View Full Version : Where to diagnosis writing disability

09-24-06, 02:28 PM
I think my son may have a writing disabilty. The problem is the school just doesn't think that is possible because of his test scores over several years.

He is in the gifted program. And I think that his ability must mask some of his difficulties. He has in the gifted range on Cognat's and the DAS the differential abilities. He maxed out some portions of his sate proficiencies and is very high in the state acheivement tests. He did only high average on the Wechsler showing that scatter pattern which apparently can indicate ADD or LD. The pysch felt that this did not accurately show his ability.

The problem is that for him to write any type of paper will take him 2-3 hours. He got a D on his mid-term in Writing. He is below grade level on spelling and is 13 and cannot write cursive. While struggling to write he says that he does not know what to write. When he does come up with something he cannot seem to put it on paper. It seems to me that this is more than attention although attention is clearly part of it. He spends nearly all of his free time doing homework to keep up with his peers.

He is getting a D in writing, C in reading the rest are B's. We are less concerned with the grades as to the amount of effort and struggle he has to put in to achieve average scores. It is a discrepancy between abiltiy and acheivement. We want him to be able to relax and have more free time and less struggle and frustration.

Our private pysch suggests the Woodcock Johnson, but the school pysch thinks this is a waste of time and will not show anything based on his history of test taking results.

What would be the next step to solving this mystery. What type of professional can help us help him?

10-01-06, 07:31 PM
Has he had ~8 hrs of Testing or so already? If not, seeing a Testing Psychologist might be a plan.

If his writing is disorganized, i'd imagine his tests of Executive Dysfunction and working memory will show that. (eg Tower of London, Trails A and Trails B, Wisconsin Card Sort.)

Is he accommodated? He might find using Dragon Naturally Speaking, or a Keyboard/Laptop, or something, to be helpful for his writing and exams. Kids at college get such accommodations.

The ADHD brain goes about 100 WPM. The pencil goes 20 wpm. ADHD is a working memory disability -- That means that when we go to write, we lose 80% of our essay's content, in the 'brain-to-hand bottleneck'.

He may also find that Inspiration (a computer program) or Mind-Mapping (a technique and book by Tony Buzan) helps his written work's organization and production.

10-01-06, 11:05 PM
Thanks, I will look into these things.