What is Dysgraphia?
"Dysgraphia is a deficiency in the ability to write, primarily in terms of handwriting, but also in terms of coherence. Dysgraphia is a transcription disability, meaning that it is a writing disorder associated with impaired handwriting, orthographic coding (orthography, the storing process of written words and processing the letters in those words), and finger sequencing (the movement of muscles required to write)....
The word dysgraphia comes from the Greek words dys meaning "impaired" and graphia meaning "writing by hand".
People with dysgraphia can often write on some level and may experience difficulty with other fine motor skills, such as tying shoes. However, dysgraphia does not affect all fine motor skills. People with dysgraphia often have unusual difficulty with handwriting and spelling which in turn can cause writing fatigue. They may lack basic grammar and 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 their thoughts on paper."NCLD says,
"Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. It can lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting and putting thoughts on paper. People with dysgraphia might have trouble organizing letters, numbers and words on a line or page."
Here is a Video that helps with Understanding Dysgraphia and practical solutions:
OK, it looks like my child probably has Dysgraphia...Now what?!
I have notice that some families are opting out of being under a 'School' in particular. So, if that is you and you are only Registered with a School or are completely Un-Schooling, this may be a harder process. One that involves little outside help. You may be required to pay for the full funding of things etc. Pray and keep seeking. Being independent can have its blessings too! Scroll down to the assessment links and there you can find some helpful information.
However, if you are Enrolled in a School through Homeschooling, the process is much easier. There are usually fewer students and more one-on-one help from Support Teachers. There still might be a few bumps...but not as much as some families I know that are in the Public System. In the Public Schooling sector, you may find it to be a very daunting task with hurdles and people to go through. Never fear though, just pray and God will help direct your path!
Once Dysgraphia or Dyslexia is in question. The next step would be to talk with your Support Teacher or Class Teacher. It is their duty to help assist and/or find Learning Difficulties in your child and to help the Parent in her support through that process. They may have helpful resources for you in recognizing Dysgraphia, or may have already started the process through observations. The key here is COMMUNICATION :)
There is Tutors that can help (I will give links to those in a post later this week) and she/he may refer you to them. The school may have some in place and be able to implement that help right away. They may have helpful tips or tools in the classroom ready for those situations (Eg. pencils that are in different shapes, grippy's for the pencil etc.) then there is the testing too! They may ask you to do an online assessment.
After the above issues are played out, the next step is Professional Assessments. Often times, the parent has to pay for some, or all, of the testing. Some schools may have funds to assist and you should ask if that is the case! It never hurts to ask, my husband always says :D
I am not sure about the US, but here in Canada, there are a very few different places that offer Dyslexia and Dysgraphia testing, which include:
- Canadian Dyslexia Centre runs about $500 + tax
- Dyslexia Hamilton runs about $325 + tax
- The Open Door
- Behavior and Learning
- *Ed/Psych testing strongly recommended (will reveal learning challenges)(Cost is ~$3000, however, Extended Health may cover most of the cost. Check to see what your health plan will cover.)
- This is just an Awesome Information link for Canada and US
British Columbia branch of the International Dyslexia Association 604-274-7836
Private School Assessments:
Frazier Academy, Vancouver, BC 604-736-5575
Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School, North Vancouver, BC 604-985-5224
Learning Difficulties Centre, Prince George, BC 250-564-8011
Below is a link to a helpful Video that directs you to help that is rightfully yours in the School System for those in the US.
Learning Difficulties will always be a challenge.
But that is just it....Challenges are meant to be Overcome!