What is dysgraphia? Dysgraphia is a brain based disorder that effects the writing of those suffering from it. Dysgraphia effects everything from the way you hold your pen to how you form letters, writing in a straight line, even if you can form your thoughts on paper.
For my own child “E”, dysgraphia primarily showed itself in two ways. The first way was his handwriting. My son in kindergarten had rough handwriting. All the kids do as they are first learning to form letters and make words. The difference is other children’s writing became more clear as they grew older. My son’s did not. We would get a summertime tutor to work on his writing style in hopes that it would become better. It did not. The second way dysgraphia became and issue was in what my son would write. For instance, the teacher may have them write about their summer vacation and what they did. My son would write, “I went to Disney World. It was in Florida. It was fun. I saw Micky Mouse.” That would be it. Another child in his class would have wrote about the same vacation, “This summer my family, and I went to see Walt Disney World in Florida. It was really hot and humid there. We had a lot of fun going on various rides. My favorite was the roller coaster. I also like the parades. I even got to meet Mickey Mouse and get my picture taken with him. I had a lot of fun.” See the difference?
If you were to verbally ask my son about the vacation he could recount it in detail. He just could not do it with writing. There are also other symptoms, but these were the two major and most noticeable ones. We tried for years to get his writing to be better. It didn’t help. If only we had known about dysgraphia. Dysgraphia is not a common diagnosis. Many think the child is lazy, rushing or not trying hard enough. This is not true. When a child is diagnosed with dysgraphia they maybe listed as having Specific Learning Disability instead of dysgraphia. Specific Learning Disability is the psychiatric term used along with the type or nature of disability like writing etc. Dysgraphia is often used as a short hand term for it by parents and teachers.
When a psychiatrist tested our son for dysgraphia, she told us that there was not much we could do to correct it. Some information online says early intervention can help with learning. In addition to written expression difficulties, people with dysgraphia also have trouble with many of their fine motor skills. Buttoning shirts, cutting or opening bottles and jars can be impossible. For my own child, we have to help him open things. He cannot twist off a pop/soda cap. He cannot peel off the anti-tampering cover of a yogurt. Tying shoes is also a problem. We were also told that he will never be able to take notes.
Fortunately, we were given a list of accommodations and modifications for the school year. One thing we did long ago was to teach our son how to type. He does a really great job at that. We also got him an ipad to work with in school. Instead of a paper planner he has everything on his I-pad. He can also take tests in alternative form, or get extra time. His teachers also give him hard copies of the notes in class, and other handouts. My son “E” also has longer assignments broken down into smaller pieces and check-ins a lot with the teacher.
He has many more accommodations. Please look at Pinterest to see more ideas for a 504 or IEP. Also check online for several dysgraphia resources.
One of my monthly features is about the concept of decluttering. I usually give 10 things to look at. You don’t have to do all of the 10, but they are things to think about. Life for me gets overwhelming. These give me a reminder that I should check certain things. I am trying to live a more minimal lifestyle. However, I am not a minimalist. Far from it. It’s a daily struggle. While I’m not a pack rat, I do keep things. I constantly am refining what I keep and what I donate or trash. Here is my list for this month:
- Back to school clothes. Try them on, donate what is too small or used.
- Summer clothes. Get rid or donate what is worn out. Don’t store stuff that is not going to be used.
- Summer toys or items. Those empty bottle of sunblock can go. Is your plastic pail missing it’s handle? Recycle it.
- DVR. Clean out your DVR shows. Too many Law and Order reruns? Can you get rid of them? What are you going to watch? Clean up your shows.
- School Supplies. Most of us have gone shopping for supplies already. Check to see if your home or school needs a little extra. Nothing is worse than trying to find a certain type of marker in the middle of winter because yours dried out.
- Fall Decor. Getting out your Autumn decor in preparation for the leaves changing? What can you toss. What do you need? Get rid of those old, dirty gel clings. Have your kids outgrown the Snoopy Halloween decorations?
- Chips/Pantry Items. School is starting or has started for some of us. Now is a great time to toss all your expired food, or unused and stale food. Many stores will have sales to get rid of their excess back to school food packs. Look for those deals.
- Plastic Bags. I keep my plastic bags. I use them when I scoop out the litter box. Do you have a stash of these bags? Do you use them? If not, you may have to do a little clearing of this stash. Many big box retailers now allow you to bring in your unused plastic bags to get them recycled. Call your local Target or Walmart to see if they have these recycle bins in their store.
- Paper Bags. This could have gone in number 8. I keep it separate because I think of my paper bag stash as separate from the plastic one. I keep those paper bags to use for garbage. I keep the ones with the good handles for carrying things. Sometimes you just have too many. Let them go, or at least cull the herd.
- Pet Supplies. We recently got kittens. Yup, they are cute and they know it. They can also be a bit destructive. I get rid of those things that they destroyed. Are there toys that your dog or cat doesn’t like? Maybe a carrier that you no longer use? Many rescue organizations are willing to take gently used or like new donations. Check with your vets office too. Mine always needs towels. If your pet doesn’t like the stuffed alligator you got them let it go. It’s not personal, although it is a cute alligator.
Well that’s it. The ten for this month. What have you decluttered? Let me know in the comments.
Here is the monthly list of 10 things you need to clean. These are things that you normally don’t clean on a day to day basis. Things that maybe you have forgotten about cleaning or things you have let go. Take these ten for the month and get some things accomplished.
- Wash the pet dishes. When was the last time you put Fido’s or Fifi’s dishes through the dishwasher? Get them in there for an extra sparkle.
- Pet Food Storage. Staying in the pet theme, clean you pet food storage. We take our dry cat and dog food and put it in a Tupperware-esque container to keep it secure and fresh. Get all those crumbs out of the bottom and give it a good soap and water rinse.
- Garden Supplies. Fall is here. I’ve already put away my flower pots. I tossed a few that were on their last legs. Get rid of that awful tomato cage that doesn’t work, or the old rusty garden trowel.
- Desk Drawers. Since we are in the back to school time you can replace much of your supplies with new that is also on sale. Get rid of the nubby pencils, buy an electric pencil sharpener, get new markers etc.
- Bathroom drawers. Kind of the same as the above. College is starting. There are a lot of sales on cosmetics and personal care items. Get rid of the unusable and empty for new.
- Bathroom holders. Since we are on the topic of bathrooms it’s time to clean out all those bathroom holders. Everything from the soap holder in the shower to the items underneath the sink give a good clean.
- Purse. We’ve all had to clean out our bags. Now is the time to take a moment and give the bag a real cull. Take the time to buy some bag organizers to make things easier to find.
- Cup holders. My car cup holders are always getting disgusting. How are yours holding up?
- Glove Compartment/Center Console. Get those old CD’s out of there. Can’t remember what that cord is for? If it’s not your phone or other device let it go.
- Hobbies. Okay, this is sort of a big category isn’t it? Well, I’m not asking you to clear out a hobby itself. Just to pick one hobby, let’s say scrapbooking. Go through all your supplies and clean them out. An ink pad that is dry. Let it go. That baby bottle stamper you bought when your child was born, who is now 12 years old. Donate. You get the point. Pick just one hobby though. Let me know what you chose in the comments below.
In my old blog I used set goals every month. I’m going to try to do it again. I say try as my life since last October has been crazy. I don’t know what the future holds. I’m just trying to move my life along. Lately, I have been wondering what to do with the rest of my life. I suppose you could cal l it a mid-life crisis, but I don’t think that is what it is. I am at a point where constant care of my family will slowly be ending. What am I suppose to do? What do I want to do? I’m not sure. What I thought I was going to do in my 20’s did not work out for a variety of reasons. Some my fault, others not. My enjoyments are not the same either. What do I like? I’m not sure. So when setting my goals. I’m trying to move my life forward. Hopefully, I can find a path to my future somewhere.
- Drink more water. Honestly, I hate water. I know it’s good for you, but ugh, I’d rather drink Coke.
- Walk the dog. The dog needs to lose weight and so do I.
- Eat more fruit and veggies. I buy them, now I just have to eat them. Goals right?
- Establish a time to work on the blog for a regular basis.
- Read more. Put the cell phone down Christine.
- Go a few more places. I need to get out of the house! Don’t get me wrong. I love my house, but I’m a really boring person.
- Get a decent nights sleep. Work on that sleep routine.
- More self care. I really let this one go. I am feeling it as increase physical pain and stomach upset.
Do you have monthly goals? What are they for this month? Feel free to share below.