Hi,
We just had Aidan's parent conference for kindergarten. His teacher says he's doing really well in everything, but really struggles with writing and drawing. I've seen his struggle with it - he has no interest whatsoever in learning how to write, and I've never pushed it because I thought it would come more naturally later, and that practicing too much would be too tiring for his hands.

Can anyone else with boys in maybe 1st through 5th grades give me some advice on what I should do with this issue? Should I push him to practice writing? Or is it something that is just taken away from him, and I should focus on having him learn something like an alphasmart? (I think that's what they're called).

Thanks very much,
Mindy

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Has Aidan been in OT? Seph was before kindergarten to learn proper effective gripping of his pencil. This really helped not only his penmanship, but also desire to write/draw. Now if there is a writing tool around, he is going to use it!!!
Hi Mindy, Yes I have had this issue with all of my boys. I left it alone too for the same reasons. My boys Joshua and Justin write find now and they actually love to draw pictuers of their favoirte super hero. Most times I have to ask them, and what is this today, because I can't make it out. I think for you, it will change for Aidan when he is older too. Remember one day at a time. Take care.

Tanya Fleming
Joshua too has had OT since he was 3 years old. They also taught him how to hold his pencils etc. before he went into school and how to write and draw and use them accordingly. He is in kindergarten now but he does have some trouble staying in the lines but he can copy his numbers and letters and then write them properly. We practice at home too in the same way they do it at school. You can talk to Aidan's teacher and get the sheets they use at school to also use at home and they may have some ideas as well. Also, what made a difference for Joshua was using the brown craft paper you can get at Dollarama or such, roll it out on the floor and let him take an entire day to do the alphabet; another to do numbers; another to do coloring; or mixing it up. They have a great time being on the floor and doing this and they get something out of it without knowing.

Naomi
Hi Mindy,
My son had OT starting at 3 years old, long before he was diagnosed at age 9, and it helped him a lot. He is now in 5th grade (12 years old) and is a very good writer and loves to draw and color with colored pencils and markers as well. He writes better than his 16 year old brother, who does not have DMD!

I think that Aidan's writing will improve with practice and with OT. The OT's normally have fun things that they do with the kids as well that might not make him think he is just practicing.

Holly Flavin
Hi Mindy, My son with DMD had the same issues with writing and when he did try it, it was so light that you could hardly see it. He writes well now and he is in 1st grade. He has been getting Occupational Therapy since preschool. You may want to request an OT evaluation by the school. There are lots of creative ways the OT gets them interested and works on fine motor strengthing necessary for writing. Don't give up on it. He will learn to write. My son writes and draws everyday now.
Cindyq
Thanks so much, everyone. I think that I will ask for an OT evaluation.

Now if I could just solve his reluctance to read!

Is everyone using reading tutors as well? Aidan is good at sounding out 3-4 letter words; he just doesn't enjoy it...
No reading tutor yet! Seph can sound out the word correctly, but can't make it turn into a word without great struggling! i wouldn't worry to much about desire. Many boys don't like to read early on..my 12 y/o daughter still hates to, my 13 will read everything in sight! I didn't like to read until after grad school. I think the key is that he can do it....we are still struggling on that part!!
Lori

Mindy said:
Thanks so much, everyone. I think that I will ask for an OT evaluation.

Now if I could just solve his reluctance to read!

Is everyone using reading tutors as well? Aidan is good at sounding out 3-4 letter words; he just doesn't enjoy it...
Hi Mindy, it's cindyq again. In Kindergarten my son was also reluctant to read. He liked to be read to but not try himself. I think its because it is very hard for him. Many boys with DMD struggle with reading. See an earlier posting I did about reading difficulties in our boys. There is some helpful feedback from others in that discussion. My son, in preschool and now 1st grade, gets special ed and lots of extra time and repetition to complete his academic work. He is in a regular classroom much of his day but for academics he goes to a smaller classroom. It helps alot! Checkout my earlier posting, also in the Education forum I think. I submited it several weeks ago.
My son Brad did not like learning to write in pre-school. He wouldn't even try for a long time. He also had a very hard time staying in the lines when he colored. There was as much coloring outside the lines as in! lol. We worked on handwriting over the summer. He used a special pencil grip for a while to help him learn to hold the pencil properly. He is in kindergarten now and doing much better. Practice really does help. I too worried about his hand getting tired so at home he practices on a dry erase board which is really a lot easier to write on and erase. I found one at Wal-mart that has the lines like the ones on the paper they use in the lower grades. He really enjoys practicing on the dry erase board. I sometimes have him write the vocabulary words he brings home each night so he's working on two things at once. Hope this helps. Take care.

Lisa
My son is 12 and still can write, although on long assignments he types. His writing has always been a little "different" than those non DMD students but he has certainly written a lot. I encourage you to get him to learn to write. :} The good thing is with computers and other technologies our sons don't appear as "different" as they may have many years ago. Ask your physical therapist/OT for ideas. I know there is a curriculum out there called Handwriting w/o tears.....that may help. Good luck!
i would not feel to bad about that in kindergarden, my son is in 1st grade and still has problems holding his pencil right, and really is now at a kindergarden level with writing, he really has been about exactly 1 year behind in everything, he is getting there now, i would not give up on writingentirely, it will come, he does a little of both writing and the alphasmart at school, it seems to be helping him learn the letter more, then try wtiring it.
i do wonder what is adaptive pe? also anyone have any good articles on why not to walk alot, because apparently our school does not comprehend this and i just found out, has been making him walk the track for gym, and for some reason when he does some thing wrong at lunch, well he says they make him walk it at lunch all the time ,but they told me not all the time, i dont know.
Sara,
I just took Daniel to Cinc. this week. They gave me a letter for the school as well as his PT to not do any strengthening or endurance training (exercise) with Daniel. These activities can cause muscle breakdown and harm. They don't understand that they are doing more harm than good. I asked for something in writing because what they say carries more weight than what I say and it has come to my attention recently that they are not just walking Daniel around the halls (same with his PT) but they are having him run and encouraging him to run harder. He hasn't complained but I know this is not good for him. Many don't understand this and they said (in CInc) they run into this problem a lot. The therapist I talked to in Cinc said she really doesn't like our boys to go to Physical Therapists just because of this reason as so many of them don't understand DMD and the importance of just stretching.

Sara Savalli said:
i would not feel to bad about that in kindergarden, my son is in 1st grade and still has problems holding his pencil right, and really is now at a kindergarden level with writing, he really has been about exactly 1 year behind in everything, he is getting there now, i would not give up on writingentirely, it will come, he does a little of both writing and the alphasmart at school, it seems to be helping him learn the letter more, then try wtiring it.
i do wonder what is adaptive pe? also anyone have any good articles on why not to walk alot, because apparently our school does not comprehend this and i just found out, has been making him walk the track for gym, and for some reason when he does some thing wrong at lunch, well he says they make him walk it at lunch all the time ,but they told me not all the time, i dont know.

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