The Writing Glitch Pocket Cast
The Writing Glitch Pocket Cast

The Writing Glitch Pocket Cast

Cheri Dotterer



Cheri shares short 3-5 minutes thoughts for the day about dysgraphia.

Recent Episodes

TWGPC20: Linking academic and functional outcomes using the DIBELS
SEP 12, 2023
TWGPC20: Linking academic and functional outcomes using the DIBELS

[00:00:00] It's Cheri from The Writing Glitch Pocket Cast. Yeah, you have missed a few weeks with me because. The holiday brought us a vacation with our daughter, and I followed up with some bronchitis. Oh, well, but you know, such as life. Anyway. We are back in the swing of, uh, sessions. Uh, for people to get their dysgraphia certification. 

[00:00:32] At our last event. We had this discussion about DIBELS. DIBELS is a reading fluency assessment that many teachers do. They also can do. Similar ones. In the school district. Anyway, DIBELS. It is a reading fluency assessment. And. [00:01:00] 

[00:01:00] We, as OTs, don't necessarily understand all that's involved. 

[00:01:09] Uh, assessing. That formative assessment of the reading. 

[00:01:16] And. 

[00:01:18] This discussion that you were going to hear. It was a monthly discussion that meets on a monthly basis. To earn their dysgraphia certification. 

[00:01:32] They're currently, we were discussing module two. And that is all about reading and writing. And what are the definitions of dysgraphia? 

[00:01:44] So this is a little excerpt from that. Evening. About the DIBELS.

[00:01:55] Cheri: Does your school use DIBELS? That was one of the things we were going to follow up on. 

[00:01:59] Carol: I [00:02:00] had never heard of it before. 

[00:02:02] Cheri: My school just started it again. Okay. 

[00:02:05] Teresa: But it's only, I think it's K 1 2. The other kids continue their actions, but K 1 2. We had it. We lost, we left it. They came back with it because of the new guidelines.

[00:02:18] Carol: I'm pretty sure we pulled it up because we looked at what they ask for in high school and what they ask for in kindergarten.

[00:02:24] Cheri: I put that question in because I wanted us to think about, as OTs, we understand neuroscience.

[00:02:36] Cheri: We understand since preprocessing, we don't understand academics. And that's why I built that module up, and I added all that information about assessments in there because I didn't know that either. And I was like, Oh, I got to share this. Oh, I got to share this. Oh, I got to share this. And when I realized how [00:03:00] intense the DIBELS is.

[00:03:02] Cheri: I wanted to ensure people were aware of it and align it with your school's program. 

[00:03:11] Carol:  I wasn't sure when you said the reading participation, but as far as an assessment, I think you're right.

[00:03:15] Carol: We don't know. And like Teresa said, we. We're unfamiliar with what it is, but to work holistically with this child, we need to know all that and not necessarily take it. What is written in the evaluation report or IEP, they're reading at this level? I do think, and I mentioned it a lot at my meetings after evaluations, that we often ask, I'm like, what is their reading level? Because we are looking at the reading and the writing. Usually, it goes hand in hand, and if we've got reading up here and our report is down here.

[00:03:46] Teresa: When you go to those meetings, and you tell the team that this kid can't write, and they'll go, but they can read.

[00:03:53] Teresa: So they don't understand that they're two separate pieces where you'll tell them. Yes, they can read and they may be at grade [00:04:00] level for reading, but they don't get the concepts of the writing and they have so because they can read and a lot of our dysgraphic kids can read, but are they, and then you can go into to they understand understanding what they're reading?

[00:04:12] Teresa: Because some of those kids Can read, but can they understand it? Can they, that comprehension you're going to read? You know what I'm saying? So you've gotta hit that other side of it to know like how you've got that defense where you can tell, this is why I need to service them as well, 

[00:04:25] Carol: Absolutely. 

[00:04:27] Cheri: Share. Sorry, I'm going to share my screen quickly, but go ahead and finish what you were going to say before I talk. 

[00:04:36] Carol: I was going to say that along with what Teresa was saying, explaining and finding those kids and things like that, that Teresa, not Teresa, Andrea and I have both been, I think she already has an idea of who she wants to do her case study on.

[00:04:51] Carol: And I recently met with a new student.  He's interesting.

[00:04:56] Cheri: very challenging. 

[00:04:57] Carol: He's going into 3rd [00:05:00] grade, and that kind of topic we're on had come up, and the mom was saying, look. He can read, but when we get to that writing, we are breaking down, and I said, interestingly enough, I'm taking a course, and I explained it to her, and I said, and.

[00:05:14] Carol: We have to do a case study, and she said, if you want to do him, please. I've already got somebody who I'm thinking, all right, let's check this out because he's going to be a, he's going to be a tricky one, but look, whatever, we want to take and try whatever we can, because he really is struggling.

[00:05:32] Carol: And like you said, he's at that grade. He's 3rd grade, and we're not even writing names legibly. We're not getting thoughts down, and then we're getting an explosion because we're very frustrated. So there's a lot going on, but I'm toying with him possibly being my case study.

[00:05:53] Carol: As we go through, I feel like that's another thing. Since we started this again, as mentioned before at the beginning of the school year, it's very [00:06:00] advantageous.

[00:06:03] Carol: Thank you for the new school year. We're seeing kids differently and thinking, could this be, or should I try? And the timing couldn't be better.

[00:06:09] Teresa: I think being with Cheri does that to you. It's you have different colored glasses on now that you can go in and be like wait, you've got these radar coming out of you, 

[00:06:18] Carol: We must find the extra time to see him and do everything we want. Yeah, exactly. And not have to write about it 15 times in 12 different places, 

[00:06:26] I hope that discussion. I added a little bit of it. Thought. Into your interventions with your students. 

[00:06:38] This has been. Cgeri Dotterer from The Writing Glitch. This is our Pocket Cast talking about ways to intervene and create collaborative environments for our students. 

[00:06:55] I hope this discussion on the DIBELS. Was enlightening. [00:07:00] 

[00:07:01] If you want to learn more about becoming dysgraphia specialist certified. Go to And go down to the. Uh, middle of the home page. There will be a link to join the next—IMPACT Formula webinar. 

[00:07:27] Inside that webinar. We will discuss what comes next, what IMPACT is, and how it relates to dysgraphia and dyscalculia. Remember, you were put here for such a time as this.&...

TWGPC19: Navigating collaboration between teachers and occupational therapists
AUG 22, 2023
TWGPC19: Navigating collaboration between teachers and occupational therapists


So if what I'm telling you is overwhelming.


Let me be your boots on the ground to help you navigate making changes.


Like I've been sharing with you changes in your classroom to create collaborative environments.


Ultimately, it's going to improve employee retention.


It's going to improve classroom management. It's going to improve student scores.


And that's what we really want: happy employees, parents, and kids.


We want to be the school that will be the town's talk.


Guess what's happening in that classroom?


There is so much going on in there.


It's so cool to see it.


My kid was struggling with writing, and now they are doing writing.


I don't exactly know what they're doing, but I've seen such a change in my kid.


That's the language that we want to hear from the parents.


So, are you willing to be one of those classroom teachers that makes that change?


Are you willing?


Are you one of those occupational therapists willing to work with that kindergarten teacher to make that change, to make kindergarten the most powerful year as we prepare kids for college and career readiness?


Are you ready to transcend a kid's life so that they can overcome their challenges now and unleash their superpowers and be that person?


Oh gosh, wouldn't you like to be that person they call back when they're adults?


And did you get an invitation to the wedding?


Oh, that sends chills up my spine.


Just thinking about that experience to be that teacher that that child remembers and wants at their wedding because you were the teacher, you were the therapist that changed their life.


If you're interested in learning more.


Join us on Wednesday night and learn more about how to impact your kids in the classroom.

Look for the FEATURED Event on the calendar page of for the next Introduction to Dysgraphia - IMPACT Formula Webinar.

TWGPC 18: Interventions that IMPACT both sides of the brain
AUG 19, 2023
TWGPC 18: Interventions that IMPACT both sides of the brain

Bilateral integration, bilateral integration has several different components to it.

But one of the things I want you to think about is when you're doing lesson planning, like Orton Gillingham, oh activity is when kids finger-write the letter or the word in the air.

If they're only doing that with their dominant hand, they're only making an impression on the opposite side of their body.

So, for example, if they're right-handed, they only make an impression on the left side of their body.

So why not put both index fingers together and air-write with both sides of the body to spell the word their name, the spelling word, whatever? Put both sides of both fingers together, write the word in the air, and impact both sides of the brain by impacting both sides of the brain.

You are going to improve the impact that and the retention and the learning, and you're going to create this atmosphere where all the kids are accessing it on both sides of the brain so that both sides of the brain are going to be able to be there to reinforce the memory, they're going to be able to reinforce the recall, the sequencing, the motor planning to help the spelling or what, whatever it is that you're trying to reinforce to them.

One of the Orton-Gillingham techniques is to air right with the finger, your index finger, and a dominant hand.

I suggest you go to the next level, put both fingers together and nick fingers together, write them together, and make an impression on both brain hemispheres.

TWGPC17: Stop the lesson with movement
AUG 14, 2023
TWGPC17: Stop the lesson with movement


What exercises can you do to help prepare kids for writing?


I know there's a lot of sensory diets, sensory menus out there.


And sometimes I think that we as occupational therapists give these things to parents, give these things to teachers, but we don't explain the strategic time to use them.


We say almost like reactive experience to the bad behavior to have them do this to distract them.


Well, really we need to be proactive and we need to strategically place interventions throughout the day as a routine as part of the lesson planning to make a difference with these kids.


So when we are looking at collaborative co teaching environments, the occupational therapist understands the neurobiology of learning, they understand what needs to happen so that the kids can access that academic environment.


And it's time that we strategically include occupational therapists in the lesson plan every day of the school year.


So that you were you you as the teacher are placing interventions that are going to be powerful changes for your students brains.


So for example, one of the things that you can do to help kids transition, we all know that creating movement is going to help.


But what movement should that be?


So if you have the kids working on a project and you need them to stop working on the project and pay attention and listen, for example, they're working, they're working, they're working OK?


It's time to come back.




Now I need you to stop where you are.


Yes, I know you're not finished.


It's going to be OK right now.


I want you to all stand up.


I want you to put your hands over your head, put your palms to the ceiling.


And I want you to feel that stretch, rotate your, your arms side to side, twist your trunk that go up on your toes, they're back on your heels.


Oh Try not to lose your balance.


All right.


Are your hands still flat toward the ceiling or have they shifted?


Notice what's happening to your body?


Did you bend your elbows?


Did your arms get closer to your hands?


Get closer to your head.


Were they still straight arms?


How does your back feel?


How do your arms feel?


How do your wrists feel?


How about your hips?


All right.


Now, we're gonna sit down and I want you to listen to me because we're going to move on to the next task.


You've just created a, an environment to help with movement.


Improve this child's ability to focus on you.


You've given them directions, you've given them the opportunity to notice something about their body that's interception.


That is that ability for them to really notice and internalize what they're feeling.


And if you give them a chance then to talk about those feelings, find out what they are feeling and let them know.


Yeah, we are not the only one in the classroom who wrists hurt when we put your palms toward the ceiling.


I'm not the, you're not the only one who is feeling really tight in the hips because you've been sitting so much and that is normal.


But let's make some changes in here in the classroom to help improve our ability to be a group in the classroom.


Now, when you think about that task and you put it together with the occupational therapist organically having the occupational therapist present and not just coming in to disrupt the classroom.


If the OT is already there, think of the power that it's going to bring when you both are working on the tasks that you are best at you, the teacher are best at presenting the curriculum effectively.


The tea is best at understanding when that movement is going to be the best thing for the student, the activity you both can do, but the strategic placement in the day takes work between you.


So I encourage you to create collaborative environments.

TWGPC 16: It's time to create collaborative classrooms
AUG 11, 2023
TWGPC 16: It's time to create collaborative classrooms

I was praying about you at 4:50 am. 

 Here is what I was thinking...

 I have this vision. 

I have this vision where OTs and teachers work together nationwide. 

Scores for reading, writing, and mathematics have improved significantly. 

How can we execute this vision?

Creating environments in our schools where OTs and teachers are in the classroom together, not pulled out and working in separate rooms.

So what do I mean?

I envision the OT working with the teacher in the classroom showing the kids how to hold the pencil and sit in their seats. 

What grace is there to sit in alternative ways that are acceptable in the classroom to get the work done?

I envision the OT teaching letter formation, teaching what the lines are all about on the page. 

I envision the teacher taking over and explaining how letter formation will help kids with overall writing skills. 

But we really need to have the team working together, not separately. working separately is not improving these classrooms. 

Pullout sessions are only effective for the kids who have major issues. 

Kids who are struggling need explicit, systematic, cumulative, and multi-sensory interventions to create their writing skills. 

Those are the ones that are that I'm targeting. 

Those are the kids that I'm looking for. 

Those are the environments that we can create. 

We can reduce cases for OTs because we've created this environment where the kids know that we're working together because we are better together. 

We are better as a team rather than in isolation. 

If we are going to have classrooms where the teachers, the therapist, and the kids all want to be there.

Oh wow, imagine that classroom where everyone is excited to come and be there every day. Wow.

Wouldn't that change the statistics across the nation?

How do we create that environment? 

We need to work together. 

We need to have this schedule in our lives that is creating a collaboration.

It's creating co-teaching. 

It's creating space.

I know you're thinking, how am I going to do this? 

How is this going to happen - by creating this togetherness in this co-working and this co-teaching model? 

We're going to create space for each other so we have time to get those things done that need to be finished. 

Because by doing it together for 15 minutes, you're going to save an hour a day in frustration or even more than that. 

If you're interested in learning more about how this all works, come to this free event I'm having on Wednesday night.

Learn how to impact your classroom. 

Learn how to create these collaborative environments. 

I would love to see you there. 

The link will be in the button the show notes somewhere you'll find it.

Connect and join us. 

Learn how to change the narrative in your school.

Create time for yourself. 

Create better working relationships with the other staff and have happy kids and happy parents because that's what we want, right? 

Happy Kids. Happy parents. 

And we also want to be happy ourselves.

It's not just about the kids. 

It's not just about the parents. 

We also want to be able to enjoy going to work.

There's been too much too long where we haven't enjoyed going to work. 

Let's change the narrative!

Join the Info Session