Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

is it too late to teach a child the correct way to write?

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Joined: May 28, 2009
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Posted May 28, 2009 at 10:28:22 AM
Subject: is it too late to teach a child the correct way to write?

My daughter is going into 4th grade and she has had issues with writing and visual processing since pre-k. It really came out in first grade and I had her tested and she didn't qualify, so I did have her tested at a visual therapy dr. and she did visual therapy for a good 8 months, she did show improvement from it and with the dr.'s help I was able to get her an Iep. The one thing that still bothers me is her handwriting, it is still awful and I hoped the visual therapy would have helped that but it didn't. I notice when she writes she turns her arm and wrist in and it just does not even look right to me. This morning I tried to write using the same position she does, and yes it is much harder to write straight and on the line, I tried showing her how to position the pencil with her wrist straight and kept reminding her to write in that position, and she did produce much neater work, and I couldn't believe how straight it was across the paper, the only problem is I know she is going to be needing a constant reminder on how to position her self since she is not used to it.

Can she be retaught? or is too late, since she is so used to writing the other way. Don't they learn the proper way to write in kindergarten? My son who is in 6th grade has been diagnosed with dysgraphia and also writes bad. He is left handed, so I just assumed that he positions his wrist that way becasue he is left handed and he also writes upwards instead of downwards. My daughter is not left handed. I just think if there is a way for her to be retaught the proper position she would write so much better.

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Joined May 13, 2008
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She needs occupational therapy. If she has an IEP, why isn't the school giving her OT?

From what I understand, kids that learn to overcompensate for a disability, doesn't count as a disability. So, if she is still able to turn homework in, and do tests on time, then she won't qualify for anything. That's why you had so much difficulty qualifying before.

Now she did qualify and she has an IEP plan. She should be getting OT in school for her labored writing.

Can she unlearn bad habits and learn new ones? I believe everyone can with time and effort. The problem might be her reluctance to change what is comfortable. We all resist change. Look at us when we try to diet and excersize. LOL I'm sure things will go okay. Let us know.


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Joined Jul 11, 2005
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Posted:May 29, 2009 8:50:18 AM

Yes, she can be re-taught but it will take time and effort. You may ask for an OT evaluation from the school to see if she would qualify for OT. However, she may not and then it would fall on you to find an outside OT service that could work with her.

My daughter had horrible handwriting at that age and had in-school OT, which was not helpful. The most they gave her was a pencil grip to "help her hold the pencil correctly". During 6th grade I put her in gymnastics. After 6 months of gymnastics her writing improved incredibly and she now has the most beautiful printing. Turns out what she needed was to to strengthen her upper body and arms. :)

Good luck!

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Joined May 28, 2009
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Posted:May 29, 2009 10:48:10 PM

Thanks everyone, and I did forget to add that she does get OT, even before I had the Iep, she had a 504 plan for the OT. Her occupational therapist was great at getting her the 504. The thing is I don't really think it has helped much with her writing, and she only has it 30 minutes a week, so I don't even know if that is really enough. I guess the disability is what causes her to write with the position she does, but it just seems like if I knew when she was in preschool or kindergarten that she was totally holding the pencil wrong, I would have tried to correct it. I wish they would have really worked with her on that. Yeah she had the pencil grip, which didn't work and the slanted board which also was no help. I just worry that it is too late. I asked her today if she tried writing the way I showed her in school today and she said, "no mom, you weren't there so I did it my way, your way hurts". So I can see this is going to be very hard, I just wish I would have caught on to that much sooner.

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