School has been going well for our little guy! He’s reading well, coping well, and not needing as many accommodations as the last time we tried school. He’s even making friends and likes his teacher. But we have a new challenge that needs to be addressed: possible dysgraphia.
What is dysgraphia, exactly? It is a learning disability that affects someone’s writing abilities. According to Web MD, those with dysgraphia will write or copy words slowly and their handwriting will be unclear or inconsistent, “often with different slants, shapes, upper- and lower-case letters and cursive and print styles.”
That certainly all fits. But our child’s superpower is that he can write a word mirror image. Yep, that’s right-completely backward. All the letters, the flow of the word, everything is perfect. Except you’d have to hold a mirror up to read it. It doesn’t happen with every word or even every day.
But if he’s tired, or things are moving too fast, it can happen. He also has a tough time with the direction of certain letters and numbers. Since he has a lower case “d” in his name, repeatedly writing one’s name incorrectly at age 8 tends to raise some flags.
So, it’s off to the diagnosing psychologist to give us some more information and possibly add to the alphabet soup. I know it’s just a thing - it’s been there all along. It’s just getting more attention now.
But I feel sad about it, too. Another challenge for this sweet boy? How is this fair? Well, of course, it’s not. But it’s part and parcel for the other diagnoses that he has. Dysgraphia isn’t actually a diagnosis, in and of itself. It’s just a symptom of what we already know.
I don’t want our boy to feel like he’s something that needs to be fixed. He doesn’t, but in order to write effectively, we need to address this and support him. He already feels the difference between himself and some of the other kids in the way he learns and expresses himself. I don’t want the space between to become a gap.
So, onward we go! I bet we are back in occupational therapy (OT) by summer. That’s okay - we loved OT!
Find out more about learning disabilities in Education and Schools.