Dotterer Dysgraphia Method

The Method works because you learn how to target your teaching or therapy interventions to build strengths where there was once a weakness.

 

Get your Dysgraphia Specialists Certification here.

N

Design unique collaborative co-teaching experiences

N

Create whole classroom or pull-out interventions for dysgraphia

N

Align instructional practices to Improve legibility and speed in how to form letters and fluently write for students across all grade levels

54% of K-4 teachers indicated that Common Core Standards impacted handwriting instruction. Challenges increased. They included grip, letter formation, spacing, memory, fine motor skills, and perceptual problems, plus increase illegibility and formation of poor writing habits. 

Collette, D., Anson, K., Halabi, N., Schlierman, A., & Suriner, A. (2017). Handwriting and Common Core State Standards: Teacher, occupational therapist, and administrator perceptions from New York State public schools. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71, 7106220010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.021808

Who should take the course?

Do you need continuing education credits?

             This course offers 36 contact hours for teachers and therapists.

The course is designed for educators and therapists who want to improve their understanding of dysgraphia.

Parents with some understanding will benefit.

However, the course is not for someone who just learned that their child has dysgraphia. If this is you, please refer to our parent’s page.

When and where?

The course is asynchronous throughout the week with a group coaching call on Sunday evenings (ET).

Video recordings during the training are approximately 10 minutes each.

You can view one during a planning period or all of them in the evening.

How much time?

This course contains a portfolio that you design about one of your students.

Time depends on your proficiency at designing a powerpoint with slides and videos.

How long?

Dotterer Dysgraphia Method can be completed in 14 weeks.

As an added benefit to you, you will have access to the course for 180 days from your purchase date.

We all know life happens.

Why is the course designed this way?

Neuroscience research has proven that you retain 8% of a 6-hour lecture and approximately 50% of a college course.

Adding an instructional coaching model to the Method increases retention to approximately 90%.

Should I be in school while taking the course?

Part of the course is designed to improve collaboration and connection with other educators and therapists.

Some assignments require you to have the student available.

Other assignments require communication with other members of the multi-disciplinary team.

If you have a colleague that you can access outside the school year, by all means, sign up today.

If you don’t have access to a colleague, we can pair you with one of our team members.

Where can I learn more about your services for School Districts?

Reduction in occupational therapy caseload and expenditures, happier more engaged teachers and students, and fewer developmental learning gaps.

Create happy and confident students.
Teachers, reignite your love of teaching.
Therapists, streamline your interventions.

By the end of the course, participants will

This course is a companion to the book Handwriting Brain-Body DisConnect written by the instructor. The purpose of the course is to become proficient in understanding the types of dysgraphia and strategies that can be used inclusively in the classroom to enhance all students’ learning. The course is asynchronous with a group coaching call on Sunday evening (Eastern Time US).

This course is designed to be equivalent to a three-credit college continuing education program.

Occupational Therapist: 36 PDUs

Teachers: 3 CEUs

Other: as determined by your profession.

CIP Code 13.1011 Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities.

CIP Code 13.120 Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching.

CIP Code 13.1202 Elementary Education and Teaching.

ID# 14 Attend workshops, seminars, lectures, professional conferences, or online courses that are approved by one of the following:  Continuing-education providers (e.g., state associations, continuing education companies) and Third-party entity

36 units

  • Cooperative learning
  • Assigned reading
  • Discussion
  • Analysis of student work
  • Reflections
  • Case studies analysis
  • Simulations
  • Action planning
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Journal article review
  • Study Group Discussion/Mentorship

The course materials are self-contained. Grading is based on class participation and completion of the portfolio. Suggested reading: Handwriting Brain-Body DisConnect

  1. Delineate dysgraphia from dyslexia and dyscalculia and remediate it through formative assessment, elaborative encoding, and spaced repetition.
  2. Construct an intervention strategy that impacts whole classroom, small group, and 1:1 instruction or remediation that benefits all students.
  3. Synopsize the neural pathway connections for written expression and how they are applying to spelling, sentences, and paragraphs.

Course Outline

The purpose of this assignment is to share with your classmates. You chose the student, preferably someone in your classroom/clinic that is struggling with handwriting. However, you may use your own child. You will be required to give your presentation before receiving your Dotterer Dysgraphia Method certificate in a Zoom discussion. Please have a copy of parental permission to include the student in the case study report using your employer’s form. The parent can provide a testimony of how your interventions changed his/her student. Include all research-based references.

Emerging writers do not always translate what they see and hear to written expression well. The IDA defines dysgraphia as “a condition of impaired letter writing by hand” or handwriting (Berninger & Wolf, 2018). In contrast, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) (APA, 2013) does not define dysgraphia as a specific identifiable diagnosis. It is mentioned as a symptom under the criterion of a Specific Learning Disability, Neurodevelopmental Disorders section.  The Types of Dysgraphia is a method of explaining the developmental process and the neural glitches that occur.

This week will also review reading and writing, decoding and encoding, typical development, and explains the obstacles created by dyslexia. Reading is divided into five main categories: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency, and reading comprehension. Each of these categories has different subcategories.

We will also examine the impact of writing. Decoding is the process of breaking things apart into syllables, for example. Whereas the word, encoding, is a method of expressing the concept of taking information, storing it, and retrieving it to be used as new material. The process is like computer-based information storage. In education, it means handwriting.  This section compares typical encoding and dysgraphia.

The brain controls everything a person does, sees, and hears. The process of writing is divided into three parts. Handwriting is the mechanical part. This part of the process includes the letter formation, the location a letter is placed on the writing paper, and the neural pathway created in the process. Parts two and three are the language and cognitive portions. The language portion of the process is the development of sentence structure.  This part contains the grammar, syntax, and basic skills in creating a sentence. The cognitive component is the final piece. It occurs after a child understands the basics of how to write letters and words to create sentences. Once a child can put all three pieces together, the neural pathways of creativity will form paragraphs and essays. This session provides an overview of the nervous system’s functions in terms that teachers and parents can comprehend.

Messages from the body to the brain and back ascend and descend through the sensory-motor system. This module discusses the five common and hidden sensory pathways. The motor pathway is delineated in a unique, propriety method. However, the pathway system and terms remain the same. This method of describing them to laypersons is unique to the Dotterer Dysgraphia Method.

Memory is complex. This module breaks it down into segments that apply to reading and writing. The visual system is the most prominent sensory system used to gather information from our senses in a classroom setting.  Yes, the other senses can impact attention.  However, keeping up with the teacher in a regular education classroom is 50% vision, 50% of the sensory systems. Decoding the visual system begins with a brief explanation of eye anatomy and ocular motor function and how the brain interprets the information. 

This week synchronizes sessions one, two, and three and teaches practical and functional applications to the classroom that do not add tasks for the teacher to perform but transform your teaching style.  These ideas are alternative strategies to enhance your current curriculum.  It will align the visual-spatial, motor, and memory strategies of dysgraphia with the classroom.

This week aligns the language aspects of dysgraphia with the classroom. They can be easily taught to a parent of a child needing extra support.  Specific strategies are shared for spelling and vocabulary.  Teachers can build on these strategies across the curriculum. This session is rounded out by applying these strategies to learning support and special education needs for goals, accommodations, and specially designed instruction modifications. Paragraph formation is the most abstract aspect of writing. This week will bring the final aspects of dysgraphia together and aligns them with classroom strategies.

Assignments

Pre-Post Test

Before beginning any coursework, you will be asked to complete a pre-test. A similar, but not exact, test will be given post-course. The purpose is to self-reflect on how well you grow throughout the course. Passing this test is not an indicator of receiving your certificate. There is an online quiz provided.

Weekly Discussions

Each week we will have an open discussion on Sunday at 8:30-10:00 pm ET.  Questions could include the following but are not limited to these questions. In fact, self-generated questions indicate advanced critical thinking and are encouraged. Note: These discussions are recorded and placed in the FB group for the duration of your group involvement.  Videos from previous discussions may be deleted.

Final Project

The purpose of this assignment is to share with your classmates. You chose the student, preferably someone in your classroom/clinic that is struggling with handwriting. However, you may use your own child.  You will be required to give your presentation before receiving your Dotterer Dysgraphia Method in a Zoom discussion. Please have a copy of parental permission to include the student in the case study report using your employer’s form. The parent can provide a testimony of how your interventions changed his/her student. Include all research-based references.

Mandatory Question

Every student must answer the following question.  Put your answer on the FB Dysgraphia Specialist page.

 After taking this course, I will be able to ____________________________.

Facebook Group Expectations

It is expected that you participate in two groups at least twice per week. The first group is the public group, Handwriting Brain-Body DisConnect.  Make comments on posts and share insights—bonus points for starting your own thread.

  A second group is a private group for this community: post questions and comments from discussion questions. You will find our discussion recordings here after each Sunday meeting. That way, if you need to go back and view something again, you can—bonus points for starting your own thread.

Course Length

The course is set up to complete in 14-weeks.  Work completion weeks are provided throughout the course.

After receiving your Dysgraphia Specialists Certification, what have you done with it?

I found that your course made it easier to explain dysgraphia to others. I am now looking at my students through a new lens. LBD, OT

I was excited to be credentialed as a Dysgraphia Specialist after taking this course.  Today, I use it in my instruction as an adjunct professor. KR, OT

If I need help, Cheri is always accessible. That is what makes her unique and appreciated. HD, OT