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Anonymous
Anonymous asks:
Q:

My son is gifted but has problems with writing

My 12 year old son is extremely bright  confirmed by both teachers and testing . But when it comes to putting pen to paper, its a constant fight. Verbally he can answer all questions,he can give conclusions and predictions, but when it comes to writing it down all is lost, either in class or as homework. A 20 minute assignment can take any were up to 3 hrs to complete, he will use any excuse not to do the work and seems to just loose himself in another world. His writing skills are about the level of a 3rd grader. What can I and his teachers do to try and motivate his self confidence of his ability to write better if he keeps practicing. This is effecting his class grades (lack of work produced) and is extremely frustrating as we all know  he knows the answers. Can you help ?
In Topics: Helping my child with writing, My gifted child
> 60 days ago

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Expert

childpsychmom
Feb 20, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

You can only imagine how frustrating this must be for him.  First of all, kudos to you and his teachers for trying to help him improve his writing skills!  Now, to answer your question!  In addition to the IQ test that he had to determine his giftedness, you should consider having him take an individually administered academic achievement test.  Your school system may have the resources to provide this testing, or it can be done by a psychologist in your area.  

Achievement testing results plus his IQ test findings can help determine if he has a Disorder of Written Expression, which is a type of Learning Disorder.  If he does, then his school can offer accommodations to support his writing and give specific recommendations to best help him with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  

Another resource to help is the "Handwriting Without Tears" program.  I'm attaching the link so that you can check it out to see if you think it would help your son.  Best of luck!
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Additional Answers (5)

LeLa10
LeLa10 writes:
YOU CAN ENCOURAGE HIM OR BUY DIFFERENT HANDWRITING BOOKS AND HAVE HIM PRACTICE THE SAME LETTER IN 2 BOOKS EACH DAY.
> 60 days ago

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lynellen
lynellen writes:
Handwriting is a very complex task.  Practicing the letters would help if there is an issue with remembering how to form the letters.  You can check this out by having him write his complete alphabet with his eyes closed.  Those letters that he cannot write quickly are the ones that he is unsure of.  If he can do all of the letters easily, practice probably will not help as he already knows the letters.  
Then we need to consider what happens when he must organize his thoughts, spell, punctuate, etc.  Does he have any difficulty paying attention and staying on the task?  Are there weaknesses in spelling, punctuation, getting his thoughts organized to write?  Our brain seems to prioritize on these skills rather than on legibility and spacing.  So if there are weaknesses in these higher level skills, writing often becomes slow and sloppy as the brain thinks about organization,etc.  If your school will allow your son to use a computer as one of his modifications, it may help with the speed of completion.  Encourage him.  
You can find more help with figuring out which part of writing may be the most difficult for your son at Ten Handwriting Questions on www.lynslines.wordpress.com
> 60 days ago

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thfmom
thfmom writes:
Writing skills seem to be a problem for a lot of GT kids. Asynchronous development doesn't seem to care that motor skills can't keep up with brain power. That being said, by 12 this problem has usually worked itself out.

I would consider having him tested for Dysgraphia. Children with it have a hard time writing for any length of time. Children with Dysgraphia are eligible for considerations in school via IEP. That would allow for keyboarding assignments, extra time etc.
> 60 days ago

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thfmom
thfmom writes:
Writing skills seem to be a problem for a lot of GT kids. Asynchronous development doesn't seem to care that motor skills can't keep up with brain power. That being said, by 12 this problem has usually worked itself out.

I would consider having him tested for Dysgraphia. Children with it have a hard time writing for any length of time. Children with Dysgraphia are eligible for considerations in school via IEP. That would allow for keyboarding assignments, extra time etc.
> 60 days ago

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school521
school521 , Teacher writes:
I highly recommend ERB Learning for you son. ERB Learning will help him
in practicing his writing through a Writing Achievement program in which
it will asses your son's writing skills and to help him improve in those areas.
The great thing about this program is that its on a computer and it provides
the students with the opportunity to practice their writing online at their
own pace. As he goes through the modules he will get instant scoring and
online tutorials and reviews.

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