Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dysgraphia ...


Shortly after moving from WI to WA - we put Calahan through some testing through the school ...  for learning disabilities.... 

Results came back that he has Dysgraphia ....

I did some inital research on it - but it wasn't until I really started looking into Dyslexia that I saw that Dysgraphia is under the umbrella of Dyslexia ....  and ADHD is under the umbrella too?? 

So I knew that Dysgraphia meant that he had an extremely hard time getting things from his brain out through his hand.....  I knew if he verbalized answers, it was better...   He is FAILING all his classes... and his IEP is not being followed... and after bringing it up - continues to not be followed....


‘Dysgraphia ( agraphia) is a deficiency in the ability to write, regardless of the ability to read, not due to intellectual impairment.

People with dysgraphia usually have problems writing on some level, and often lack other fine motor skills, finding tasks such as tying shoes difficult. It often does not affect all fine motor skills.

They can also lack basic spelling skills (for example, having difficulties with the letters p, q, b, and d), and often will write the wrong word when trying to formulate thoughts (on paper).

In childhood, the disorder generally emerges when the child is first introduced to writing. The child may make inappropriately sized and spaced letters, or write wrong or misspelled words despite thorough instruction.

Children with the disorder may have other learning disabilities, but they usually have no social or other academic problems.’

Quoted from Wikepedia


1. Students may exhibit strong verbal but particularly poor writing skills.

2. Random (or non-existent) punctuation. Spelling errors (sometimes same word spelled differently); reversals; phonic approximations; syllable omissions; errors in common suffixes. Clumsiness and disordering of syntax; an impression of illiteracy. Misinterpretation of questions and questionnaire items. Disordered numbering and written number reversals.

3. Generally illegible writing (despite appropriate time and attention given the task).

4. Inconsistencies : mixtures of print and cursive, upper and lower case, or irregular sizes, shapes, or slant of letters.

5. Unfinished words or letters, omitted words.

6. Inconsistent position on page with respect to lines and margins and inconsistent spaces between words and letters.

7. Cramped or unusual grip, especially holding the writing instrument very close to the paper, or holding thumb over two fingers and writing from the wrist.

8. Talking to self while writing, or carefully watching the hand that is writing.

9. Slow or labored copying or writing - even if it is neat and legible.

Quoted from:

Suggested Modifications for the Dysgraphic Student
  1. Allow reduced standards for acceptable writing.
  2. When possible reduce amount of written work.
  3. Allow student to type or tape assignments.
  4. Do not have student recopy illegible material. It will only get worse.
  5. If unable to read student's answers ask them to give it orally and give partial or full credit if they are correct.
  6. Do not take off points for letter and number reversals but point them out and have student correct if appropriate.
  7. When student has, multiple homework assignments allow them to do what they can on their own and dictate the rest to an older sibling or parent.
  8. Have the student use graph paper for written work.
  9. Do not have another student check the dysgraphic student's paper.
I got those from HERE.... 

If I wasn't already concerned (which I was) ....  even more so now.   This is an example of Calahan's handwriting (at age 16) ....  from today .... the green is Calahan and the blue is Noah (who's dyslexic and 10, he was just diagnosed last year)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Oral Satisfaction

Want to join in on Wordless Wednesday???  Go check out Mommy Moment's Blog!!!

Mommy Moment

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hiding the Hearing Aids ...


Noah's got 2 hearing aids because he lost one - we ordered a new one - and then he "found" his old one.  Fine... cuz he loses it all the time.  So - yesterday morning - can't find the *new* hearing aid he's been wearing - pull out the old one.   He went to school, came home and went to sleep ... he slept for FIVE HOURS - yeah, he's going to be sick......  so when he gets up ...I ask him... 

"Noah, where is your hearing aid?"

"I don't know."

"Yes you do, where is it?"

"I don't know."

"Yes you do, go get it!"

"I don't know where it's at."

A little while later - we're playing cards - he says "When can we play a family game?"

I look at him, and said "As soon as you bring me both your hearing aids, we'll play."

"So if I bring them to you - can we play?"

"After school tomorrow," I told him.  

5 minutes later.... he hands me two hearing aids.

"You were hiding them!!"

"No I wasn't."

Monday, June 11, 2012

Alternative Communications....

So in May, a few days prior to Nathan's surgery, we had a very long awaited and exciting appointment.  Nathan has been working with his Pod (communication book) for awhile now.  He is finally learning to to navigate through it a little better but it's still very hard for him (and for us) ...
 Nathan's Pod (communication book)

We've had our hearts set on an iPad and ProLoQuo2Go Software.......  (you can read more about at iPAD & AUTISM)  It was the first software that I became aware of .... so of course, I thought it MUST be the best.

It's not.

Nathan's appintment started out simple enough - working with the Pod book just to get a feel on if he could identify photos and use them for his needs - which he did very well using both balloons and bubbles....

Then she switched to using different electronic devices to see which one (with program) he worked well with best ...... (there was a lot of bubbles going on!) 

He is getting a Nova Chat 7 System ... it is lightweight, has a built in handle and stand, amazing program that will actually predict what you might want to say next and put those options up for you ....  you can put together sentences ....  and the program with GROW WITH HIM ....

Nathan was very proud of his "Taxi" Ride of the day ....  
 *BEEP*BEEP*BEEP*  Move out the way!
 Here he is practicing on the device he will end up getting in 4-6 months (depending on when insurance gets it's head out of it's behind) ....