My son is in second grade. I believe they graded handwriting in first but she told us she was pretty easy. The report card period just closed and it appears that my son will be getting a D in handwritting.
He is a very smart kid and I'm lucky that he is getting four A's and 2 B's and average is still a B but the D worries me. Should he be graded the same in handwriting as other children or should he have a special arrangement? Let me know your thoughts. Yes, of course he can write nice when he tries and is not tired...but he can also be sloppy. Let me know your thoughts as we have parent/teacher conferences next week.

Thanks
Darcy

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We had them stop giving Justin handwriting grades when he reached 2nd grade. He would see the low grade on his report card and it would upset him. The teachers knew he tried and thats all that mattered. The principal insisted the grade be on the report card, but the grade reflected his effort at writing his assignments and not his actual penmanship.

--Samantha
My son uses a pencil grip. It has helped him a lot. There are all different kinds. The one he uses has a star on one of the grips. His OT had told me about them.
Jacob is in 3rd grade and it is written in his IEP that they will not grade for handwriting. It also was changed this year to read if Jacob gets tired a teacher or parent can script for him as long as he is verbally telling them what to write.
Our son's handwriting has always been an issue. We now have it in his IEP that he can dictate writing assignments, use a keyboard (provided by the school district), receive pre-printed notes and highlight them instead or receive a copy of notes from another student that has nice writing. The teachers can also lessen/shorten the assignments for him so he doesn't have to write as long or as much. He can also have extra time for test taking if he needs it and wasn't able to finish in time. Tyler is now in the 7th grade and I wish I would have asked this very question a long time ago, it sure would have helped us a lot sooner. He is a straight "A" student, so the handwriting certainly isn't because of effort! Good luck with this.
Kelvin's handwriting is terrible. He is advancing ok in school now and I've told the teachers and everyone involved with his IEP to let it go and they are thinking long term already, getting a computer for him (he uses the internet (with user IDs and passwords, installs computer programs, etc., so he is good with a computer, probably better than a lot of other first graders). They take him from class and do individual work on anything involving a lot of writing, so he has lots of time. They don't make him color, if he doesn't want to, as they color a lot and that can be tiring, for even a healthy child. I've passed out many documents on DMD and the entire school has read it, so they are pretty informed about how to deal with Kelvin. It has taken a lot of work, as we are in a small school system who had never had a child with DMD. --- Michelle
Darcy you got alot of great info before your meeting, I agree with everyone. Our son is in 2nd also but handwriting is not graded (if it was a change in his IEP would soon follow). He just started using a pencil grip a month or so ago, it took him awhile to get used to, but he is doing better and has less hand/finger cramps. Complains now when doing homework since we don't have any here.

How did the meeting go? Any change in his IEP?
The meeting went well. We have a 504 at this time and no IEP...he did end up getting an S in handwriting....talked about the concern we had...and thats what ended up on his report card..I'm very lucky as my school is very adaptable at this point. I see you are close by..if you ever get to Pgh area...let us know.

Melissa Geary said:
Darcy you got alot of great info before your meeting, I agree with everyone. Our son is in 2nd also but handwriting is not graded (if it was a change in his IEP would soon follow). He just started using a pencil grip a month or so ago, it took him awhile to get used to, but he is doing better and has less hand/finger cramps. Complains now when doing homework since we don't have any here.

How did the meeting go? Any change in his IEP?
Darcy - First of all, I think it's terribly unfair for the teacher to give your son a 'D'. DMD effects all parts of the body. Your teacher needs to be educated on the DMD. You should send her the CD The Face of Duchenne and make her him watch it. Then, I would have a conference with the teacher. There are some accommodations that can be made - grips for the pencils, foot rest, possible slanted desk, etc. Look at the hand stretches in the PPMD - we do these daily. By the way, I wouldn't wait until next teacher/parent meeting to discuss this. Char Burke

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