Writing disabilities: OverviewWWriting disabilities: OverviewWriting disabilities: OverviewEnglishDevelopmentalPreschooler (2-4 years);School age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANAHealthy living and preventionAdult (19+) CaregiversNA2020-03-03T05:00:00Z11.000000000000042.90000000000001450.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>A writing disability is when a child of age-appropriate intellectual abilities has significant challenges with writing. Learn about writing disabilities, their symptoms, and how they are diagnosed and treated.</p><h2>What is a writing disability?</h2><p>A writing disability is a specific type of <a href="/Article?contentid=653&language=English">learning disability</a>. Children with writing disabilities have age-appropriate intellectual abilities, but experience challenges with writing. These difficulties affect how they perform in school, and their achievement falls well below what is expected for children of their age, grade and intellectual ability.</p><p>Writing disabilities may include problems with:</p><ul><li>Composition: generating, organizing, and/or elaborating on ideas</li><li>Spelling</li><li>Punctuation</li><li>Grammar</li><li>Handwriting</li></ul><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Writing disabilities are learning disabilities that can include problems with composition, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and handwriting.</li><li>Children who are diagnosed with a writing disability often show early signs of speech and language difficulties and/or may have weakness with attention and working memory.</li><li>Writing disabilities are often linked with reading disabilities, and are diagnosed with a psychoeducational assessment.</li></ul><h2>Early signs of writing problems</h2><p>Children who are diagnosed with a writing disability may show early signs of speech and language difficulties, such as:</p><ul><li>Few spoken words by two years of age</li><li>Indistinct, garbled speech after three years of age</li><li>Speaking in phrases or sentences later than normal</li><li>Difficulty learning the alphabet and the sounds of the letters</li><li>Difficulty expressing themselves in words after three years of age</li><li>Using immature forms of grammar longer than expected (e.g., “I goed to the park”)</li><li>Mixing up word order in sentences</li></ul><p>However, not all children with these signs develop a writing disability.</p><h2>Writing difficulties</h2><p>Signs that your child may be having difficulties with writing include:</p><ul><li>Illegible printing or cursive writing (despite appropriate time and attention given to the task)</li><li>Writing inconsistencies: mixtures of upper and lower case, or irregular sizes, shapes or slant of letters</li><li>Unfinished words or letters, or omitted words</li><li>Inconsistent spacing between words and letters</li><li>Unusual wrist, body or paper positions when writing</li><li>The act of printing or writing is slow or laboured</li><li>Poor spatial planning on paper</li><li>Complains of a sore or tired hand</li><li>Difficulty thinking and writing at the same time (taking notes, creative writing)</li></ul><p>For a list of typical writing milestones achieved by children at different grade levels, see <a href="/Article?contentid=651&language=English">Reading and writing milestones</a>.</p><h2>Diagnosis of a writing disability</h2><p>If your child’s writing abilities are substantially below the expected level for their age, intellectual abilities and education, they may be diagnosed with a writing disability.</p><p>If you suspect your child might have a writing disability, it is important to share your concerns with your child’s teachers. They will be able to observe your child’s learning, and identify available resources and strategies to help improve your child’s writing skills. If the resources and strategies provided by the school do not help improve your child’s learning, your child might benefit from a formal psychoeducational assessment.</p><p>A psychoeducational assessment can identify your child’s strengths and learning challenges, and diagnose learning, developmental or attention-related disorders, as well as giftedness. The assessment will get to the root cause of your child’s academic issues, and identify a plan for solving them.</p><h2>Treatment</h2><p>Writing disabilities can be treated with two main approaches—accommodations and interventions.</p><p>The earlier a child with a writing disability receives an evidence-based writing intervention over a reasonable period of time, the more likely they are to catch up with their peers.</p><h3>Accommodations</h3><p>Accommodations are changes made in the classroom to help students work around their weaknesses. Accommodations can help some children succeed without direct intervention. Accommodations for a writing disability might include:</p><ul><li>Extra time for written work</li><li>Offering a scribe to support writing</li><li>Providing handouts of board work</li><li>Providing sentence stems or partially completed notes that the child fills in as they follow along</li><li>Providing checklists of grammar, punctuation, and organization</li><li>Providing rubrics with examples of written assignments</li><li>Allowing the use of audio devices so the child can record information</li><li>Providing the child with teacher prepared notes and having the child highlight as they are discussed in class</li></ul><h3>Interventions</h3><p>Interventions help students address their areas of need so that they can overcome them. Interventions teach children <strong>how</strong> to learn, and allows them to succeed as independent learners. Interventions for a writing disability might include:</p><ul><li>Providing explicit instruction on a variety of note-taking formats (e.g., jot notes, webbing of ideas, drawings) so that the child can determine which one works best for them</li><li>Teaching shorthand techniques (i.e., symbols and abbreviations)</li><li>Cognitive Strategy Instruction and direct instruction—targeted, well-organized instructional techniques teaching written expression</li><li>Voice-to-text software programs</li><li>Graphic organization software to help with generating ideas</li><li>Support in spelling and grammar</li><li>Occupational therapy assessment to assess grip and make recommendations</li><ul><li><a href="https://www.lwtears.com/hwt">Handwriting Without Tears</a> is one resource to support hand-motor functioning</li></ul></ul><h2>Association with other learning difficulties</h2><h3>Sequencing problems</h3><p>Children with weak sequencing skills may start their writing in the middle of a story, and they may not make meaningful connections among their ideas when writing. Sequencing issues may be related to weaknesses in working memory.</p><h3>Working memory and attention problems</h3><p>Writing requires generating and converting ideas into words and sentences and then writing those words on paper with accurate spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. All of these tasks put a large burden on working memory. Working memory is a “mental workspace” where information is stored and used for a few seconds. Working memory involves both storing and manipulating the information to reach a goal. Children with attention disorders often have working memory problems.</p><p>Children who have a problem with working memory or attention problems may need to be taught to work on one aspect of writing at a time. In general, children with a working memory problem need to learn strategies to keep on track as they perform complicated tasks. If a child continues to use a strategy, it will eventually become automatic, and the whole process becomes easier.</p>

 

 

 

 

Writing disabilities: Overview3860.00000000000Writing disabilities: OverviewWriting disabilities: OverviewWEnglishDevelopmentalPreschooler (2-4 years);School age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANAHealthy living and preventionAdult (19+) CaregiversNA2020-03-03T05:00:00Z11.000000000000042.90000000000001450.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>A writing disability is when a child of age-appropriate intellectual abilities has significant challenges with writing. Learn about writing disabilities, their symptoms, and how they are diagnosed and treated.</p><h2>What is a writing disability?</h2><p>A writing disability is a specific type of <a href="/Article?contentid=653&language=English">learning disability</a>. Children with writing disabilities have age-appropriate intellectual abilities, but experience challenges with writing. These difficulties affect how they perform in school, and their achievement falls well below what is expected for children of their age, grade and intellectual ability.</p><p>Writing disabilities may include problems with:</p><ul><li>Composition: generating, organizing, and/or elaborating on ideas</li><li>Spelling</li><li>Punctuation</li><li>Grammar</li><li>Handwriting</li></ul><h2>Types of writing disabilities</h2><p>Writing is very demanding. In order to write well, a child needs be able to read and spell properly. Writing also requires large memory capacity, as writers need to remember the rules for:</p><ul><li>Handwriting</li><li>Capitalization and punctuation</li><li>Spelling and grammar</li><li>Vocabulary</li><li>Word usage</li><li>Sentence and paragraph structure</li><li>Text structure (different styles of writing)</li></ul><p>In general, writing disabilities can be classified into two categories:</p><ul><li>Disorders of written expression (conceptual aspect of writing)</li><li>Transcription (mechanical aspect of writing)</li></ul><h3>Disorders of written expression</h3><p>Written expression involves the act of turning thoughts into organized written text. This process includes generating, planning and organizing ideas; writing those ideas in a way that other people can understand; and revising or editing the text. Children with disorders of written expression struggle with these aspects of writing and/or editing when writing.</p><h3>Disorders of transcription</h3><p>Transcription skills relate to the mechanics of writing and include adequate handwriting abilities, spelling skills, and knowledge of both punctuation and grammar. The term “dysgraphia” relates specifically to difficulties with handwriting. In some children, the problem with writing lies mostly in their handwriting. They have difficulty forming letters and numbers on paper, and/or with spelling; their efforts may be slow and forced; and their product may not be legible. As a result, it is challenging for these children to keep pace with and elaborate on their thoughts.</p><p>If your child has difficulties with handwriting, they might struggle with one or more of the following challenges:</p><ul><li>Fine motor skills deficit—difficulty coordinating the movements of the small muscles in the body that move the fingers</li><li>Graphomotor skills deficit—having typical control and coordination of their fingers except when trying to write</li><li>Visuomotor deficit—difficulty with correctly perceiving and remembering the shapes of letters</li><li>Kinesthetic sense deficit—difficulty with retaining muscle memory in order to write neatly with normal speed</li></ul><p>If a child has a problem with handwriting and spelling, it makes it harder for them to express their ideas on paper. They have to concentrate very hard on the mechanics of writing, which limits their capacity to develop and organize their thoughts.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Writing disabilities are learning disabilities that can include problems with composition, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and handwriting.</li><li>Children who are diagnosed with a writing disability often show early signs of speech and language difficulties and/or may have weakness with attention and working memory.</li><li>Writing disabilities are often linked with reading disabilities, and are diagnosed with a psychoeducational assessment.</li></ul><h2>Early signs of writing problems</h2><p>Children who are diagnosed with a writing disability may show early signs of speech and language difficulties, such as:</p><ul><li>Few spoken words by two years of age</li><li>Indistinct, garbled speech after three years of age</li><li>Speaking in phrases or sentences later than normal</li><li>Difficulty learning the alphabet and the sounds of the letters</li><li>Difficulty expressing themselves in words after three years of age</li><li>Using immature forms of grammar longer than expected (e.g., “I goed to the park”)</li><li>Mixing up word order in sentences</li></ul><p>However, not all children with these signs develop a writing disability.</p><h2>Writing difficulties</h2><p>Signs that your child may be having difficulties with writing include:</p><ul><li>Illegible printing or cursive writing (despite appropriate time and attention given to the task)</li><li>Writing inconsistencies: mixtures of upper and lower case, or irregular sizes, shapes or slant of letters</li><li>Unfinished words or letters, or omitted words</li><li>Inconsistent spacing between words and letters</li><li>Unusual wrist, body or paper positions when writing</li><li>The act of printing or writing is slow or laboured</li><li>Poor spatial planning on paper</li><li>Complains of a sore or tired hand</li><li>Difficulty thinking and writing at the same time (taking notes, creative writing)</li></ul><p>For a list of typical writing milestones achieved by children at different grade levels, see <a href="/Article?contentid=651&language=English">Reading and writing milestones</a>.</p><h2>Diagnosis of a writing disability</h2><p>If your child’s writing abilities are substantially below the expected level for their age, intellectual abilities and education, they may be diagnosed with a writing disability.</p><p>If you suspect your child might have a writing disability, it is important to share your concerns with your child’s teachers. They will be able to observe your child’s learning, and identify available resources and strategies to help improve your child’s writing skills. If the resources and strategies provided by the school do not help improve your child’s learning, your child might benefit from a formal psychoeducational assessment.</p><p>A psychoeducational assessment can identify your child’s strengths and learning challenges, and diagnose learning, developmental or attention-related disorders, as well as giftedness. The assessment will get to the root cause of your child’s academic issues, and identify a plan for solving them.</p><h2>Treatment</h2><p>Writing disabilities can be treated with two main approaches—accommodations and interventions.</p><p>The earlier a child with a writing disability receives an evidence-based writing intervention over a reasonable period of time, the more likely they are to catch up with their peers.</p><h3>Accommodations</h3><p>Accommodations are changes made in the classroom to help students work around their weaknesses. Accommodations can help some children succeed without direct intervention. Accommodations for a writing disability might include:</p><ul><li>Extra time for written work</li><li>Offering a scribe to support writing</li><li>Providing handouts of board work</li><li>Providing sentence stems or partially completed notes that the child fills in as they follow along</li><li>Providing checklists of grammar, punctuation, and organization</li><li>Providing rubrics with examples of written assignments</li><li>Allowing the use of audio devices so the child can record information</li><li>Providing the child with teacher prepared notes and having the child highlight as they are discussed in class</li></ul><h3>Interventions</h3><p>Interventions help students address their areas of need so that they can overcome them. Interventions teach children <strong>how</strong> to learn, and allows them to succeed as independent learners. Interventions for a writing disability might include:</p><ul><li>Providing explicit instruction on a variety of note-taking formats (e.g., jot notes, webbing of ideas, drawings) so that the child can determine which one works best for them</li><li>Teaching shorthand techniques (i.e., symbols and abbreviations)</li><li>Cognitive Strategy Instruction and direct instruction—targeted, well-organized instructional techniques teaching written expression</li><li>Voice-to-text software programs</li><li>Graphic organization software to help with generating ideas</li><li>Support in spelling and grammar</li><li>Occupational therapy assessment to assess grip and make recommendations</li><ul><li><a href="https://www.lwtears.com/hwt">Handwriting Without Tears</a> is one resource to support hand-motor functioning</li></ul></ul><h2>Association with other learning difficulties</h2><h3>Sequencing problems</h3><p>Children with weak sequencing skills may start their writing in the middle of a story, and they may not make meaningful connections among their ideas when writing. Sequencing issues may be related to weaknesses in working memory.</p><h3>Working memory and attention problems</h3><p>Writing requires generating and converting ideas into words and sentences and then writing those words on paper with accurate spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. All of these tasks put a large burden on working memory. Working memory is a “mental workspace” where information is stored and used for a few seconds. Working memory involves both storing and manipulating the information to reach a goal. Children with attention disorders often have working memory problems.</p><p>Children who have a problem with working memory or attention problems may need to be taught to work on one aspect of writing at a time. In general, children with a working memory problem need to learn strategies to keep on track as they perform complicated tasks. If a child continues to use a strategy, it will eventually become automatic, and the whole process becomes easier.</p><h2>How to help your child with a writing disability</h2><p>Below are some suggestions for how to work with your child at home if they have a writing disability:</p><ul><li>Read to your child above their own reading level, ensuring that their vocabulary and knowledge about the world grows.</li><li>Use a white board to practice the generation of and sequencing of ideas.</li><li>Have your child create to-do-lists and shopping lists.</li><li>Provide opportunities for your child to talk about and recall events.</li><li>Encourage your child to share their thinking with you.</li><li>Practice handwriting on a large whiteboard or chalkboard. Have your child write letters using their whole arm first, progressing to smaller hand movements. Gradually move to tracing letters on paper, followed by independent writing.</li></ul>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Writing_disabilities-Overview.jpgWriting disabilities: OverviewFalse