Writing problem- not sure what it is?
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  1. #1
    sisymay is offline Member
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    Nov 2007

    Default Writing problem- not sure what it is?

    My dd is 10 and will cry everytime I try to get her to write. She just can't do it.She does not have a problem with the physical aspect of writing, even though she does write some letters reverse. We are working on cursive and this is helping her a lot.
    At one time she said she knows what she wants to write but can't get ideas from her brain to the paper.She has sequencing problems, doesn't understand the order of how things should be. We are working on that with reading things, just not writing things (I have tried)
    Every time I try to search for help on the internet, it is always the 'writing process' like brainstorming ideas, editing, etc.
    I really don't think this is her problem. I know she can't do this, but it's because of the other problems she has. We haven't even attempted to do the writing process yet.
    I have tried to get testing and help from school while she was there, no help at all. That's why we started homeschool.
    Two special ed parent advocates said it seems that she has dyslexia. I can not afford to have testing done at all. some people told me that she needs a program like Orton-Gillingham, Lindamood Bell, etc. But those programs are in the thousands of dollars.
    I have not searched the lesson plans here yet to see if there is anything that can help. I'm planning on doing that soon.
    Does anyone know anything that could help? I am thinking no one can tell me if they don't know what the problem is. I don't even know myself!
    Thanks so much!!

  2. #2
    witchly's Avatar
    witchly is offline Senior Member Guru
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    Jan 2008


    Sequencing - my son really struggles with this still. Always has. Something that helps is putting each item on an individual piece of paper, index card, post-it, etc. Then he can physically move things around to put them in the right order. It just seems much easier for him to do it this way.

    Getting Ideas to Paper - my son also has struggled with this. One thing we did find for him is that it is less of a struggle for him to use the computer and type in his thoughts rather than write by hand. We use the computer for all sorts of things. His daily writing prompt is on the computer, he does all of his essays on the computer, everything.

    Another thing that helped was graphic organizers. There are lots of different types out there, you have to play around and see what works for her. My son preferred distinct areas, but not lots of clutter and lines. Here is a lot of them to take a look at http://www.teachervision.fen.com/gra...able/6293.html

    Try to figure out which type of writing she enjoys best also (I know that is hard right now). Once you find something that sparks, even if it's just a little, it's easier to go that direction to help build up confidence. My son likes to use images/photos from magazines and make up captions or quotes for them - this carried into him writing fictional interviews - he was both the interviewer and interviewee. He also is really big into gaming and so he writes about that - it gets him interested and motivated.
    Secular homeschooler of 1 son (14)

  3. #3
    sonyme is offline Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Colorado Springs, CO


    I am new here, so "hello" first of all! I can only share with you some of my experience with hopes that you may somehow find some benefit I have three children that all have been identified as having SLD. That is the general term. Collectively, that means I am familiar with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalcula, dyspraxia, auditory processing difficulites, and sensory sensitivities. Executive functioning skills (critical thinking, organizing, sequencing, etc.) are tough to develop, pull together and deserve as much attention as the "3 R's". What you are describing with your daughter sounds oh-so-familiar to what we see amongst our children. We have spent more money than we had available to us on diagnostic testing, tutors, "magic fixes" , and very costly private schooling structured for children with LD. I even went through Orton Gillingham training myself! Well trained, but too overwhelmed and marginally burned out is what I am now. With that said, I want to encourage you to not get to thrown by not having a diagnostic label at this point. It is just part of a process, but not essential to addressing a problem. LD is complex, confusing and frustrating for just about everyone is seems.

    My oldest child is preparing for high school. We are turning our focus more toward adaptive/assistive technology and less intensive remediation. He is in the process of getting Dragon Speak (a computer program for voice recognition) and uses Natural Reader to assist with reading. Putting thoughts down in pieces on index cards, post-its, etc. to be able to physically manipulate and piece together has been a far better technique than the standard way of putting pencil to paper. We are still working with graphic organizers, but it hasn't really "clicked" yet.

    Orton-Gillingham and Lindamood Bell are useful for developing word attack skills, spelling, reading fluency, etc. Handwrting without Tears or other similar handwriting programs are helpful for another aspect of the reading/writing process. This is also true for keyboarding and assistive technology when the time is right. Read Naturally/One Minute Reader has been great for building fluency. Honestly, I still really struggle with how to better help my children with the actual writing process and have found far fewer resources for specifically teaching this to individuals with language-based learning difficulties. I am contemplating Time4Writing for experience, but am still wishing my children had more skills and "tools" in place before tackling this piece of language arts. They certainly didn't aquire the skills during 2 yrs. at specialized private school!

  4. #4
    Stephanie739's Avatar
    Stephanie739 is offline Senior Member
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    Oct 2008


    I might be far from the problem, but I'm going to share my experiences anyway. This is long - please forgive.

    First, when I began school again, I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of writing assignments - large papers with word counts. It used to take me a very long time to complete an assignment - many, many days for the reason that you described. I had a jumble of ideas in my head, but getting them on paper was a challenge. Subconsciously, I seemed to think that the first time I wrote (typed) the words, they should come out perfectly. Two years later, and even more writing assignments (both complexity and length) I have found the best way to approach the assignments is to just write. Whatever is in my head, I write. After reading my words over again, I find areas to improve such as move this paragraph here, or change this word, or elaborate here, etc. (note: I love word processing programs haha) Anyway, my point is that I no longer expect my first attempt to be turn in ready, sometimes not even close. The goal is to take whatever thoughts I have and write them down. Organization, elaboration, and of course grammar edits come later. With this approach, a writing assignment might only take a day or two instead of the 4-5 days it used to and it is far less overwhelming.

    With that said, my 11 year old daughter (6th grade) was having a hard time trying to figure out what to write. I thought she just didn't want to do the assignment, but then I remembered how much I struggled a couple years ago, so I tried to demonstrate my approach. She had to write a story about the wild west using vocabulary words, and had no idea how to begin.

    For about 15 minutes, she watched my approach. I took only one vocabulary word, and wrote down a single thought about it. I then added another thought, and so on. I had no idea about the direction of the story, or if my story was even based on correct wild west facts - it didn't matter at that time.

    When the thoughts ran out, we read together what was written. Together, we chose a thought to expand on. Later, we chose another vocabulary word to write a thought about....and so on. Each time we got stuck we would read the paragraphs and vocabulary words to "find a thought" - any thought. Our goal was not to write a perfect short story using each vocabulary word. The goal was write something, anything that had to do with the general subject, the wild west.

    What I am trying to say is that getting started is sometimes the hardest part of a writing assignment. Once you allow yourself to just write, you move past the writers block that can be so overwhelming.

    After my daughter and I worked on my wild west story together, she said she thought she could do it on her own.

    Next, I left her alone. This was very important. If I were hanging over her while she tried to get her first thoughts onto paper, she would have been inhibited. With me out of the way, she felt free to just write. The approach worked. A half and hour later, she let me read her story, and it was excellent. She did not finish it because she ended up producing something that looked liked a first chapter of a novel rather than a short story, but I marked the assignment as complete. She wants to continue working on her story anyway which of course is great.

    I hope this helps. Good luck.

    mom to:
    Tori (13)
    Meghan (9)
    Andy (5)

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