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My Child Has Dysgraphia - How Can I Find a Tutor?

"My son has dysgraphia. The school isn't helping him with these issues. How can I find a tutor who can help? How can I educate the educators?"

Get a Comprehensive Evaluation

First, if you haven't done so already, you need to get a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation (diagnostic workup) of your child by an individual in the private sector (child psychologist, educational diagnostician) who has expertise in this area.

Read What to Expect from an Evaluation of Your Child and Working with Evaluators and Educational Consultants.

If this evaluation shows that your child has a disability that adversely affects educational performance, the child is eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - this includes a special education program designed to meet his or her unique needs. (See Eligibility and FAPE)

The evaluator should try to educate school personnel about your child's disability and educational needs - a face-to-face meeting is the best way to accomplish this.
If the school cannot provide your child with an appropriate program, you need to find an individual (or school) who can provide the remediation he needs.

Can you be reimbursed for providing your child with the educational services he needs? Maybe, maybe not.

If you want to pursue reimbursement, you need to consult with an attorney who has expertise in special education law before taking any action. (For a list of special education attorneys, check the COPAA website)

Find a Tutor

If your child has dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia (a learning disability in math), or another learning disability, our advice is the same - contact the International Dyslexia Association!
Phone: 410-296-0232.

The IDA maintains lists of tutors, evaluators, and academic therapists and can help you find a trained tutor to work with your child.

The Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities for your state has listings for psychologists, educational diagnosticians, therapists, health care providers, academic tutors, special education schools, advocates, attorneys, support and study groups, and others who provide services to parents and children.

Sue Heath has written several articles on this subject. Although her articles focus on reading problems, the issues for kids with dysgraphia or dyscalculia are the same.

How Can I Get a Trained, Certified Reading Teacher?

Research-Based Reading Instruction

Educate the Educators

In many cases, school personnel don't understand the child's problem, have not been adequately trained to deal with the problem, may try to put a band aid on the problem - or do nothing.

If you want to educate the educators (and some won't take kindly to your efforts), print several copies of these articles about dysgraphia - they were originally published in Perspectives, the newsletter published by the International Dyslexia Association.

Understanding dysgraphia. This fact sheet from the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) describes types and causes of dysgraphia, who can diagnose, appropriate treatment for dysgraphia, and whether children should use cursive writing instead of printing.

The "Write Stuff" for Preventing and Treating Writing Disabilities - Written language disabilities are extremely prevalent in children with learning disabilities. Although reading disabilities are often identified sooner than writing disabilities, writing disabilities are more persistent. In this article, Dr. Virginia Berninger focuses on early intervention to prevent writing problems and long-term remediation to treat writing disabilities. She describes types of writing difficulties - handwriting automaticity, spelling, and composition - and the coordinated components of a functional writing system.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about Reading, Writing, Language Therapy

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