This New York Times article discussing the increasing use of occupational therapists to teach young children how to write makes it apparent that, like many of the academic ailments we ascribe to our children these days, the current scourge of "dysgraphia" is most likely due to the unfortunate collision of normal child development and too-high academic expectations.
Wait! Make that the unfortunate collision of normal child development, too-high academic expectations and an extraordinary amount of disposable income, as is apparent from another quote in the same article:
“Even with the economy like it is, the hottest question when we socialized at our country house this summer was not what country club do you belong to, but who is your child’s O.T. back in the city. And how can I get an appointment?”
Let's see....I think the key words in the above statement are "country house," don't you? Higher-than-average household income is a better predictor of a kid's "needing" handwriting coaching than anything else would be. Let us pity the rich folks and their problems. As Joel Achenbach once complained, "The problem with affluence is it's so expensive."
Oh, and here is my favorite quote, from a parent explaining what drove him to seek therapy for his 3-year-old:
“The nursery admission people tell you they want your child to be ready to learn how to write,” said the father, who spoke anonymously so his son wouldn’t run afoul of nursery school administrators.
Afoul? Afoul of nursery school administrators? Now that is one movie I cannot wait to see. I hope it stars Bruce Willis as a divorced dad, desperate to prove his worthiness to his ex-wife by getting his preschooler into the finest nursery school money can buy. Yet, sinister nursery school administrators will make this an all but impossible task. Coming soon to movie theaters near you - Cry Hard! One man against the formidable forces of nursery school evil - can he possibly win?
You know, I get almost as many "hits" on my blog when I don't post as when I do. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I even picked up an extra Follower by not showing up for a week. If I promise to go away for a whole month, do you think I'd have as many Followers as VodkaMom?
And where have I been, anyway? I've been busy not cleaning my refrigerator, that's where. It's a very time-consuming form of procrastination. Also, I began to suffer an unfortunate addiction to the word game Scramble on Facebook. As in, I would start playing after putting the children to bed and suddenly the sun would be coming up and the kids would be coming down the stairs in their jammies looking for breakfast.
Well, not really - but almost. So I had to quit cold turkey. It's all behind me now. I'm clean, I swear it.