Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

How is THAT for improvement!!!

I just wanted to share this:

This is Leon’s spelling test, taken last month on 1/7/10. And while the grade is wonderful, that is not what I am boasting about (he always get 100% and up). What I am so thrilled with, is his handwriting. For him this is GOOD! Granted it’s a bit all over the place, some of the words are floating, and the spacing is off, but you can actually read it!!!

In the past, he has had to do parts of the test over and over again in front of the teacher just so she could see that he knew how to spell it correctly as it was often illegible. 

I wanted him to keep it up so I told him I would award him 10-minute token in exchange for neat handwriting. The 10-minute tokens can be traded in for screen time (Wii, DS, or computer games). All hail the power of Nintendo

Over the next two weeks that followed, I didn’t really see much improvement or even effort for that matter in the work he brought home. So I reminded him that I would be grading his spelling test for handwriting when he got home, and that he would earn a token if it was really neat.

This is what he came home with:

NICE!!!!!  Do you see it? The improvement?

Obviously he still needs work, but the incentive program was working. I decided that we would focus on his spelling tests and not every little thing that he came home with during the week. We are taking baby steps….

Here is the next test he took looked like:

Awesome Job!!! For this test he earned extra tokens! Not only did he impress me, but he impressed Ms. Kelly! He was so proud of himself! As am I.

The following week was a tough one for me fibro-wise so I wasn’t as on top of my game as I would have liked to have been. The thursday night before last weeks test I had forgotten to remind Leon about putting the extra effort into his handwriting to earn tokens. Turns out he needed no reminder. this is what he came home with last Friday.

How is THAT for improvement!!!

When he concentrates really hard he can do it.

For him, though, that is half the battle. Given his ADHD, it takes real effort for him to concentrate. For things that don’t come naturally to him, like handwriting, he has to stop everything and just focus on that one thing. He is always in such a rush, with his mind racing ten steps ahead of whatever it is he is doing, it isn’t always an easy transition for him to make. Just slowing down his brain to get to the point were he can concentrate takes a huge effort on his part.

Leon responds well to the right incentive. Luckily I have figured out what the right one (for now) is. Now to extend it beyond just his spelling tests and into his everyday handwriting.

When he isn’t concentrating hard on writing legibly it looks like the letter he wrote to his teacher (in response to her taking his water bottle away for the day) below:

It reads: “What I was doing was trying to unburn my rugburn  P.S. you are the meanest teacher I ever had”

…..but wait there is more:

Reads: “the reason is you all ways punish me and the rest of us”

Well at least he is expressing his feelings in a nondestructive manner. So Kudos for that!

It’s obvious he was angry when he wrote this, so it would be easy to say that the rush of emotions contributed to the sloppy writing, but if you look at the handwriting example in my previous ‘Dear God’  post. You will notice it is just as bad if not worse. Both were written with in the last two weeks.

Our goal now is to have Leon keep up the good work on his spelling test while working on his handwritting in his assignment book.


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2 thoughts on “How is THAT for improvement!!!

  1. wow! that handwriting was like night and day. If it were my son, I would have asked if he brought home someone’s else’s spelling paper by mistake. (sad, I know). What you started with at the top is what Luke’s handwriting looks like on a really good day. I am going to try your idea of a small reward for a really neat spelling test. It’s a fairly easy one to slow down and concentrate on since there’s a break after each word. great idea!

    it is great to see leon writing about his feelings too. you are correct in that there are so many worse things he could be doing with those feelings!


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