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·Be patient and positive, encourage practice and praise effort - becoming a good writer takes time and practice.
·Allow use of print or cursive - whichever is more comfortable.
·Use large graph paper for math calculation to keep columns and rows organized. ·Allow extra time for writing assignments.
·Begin writing assignments creatively with drawing, or speaking ideas into a tape recorder
·Alternate focus of writing assignments - put emphasis on some for neatness and spelling, others for grammar or organization of ideas.
·Explicitly teach different types of writing - expository and personal essays, short stories, poems, etc.
·Do not judge timed assignments on neatness and spelling.
·Have students proofread work after a delay - it's easier to see mistakes after a break.
·Help students create a checklist for editing work - spelling, neatness, grammar, syntax, clear progression of ideas, etc.
·Encourage use of a spell checker - speaking spell checkers are available for handwritten work
·Reduce amount of copying; instead, focus on writing original answers and ideas
·Have student complete tasks in small steps instead of all at once.
·Find alternative means of assessing knowledge, such as oral reports or visual projects
·Encourage practice through low-stress opportunities for writing such as letters, a diary, making household lists or keeping track of sports teams.
Teenagers & Adults
·Provide tape recorders to supplement note taking and to prepare for writing assignments.
·Create a step-by-step plan that breaks writing assignments into small tasks (see below).
·When organizing writing projects, create a list of keywords that will be useful.
·Provide clear, constructive feedback on quality of work, explaining both strengths and weaknesses of project, commenting on structure as well as information that is included.
·Use assistive technology such as voice-activated software if mechanical aspects of writing remain a major hurdle.
Many of these tips can be used by all age groups. It is never too early or too late to reinforce skills needed to be a good writer.
Though teachers and employers are required by law to make "reasonable accommodations" for individuals with learning disabilities, they may not be aware of how to help. Speak to them about dysgraphia, and explain challenges you face as a result of your learning disability.
How to Approach Writing Assignments
1.Plan your paper ·Pull together your ideas and consider how you want them in your writing.
2.Organize your thoughts and ideas
3.Create an outline or graphic organizer to be sure you've included all your ideas.
4.Make a list of key thoughts and words you will want to use in your paper.
5.Write a draft
·This first draft should focus on getting your ideas on paper - don't worry about making spelling or grammar errors. Using a computer is helpful because it will be easier to edit later on.
6.Edit your work
·Check your work for proper spelling, grammar and syntax; use a spell checker if necessary.
·Edit your paper to elaborate and enhance content - a thesaurus is helpful for finding different ways to make your point.
7.Revise your work, producing a final draft
·Rewrite your work into a final draft.
·Be sure to read it one last time before submitting it.
James O’Keefe is the owner of About Rsd. offering FREE articles, tips, hints, and real-world advice on how to deal with various health issues. He is also the owner of The Parental Advocate., which is dedicated to helping Special Education students' parents become better advocates for their children.