An email from a client with dysgraphia and executive functioning difficulties

👉A client with dysgraphia and executive functioning difficulties👈

A client with dysgraphia and executive functioning difficulties

An analogy illustrating how a client’s brain with dysgraphia and executive functioning difficulties operates

(A client with dysgraphia and executive functioning difficulties)

One of our clients (his real name was changed), with his permission, allowed us to publish an email that he wrote to us describing an analogy illustrating how his brain operates.

My name’s Ryan, but my friends call me Difficult.  I am a 19-year-old manchild who has yet to evolve into a childish man, and hey,

I reckon that writing to you is a good way to accelerate my evolution process, so to speak.

For my entire life, I have struggled immensely with organization and written output, and it’s gotten to a point where I cannot accomplish basic things as an adult because these problems are borderline paralytic.

I think of my brain as a giant pile of Polaroid photos and each Polaroid picture has individual thoughts and ideas and sometimes single words. Now envision that inside my brain is a giant mountain of these Polaroids and everything is sort of extremely interconnected and disorganized and everything is slightly related in some way. Now surrounding this mountain of Polaroid photos there are several megaphones and loudspeakers that all have different perspectives on anything that I think. Whenever I put together a sentence or articulate myself, I have to go through this mountain of Polaroid photos and put them together in the correct order. And it takes a long time to do this because it’s a giant disorganized mass, and I have to do that for every single thing that I think or write.

This isn’t helped by the loudspeakers, because they are always going off about everything at the same time. One of these speakers is talking about what I’m trying to say, another one is screaming about what I have written down, another is talking about all the damn Polaroid photos, another one comes up with a joke, another one is always criticizing every single thing that I write.  And that’s one of the loudest ones, actually, because I can never see what I’m doing because of it. I automatically think of counterarguments to everything I write and the combination of all of this makes it as though I have some sort of writing dysphoria or dysmorphia, for want of a better term. This term may or may not exist, but it is the only way I can think about it.

It takes me a long, long time to write anything, and it’s excruciating. E-mails, essays, paragraphs, you name it. Unless it is like some sort of discussion, I find it horrible to write. And I have been trying to figure out what in the world I can do. I can articulate verbally what the problem is. I know where it originates. I simply do not know how to solve it and it infects my entire life, always. I can never see if I’ve actually written anything good. I automatically see problems in the things I’ve written before I even write them. I cannot keep up with my brain because my brain moves too fast and in too many directions at once. It’s like a five-dimensional asshole at all times and this isn’t helped either by the fact that it is really disorganized. You see, whenever I write something I can’t even follow outlines well because then I hyper-focus on the outline itself and I can’t put things together in a way that makes sense for my brain to follow. Everything has to flow together in a way that seems natural for me, otherwise I cannot follow it. Now, this doesn’t go for everything that has ever been written, obviously. But it specifically goes for everything that I write.

I guess I hope this soliloquy has given you a sense of the warzone that is in my head all the time. It figures that literally, everything I do involves writing and therefore every day is like walking through a sadistic funhouse. I don’t know if you have any contacts who might be able to help or if you have any insight into how I can deal with this or how I can face this. Because if it weren’t for this stupid awful writing problem, I would be able to do things that someone, I guess, “normal” could do. I mean I know that “normal” doesn’t really exist, but I can’t do things because my brain is constantly sabotaging me. I guess I am hoping that maybe any of this sounds familiar to you and that maybe you or someone you might know can work to make this problem more bearable.

Thank you for reading through this, and I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.


Ryan ‘Difficult’ H.


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Meet Craig Selinger, the passionate owner behind Themba Tutors, a renowned practice specializing in executive function coaching and tutoring. Together with his team of multidisciplinary professionals, they bring their extensive knowledge to numerous locations: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as well as offering remote services. As a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of NY, executive functioning coach, and educational specialist with an impressive track record spanning over two decades, Craig has professionally assisted thousands of families. Craig's proficiency encompasses a wide spectrum of areas, including language-related learning challenges such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. He is also well-versed in executive functioning, ADHD/ADD, and various learning disabilities. What truly distinguishes Craig and his team is their unwavering commitment to delivering comprehensive support. By actively collaborating with the most esteemed professionals within the NYC metropolitan region – from neuropsychologists to mental health therapists and allied health experts – they create a network of expertise.
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