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written output

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Sep 25, 2001 at 7:38:53 AM
Subject: written output

Hi. Just wanted to bounce a couple of problems off you guys. I have a 10 year old son who has been diagnosed gifted/nld/anxiety disorder/depression. I am currently concerned mainly about writing. It is illegible for the most part, when he takes notes, things are missing, letters reversed and sometimes even he can't read it. The school and his psychologist feel that he just needs more practice in handwriting. I am concerned that there is more to it then that. His answers to questions are short when he hand writes and often does not indicate his level of understanding. He also complains about being slow. On previous testing, handwriting was below grade level. The psychologist feels that anxiety is the primary problem that colors every thing else. The psych also feels that I am reinforcing his frustrations with writing. I feel frustrated when I know he is capable of so much more than what he writes. I am also concerned that no one is seeing the "whole" child and addressing how all these characteristics interact. I guess my question is how is a written output disorder diagnosed, how will this effect later schooling (they tell me he will have to write primarily in middle and high school) and how do I eliminate reiforcement but at the same time insure that he is learning? (psych not concerned with learning because he is so smart that he will get it). Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Jean
PS. Does have access to an alphasmart and uses it for assignments.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 31, 2014
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Posted:Sep 25, 2001 9:00:06 AM

Keep him on Apphasmart and computer. While I am not an OT, I rather doubt handwriting is ever going to be easy nor will it be fun. He needs to type school work. You can get this in the IEP. Does he KNOW how to keyboard so that he can type quickly? If not, why not get an inexpensive keyboarding program done in game format and let him work daily at home. If you can handle this part of the output issue, then you can look deeper.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 25, 2001 10:14:10 AM

Jean,

My almost 9 year old son was just diagnosed with probable ADD and a specific learning disability in writing and spelling (and depression and anxiety disorder). I had him tested privately. When I got that evaluation, my instincts (along with other internet research and questions to tons of people) told me their recommendations weren't enough and really wouldn't fix the problem. So I spent hours after everyone else went to be reading papers on learning disabilities and investigating other things mentioned and links to other sites.

I learned that ADD and writing/spelling disorders can actually be an auditory processing disorder, so I had him tested for that against the advice of EVERY professional I talked to. I went with my gut. The point is, YOU KNOW YOUR SON BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE! Plus all the professionals seem to try to fit kids into neat little boxes. Plus they are dealing often with hundreds of kids, and don't have the interaction with your child that you do.

If you want the whole child treated, you are probably the only one who has the time and is willing to make the effort for your son. Once you finally get answers that feel right to you, you can insist on things in your son's IEP that WILL treat the "whole child."

Good luck!
Lil

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 25, 2001 10:14:14 AM


While I do agree with Anitya,I also have my own personal experiences to fall back on.

Both of my children are dysgraphic. I am dyslexic. 10 years old is too old to be still reversing letters.
While the psych is looking specificly at the anxiety,I would be concerned with what is causing the anxiety. I say this because my oldest was dangerously close to an emotional handicap placement,before we finally had the writing difficulties diagnosed. The writing difficulties themselves were the cause of his anxiety.
He heard,try harder,you'll get it eventually,your so smart,you can do this too. He too is gifted,and knew there was a problem,way before anyone else would admit to it. Sometimes I think his giftedness,caused him more trouble then good.

I encourage you to defintely pursue a evaluation into his writing difficulties. You did not mention whether the Psych was a psychologist or a psychiatrist. One would not be interested in the educational aspects only the emotional ones.
As Anitya mentioned,and OT would be a good place to start. Visual motor intergration test is a good indicator of his fine motor skills or deficits. If a psychoeducational evaluation has not been done,I suggest pursuing this BIG TIME.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 25, 2001 2:44:15 PM

Hi Anitya, Thanks for responding. He does know how to keyboard and is quite fast (relatively speaking). Even when he does use the computer, he still misspells words (that he can spell verbally), forgets punctuation and sentence structure often is not correct. When I proofread with him, he is usually able to pick out the errors and correct them but not always. He seems to just not see the errors sometimes. He also will read it as he meant to write it not how it was actually written. For example, he will read "were" when he typed "where". Also, there is discrepancy between what he tells me verbally and what ends up on the paper. Very frustrating! Thanks for listening.
Jean

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 25, 2001 2:49:18 PM

Thanks for your input, Lil. My gut says that there is something going on with written output and possibly auditory. He often mishears what I say. I have assumed in the past that it was due to not hearing me or not attending till later in the thread. Would auditory processing issues be picked up in a neuropsych exam? Or would this need to be looked at seperately?
Jean
PS As for anxiety, I tend to think that when the educational components are truly and accurately addressed, the anxiety will diminish. The psych feels that when the anxiety is diminished the educational components will come. How do I determine who is right?

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 25, 2001 2:54:05 PM

Thanks for your input, Socks. His psychologist specializes in LD kids. He also has a psychaitrist (spelling?) who monitors his meds( anxiety and depression). I tend to think that the educational frustrations contribute to the anxiety while the psych thinks that when the anxiety is allievated, the education components will come together. Almost a what comes first, the chicken or the egg? He has had a neuropsych eval, visual processing eval and full scale IQ. The neuropsych looked specifically at nonverbal processing since that is a weak area. I am wondering now if I should have the full neuropsych done. What do you think?
Jean

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 25, 2001 7:19:15 PM

Hello,

Read anything by Renne Richards, if you do a search you will find information.

One evaluation for sure is for Assistive Technology. The person would be an Assitive Technology Specialist. Sometimes an OT, SLP and SPED teacher have this expertise. One site to visit to get more info would be Closing The Gap. Another is LDResources/Richard Wanderman.

Another eval is using the Test of Written Language (TOLD). Most sped folks can do this. Another to consider is a SIPT, although maybe you have already had this?

No matter what folks say, evaluations and documents can help you to push the services and accomodations. Public Schools almost always need that letterhead from a well known hospital or evaluator to start or to at least keep moving.

Although a keyboard will not eliminate the language needs, etc. etc., it will for sure bypass the demands for handwriting and free up some of that energy for content! Plus an added bonus is software will have features such as text that will read aloud, spell checker, copy paste, etc., etc. One vendor to look for is Don Johnston.

Good Luck

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 25, 2001 8:02:12 PM

If the neuro-psych eval did not include a CAPD assessment, you may want to get that. It is usually covered by medical insurance. A good place for information about CAPD, and a search engine to locate CAPD audiologists (this is a sub-specialty of audiology that requires special training), is http://pages.cthome.net/cbristol/

Mary

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 25, 2001 10:18:52 PM

If a full neuropsych was not done,I would get one. As for the psych's thoughts,that eliviating anxiety will make all other things come together,has he or she considered it this way? If he has a learning disability,and they "cure" the anxiety,and the learning issues remain,won't that still cause anxiety? Will they keep treating the anxiety,when the LD is what is causing it? It really is a matter of what came first,IF,he had no documented learning disability. He does,therefore IT came first. To me is like looking at a picture with blindfold on. If out of the corner you can see blue sky,is it a picture of the sky? Just another parent's opinion.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 26, 2001 7:24:26 AM

The neuropsych did not include auditory processing. When he had the WISC done, they also did the WIAT. On that instrument his listening comprhension was off the charts. Grade level equivalent of 12+ at the age of 9 for what that is worth. Is it possible to have an auditory learning disability and still score so high on the verbal measures of these tests? Thanks for your help.
Jean

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 26, 2001 8:54:58 AM


I had to throw this in! Remember I was telling you about my boys. One has an auditory processing problem,while the other has visual? My CAPD boy,yes,he had CAP testing and had significant problems in this area. His initial eval didn't show problems with auditory processing according to the public school,even his speech therapist tested him and he scored low average,not enough for them to worry about. When he had the cap testing,he had No visual cues to draw from,all there was a soundproof room and a pair of headsets. He was funny to watch,although I really didn't get it then. He was looking so hard at the auditologist,and me through the window, as he was attempting to answer questions. What I found out later with the neuropsych was he uses visual cues so well,he actually compensates and scores higher by looking and answering,whether than just answering. After the CAP testing I found out that he had a low frequency hearing loss,this frequency had most consonents in them. So often he would not hear a consonent in a word. The neuropsych concluded that he scores within average on most auditory processing areas,by using a multitude of visual tricks to answer the questions. His full scale IQ is higher then his verbal one,but not by much. Whereas his brother's verbal is 34 points higher then his perfomance. ALL kids are different,All kids learn strategies to compensate and get around in a classroom. Gifted kids do this even more. They have to work twice as hard to do this,as amazingly adaptive as this is,it causes A LOT of stress too. My youngest is the question meister,he asks you over and over,what did you say? What is that? What did they say? etc. I now know he does this because he either didn't process the meaning of what was said or he is having trouble retreving the words them selves. Ever had a word on the tip of your tongue? But can't think of it during a conversation? This is them all the time.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 26, 2001 2:20:54 PM

Jean,

My child has similar problems and is gifted as well. Some things that might be helpful for your son are: 1) using Co:Writer and Write Outloud. These are computer programs. Co:writer is word prediction software that helps kids who have difficulty with correct spelling and grammar and with finding the right words to express an idea. Write Outloud is a program that reads back to the child what he has written. My son is an excellent reader but frequently misses typos, grammatical errors, etc. when he reviews his own work. Like your child, when he reads it back to himself, he sees it as he intended it rather than as it really came out. Write Outloud allows him to hear the errors. Microsoft Word also will underline in different colors spelling and grammar errors as you are typing. This helps my son a lot. Another helpful tool is a scanner. There is a shareware program called Form Pilot (I have the link somewhere and will find it if you are interested) that allows you to scan a work sheet into the computer and then have the child type his answers onto the image and print the whole thing out as a completed work sheet. My son loves using this.

Andrea

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 26, 2001 4:01:47 PM

Hi Andrea,
Thanks. I would be interested in the form pilot as the worksheet spaces are often too little for him to write in.
Jean

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Posted:Sep 26, 2001 4:06:28 PM

Socks, This is interesting. Dane often asks "what". His verbal IQ out scores his performance by 38 pts. Is it possible that someone with a high verbal still have auditory issues? I am thinking at this point to have a full neuropsych done. Anxiety is better so maybe we will get a better picture of where the deficits are. Also, the last exam only looked at nonverbal processing. Thanks for all your help. I know that I am going to end up argueing with his doctor about this but that's ok.
Jean

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 26, 2001 6:52:12 PM


I am quite sure it is possible to have auditory processing deficits and a high verbal IQ. No doubt the split garanteed his NLD diagnosis. LD is so very complicated. My kids are so complex,that to me it is easier to concentrate on the areas of need and forget the big labels. My youngest: ADHD/Dysgraphia/CAPD/Gifted/written language disorder/SID
My oldest:
ADHD/Dysgraphia/Gifted/Written Language disability/Math disorder

My point? What does this mean? These titles do not define my kids,they don't tell a teacher how to teach them,they don't even explain what areas of processing is a problem. All I can tell you is it helps get them services they need in school .

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 26, 2001 7:20:50 PM

Has your son been tested? I think it will take testing before your school psychologist recognizes that your son need more than "practice with his handwriting". I'm surprised at how superficial that suggestion is.

The issues you describe in your son's handwriting suggest more than the need for practice. The reversals, the illegibility, the "missing things' to me suggest dysgraphia and/or fine motor issues. I'd get hold of the book entitled Dysgraphia and also Mel Levine's Educational Care to understand what might be going on with your son. I'd let him keyboard and I'd let him dictate to a willing typist. You could also explore voice activation programs.

The ability to express your thoughts in writing is fundamental to school success. Your son and you will be frustrated because he will not be able to express his good understanding through his writing and his grades will not fairly reflect his true knowledge.

Support him in every way possible but consider having him tested so his school and psychologist can be brought to the understanding that more than practice is what's needed here. Also consider consulting an occupational therapist.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 26, 2001 7:28:06 PM

You definetly(spelling?) understand where I am coming from. It is so difficult to discern what problem is producing behaviors. You are right, the labels do not define the child but it does help getting them what they need. It is difficult to sit back and watch them use trial and error teaching methods to discover the best way to teach our kids or worse saying they will have to conform to the general population (which is also happening in my kids case). Could you please explain the difference between dysgraphia and written output disorder?
Thanks.
Jean

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 26, 2001 7:34:24 PM

You hit the nail on the head with your statement that grades based on his writing will not adequately demonstrate what he knows. There is always a major discretpancy here and he finds that very frustrating. I have had him tested (about a year ago). Neuropsych on nonverbal processing, the WISC, and the WIAT as well as OT. He is recieving gifted programming, resource room support and OT. I am thinking at this point to have a full neuropsych done. By the way, the psychologist that suggested the practice is a private therapist the I pay handsomely to provide therapy. He is qualified as a school psych and specializes in treating LD kids. I think I may need to argue with him a bit on this. Thanks for your help.
Jean

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 26, 2001 9:32:34 PM


I have never honestly heard the term written output disorder. I have heard of written output,which would indicate the ability to process and produce written language. Dysgraphia refers to the physical act of writing,not necessarily the act of producing written language. For example,my youngest had the term written language disorder. Ironicly after recieving a laptop to do the written work,it was not so. He is very capable of producing written language,can write stories quite well,good flow of ideas etc. Without it,you could not tell,because it was totally illegible,still is. he writes all over the line,reverses letters and numbers,oddly shaped letters,etc. My oldest,has a poor flow of ideas,can't seem to get the begining, middle, end concept. His label is also written language disability. He also has illegible handwriting but he also has the problem with written output.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 27, 2001 12:25:58 PM

Jean,

Here is the link: http://4assistivetechnology.4anything.com/network-frame/0,1855,1524-24719,00.html

When you get to the site, click on shareware, then click on windows. Scroll down the page to find Form Pilot.

Andrea

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