I took him to be independently tested by a Developmental Neurologist. She ran her tests and came in and said: I have good news and bad news. The good news is Bubbie doesn't have dyslexia. The bad news is he has Dysgraphia, fine-motor dyspraxia, severe vision disturbances, and ADHD.
I was floored. All these years I have been telling everyone that would listen that there is more going on with Bubbie than just ADHD. But it was falling on deaf ears, or if his teacher KNEW that Bubbie needed special help his hands were tied by the fact he did not have any formalized medical diagnosis.
Dysgraphia: a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. Dysgraphia makes the act of writing difficult. It can lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting, and putting thoughts on paper. People with dysgraphia can have trouble organizing letters, numbers, and words on a line or page. This can result partly from:
- Visual-spatial difficulties: trouble processing what the eye sees
- Language processing difficulty: trouble processing and making sense of what the ear hears
- Here is what Bubbie's writing looks like:
|Most times he can't even read it|
- Coordination difficulties can be particularly problematic in physical education classes and other sports activities.
- Writing difficulties such as poor letter formation, pencil grip and slow writing can make school work frustrating.
|Bubbie the next Gatorade spokesma|
There is a lot of hope and hard work in the next couple of years for Bubbie. He will finally be getting and Individualized Education Plan through his school. This means he will be getting occupational therapy, assisted technology (laptop or tablet), as well as any accommodations he needs to reach his full potential academically, interpersonally and physically. He will also be going to occupational therapy to help him train his right and left sides of his brain to communicate with his body (he can't skip, or successfully touch his right hand to his left foot, for example). He will also be seeing a developmental optometrist to work on the eye teaming and tracking. Of all the developmental concerns he has this one is probably the easiest to overcome through vision therapy.
The best news is WE FINALLY have a diagnosis and are working on a plan! It is like a huge boulder has been lifted from my shoulders. Bubbie is also relieved to know that all of his academic problems weren't "because he didn't try enough."
To all you parents and families and individuals that struggle with learning disabilities, I salute you and have much respect for the paths that you have forged allowing my son to be able to get the help he not only needs but deserves!
With much gratitude to medical science,