X-man has difficulty with his handwriting. He does much better on lined paper, but it's still not very good. I grew concerned after I saw his first spelling test, so I e-mailed an acquaintance of mine who is an occupational therapist after I talked about his handwriting issues with his teachers.
The OT went over the "options" with me about having him evaluated (by school folks versus hospital folks versus a private OT). But then she told me to hang tight because her son goes to X-man's school and she was thinking of volunteering some of her time. I found out today, she'll be having a handwriting intervention for children in the lower grades on Monday afternoons. I e-mailed X-man's teachers about it today, and they totally support him attending. Hooray for parent/teacher communication. :-)
This is a good thing. What I'm hoping will happen is that he'll get some practice in, but also that the OT can tell me if she thinks he should have an evaluation looking into any Visual Motor Integration issues or into the Visual Auditory Integration issues depending on how things go with her. Delays or disorders in these areas would help explain why he has so much trouble with phonetics when reading as well as his difficulty with writing. He likes to memorize words, not sound them out. So we have to break them down to one letter sound at at time which helps him read a word, but then when you ask him to spell it the letter sound"bah" doesn't translate in his brain into the letter "b."
In addition, he also reverses his numbers and letters a lot. This is normal until children are around 8 years old. But I also know that MacTroll had issues with his dyslexia and when he was younger and went through speech therapy. So, it's something we look out for.
We've been working on fine motor skills at home with scissors and rock crayons and (of course) Legos, but I also have invested in some fun spelling apps where I can input his spelling list and he can spell the words in various games. He always picks the game where he has 4 different spellings (3 incorrect and one correct) of the same word and has to pick the right one. Or he'll break down and do the game that shows him the word, reads him the letters, and then asks him to spell the word using the keyboard. He can repeat the word orally, but not see it again. But it does at least give him one visual clue. He HATES when I try to get him to do the game where it only reads you the words and there's no visual cue at all.
I also downloaded Dexteria's LetterReflex Flip It, where it gives the kids letters going all different ways and they have to flip them the right way to help with letter discrimination.
I also talked to his teachers about him having trouble hearing the letter "l" in combination with other sounds (for example "Sled"). She said this is a relatively common problem. They're testing new curriculum, so they're taking notes about where these activities might work better and doing a lot of individual work with the children to get them more appropriate learning situations for their abilities and levels. It's nice having two teachers that work Reading Recovery lead a classroom. No one gets left behind, and they see and value each of the students as individuals.