about it. To me it looks like the “fast” way his brain is thinking is the way he is writing so all the letters are just smushed together. If anyone out there has any ideas, tips, or resources I would very much appreciate it. It’s hard because when I have him re-do his work because it is unreadable he gets so upset at himself.

  • #41157

    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!

  • #41161

    Devon Frye

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

    Acting as his scribe is a good idea. You might also consider having him evaluated for dysgraphia and or other learning disabilities that might be affecting his ability to get the thoughts to paper. He sounds a lot like my son who was eventually diagnosed with dyslexic dysgraphia. The sooner they start working on keyboard instead of handwriting the better. Also try text-to-speech dictation software so he can just talk and not worry about the writing. He can go back and edit after all the ideas are captured. Good luck.

  • #41164

    Devon Frye

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

    Awesome ideas…his writing teacher did let him dictate a big story he had to write and it was cool to see him not get frustrated and him just free think. I have never heard of dysgraphia before. I will look into it. I love the idea of the speech software…Thanks so much!

  • #41167

    Devon Frye

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

    Sent an email to the school psychologist about dysgraphia. She spoke to the teacher and now we are getting OT involved. Thank you so much for the information on this. They all agreed on his problems putting thoughts on paper and poor handwriting etc.

  • #41170

    Devon Frye

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

    It definitely sounds like dysgraphia (my son has it too).

    If it is, the handwriting will not likely improve. My son had a year of private OT working through Handwriting Without Tears. We tried every special pencil, pencil grip, and paper. We tried teaching him cursive. Nothing made a difference, because we cannot rewire his brain. 😉

    Here’s what has helped:
    1. Typing whenever possible
    2. Taking pictures of homework written on the board, instead of being expected to copy it down
    3. An app called SnapType (
    4. Speech to text (free on Google Docs)
    5. Sometimes taking quizzes and tests orally

    He gets upset and mad about it because he can’t help it. Ask his teachers to not make him re-write his work — that’s punishing a kid who cannot write well through no fault of his own with more writing.

    ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

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