First hand account of studying with Dysgraphia

I read so many articles out there. Parents go to site that give generic facts, telling them not to worry but what to expect and how to help. These may be useful but does it really open your eyes to the world of your child. No matter what you might hear Dysgraphia is not in fact a disability, it simply means that our brains are wired differently that do not simply match the “traditional” learning techniques. These teach us to sit still, learn a manual, be quiet. Like silent robots on the production line. But learning could be so much more than that.

I will admit that there are struggles as a dysgraphic. The main one being understanding auditory learning. Being lectured at, spoken instructions, written instructions. How often have you used this technique to help them learn again and again to zero effect? It is because you might as well be teaching a wall. We are visual and kinaesthetic learners. We learn by doing or being physical shown. Which means give us worked examples, structures to follow, interactive activities. I often feel like an idiot trying to understand things but as soon as I am demonstrated it the task is simple.

In the world of spelling and grammar this is not our super power. We may have the ability to do them but with all the different rules and terms they do no always come out right. Imagine all of the rules getting jumbled up, then your brain is like a sieve. Only little strings get through and they are all miss matched. Well, is what it can be like trying to process and right. It is disjointed and takes time. Also, with links to dyslexia it is hard to pick up on mistakes. Extra time should be given to help the students work through and additional software.

As the student gets older and have to learn by themselves. It gets harder if they have been scared to study, organisation, colours and structure really helps students. It may take them three times as long to get a C as it would be for someone without it to get a A. But that is why we need the playing field to be levelled with extra time, assistance and dispensation. My grades shot up when I had my allowance added on to my times.

Our ultimate weakness or at least mine is reading out loud! Remember that one kid in class who would take forever and make mistakes. That is us. It goes in, gets scrambled and comes out completely scrambled. Even in my masters I had to do a presentation with no preparation. Reading off the screen and getting stressed I basically had a meltdown in front of my class. I couldn’t do it and someone even came up to help me. We need time to prepare and practice, it is really not a fair thing to ask of someone with dysgraphia. Imagine the number of confused customers when I worked at the call centre.

What of the positives to dysgraphia! Well for one thing we have incredible memories. The number of useless facts I can recall is quite astounding. When I spurt off facts about absolute rubbish, I cannot remember reading there is hardly ever a debate or argument I cannot win. It is at the point that my friends do not allow me to talk about history until they need me to win an argument. Such as why the English suck and have abused the scots and then they get a 1300-year rant with all the detail and facts.

We are also very strong learners with physical subjects. Geography, carpentry, engineering, maths, biology. These subjects tend to be more friendly and creative. We can see things and image them in different ways that solve a lot of problems and make them incredible on their own. We make amazing entrepreneurs, artists and so much more. Once you learn to work with your strengths then you can do so much! We are great problem solvers and critical thinkers. With the right tools we can accomplish incredible things.

I hope this article will show you some of the realities of being dysgraphic. If anyone has any questions I have a whole forum on that. Please work with the person rather than use traditional methods of education. Believe me they do not work! Think out of the box and get creative!

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