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firemonkey
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09 Sep 2017, 3:13 pm

I am never quite sure what the criteria for dysgraphia are.Reports from my prep school headmaster to my public school headmaster mentioned I had difficulty with drawing and writing. Around the age of 11 I had extra writing lessons.
Now my handwriting is badly formed but not illegible. However writing is a slow and rather laborious process. If I try to write more quickly my handwriting noticeably deteriorates.


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Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 133 of 200
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Tufted Titmouse
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09 Sep 2017, 6:14 pm

I'm no authority, by any means, but in researching for myself and talking to my AS/ASD psych, I've found a few "dysgraphic traits" that I identified in myself:
- My handwriting changes depending on where it is on the page. If I write a whole page, it can look like 3-4 different people wrote it, it changes that much.
- My handwriting was never, ever neat. I got F's all thru school in handwriting, no matter how hard I tried.
- I never learned to color inside the lines. My teachers made fun of me for it, instead of getting me any kind of help. Now I'm in my 30's, and I can *mostly* stay inside the lines, if I go VERY slowly. But sometimes, even when I know where to stop, I can't make my hand stop in time, so I end up going outside the line. I love to color because it's mentally calming, but it's physically exhausting.
- As an adult, if I'm not actively trying to be legible, my handwriting is almost an approximation. Any word ending in "-ing" ends with a line and a squiggle. I can read it, but I don't know if others could.

I also found a description of dysgraphia that said writing might make the whole arm hurt, all the way to the shoulder. I don't notice this myself usually, but I've exclusively used pens for the last 20+ years, and I'm obsessed with pens that flow well and write effortlessly. When I use a pencil, it does hurt all the way up my arm, and a pen with bad ink flow hurts less. The better the pen, the less I hurt - I guess I learned to compensate.

Hope that helps!



DW_a_mom
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09 Sep 2017, 6:49 pm

My son is disgraphic. I believe it can come from physical causes, and/or brain processing issues. My son has loose joints and hypotonia that make pencil grip painful, and that also prevent all the needed nerve signals from making it to his brain, so the cause for him is mostly physical.

One therapist we went to for an evaluation said that she could have told us he was disgraphic just by looking at his hands.

It is more than just bad writing; it is looking at the reason for the problems writing.

My son had occupational therapy to try to help him with the issue, but mostly the decision was to work around it, allowing him to use a scribe for elementary school work, then teaching him to keyboard from middle school on. He now types everything, and gets accommodations at the university from professors that test with blue books. He also had a typing accommodation for the SAT and his AP tests, and additional time for math since writing the calculations is slow for him (he ended up not needing that time, however).

Younger students are now being given therapies that are supposed to be effective for helping them to learn to write relatively comfortably. It has been suggested that my son enroll with an occupational therapist to fill in that gap, but he's so far down this road that I don't know if he ever will. At the time it seemed work-around was the only way to go. That has changed.

If the difficulty writing is getting in your way, I would suggest meeting with an occupational therapist for an evaluation. It depends on the life you have built how important it would be to you. But it is clear to me that true disgraphia is a disability, in that it limits your life in certain ways. My son has a strong artistic eye, but his hands cannot put the visions onto paper. He cannot fill out forms in the moment; he always waits to scan them in and complete them in PDF. He works around all of it, becoming proficient with vector art on his computer, for example, but how well constant work-around will suit any one person will vary by individual life situation.

I cannot imagine what life would be like for him if he had had to grow up without the disgraphia being picked up by and dealt with by the school. Before his IEP I saw him getting frustrated and starting to turn off and tune out. Writing was PAINFUL for him, and the level of focus it took for him to try to form letters kept from him being able to engage in the multi-task process it takes to write fluently and effectively. He skips letters and words when he tries to write by hand; he loses his train of thought. Every part of his brain has to go into the physical aspect of pencil to paper. If that was you (or even a fraction of that, given how severe my son's disgraphia is) I am so very sorry. To be bright and full of ideas and enthusiasm but incapacitated in displaying that in a school setting or a job that requires writing is frustrating and discouraging.


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Last edited by DW_a_mom on 09 Sep 2017, 6:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

EzraS
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09 Sep 2017, 6:50 pm

I'd say most of that qualifies even if not officially diagnosed.
I'm officially diagnosed and it describes my difficulties.



firemonkey
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10 Sep 2017, 10:07 am

My hand gets to ache after a while. I think the band Stiff little fingers must have been named after me .


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Please support mental health research
http://www.mentalhealthresearchuk.org.uk/
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Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 133 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 47 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)