Writing Support for Students with Disabilities

Because of the impact of their disabilities, some students may need some additional help to communicate their ideas in ideas in writing.

Learning disabilities and some types of Attention Disorders:
Spelling strategies

  • Franklin Spellers, Talking Franklin Spellers and Thesaurus, computer spell check software
  • Tests to see what they CAN spell and look for trends or areas of weakness
  • Rule reviews followed by students making up their own spelling example notebooks

Usage demons

  • Look for common pair errors and then make the student put together tricks and sentences that show correct usage so they can use the sentences and cues to proofread.
  • Some usage errors are visual perception errors: does vs. dose, wich or with instead of which or witch

Organization – Also a problem for some with ADD/ADHD

  • Write – THEN outline. Revise and develop as needed.
  • Brainstorm – this comes naturally! The trick is finding a way to put similar material or topics together.
  • Simple outlines – don’t stress I, II, A,B, a, b, 1,2 structure rules – they’ll tune you out! Keep a list format.
  • “Question and Answer” as a tool – response to the answers becomes the essay. Useful for taking notes also
  • “Picture” outlines – very artistic, very visual learners may actually draw a picture, like some might use “mapping” or cluster strategies. The labeled parts of the picture becomes the outline or structure tool.

Failure to follow directions when they are given orally:

  • Always put in writing what is said; they may read just fine, but the oral information doesn’t stay long enough to get into their memory or even to copy it down. The same holds true for written to oral – say what you have given them as written directions, because some may not process the written but do better with hearing what they read.