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Some Children Can’t Write, Post

Some Children Can’t Write

What affects people’s ability to write? This question includes “what affects children’s ability to write?” May be

  • ADHD
  • Developmental Language Disorder (DLD); or
  • Aspergers (first level of autism).

Learning difficulties can mean Some Children Can’t Write. In this post, the theme is teachers may be able to do better. More teaching. More instruction. This means less time spent on other topics. Schools need to agree on a writing style and model that style. Teachers need to use the accepted style and do it in the classroom! And some don’t. Modelling handwriting has been downgraded along with handwriting itself.

But parents can help a lot. The National Handwriting Association (UK) has some free items to download with great suggestions.  https://nha-handwriting.org.uk/ . 

There are great resources on the internet that parents can take advantage of. Here is one.     https://www.theottoolbox.com/handwriting/

On this site, there are step-by-step instructions and other helpful hints for use in the home environment.
How to Teach Hand-Printing, Post
Teaching Handwriting, Post

Many children with these diagnoses speak well. They understand what is said and join in conversations. And these children understand classroom instructions despite distractions around them.

But it is the writing skills that do not develop in certain students. Children need several skills in primary school for writing. These all interact with each other. Examples:

  • Children need to remember how a letter is formed and where the starting point is.
  • To copy, they must remember the sequence of letters to write the word. Yet these children remember one letter at a time. So they struggle to recall letter bundles.
  • And they don’t understand words as  integrated units.

In many early literacy classrooms there is little modelling of the handwriting of letters. Whiteboards have become very small and are usually plastered with bits of paper. It is even hard to model using electronic whiteboards. Children respond logically, so they write a letter to look like the finished product.

For example, they see a finished handwritten ‘a’ and write an ‘o’ with a tail on it. On the left is a correctly written   and on the right is the  o  with a tail. A common problem!

Many children write ‘f’ upwards. It looks right when finished.

  • Later on, they are unable to write joined script so they are left behind in tests and writing tasks at high school.
  • They write, on average, about half what other children write as they continue to hand-print.

So for those children with learning difficulties, this teaching deficit makes their learning challenges worse.

By Grade 4 they may never catch up. Anxiety, also a symptom of some learning disorders, can set in. The child is unhappy and stressed. All this can be avoided with effective instruction in the early grades. Instruction of letter formation should continue into Grade 3 and 4 for these children.