I asked him how to spell "the", and he said, "D.......a.....I don't know. This isn't fun. I don't want to do it".
It was difficult for me to make out his letters and he fatigued easily when working on writing. He had difficulty staying on the line and spacing between his words.
His teacher, who is a 30 year veteran of teaching, said "He needs to be held back. He needs a neuropsychological evaluation and most likely move to another setting that is less demanding".
Looking at his handwriting, it was difficult not to agree, however because all of this was going to take time, I decided to continue to work with him and do my best to help him.
After all the environmental accommodations such as seat cushions and slant boards, we began working on his posture, hand strength, visual perceptual and visual motor skills.
I see him two times a week for 45 minutes. There are a lot of days when I feel like all I am doing is redirecting him back to focus. But in between all of the visual training, strengthening, handwriting practice and some games(FUN is a necessary component for learning!), I was watching him write a cursive letter p and realized that he had made amazing progress.
I had noticed that his curiosity for learning had shifted, and where it was difficult for him to even attend to a book in October, he was starting to read the titles of books around him in the library where we worked.
But when I was watching him write that cursive p, I was thinking that his formation and focus was so good. I became curious and I decided to look in my folder and see how his handwriting had been progressing.
This is what I found and it was shocking, even to myself who sees this kind of transition rather regularly.
He currently is still performing slower than his peers, however because he was at least a year behind at the beginning of the year, the fact that he is reading as much and as well as he is, and also that he can write (and has the motivation to learn more cursive) is an amazing shift for him.