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Hi. I have a 19 years old daughter, diagnosed with dyslexic dysgraphia. Her writing is really bad, it looks like some sort of a mixture of upper/lower case letters. Also, her letters are of irregular sizes and shapes. It is all followed by spelling mistakes and she even feels pain when writing. Would like to know more about the treatment. Anybody with the same experience?

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Hi. A friend of mine has dysgraphia, also called agraphia. He had a difficulty writing coherently. But, he can write, and have a higher than average IQ, but also a lack of co-ordination. Stress is often associated with dysgraphia. Treatment for dysgraphia varies. My friend is on some treatment for motor disorders to help control writing movements. Some experts recommend the use of computers, so that individuals with dysgraphia could avoid the problems of handwriting. Also, there is an occupational therapy.
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I believe my son, who is 7 has dygraphia. Does anyone know a place in Houston, TX that is qualified to diagnose this? And how do I get his schoold to work with me/him on accomodating his needs? From allowing him extra time for class work to allowing him to do his spelling test orally. I really don't know where to start with this.

Thank you,
Cass
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I'm a doctoral student currently studying dysgraphia. Unfortunately, what I have found is that there is no consistent standard for assessing dysgraphia. Currently it can include very young children having difficulty learning to make letters, older people still having difficulty with the written symbols often aggravated by spelling issues, chronic problems with speed, or even organization of written work. They seem to diagnose it in private practice but public schools don't seem to recognize it as a "disability".

What I have discovered though is that competent handwriting is necessary. There are always going to be job applications and such that need to be hand written. On written tests, assessors do score people with better handwriting higher than those who write poorly or sloppy. it's a fact of subjective scoring.

Keyboarding is also a marvelous gift as it allows for increased speed, cut and paste options to move text around and the ability to have the writing look good. If pain is a problem for keyboarding, MacSpeech Dictate(MAC) and Dragon Naturally Speaking(PC) are options for voice recognition software. This way your son can speak into the computer rather than keyboarding. Note: Technically the software is recommended for those 14 and over. If you choose to use this with him you may have to practice reading the training pages over with him so he can correctly pronounce the requested words.

As far as classroom work, keyboarding may or may not be an option. Do they spend a bulk of their class time doing worksheets? If so, keyboarding in a strict sense won't help much. If you find you are able to do this practice yourself, get a good handwriting program like "Handwriting Without Tears". Be consistent. Practice making the letters correctly in the air using the whole arm from the shoulder as your large muscles won't forget. Then practice in all kinds of textures....pudding, shaving cream, corn meal on a cookie sheet, sand, salt, finger on bubble wrap, through fake fur...whatever works for your child.

When I was down in Dallas for the International Dyslexia Association Conference in October of 2007, I discovered a great handwriting clinic. http://www.thehandwritingclinic.com/ It's in Plano though. Maybe a summer camp? I believe they also do training for parents and teachers.

Best wishes in your decisions and directions.
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