Dysgraphia in children: recovery of fine motor skills
I am a myologist with 30 years of successful experience, so I will explain the reason for treating dysgraphia from the perspective of muscle problems. In this article, I will cite opinions of teachers and comment on them.
Dysgraphia refers to the difficulty to mastering writing when a level of intellectual development is normal.
Dysgraphia is characterized by an inability to write words and sentences based on phonetics. The result of this condition seen in children is the emergence of a large number of spelling errors leading to a violation of the phonetic word composition.
The following activities are connected with normal muscle functioning:
ability to write, any movement of a child is a muscle movement;
ability to speak, muscles open a mouth;
ability to see, oculomotor muscles.
When writing, a child holds a pen with the fingers. It seems simple: work with your fingers and you will write and draw clearly. To make fingers work, the muscles of the shoulder (biceps), neck and back have to be relaxed.
I will use a recovery of Vladik's fine motor skills and dysgraphia treatment as an example to show how I overcame the child's problem using the emendic procedures. At the time of the shooting, Vladik was eight years old, and he learned in the second grade.
As a result of the treatment, the child's handwriting became neat and clear. Just watch the video yourself:
In addition, by applying the emendic massage to the back, neck and thoracic muscles, I improved Vladik's speech.
As you can see, my method of dysgraphia treatment is effective, as shown on the video above.
Working with Yegor
Yegor is six years old. The child's mother asked me to rehabilitate her son who had muscle weakness in his fingers. Yegor could hold a pen or scoop in his hands for a maximum of 3 minutes. After this, the hands got so tired that there was no talk about neat writing. See more on the video:
The teachers subdivide dysgraphia into types, which will be discussed further.
Types of dysgraphia:
The reason for this kind of dysgraphia is the difficulty of splitting sentences into separate words, which arise against the background of violations of the language analysis and synthesis function. In addition, these children have difficulty dividing words into syllables and sounds. In articulatory-acoustic form, children may not always have spelling mistake but they may have mistakes in speech. A child replaces letters with other letters or ignores them at all. After a speech therapy, a child may still have spelling mistakes. In that case, a child writes words as he pronounces them. A child may replace voiceless sounds with ringing sounds and hushing sounds with whistling sounds.
My comment on the issue of articulatory-acoustic dysgraphia. Speech and writing are muscle movements. Violations of muscle movements lead to violations of writing and speech.
In this case, a speech recognition violation develops. It means that letters are replaced with phonetically similar letters (pen-pan), but their pronunciation remains correct. It is often manifested with incorrect usage of soft. Most often, this type of dysgraphia is observed in children of pre-school age (up to 7 years).
A child misuses soft letters in order not to tense some parts of muscles, which, because of swelling, do not let write easily.
In this type of dysgraphia, a child has violations of the grammatical structure of speech. It manifests at all levels of written speech (word, phrase, sentence, text). There is a difficulty in establishing links (both logical and linguistic) between sentences, paragraphs, individual words, and phrases. An event sequence described in the text does not obey the logic of the events described. A child often replaces suffixes (wind blew strong).
Ungrammatical dysgraphia occurs in children with attention deficient hyperactivity disorder. This syndrome develops in children with a problem back and neck muscles.
In the case of optical dysgraphia, children have difficulty writing certain letters. This type of dysgraphia has the following mechanism: a child does not understand the process of connecting individual elements of a letter into a single unit, and thus cannot write this letter.
Optical dysgraphia occurs in children with hyperexcitability syndrome, a condition in which muscles quickly get tired from hyperexcitation. Therefore, a child cannot connect elements. A child understands how to connect, but he cannot do it physically because his muscles are tired of moving.
Mixed type of dysgraphia is diagnosed when a child has several types of described violations at the same time.
Mixed dysgraphia is related to problems with different muscle groups.
This type of violations is linked to defects of phonemic hearing. A child cannot correctly link sounds and letters. As a result of this violation of writing, a child replaces letters with phonetically close ones, switches letter places or omits certain letters.
This type of dysgraphia is a result of motor analyzer inadequacy. As a result of this disorder, a child has difficulties to move his hand while writing letters, and as a result, there is no letter motor formula. In addition, motor dysgraphia may manifest with a reduction in the pronunciation quality of words, which child uses to clarify their phonetic composition.
The development of optical dysgraphia is due to the lack of development of the visual system of the cerebral cortex. It may manifest with difficulty recognizing and memorizing letters. In this case, a child of pre-school age or a teenager confuses or mixes optically similar letters, does not correctly position their elements, and confuses the number of such elements.
The reason of dysgraphia is encephalopathy, even if a neurologist does not diagnose it.
Dysgraphia is a violation of writing.
Muscles, which are responsible for bending the hand and for finger movements, are involved in the normal process of writing and drawing. These are 21 muscles!
If any of these muscles does not fulfill its function in the process of writing, the handwriting changes to the worst.
In the process of writing and drawing, your neck and back muscles, biceps have to be completely relaxed. Forearm, hand and finger muscles are almost completely involved in this process.
Pathogenesis of dysgraphia
Professor of Pedagogical sciences, psychologist A. R. Luria divided the brain into three main blocks:
A block responsible for regulation of wakefulness and tone.
A block responsible for storage, processing, and reception of information.
A block responsible for monitoring, regulation, and programming of mental activities.
Each of these blocks includes components that govern the process of writing. The lack of development of some of these components leads to different difficulties in writing.
Luria pays particular attention to violations of components of the block 3, which he considered responsible for monitoring, regulation, and programming of mental activities. Professor Luria believed that the block 3, which he had invented, is responsible for the serial organization of mechanical movements and control of muscle movements during writing.
Professor Savelyev, who is the head of the brain Laboratory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, does not agree with the point of view of the psychologist. There are no blocks in the frontal lobe responsible for writing and muscle movement. Frontal lobes are the centers of control of social behavior. Muscle movements for writing are not coordinated by specific brain structures and do not depend on whether there is a pathology in the neurons.
My opinion: a child with dysgraphia is easily distracted, cannot concentrate, gets tired quickly because of swollen muscle cells of the back, neck, shoulder and chest muscles. Attention and logic of such children are poorly developed. There are noticeable violations of the speech function: speech is extremely poor, syntactical variety and diversity are primitive.
Intelligence tests show a lower level of generalizing motor function. Children are slow and they are unable to perform serial movements. Moreover, children with such brain damage do not show any desire to improve results. Children's activities in the games, especially those of a competitive nature, are not inferior to those of peers. However, these activities do not last long.
By the example of my patient Tatiana, you will see the difference in the competitive activity of two girls. Tatiana's muscles are restored by the emendic procedures. The other girl's muscles are swollen. See more on the video:
How to treat dysgraphia in children
In the vast majority of cases, dysgraphia is manifested with the omission of letters and whole syllables, which is a sign that a child has difficulty in distinguishing some of the sounds. Correcting this violation is inefficient since correction and treatment of dysgraphia are built primarily on communication with a psychologist and a speech therapist.
Psychologists and educators try to:
Eliminate violations in the pronunciation of sounds.
Correct grammatical aspect of speech.
Develop analysis and syntax of writing.
Develop audial and spatial perception.
Develop thinking, memory and motor aspect.
Improve speech comprehension.
Consolidate acquired skills.
Often dysgraphia in children is treated with medication. But it does not eliminate protein swelling in the muscles of the neck and collar area and does not influence dysgraphia.
The cost of a written request to the doctor - 800 $
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