Help with Dysgraphia??

Posted by: NikiHarp

Help with Dysgraphia?? - 04/21/20 08:50 AM

Hi there...it's been a LONG time since I've checked in here, but I'm in need of a little help. DS13 is HG with dysgraphia. We've been coasting along, but have now hit a new bump with math.

How does dysgraphia affect your students in math? And how do you accommodate it? I'm a homeschooler.

He does not see errors in his writing at all. He will always need someone to edit written work.

Now, it seems that this is happening in math. He does not see the simple arithmetic errors he's making when he checks his work. I've got graph paper for him, but it doesn't seem to help at all. He knows the arithmetic and formulas, so is he writing the wrong number down? Is it carelessness?? I'm just not sure and was hoping someone might be able to help me.

Thank you all!
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Help with Dysgraphia?? - 04/21/20 10:36 PM

I have a dyslexic child who it took us YEARS to figure out it was dyslexia biting in math (and it was us, not the teacher/s who finally figure out why DC seemed fine in class and then bombed tests etc). The dyslexia was well under control in english/history and other reading/writing intensive subjects. DC needed typing and extra time, but was essentially "fine" in these subjects language heavy subjects without any ongoing remediation or support... We did not see how it was impacting math because we thought "they're fine", they weren't fine and skills that helped in other subjects did not generalise to math.

This child has a dysgraphia dx, but it's a very physiological based issue in this case and I don't think it was much to do with the math problems experienced, it really was dyslexia at play for them.

I have another child with much more severe dysgraphia, pretty much all subjects suddenly and markedly improved when they were able to move to full time tying at 10yrs old. But not math. Math never improved. Unfortunately we moved schools not long after the move to full time typing and the new school never really believed us that hand writing was a huge problem with math (they were happy to support typing in other subjects). The school we left had seen first hand the sudden change from introducing keyboarding and they knew that if every other subject had improved for typing that it was only logical that holding a pencil was impacting math. The new school just didn't seem to be able to appreciate the degree to which typing had "changed everything" and therefore it was reasonable to believe that supports were needed for math.

We have yet to successfully address this issue. The app EquatIO seems like it should help, but I have found the software company very hard to deal with as an individual parent, they are much more set up to deal with schools who want the whole school (or class) to use their software.

Also my child says that they think better mathematically with a pencil and paper, and yet it is painfully obvious to me that the inability to line things up, keep work visually organised, etc is introducing errors which are not related to failures of understanding.
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Help with Dysgraphia?? - 04/23/20 03:09 PM

Geogebra is also said to be a good tool for dysgraphia. Although my son doesnít have dysgraphia, he does use Geogebra and says itís great.

PS: The Ďsilly mistakesí arenít necessarily due to dysgraphia. None of my three kids have dysgraphia but were all prone to making silly mistakes until Yr 8-9. Maturity brought each of them an appreciation of the importance of being meticulous.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Help with Dysgraphia?? - 04/23/20 05:51 PM

Sometimes scribing for a bit can help to tease out the nature of the errors. When I scribed math for my dysgraphic-esque #2, I specified that every step would need to be verbalized, including regrouping (which digit to "carry"), parentheses, etc. For self-monitoring, we emphasized the meaning over the procedures. E.g., our key work-checking points were 1) did I answer the question, 2) does my answer make sense, and, 3) does my answer have the correct units/significant figures, etc.?

In our case, removing the handwritten aspect improved overall performance considerably, both on the initial work and on error-correction. So much cognition was going into managing handwriting, numeral formation and placement on the page that there just wasn't enough executive function left to self-monitor, and certainly little motivation to do more than a cursory review of work afterward.

It helped to reduce the number of items required (what I would call "items sufficient to demonstrate mastery" when writing formal accommodations) per day/assignment, in addition to oral elaboration and scribing. I think it was also incrementally helpful to remove handwriting demands from all other subjects for which it was not the principal goal of instruction. We switched to speech-to-text (and later wordprocessing) for everything but actual handwriting exercises in second or third grade.