Handwriting

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Registered: 06-14-1999
Handwriting
7
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 8:53am

My son (age 10) has been taking Strattera for two years.  This summer we decided to see how he did without it.  Other than some oppositional behaviors returning (which I'd rather use behavior modification to deal with) he seemed to do fine this summer.  However, now that school has started, we've noticed that his handwriting has really deteriorated.  It's always been a big struggle for him, but this year it is beyond illegible, I can't make out a single word he writes.  The teacher has mentioned some focus issues, but hasn't made it seem like a big deal.  She'd like to get him an ipad because writing just seems so torturous for him.  The doctor thinks going back on the Strattera might improve his ability to write.  Has anyone else noticed handwriting improve on ADHD medication?  Also, I should mention that his autism support teacher mentioned to me today that he told her he thinks he needs to be back on his medicine.  This was a surprise to me, because at home he's only expressed happiness at not having to take it.

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Registered: 05-01-2012
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 6:19pm

My son is only 5 and just started Kindergarten, not on meds. He doesn't have nearly the amount of writing work of your son, but two weeks into school started letter practice/writing and has a packet home every week - it is absolute torture for him. He gets frustrated, I end up getting frustrated and sometimes comes down to bargaining and much time spent to have him complete it.  How much of this is just a "new writer" and how much ADHD? He has trouble even holding a pencil correctly. His teacher has suggested different types of exercises to help strengthen his grip which he does not like doing.  She sends home extra practice work to help. I love his teacher but trying to get him to complete even the practic work on top of the homework is a huge struggle.

 

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Registered: 06-14-1999
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 8:15am

I have been there with the 1/2 hour of homework that takes 3 hours to complete.  In retrospect I wish I'd gone to the teacher and explained that my child just wasn't ready for that yet.  I look back and think about the torturous hours it took to complete one tear stained assignment, and now I can clearly see it didn't help my child in the least bit.  If they are struggling with writing, giving them more writing isn't going to make it better.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2012
In reply to: ams74
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 3:59pm

I couldn't agree more!  My son really tries and initially gets frustrated but then does it! I've come very close to asking the teacher to scale back on the amount of work.  I've restructured how we complete it, the harder (writing) work on the weekends so we have more time and can complete in blocks and the work he breezes through (numbers, math concepts) during the week.

Before the school year was in full swing I set up a conference to meet with his teacher to let her know he had been diagnosed with ADHD and as luck would have it, she raised a son with ADHD (now an adult) so totally "gets it". I don't think he could have been placed with a better teacher.

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Registered: 09-12-2003
Tue, 10-16-2012 - 7:10am

My 9 year old has always had issues with his writing. Its actually what started him on an IEP. The attention were there but not THAT bad. He was borderline. They did do some interventions for ADHD eventhough it wasn't diagnosised but mainly his IEP focused on his motor skills and speech which both are related to a birth defect. One thing we have learned about handwriting is upper body strength plays a big role. In DS case he was weak there and that played a role in his handwriting. He has been in OT since kindy and PT since 1st grade for these issues. His handwriting is more legiable now but still really bad. Some days are better then others. I can see how ADHD could also play a rule. If rushed, not focused and such. If he had good writing before and not so much now could be part of it. Do they have an OT at school? Ours routinely works with kids with handwritting issues even without an IEP; she will get a teacher referral and sit with a kid for sometime and assess the issue. Sometimes its a simple fix other times she works with them under an IEP. In DS case its been determined his handwriting will never catch up; while he makes minor progress the writing increases faster then him so at this point they are teaching him typing.

We take summers off. We need to he is just too skinny and we haven't found a medicine that doesn't affect his weight. Now he is in a summer camp that keeps him VERY active but this summer was not as issue free as past. We don't give it on the weekends either, but I could never not send him to school without it. He can't focus without it.

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Registered: 06-14-1999
Tue, 10-16-2012 - 1:06pm

He has been getting OT since his first IEP in 2nd grade.  Sadly, we've only seen small improvements in his handwriting.  His writing has always been a serious issue.  It's just that it has gotten worse this year, instead of better.  I know that core strength has a lot to do with handwriting and I think joining wrestling last year has made him a lot stronger, so I don't think core strength is really his issue.  He brought home a writing assignment yesterday where his rough draft (a short essay about what kind of sea creature he would like to be) was as illegible as anything I've seen, but when they made him sit with someone next to him and slowly rewrite his final draft, it was readable.  So I think that gives more creadance to the possibility that it is attention related.

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Registered: 08-28-2012
Tue, 10-16-2012 - 2:56pm

My son is 9 and had been diagnosed with ADHD. His handwriting is not very good when he is on the medication, and even worse when he is off. This summer, I did took him off of his medication and tried to start the school year without it. His handwriting was much worse. I found that he couldn't function at school without his medication and put him back on it. Once he was back on the meds, his handwriting improved.

Avatar for skystrider
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Registered: 06-14-1999
Wed, 10-17-2012 - 11:54am
That's good. I'm hopeful the same will be true for my son. I wish it had been true that we could make it without medication, but at least we know now.