School Dysgraphia Solutions For Today’s Students
Children with learning disabilities like dysgraphia are likely to benefit from specialized attention, particularly through focused school lessons, programs and learning tools.
Coping with dysgraphia
Many learning disabilities, like dysgraphia, have different treatment options to prevent students from developing learning deficiencies.
Dysgraphia is generally found early in childhood; at this stage, a medical professional formally diagnoses the learning disability. From there, parents, educators and medical professionals work to remediate the learning disability through different forms of resourceful learning and physical therapy.
Children with dysgraphia may be treated through occupational therapy to help them build muscle strength and dexterity in their hands; this may also help treat and improve their hand-eye coordination. It also helps a child’s handwriting improve, overall preventing it from depreciating over time.
Multisensory learning approaches, like the approaches used in dyslexia treatments, also help students with dysgraphia learn skills necessary to write.
Special education and dysgraphia
In recent times, school boards across the country have searched for solutions to help students with learning disabilities.
Previously existing special needs programs, although used by students with physical disabilities, might not provide students with learning disabilities with the instruction they need to improve their intrinsic learning skills.
Dysgraphia, in particular, is a learning disability that affects how children acquire their written language skills, in addition to how they use their written language skills to express their thoughts. When used in the context of special education programs, school teachers and physicians might have difficulties in treating students with the condition.
Special education programs in schools today require parents to work with teachers and physicians to make a treatment plan that’s best for their child. Parents who suspect that their child may have the learning disability generally have to speak with their child’s school principal and/or counselor about requesting an assessment test.
Children with dysgraphia need an early diagnosis to determine the best treatment options for their learning of writing language. Today, many schools don’t have inherently systematic instructional programs for handwriting, spelling and word reading. Dysgraphic students, as a result, might not have an active resource for learning about writing language.
Difficulties like these comprise the main issues parents might have with special education. Although they can receive accommodations for the aforementioned testing and teaching, dysgraphic students ultimately need a consistent resource to learn.
Though, finding assistance for a dysgraphic child doesn’t stop there for the parent. Parents also have to go through the school to enroll their child into their aforementioned special education program. The application process to enroll their child into the special education system is considered, by most parents, to be ‘daunting’ and ‘confusing.’
Treating dysgraphia in schools
Learning disabilities like dysgraphia, as mentioned, can be treated in schools through special education. However, many schools around the country face difficulties when properly addressing students with the learning disability.
Public school educators across the country are likely to ‘not properly identify children with dysgraphia and provide them with appropriate instruction.’ This may relate to the fact that federal law ‘specifies written expression as a problematic area for students with learning disabilities without clearly identifying the casual factors of the conditions.’
These casual factors generally involve a student’s impaired spelling and/or handwriting problems. In the aforementioned context, federal law doesn’t clearly specify what transcription problems cause impairment in written expression for students affected by dysgraphia.
Testing used to assess written expression also might not suit dysgraphia assessment, as students are often not scored for handwriting or spelling problems. As a result, they can ‘mask’ how severe dysgraphia difficulties may be.
In addition, temperamental problems like a lack of motivation may cover dysgraphia in some students, convincing teachers that they might not need assistance.
Beating the system
Although the systematic enrollment into special education appears difficult for both parents and students, today’s schools and associated healthcare professionals are taking care to introduce solutions for special needs students with learning disabilities.
Recently, the PACER Center of Minneapolis, Minnesota announced plans to ‘hold a workshop designed to help parents navigate their child’s school special education system.’ The PACER Center workshop aims to ‘provide a complete overview of the specialized education process, using materials designed to assist parents with a way to structure their child’s records in preparation for enrollment.’
Many of the topics that will be covered at the workshop will include ‘the value of free and appropriate public education, resolving disagreements, student evaluation and the Individualized Education Program.’
The PACER Center itself is at the forefront of helping parents and students with disabilities in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the rest of the United States. As with their upcoming dysgraphia workshop (October 8th), PACER hosts and sponsors many events designed for people who struggle with disabilities.
With their dyslexia and dysgraphia workshops, the PACER Center aims to help parents ‘understand and support their child students with their learning struggles.’ The ‘Dysgraphia: What A Parent Needs to Know’ community education workshop is expected to cover dysgraphia in all aspects, including how to detect, assess, remedy and accommodate students with dysgraphia.