Hidden Handwriting

imageThe words are small and jumbled. They rise on and off the lines at an alarming rate. All smooshed together with heavy black eraser marks, they are often mixed with fresh tears. So hard to hold, the pencil has become her enemy. I’m not sure where the breakdown is happening. Is it a motor disorder? Is it a processing disorder?  Is it the ADHD?

“Can you write it for me, mom?”, Grace asks.

“Yes, doll”, I say. “But only if you can tell me the answers.”

And off she goes….fluently reading the questions, doing the problems out loud and then happily looking up with her proud brown eyes. She’s got the answers. In fact, she has all the fine details.

“Okay, ready to write it?”, she asks.

“Never been more ready, Gracie”, I say.

And so it is….our nightly homework ritual. We are a team. Some days it’s Grace and I, some days it’s Tim and Grace. We work on perfecting the fine details of our system.  Life is just not easy when you have Dysgraphia. It’s just…well, here you go:


Someday we may understand why it’s happening to Grace. We’re still learning how to help her find the tools she needs to succeed in writing, and in school and in other areas of her life. Right now my thoughts feel small and jumbled. My feelings are smooshed together – fresh tears and mascara smudging like heavy black eraser marks on paper torn from two hours of frustration.

“It’s okay, doll”, I say. “We’ll get there. After all, it’s just words on paper.”

It’s inside Gracie’s mind that holds the beautiful answer.


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