Writing and ASD

Ashley - posted on 11/20/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son is 8 and is having a horrible time writing. This is when his meltdowns normally happen. I have tried to have the school give him other ways to get his work done, but they just tell me that if we change anything it will cause dependency and writing is a life skill. Which I understand but I feel so helpless that he has to fight everyday at school when writing or reading comes around. Any suggestions or things that have worked for your children?

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Chantelle - posted on 11/25/2009

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My sons writing is terrible, he is 7. I'm so over stressing about it, I let my son type instead. When he is calm and in a good mood, I give him a pen and paper and tell him to write me a letter about something he wants or whatever. This at least gives him some practice in writing.

Francie - posted on 11/23/2009

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I agree with those above advocating for using a laptop. My AS son (age 14) has handwriting that is unreadable. It also interfered with his writing ability - by the time he could get a sentence written, he would have forgotten what he was thinking next. It was very frustrating. The OT in his middle school explained that it was because,unlike the rest of us who can write by thinking the entire word and then sentence, my son had to think how each word was spelled, think the shape of each letter and then DRAW the word one letter at a time. It's a different thought process and much more difficult. Having a laptop is helping his writing ability tremendously. I strongly encourage you to have it added to your child's IEP.

Dori - posted on 11/21/2009

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I have the same issues and have for the past few years. Last year they allowed the use of computers for a very few things and the use of a label maker for a few other things. This was in my sons IEP but was never really put into place. He is in 5th gr. this year and is finally getting better and not as frustrated. Good luck

Mandy - posted on 11/21/2009

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Does your son have an IEP(integrated educational plan) Has he been deemed exce3ptional by the board of education? you can ask that the ASD team and the board special education teacher the principal the childs teacher all be present in a meeting and have him deemed. My son was given a laptop computer to use daily for his writing as long as he is in school.It was a long process and did not happen over night but he is doing amazingly well now that he has that tool. Hope this helped in any way if you have any more questions feel free to contact me. Mandy

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I know exactly what you are talking about. I've been there with my 14 year-old grandson, who didn't make much progress with handwriting until he and his OT gave up on printing and switched to cursive about a year ago. That seems to be easier for him because of the continual flow - he doesn't have to keep lifting the pencil and then finding the right place to put it back down. They also are working on his typing skills. His IEP has always addressed his problems with writing. He used to need a scribe to help him with all of his written work. Now he only needs help when he is writing a story or essay, something that requires him to be formulatting his thoughts and getting them down on paper at the same time. His language arts teacher sometimes scribes for him, if it is a long and complicted assignment. Voice-recognition programs, as well as spell/grammar check on the computer, have helped. He still needs additional time to complete his work, but is doing so much better. I am sure that this is one of the reasons that he likes school more this year than he ever has in the past.



And he didn't learn to read until the sixth grade. He attended an on-line school from home that year and learned to read quickly. I was able to eliminate a lot of the things that kept him from learning in a classroom - noise, too many things on the walls, kids walking around, someone sitting too close to him, the over-stumulation. I used his computer games, Popular Science magazine and other things that he really wanted to be able to read. And we read chapter books every night, cuddled on the couch together. I would read for a while and then he had to read for a while. We have read Eragon, Elephant Walk and lots of other books that way. Even though he reads very well on his own now, we still like to read together, especially at night before bedtime. It's good one-on-one time and helps both of us relax and sleep better.



Good luck with your son. I know how hard this is, but it can get better for him.

Sheila - posted on 11/20/2009

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Writing is not a lifeskill, anymore than calligraphy is a lifeskill. It is actually becoming antiquated. Typing, keyboarding skills, are far more relevant in today's world. In Ontario, cursive writing is not part of the curriculum anymore. Did I just hear a collective gasp? What are those wacky Canadians up to now?? lol

Cathy - posted on 11/20/2009

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It was very hard for my ASD son to learn to write. Both the school and his private OT us handwriting without tears and he's writing now. He actually has nice printing. I don't even care if he ever cursive writes. Handwriting without tears uses different techniques to help a child learn to form letters, write on a line, having control of their letter size. Here is the website.

http://www.hwtears.com/

Abby-lee - posted on 11/20/2009

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This sounds like my eldest whose ASD is mild. He could write but only slowly and he found letter formation very difficult. When the school started insisting he do 'joined up' writing he got really stressed. He also got very frustrated as he could think a 100 times faster than he could write. He has been at secondary he is allowed to do his homework on a pc and this has helped as my son can type at the same speed he can think. If your son's typing is better than his writing than I would create a fuss and demand he has access to a laptop or pc for at least story writing.

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