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Monday, September 17, 2012

How to Teach Writing to Children with Learning Disabilities By Sally Nash, eHow Contributor


Courtesy of Sally Nash, eHow Contributor

How to Teach Writing to Children with Learning Disabilities

How to Teach Writing to Children with Learning Disabilities thumbnail
Children with learning difficulties might need longer to complete a writing task.
Children with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, tend to find it hard to concentrate and organize their work. Breaking down the individual writing tasks and allowing plenty of time for children to practice before moving onto the next activity is a sound strategy. Try to make the task relevant and fun. However, it is also important not to neglect the mechanical aspects of writing such as punctuation and sentence structure. Each child will have different needs so monitor progress on an individual level carefully.


    • 1
      Focus on one aspect of writing at the beginning of each session. This might involve sentence construction or using new vocabulary. In the case of younger children, they might be learning how to use capital letters and full stops. Explain or remind the children about the rules. Try to make the session interactive. For instance, ask for volunteers to write sentences on the board and get everyone involved. The children can then work in pairs to complete a worksheet, practicing putting in capital letters and full stops correctly. The children then make up their own sentences. Children with learning difficulties often find it hard to organize their thoughts so give them a set amount of time to complete the assignment.
    • 2
      Teach the children how to plan a piece of writing before they put pen to paper. Planning can take a number of different forms such as preparing a mind map, list or spider diagram. This approach provides the child with a logical, step-by-step approach to the task and can help if he gets stuck on a section when he tries to write it up. A sheet of questions such as "What is my introduction?" can also help take the child through the work and clarify his thinking.
    • 3
      Ask the child to prepare a first draft of her assignment. Ideally the writing task should be enjoyable and achievable. Writing letters, posters or comic strips work well. This is an opportunity for the child to check his writing and for the teacher to go through the work. It is important not to overwhelm the child with corrections. Instead, concentrate on discussing and correcting the aspect of writing practiced at the beginning of the lesson such as sentence construction.
    • 4
      Get the children to work in pairs and revise each other's work. This will improve the child's critical reading skills and should also boost his writing skills.
    • 5
      Help the children with their final draft. Remind them about keeping their handwriting as neat as they can because lots of children with learning disabilities struggle with this aspect of writing. Allow some time to practice writing skills such as letter formation or spellings at the end or beginning of the classroom session.

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Tips & Warnings

  • Teach the children mnemonics and other memory strategies to help with spelling. For example, children can remember how to spell necessary by reciting "never eat cakes, eat sardine sandwiches and remain young".


  • Photo Credit boy writes to writing-books.... image by Stepanov from


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