Final in a three part series on dysgraphia
This wraps up my three part series on dysgraphia - the handwriting and expressive writing difficulty which plagues many children. In this message, I will share an overview of Brain Integration Therapy as well as additional methods which I use to correct dysgraphia.
Can dysgraphia (difficulty with graphomotor/expressive writing) be corrected? Yes. If you had asked me that question ten years ago, I would have flatly said no. At that time, the research which I had been following proffered no correction – only accommodations. After discovering Dianne Craft’s research in Brain Integration Therapy; however, I realized that dysgraphia does not have to be a life sentence.
Children and adults with dysgraphia lack writing automaticity because of a glitch between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Dianne Craft likens this glitch to a blocked gate, which prevents the normal transference of information from the left hemisphere to the right hemisphere. Thus, for a child with dysgraphia, every act of letter formation is a new experience. With so much thought and effort being given to the remembering of letter formation, creative or expressive writing becomes extremely difficult – and in some cases – impossible.
Brain Integration Therapy (BIT) uses the body to train the brain, eradicating its inefficient processing. As part of BIT, a 20 minute set of writing and physical exercises are performed four times a week at home for a minimum of nine months. In addition, activities involved with fine motor skills are introduced throughout the nine month integration process. Because the act of writing needs the optimal functioning of one’s visual processing system, visual exercises are incorporated, too.
After approximately one month of BIT, the child is ready for a formal handwriting program (print or cursive). Instruction in the proper placement of letters on lined paper, the maintenance of spaces between words, and the use of one’s non-writing hand as a helper is received by the child without the typical resistance. A once defensive or uncooperative child is now willing to self-correct and engage in the writing process because of a boost in his confidence!
The story does not end, however, with achieving legible handwriting. It is my personal belief that everyone should have the skill to write expressively. Children, who have struggled with dysgraphia for years, possess a wonderful fountainhead of ideas which – unfortunately – have been trapped in their brains. As an educational therapist, I delight in helping children discover how-to release their pent-up thoughts. In my practice, I utilize a customized writing curriculum which I developed. Children, once frustrated with the writing process, now delight in seeing their thoughts on paper.
To sum up, I have witnessed wonderful transformations in the writing abilities of students who have followed the Brain Integration Therapy program. Those who achieved writing success were students who followed the steps in the BIT program as well as my customized writing program. If your child is struggling with dysgraphia, rest assured that help is available. Your child does not have to face a lifetime of frustration and defeat.
Thankfully, dysgraphia is very responsive to Brain Integration Therapy. I'd be happy to help your child overcome this learning struggle. Distance is not an obstacle. Brain Integration Therapy as well as my other methodologies are adaptable to Skype classes.