Few of you around here know that Littleman is dysgraphic. If truth be told, this is not something I like to talk about. If you don’t know what the heck dysgraphic means, and please don’t feel alone, I was in your shoes last year, here’s a link for you.
Basically, it’s a a problem with fine motor skills that affects writing. When Littleman writes, he has to concentrate on each and every letter, remember what it is supposed to look like and how it is done. It is a long, slow and extremely tiring process. And because so much energy is channeled into writing letters, his spelling is not too good either. I mean how can you remember if mummy takes one M or 2 when you are trying to remember how the heck an M is done in that lovely cursive writing that is the norm in French primary schools. And just to make things a little trickier, he also happens to be left-handed…
Since he was diagnosed a year ago, I have been waging a war on dysgraphia. Littleman has weekly sessions with a graphomotrician to work on his writing, he has regular appointments with an orthoptist to work on eye muscles coordination and now also works with an orthophonist to fix his spelling.
I hate dysgraphia with a vengeance. It has made our lives utterly exhausting and complicated. Homework often feels like making our way through a minefield. And school for him is the tenth circle of hell.
While Littleman’s writing is showing huge improvement, the battle is far from won and I am forever trying new things to find the fix-all that will boot the dysgraphia out.
Tonight, after a long and painful post-school homework session, I picked up The Dance by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. As I read the opening poem, a line jumped at me “What if who you essentially are right now is all that you are ever going to be?” As I was pondering this in relations to my life, my thoughts drifted to Littleman. And I got ambushed by a tadam moment.
I have been trying so hard to eradicate dysgraphia as you would a flu bug, a virus, a foreign thing because I feel it is ruining his life. And I have been so wrong. His dysgraphia is not something alien on the outside, it is a part of who he is. All this time I thought I was helping him, when I have actually been sending him the message there is something wrong with a part of him.
The war stops tonight. I have surrendered all weapons. The remediation work will go on because the school system here is that unforgiving. As for me, I am going to let my heart crack open and drop my need to change him through the cracks. I am going to let my love for my son take me to a place where I can accept him as he is and embrace him whole, dysgraphia and all. Changes may follow, or they may not. Righ now, my priority is acceptance. Here is to vulnerability showing me the way.