• Gina

Dysgraphia: An Impairment in Written Expression

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

Today I am going to focus on Dysgraphia for learning disability awareness month. In the DSM-V, Dysgraphia is now referred to as a learning disability with impairment in written expression, but I will refer to this learning disability as Dysgraphia in this post. It falls under the category of Specific Learning Disability in the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).

I will never forget the day I walked down the kindergarten hallway on my way to my youngest son's IEP meeting and saw his project hanging on the wall with about 60 other kids' projects. Yes, his picture wasn't drawn well, but hey, I'm no artist! There was, however, one thing that glaringly stood out to me: out of the entire kindergarten class (3 sections), his was the only one that did not have the writing prompts filled in and glued on to the bottom of the page.

I honestly couldn't tell you how many meetings we were up to at this point, but I can tell you that each and every time we sat down with his IEP team, we brought up our concerns about writing and referenced Dysgraphia multiple times each meeting.

The response we typically got was, "He CAN do the work. He just CHOOSES not to."

Have you heard this before? If so, I am sorry. You see, our son could do the work. He just needed accommodations to complete it. That day he had joined us near the end of our meeting (likely because he was having behavioral challenges in the classroom and was removed) and on our way out we stopped by his picture. I glanced at the writing prompts from one of the other kids' projects and I asked him the questions (they went something like this):

Me: "What would you name your planet?"

Him: "Pizza Planet."

Me: "What would the people eat on your planet?"

Him: "Pizza and bananas."