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District Dysgraphia Program – Oh, the Possibilities! Setting up a Plan to Provide Identification and Intervention for One of those “Related Disorders”

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Presentation on theme: "District Dysgraphia Program – Oh, the Possibilities! Setting up a Plan to Provide Identification and Intervention for One of those “Related Disorders”"— Presentation transcript:

1 District Dysgraphia Program – Oh, the Possibilities! Setting up a Plan to Provide Identification and Intervention for One of those “Related Disorders” Region 10 ESC December 11, 2014 Sue Cuculic, M.Ed. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Dyslexia Specialist/Teacher Facilitator

2 Prepare your brain… Take 30 seconds to: Turn to your neighbor State one thing you hope to gain from this workshop When you hear the 3 rd chime, we move on…

3 Today’s Plan:  Why the district began this journey into Dysgraphia Land  How we developed our dysgraphia identification process  The interventions provided  Current state of dysgraphia in our district  Plans for the future

4 You don’t have a hard copy of this presentation, but it is available to you online...

5 r10 Dysgraphia Workshop wikispaces. com/ Address for the resources for today’s workshop: (NO SPACES)

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8 Why should we identify dysgraphia?

9 The Handbook: From the TEA Dyslexia Handbook 2014, page 16 Dysgraphia is one of those “related disorders” that is specifically mentioned

10 dysgraphia (2) Related disorders includes disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability. (http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.38.htm#38.003) The Texas Education Code (TEC) § defines related disorders in the following way:

11 Outside assessments Parent requests We want to provide appropriate interventions Why else should we identify Dysgraphia?

12 First, we decided we would need to define this related disorder in order to identify and provide intervention.

13 Richards, R.G. (1999). The source for dyslexia and dysgraphia. LinguiSystems, Inc., East Moline, IL. Dysgraphia is primarily a processing problem, that is, an impairment in the process of writing rather than merely a poor product or end result... has weak motor memory... may form a letter several different ways within the same sentence.. ________________________ Regina Richards

14 Dysgraphia is a form of agraphia, the total inability to write. It is seen in children who are slow to develop writing skills and in adults who acquire the syndrome because of brain injury.... Older children who have practiced writing a lot can sometimes produce legible writing. Closer observation of their technique, however, often shows that the sequence of motion has been distorted...It is essential to watch children with dysgraphia write, because their performances give an indication of the deficiencies. _______________ Cavey, D. W. (2000). Dysgraphia: Why Johnny can’t write – a handbook for teachers and parents – 3 rd ed., Pro-Ed, Inc., Austin, TX Diane Cavey

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16 What Is Dysgraphia? By: National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing abilities. It can manifest itself as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper.spelling ________________________________________ Ldonline.org by NCLD

17 What is Dysgraphia? (retrieved from ninds.nih.gov/disorders/dysgraphia/dysgraphia.htm on 10/26/12)http://www. ninds.nih.gov/disorders/dysgraphia/dysgraphia.htm Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder characterized by writing disabilities. Specifically, the disorder causes a person's writing to be distorted or incorrect. In children, the disorder generally emerges when they are first introduced to writing. They make inappropriately sized and spaced letters, or write wrong or misspelled words, despite thorough instruction. Children with the disorder may have other learning disabilities; however, they usually have no social or other academic problems. Cases of dysgraphia in adults generally occur after some trauma. In addition to poor handwriting, dysgraphia is characterized by wrong or odd spelling, and production of words that are not correct (i.e., using "boy" for "child"). What are the Warning Signs of Dysgraphia? Just having bad handwriting doesn't mean a person has dysgraphia. Since dysgraphia is a processing disorder, difficulties can change throughout a lifetime. However since writing is a developmental process — children learn the motor skills needed to write, while learning the thinking skills needed to communicate on paper — difficulties can also overlap. ___________________________________________ NIH - NINDS

18 (retrieved from WrightsLaw.com 10/26/12) What is dysgraphia? Dysgraphia is a specific learning disability that affects how easily children acquire written language and how well they use written language to express their thoughts. Dysgraphia is a Greek word. The base word graph refers both to the hand’s function in writing and to the letters formed by the hand. The prefix dys indicates that there is impairment. Graph refers to producing letter forms by hand. The suffix ia refers to having a condition. Thus, dysgraphia is the condition of impaired letter writing by hand, that is, disabled handwriting and sometimes spelling. Impaired handwriting can interfere with learning to spell words in writing. Occasionally, but not very often, children have just spelling problems and not handwriting or reading problems. What causes dysgraphia? Research to date has shown orthographic coding in working memory is related to handwriting. Orthographic coding refers to the ability to store unfamiliar written words in working memory while the letters in the word are analyzed during word learning or the ability to create permanent memory of written words linked to their pronunciation and meaning. Children with dysgraphia do not have primary developmental motor disorder, another cause of poor handwriting, but they may have difficulty planning sequential finger movements such as the touching of the thumb to successive fingers on the same hand. _____________________________________ WrightsLaw.com (they got theirs from IDA)

19 (retrieved from MedicineNet.com 10/26/12) Dysgraphia: A specific developmental disability that affects a person's handwriting ability. Problems may include fine-motor- muscle control of the hands and/or processing difficulties. ________________________________ (retrieved from on 04/20/14)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysgraphia Dysgraphia is a deficiency in the ability to write, primarily in terms of handwriting, but also in terms of coherence. [1] Dysgraphia is a transcription disability, meaning that it is a writing disorder associated with impaired handwriting, orthographic coding (orthography, the storing process of written words and processing the letters in those words), and finger sequencing (the movement of muscles required to write). [2] ______________________________handwriting [1]orthography [2] MedicineNet.com Wikipedia

20 The DSM V (US ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’) Dysgraphia is defined in the DSM-5 as a “Disorder of Written Expression,” where “writing skills, as measured by individually administered standardized tests (or functional assessments of writing skills), are substantially below those expected given the person's chronological age, measured intelligence, and age-appropriate education.” Dysgraphia interferes with the communication of ideas in writing, and contributes to poor organization on the line and on the page. This difficulty is out of harmony with the person's intelligence and regular teaching instruction. Dysgraphia often exists alongside language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia. _______________________________ The New DSM V

21 ( RETRIEVED 10/27/12 FROM HTTP :// 2 Z. COM / LEARNING _ DIFFICULTIES / DYSGRAPHIA / DYSGRAPHIA _ WHAT _ IS. HTML ) HTTP :// 2 Z. COM / LEARNING _ DIFFICULTIES / DYSGRAPHIA / DYSGRAPHIA _ WHAT _ IS. HTML W HAT IS DYSGRAPHIA ? D YSGRAPHIA S YMPTOMS Dysgraphia (pronounced: dis-graf-ia) affects approximately 10% of the population. Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder, dysgraphia symptoms are characterised by the inability to write properly. Dysgraphia in fact refers specifically to the inability to perform operations in handwriting. It could be described as an extreme difficulty with fine-motor skills. Fine-motor skills are essential for good writing. Students with dysgraphia symptoms may have difficulties with the simplest of writing tasks; their handwriting will barely be legible; the writing will appear incorrect; distorted; have letters of different sizes and different size spaces between letters. Student’s have particular difficulties following a straight line and keeping to a margin. Students with dysgraphia find it particularly painful when writing by hand. Dysgraphia ChecklistDysgraphia Checklist D EFINITION OF D YSGRAPHIA ‘Dysgraphia means having severe problems with the written word, which is affected by extreme difficulty with fine-motor skills - in spite of having normal intelligence and ability’. by Dr David Cowell & Maria Chivers, 2008 Dyslexia A2Z (England)

22 (retrieved from merriam- webster.com/medical/dysgraphia on 04/20/12)http://www. merriam- webster.com/medical/dysgraphia dys·graph·ia noun \( ˈ )dis- ˈ graf-ē-ə\ Definition of DYSGRAPHIA Impairment of the ability to write caused by brain damage _______________________ The Dictionary People ?!?

23 Dysgraphia Some children have diagnosable motor problems and also related handwriting problems, but the larger number have dysgraphia (Greek word meaning impaired letter form production by hand), that is, handwriting problems despite motor function that falls within the normal range; see Berninger (2004) for further information on this distinction. The hallmark features of dysgraphia, a biologically based learning disability, are impaired orthographic coding and/or graphomotor planning for sequential finger movements, which together function as the orthographic loop (Berninger, Raskind et al., 2008). Berninger (2004)Berninger, Raskind et al., 2008 From: Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, May 2009; 24(2): 69–80. doi: /j x /j x PMCID: PMC NIHMSID: NIHMS Highlights of Programmatic, Interdisciplinary Research on Writing Virginia W. Berninger

24 MS042 Differential Diagnosis and Treatment for Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, OWL LD, and Dyscalculia Virginia W. Berninger Nicole Alston-Abel University of Washington, Seattle, WA National Association of School Psychologists Boston, Feb. 25, 2009, 2-3:50 pm

25 Dysgraphia  Problem in handwriting automaticity— retrieving and producing legible letters effortlessly and fast,  Problem in spelling with or without indicators of dyslexia,  Problem in finger motor planning, and/or  Problems in executive functions for self- regulating the composing process (fluency and quality).

26 “Dysgraphia is unusual difficulty with handwriting and/or spelling that may occur alone or with dyslexia (impaired word decoding, word reading, and spelling) or OWL LD (impaired morphological and syntactic awareness and comprehension). Children with dysgraphia who have difficulty with handwriting may have illegible letter formation and/or excessively slow, non-automatic letter writing. The handwriting problems may also interfere with their spelling and written composition (Berninger & Amtmann, 2003). Children with dysgraphia who have difficulty spelling experience difficulty in translating all their ideas into written language “ (p. 93). legibility automaticity speed Students’ “handwriting may be impaired in 1) legibility—how easily others can recognize their letters out of word context, 2) automaticity— how many legible letters they can write in 15 seconds, and 3) speed— how much time it takes them to complete a writing task” (p. x). Berninger, V.W., & Wolf, B.J. (2009). Teaching students with dyslexia and dysgraphia, lessons from teaching and science, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD “Dysgraphia is unusual difficulty with handwriting and/or spelling that may occur alone or with dyslexia (impaired word decoding, word reading, and spelling) or OWL LD (impaired morphological and syntactic awareness and comprehension). Children with dysgraphia who have difficulty with handwriting may have illegible letter formation and/or excessively slow, non-automatic letter writing. The handwriting problems may also interfere with their spelling and written composition (Berninger & Amtmann, 2003). Children with dysgraphia who have difficulty spelling experience difficulty in translating all their ideas into written language “ (p. 93). legibility automaticity speed Students’ “handwriting may be impaired in 1) legibility—how easily others can recognize their letters out of word context, 2) automaticity— how many legible letters they can write in 15 seconds, and 3) speed— how much time it takes them to complete a writing task” (p. x). Berninger, V.W., & Wolf, B.J. (2009). Teaching students with dyslexia and dysgraphia, lessons from teaching and science, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD Berninger & Wolf

27 In other words…. Unexpected

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29 Time to Move … Stand up and take 15 steps away from your seat (toward people) Share with one or two nearby people, two or more ideas and/or characteristics many of the various definitions have in common. When the music gets louder, please return to your seat

30 So, this is what we developed for our working definition: The Texas Education Code (TEC) § defines dyslexia in the following way: (1) Dyslexia means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity. Unofficial The Unofficial Definition of Dysgraphia : Dysgraphia is a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by an unexpected difficulty in handwriting and/or spelling, despite appropriate instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity. Unofficial The Unofficial Definition of Dysgraphia : Dysgraphia is a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by an unexpected difficulty in handwriting and/or spelling, despite appropriate instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.

31 Now that we had a definition of dysgraphia, Primary Characteristics we decided we would need to develop the Primary Characteristics of dysgraphia, just like TEA did with dyslexia. Now what?

32 The committee (§504 or ARD) must first determine if a student’s difficulties in the areas of reading and spelling reflect a pattern of evidence for the primary characteristics of dyslexia with unexpectedly low performance for the student’s age and educational level in some or all of the following areas: Reading words in isolation Decoding unfamiliar words accurately and automatically Reading fluency for connected text (both rate and/or accuracy) Spelling (An isolated difficulty in spelling would not be sufficient to identify dyslexia.) Using TEA’s example for Dyslexia :

33 Dysgraphia  Problem in handwriting automaticity— retrieving and producing legible letters effortlessly and fast,  Problem in spelling with or without indicators of dyslexia,  Problem in finger motor planning, and/or  Problems in executive functions for self- regulating the composing process (fluency and quality).

34 Once again: Berninger & Wolf Once again: Berninger & Wolf

35 Based on the district’s definition and several mentioned research sources, the district determined that the following are the: Primary Characteristics of Dysgraphia - Unexpected difficulty with:  Handwriting legibility based on formation, alignment, size, slant consistency, and spacing  Handwriting speed in near-point copying and dictation  Spelling words in isolation and in context

36 assess Once defined and the primary characteristics clarified, now we needed to determine the most effective, efficient, and appropriate way to assess for dysgraphia. Unlike the dyslexia evaluation, assessment for dysgraphia is not described in the TEA Dyslexia Handbook, or any other Texas Education Agency resource that we could locate.

37 The actual process of identification and intervention of dysgraphia mimics the process and identification for dyslexia: 1.Data Gathering/Review 2.Formal Evaluation 3.Identification 4.Intervention

38 From the new Handbook: Dysgraphia Identification Data Gathering/Review From the new Handbook:

39 Dysgraphia Identification Data Gathering/Review

40 Dysgraphia Identification Data Gathering/Review From the Teacher:

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43 https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning- disabilities/writing-issues/understanding-your-childs-trouble-with-writing https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning- disabilities/writing-issues/understanding-your-childs-trouble-with-writing

44 Case Study Using your checklist Handouts…

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46 Could you now explain/teach what to look for before deciding whether or not to go on to Formal Dysgraphia Evaluation?

47 General General Education – 504 Process Special Special Education – Special Education Process

48 Now, for assessment, we turned to our Region 13 experts from Austin, Texas: Judy Butler Academic Services Education Specialist: Dyslexia & Related Disorders and Nichole Kertis Academic Services Education Specialist: Special Education

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56 Why should we provide an intervention for dysgraphia?

57 The Handbook: From the TEA Dyslexia Handbook 2007, Updated 2010

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59 Based on a survey conducted by Handwriting Without Tears ®. The survey interviewed 459 kindergarten through fifth grade teachers from June to August 2013

60 There are sooooo many programs out there! And, there are sooooo many different handwriting styles:

61 Each school must provide an identified student access at his/her campus to an instructional program that meets the requirements in 19 TAC §74.28(c) and to the services of a teacher trained in dyslexia and related disorders. While the components of instruction for students with dyslexia include good teaching principles for all teachers, the explicitness and intensity of the instruction, fidelity to program descriptors, grouping formats, and training and skill of the teachers are wholly different from core classroom instruction. Page 26

62 What does effective Handwriting Intervention look like? Berninger, Wolf, and IDA

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64 Instruction for Dysgraphia Teach manuscript letters first. If children become automatic in manuscript proceed to cursive. Research showed no advantage for cursive writing for at- risk 1 st graders. Manuscript writing has greater transfer from writing to reading and from reading to writing (especially in word processing environment). Introduce cursive writing. If too difficult (e.g. child has dysgraphia) focus on becoming a reader of cursive rather than writer of cursive. Let children choose preferred writing format and teach and practice that until automatic. Research showed that good writers choose a mix of manuscript and cursive or manuscript only. In Australia children can choose their preferred writing format more choose manuscript.

65 Let’s look at which of the descriptors for dyslexia intervention instruction could and should be applied to instruction for students with dysgraphia.

66 There are several available programs: A few good Handwriting intervention resources:  Region 4 ESC Handwriting Intervention Program (HIP)  Handwriting Without Tears Program (http://shopping.hwtears.com/)http://shopping.hwtears.com/  Berninger, V. (1998). Process assessment of the learner (PAL) Handwriting lessons: a program for handwriting automaticity (http://www.pearsonclinical.com/psychology/products/ /process-assessment-of-the- learner-guides-for-intervention.html)http://www.pearsonclinical.com/psychology/products/ /process-assessment-of-the- learner-guides-for-intervention.html  Loops and Other Groups Program (http://www.pearsonclinical.com/therapy/products/ /loops-and-other-groups-a- kinesthetic-writing-system.html)http://www.pearsonclinical.com/therapy/products/ /loops-and-other-groups-a- kinesthetic-writing-system.html  EZ Write Program (http://www.ezwriteonline.com/)http://www.ezwriteonline.com/  Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Program (http://www.zaner-bloser.com/zaner-bloser- handwriting)http://www.zaner-bloser.com/zaner-bloser- handwriting  Big Strokes for Little Folks (http://www.pearsonclinical.com/therapy/products/ /big-strokes-for-little-folks.html)http://www.pearsonclinical.com/therapy/products/ /big-strokes-for-little-folks.html  Let's Write Right Program (http://www.avko.org/Info/handwriting.htm)http://www.avko.org/Info/handwriting.htm

67 Based on a survey conducted by Handwriting Without Tears ®. The survey interviewed 459 kindergarten through fifth grade teachers from June to August 2013

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69 What does effective Spelling Intervention look like? Berninger, Wolf, and IDA

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71 Some good Spelling intervention resources:  Region 4 ESC Spelling Intervention Program (SIP)  Spellography (http://www.soprislearning.com/literacy/spellography),http://www.soprislearning.com/literacy/spellography  Scientific Spelling (http://neuhaus.org/spelling-instruction/),http://neuhaus.org/spelling-instruction/  All About Spelling (http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/all- about-spelling),http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/all- about-spelling  How to Teach Spelling (http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/products/details.cfm?series=1847M),http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/products/details.cfm?series=1847M  Sitton Spelling (http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/products/details.cfm?series=1886m)http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/products/details.cfm?series=1886m  Sequential Spelling (http://www.avko.org/sequentialspelling.html)http://www.avko.org/sequentialspelling.html

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78 Any program must be provided with fidelity. If an intervention is locally developed based on the student's needs, you would need to be sure it is specific, systematic, cumulative, and provided at least 3 days per week. Best practice for accelerated improvement would be to provide an appropriate intervention daily for, at least, or minutes.

79 From our previous TEA Dyslexia Handbook From our previous TEA Dyslexia Handbook

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81 Dysgraphia Intervention

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83 Write it down… and Share Write down an idea for your next step toward identifying and/or serving students with dysgraphia, or for training Find a neighbor and share that idea 3 chimes to wrap it up Prepare to share

84 What about Accommodations? There’s classroom accommodations andThere’s classroom accommodations and There’s assessment accommodationsThere’s assessment accommodations What about Accommodations? There’s classroom accommodations andThere’s classroom accommodations and There’s assessment accommodationsThere’s assessment accommodations

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86 Current State of Dysgraphia in Our District Since December Elementary Campuses General Ed Completed 16 “Initial Section 504 Evaluations” for Dysgraphia Special Ed Completed 4 Dysgraphia Formal Evaluations

87 Current State of Dysgraphia in Our District We have about 12 students receiving handwriting/spelling interventions through the dysgraphia services program. Many more are receiving Tier 2 writing/spelling interventions. Most of these students receive their instruction from a dyslexia teacher.

88 The Future of Dysgraphia in Our District  Expect the number of requests to increase as the word spreads and as more teachers are trained  Training the dyslexia teachers to complete the dysgraphia assessments (who currently complete the dyslexia evaluations)  Increased writing/spelling intervention(s) training also being provided.

89 Sue Cuculic, M.Ed. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Dyslexia Specialist


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