It is not the case that all children with a history of speech and language difficulties have associated literacy problems. However, school-age children whose speech difficulties persist beyond 5 years of age are most at risk for associated difficulties in reading, spelling and sometimes maths. Let us first consider the nature of persisting speech difficulties with reference to a simple psycholinguistic model of speech processing. This illustrates that we receive spoken information through the ear input.
Strategies for Dealing with Dysgraphia By: Richards A common teaching technique is to have the students write information to reinforce the material.
For example, spelling programs often encourage students to write each spelling word five times or 20 times. For many students, the kinesthetic process of writing reinforces what is to be learned.
However, for a small group of students, rather than reinforcing and consolidating information, the process of writing actually interferes with learning.
These students struggle to write and consequently spend much more time than their peers on a writing assignment. Even so, they remember less: Cognitively, so much of their energy is spent on the process that they often do not learn or some times even process the content of what they are working on.
Some students with severe dysgraphia may actually complete a writing assignment and then have to reread it to determine what they wrote, especially in a copying task or if they are focusing on neatness. Educators expect students to learn from the process of writing, yet these students find that the process of writing actually interferes with learning.
How, then, can they adequately learn to use the process of writing to express their ideas? Why does this occur?
Dysgraphia is a problem with the writing process. For these students, there is an underlying reason that their papers are messy or that their speed is excessively fast or extremely slow.
It is unfair to label them as poorly motivated, careless, lazy, or impulsive. While these interpretations may be true on the surface, they are not the root of what is happening.
The root for dysgraphia is actually found within the processing system involved with sequencing, especially the motor movements which should be sequential and very automatic. Students with dysgraphia need to develop both compensations and remediation strategies.
Compensations are techniques to bypass the problem and reduce the negative impact on learning. This is accomplished by avoiding the difficulty, changing the assignment expectations, or using strategies to aid a particular aspect of the task.
Compensations can also be termed bypass strategies or accommodations, the latter term used more frequently in legal situations. Remediation provides additional structured practice or re-teaching of the skill or concept using specialized techniques to match the student's processing style and need.
The astute teacher or parent must first determine the point at which the student becomes confused or begins to struggle. Does it begin as soon as the student starts to write?
Is it halfway through the paragraph? Is it when the student tries to think about more complex ideas rather than just write a sentence or perform a copying task? Is it the use of manuscript, or the use of cursive?
Is it the process of dealing with mechanics while writing? Is it the process of trying to think and plan while writing? Remedial strategies It is critical that students do not totally avoid the process of writing, no matter how severe their dysgraphia.
Writing is an important life skill necessary for signing documents, filling out forms, writing checks, taking telephone messages or writing a grocery list. Therefore, students need to be able to write, even if they cannot maintain writing for long periods of time. Young students should receive remediation in letter form, automaticity, and fluency.
They need specific multisensory techniques that encourage them to verbalize the motor sequences of the form of letters for example, b is big stick down, circle away from my body.
Students should also use large air writing to develop a more efficient motor memory for the sequence of steps necessary in making each letter. This is because air writing causes students to use many more muscles than they use when writing with a pencil. Multisensory techniques should be utilized for teaching both manuscript and cursive writing.Tips for Teaching the Child with Dyspraxia or DCD • Put the child near the front of the class.
If this is not possible, walking around the room can also bring the information to the student effectively. Dyspraxia is a result of weak or poorly structured neural pathways to the mouth (oral and verbal dyspraxia) or other moving parts of the body (motor dyspraxia).3 Some children only have verbal dyspraxia, while others only have motor dyspraxia.
Pediatric writing aids are devices that assist children with the mechanics of writing. These aids strengthen and support hands and arms while helping children achieve more consistently legible handwriting with less physical strain.
Over the years, Dyspraxia has been called several different names and is now usually called ‘Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)‘. Dyspraxia (pronounced: Dis-prax-eea) affects approximatley 10 per cent of the population. Children who tend to use short strokes and visual monitoring when drawing and writing need opportunities to develop the basic motor control strategies for preplanning their movements before they can be expected to write fluently and legibly.
Some writing aids work to stabilize the hand, wrist or upper arm, offering support to weakened muscles and increasing control. Other aids build hand strength. They help a child grasp and manipulate a pencil effectively. Depending on the need being addressed and the construction of the particular device, pediatric writing aids may serve to: provide wrist and forearm support.