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.