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Tips to Help Your Child with Writing

College Student Studying in Library

Writing can be a major source of stress for many students, especially if they struggle with a learning disability.  Students that have illegible handwriting and poor spelling often times will become frustrated and give up on the writing process all together.  These students, however, are often of high intelligence; they just process things differently than the typical child.  If a child is very resistant to writing, discuss with the teacher to see if they can pick their own topic.  A student will likely be more enthusiastic about writing if the subject is about their favorite topic.  Use incentives to inspire the child. 

Here are some tips to help your child with writing:

  • Help your child understand the assignment and carefully read the directions on what is expected of them.
  • Help your child organize their thoughts by discussing the story out loud.  Talk about the beginning, middle and end of the story.  Sometimes drawing pictures and creating a storyboard can help them visually organize their thoughts.
  • Use bullet points to highlight the key points of the story.
  • Order the key points into paragraphs and have them add a few sentences about each topic under the bullet points.  Add sub-topics to expand on each subject.
  • Discuss and create transitional statements to link each topic. 
  • Use different color highlighter pens to help them to link thoughts together visually.
  • After the body of the paper is written, focus on the introduction and conclusion last.
  • Have them type their paper on a computer or word processor.  Many children who struggle with motor output (handwriting) benefit from using a computer for their written work. Use spelling and grammar checks. 

Try to help your child feel less anxious about an assignment by starting as early as possible.  Work on it a little each night so they don’t feel overwhelmed.  Sometimes breaking the assignment into parts can help them to feel more confident.  If your child struggles with writing you should discuss with the teacher to see if they can have more time to complete the assignment.  Once the assignment is completed your child will likely feel quite relieved and realize it wasn’t that bad after all.

Reading frequently is another way for your child to boost their vocabulary and writing skills.  Encourage your child to read nightly and read with them if they need you too.  After your child has finished reading a story, ask them to tell you about it.  This will help them with comprehension. 

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