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|Tue, 02-08-2011 - 4:58pm|
My ds is dysgraphic. It's an armchair diagnosis I've made. He hasn't been formally assessed because (a) he's homeschooled and so his difficulties have been relatively easy to circumvent and (b) we live in a location and culture which is far less apt to assess and label kids than what I perceive being the norm in, say, the urban US.
But he's now 14 and seems to be wanting to avail himself of the high school credits he can earn by working through course materials at home. And increasingly there are small bits of pencil and paper work expected ... drawing of tables and graphs of quadratic equations in math, labelling angles, algebraic simplifications, physics workbook entries, short answers on written tests and so on. He is able to some of this on the computer but it's fussy and difficult to sort through, collate, submit and so on. We've finally found course curriculums and approaches that he likes, but they don't happen to be the on-line ones, where selection of content and levels is much more limited.
He has good fine motor control, and can write neatly -- he's put in a lot of diligent practice -- but it is sooooo slow, and still much too mentally onerous a task for him to be able to write and also think. There's something specific about the graphomotor work, perhaps a lack of connection between the language-composing and motor-planning parts of his brain. For a long time I hoped we could get him to the point where he could reach a sort of fluidity and it would get easier for him. But having observed him recently I can see that it's still a fingernails-on-the-chalkboard kind of exercise for him, that although he's motivated to do the work, the writing is a real obstacle. He has a very low tolerance for frustration at the best of times, and is a huge perfectionist with some anxiety and self-esteem issues, so he doesn't have the emotional reserves to really push himself through this obstacle. As a result he is beginning to view himself as an academic struggler, which he certainly isn't, and is less willing to take on intellectual challenge as a result.
Since he is quite self-aware I wondered whether an OT assessment might be helpful in getting him to frame his difficulties and potential coping mechanisms in healthier ways, and if so what sort of avenue might be best. Can anyone share any experiences or advice?