Help with handwriting skills - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Help with handwriting skills

Trinidee profile image

I want to say thank you for all the helpful tools and support that I received thus far.

I do have another concern with my son. Hid writing is illegible and he is often discouraged about it. This also causes a problem with his teachers giving him a lower grade. What are some helpful tools that I can use?

7 Replies

Trinidee- Happy New Year! This is a common problem with children who have ADHD. From my experience it is that they do not take the time to focus and write out each letter. One suggestion is to put in writing a statement saying you want him assessed and submit to the Special Education dept. The statement should say you need him assessed for OT (Occupational Thearpy) services. They are a Specialty service inside the school district. They have special tools, programs and tricks that can help him. If this is impacting his educational process he will then qualify for an IEP or 504 Plan and they can make special accommodations for him.

I am not sure if your child takes medication to help with his ADHD but that could also helps his processing and decrease his impulseness, which could help him slow down and therefore he might write better. Hope this helps.

Take care

My son has the same issue with handwriting. Working with an occupational therapist helps a lot, but when we finally made the decision to put him on medicine for his adhd I couldn't believe the difference. On medicine his handwriting is much more neat and legible. Same thing with his coloring. His teacher said she has never seen such a great difference in a child between medicated and not medicated. Before medication we tried the Handwriting Without Tears program. It was unsuccessful for him at the time because he was unmedicated and all over the place. Many OT's use that program. I would definitely request an evaluation through the school.

Oh yes! My son currently does great academically, but his big area of weakness is handwriting. We had him evaluated by the OT at his school. She determined his handwriting is currently not severe enough to negatively impact his education (as he’s only in 1st grade.) But she suggested:

- writing on whiteboard or chalkboard

- working at an easel (with paint, bingo dabbers, markers, etc)

- using tub crayons in the bath

- writing on windows with window markers or dry erase markers (be sure to supervise for wall security!)

- color while laying on tummy

Hopefully yours should be able to give more specific aid to your child

My son is 24 and has been treated for ADHD since age 9, so I have some perspective here... there is really no reason to stress about handwriting. My son has always had terrible handwriting and watching him write was tedious and painful! He finally resorted to printing, which was better than cursive, but still awful. He is now back in college and types everything.......he never writes except to sign his name! Your son will probably never have really legible handwriting, even when medicated, but it's not a significant issue and should not be made an issue. There are a lot more important things to worry about in school besides handwriting! I would have his IEP include a statement that says he is not to be graded on handwriting. And possibly be allowed to type papers in the future.

Find a non-graded typing course - short summer school class was my saving grace. A live teacher does better than a book course. My handwriting is till horrible unless I really take it slow. I had mechanical drawing in HS and so my printing is pretty good. It wasn't as good as others but when I worked in a supermarket deli the cashiers were very happy to read my numbers. Just work with him/her to develop a "fancy" signature. Add frills to it and they will practice it as something fun and artistic instead of a chore. Break some rules, I curled my z into a double crossing of my t and the dot of my I. And use a fancy font if typing the name, Edwardian script. Tell him/her, they need a fancy signature in case they become famous and people collect their signature. I hated handwriting because it kept me off the honor roll in middle school. Typing is so much faster if they learn ten fingers. And you can undo mistakes now and revise things so much more easily. Cursive is a waste of time... except for that fancy signature!

And like John Hancock, on a signature you can get away with writing the letters larger than normal which is easier to do.

Trinidee My son is now 29 and his handwriting is still pretty bad. I am not saying you shouldn’t try to encourage and help your son to have better writing skills. However, I will say that if I could redo anything it would be to not have so many breakdowns. I was tired of hearing teachers or others and so I would spend time trying to get him to write “better” It didn’t take me long to see that all that was happening was both he and I tired, crying and overwhelmed. The biggest problem was his needing to slow down. Let’s be honest though can you read doctors writing, or others who are in business? More often than not I find that most of the population stinks at writing and today most don’t write, but type. Again I am not saying that you shouldn’t try, but I would take a step back and look at what is most important. Hope this helps some. Beautyoutofashes54

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