Life with Fast Boy

The Challenges of Raising Our ADHD Son

Give the Boy a Keyboard

Posted by One Tired Mama on December 31, 2008

We were called to school a couple weeks ago to discuss Fast Boy’s behavior. It’s certainly a lot better than it has been in the past, but his teacher is getting frustrated. She said that every time she thinks she finds a reward that works for him, it works for about a week and then he loses interest. Well, welcome to my world! It’s been like that for years. Why do you think I’m so frustrated?

So we continue to chat about what works and what doesn’t. I brought up a time where I had him write down an explanation of his bad behavior, kindof as a consequence for that behavior. I had good results. Making him concentrate on the problem by having to write about it seems to have made him realize more about what he did. Then his EC teacher chimes in and says “I do that with him”. I’m thinking, “Great! He already hates writing and we’re using it as a punishment.” Seems to me that would make him hate writing even more.

But then something really eye-opening happened. I asked to see samples of the writing he has done for her with the explanations for his behavior. What was presented was typed paragraphs. My husband and I noticed the same thing immediately. Unlike the messy, mispelled, incomplete thoughts we see in his handwriting homework, these paragraphs held full complete sentences, grammatically correct without the spelling errors.

So, Fast Boy really can write! He just has trouble writing his thoughts with a pencil. He apparently gets so hung up on the handwriting skill that he loses the ability to put the thoughts together. That would certainly be the conclusion that makes sense.

The school has since given him an “AlphaSmart” to use in the classroom when he needs to write essay style answers. I haven’t gotten a progress update yet, but I’m very interested in seeing the results.

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2 Responses to “Give the Boy a Keyboard”

  1. Christina Shaver said

    I have enjoyed reading your blog. My son also has ADHD, so I can relate! I’ve been looking for a place on your website where I can contact you, but am coming up short. Could you please send me an e-mail? There’s something I’d like to ask you.

  2. Kathy said

    Sounds like “fastboy” has what my boy was diagnosed with – Dysgraphia. My boy is very intelligent, but you would never know on paper. He had a teacher that was familiar with Dysgraphia and recommended that he type up his papers which made all of our lives much better. They (teachers) also let him take verbal math quizzes instead of timed test because he does know but cannot write fast, in a one-minute quiz he would have 30 problems and complete one or two sometimes depending on the day. He is also not an art lover, it could take him 1-2 hours a night to try and get him to draw/finish a picture.

    He was diagnosed with Dysgraphia in the 2nd grade and is now in 7th. For 3 – 4 years I sat down with each of his teachers before the school year to give them heads up. He has been in the same school system since and I think all of them are aware of how to handle his ADHD/Dysgraphia. High School is coming soon. Hopefully they are as helpful there.

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