Writing Issues

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2004
Writing Issues
4
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 7:28am

Hi all,

Wondering if I could get some advice on this.

Mr S, aged 10, is in his last year of primary school. He was home-schooled for 18 months prior to the current school year (Feb to Dec), for a variety or reasons, and loved it, but is enjoying being back at school.

Academically, he is ahead in all areas, except for writing. The physical side is not an issue, for the most part, and his punctuation and grammar are at senior high school level. Vocabulary - also fine, spelling - average.

The big issue is composition. He simply canNOT write essays. I have tried doing the "write the story of a favourite Dr Who/Star Trek episode, never mind that it's not original" thing but he will merely write the dialogue. As for describing scenes in his head, he tells me he cannot match what he imagines in his head with any words he knows. So any writing he does, if not a recount (which will be at about Gr 2 level and one paragraph long), looks like s screenplay.

His teacher appears to not realise how bad his creative writing is, but he's in high school next year and will be expected to do a lot more writing that one paragraph after an hour's strain. The school can't seriously think that type of writing is enough.

I know Aspies tend to have such problems with creative writing, however this is getting worse - mainly because his writing has been at the same level since he was six years old (he was an early writer, aged 4) and starting Gr 2. Neither of his schools seemed to think there was an issue and that there would be 'plenty of time for him'.

Could it be something other than this Asperger's at play here? I am thinking Dyslexia, but am loathe to put him through the testing if it's not likely. And could his spelling issues be connected? He has to learn each word as a separate entity, with phonics not working and spelling rules forgotten in 'real time' (if I ask him the rules, he will rattle them off to me fine; if tested on the rules, he gets them right every time). However grammar and punctuation rules are not forgotten. Weird.

So, this has been rather long - apologies - however I wanted to give you an idea of Mr S's history and what parts of writing are an issue.

Thanks in advance,
Fiona

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-27-2008
In reply to: nzfiona
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 10:21am
Is he able to compose an essay verbally?
I wonder if graphic organization and voice recognition software would help?
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2003
In reply to: nzfiona
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 11:16am

Our almost 13 year old son has the exact same issue. For years he struggled with this, and was finally dx'd by a neuropsych. as having Dyspraxia and Expressive Language Disorder. In essence, he's struggles with getting the thoughts that are in his head, "onto the paper." When you add in the literal thinking ways of an Aspie...well, creative writing is horribly challenging.

Graphic organizers are definitely helpful, we've used story webs with some success, and while I understand you not wanting to put him through the testing, it might be worth further consideration. My son has lots of accommodations because of these dx's. Honestly, the Expressive Language Disorder and Dyspraxia dxs are what get him his actual academic accommodations. Since he attends a gifted middle school, this has been critical for his success. The teachers can't assume that just because his IQ is high, that he's capable of doing everything his peers are.

Good luck.

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Amy

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: nzfiona
Mon, 04-05-2010 - 11:08pm

My son is 7 and

                                

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2004
In reply to: nzfiona
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 3:49am

Thanks, everyone.

I have tried scribing - it was one thing I tried while home-schooling ds for 18 months. However, it never worked. I don't think the (horrendously expensive) voice-recognition would work either. Tried mind-maps, brain-storming, graphic planners, everything. Nothing works.

Interestingly, when he talks about something, he won't shut up! But when it comes to writing about ANYthing, even the things he loves (science fiction, for instance), he cannot write it! The only thing he CAN write is a screenplay, it would seem....

I'm still not sure what to do, particularly since it's the education system that ought to fit around these kids' issues. After all, kids who cannot write creatively (including recounts) because of a neurological issue should not be made to do things their brains won't let them do! If he can explain something verbally - which he can - then why not take that instead of something written?

As it turns out, it looks like he has Hypermobility as well, mainly affecting his hands and arms, so that will explain a lot of the tiring after writing so little.

Goodness - the things we have to check out!

Fiona