Spelling, Writing & Dysgraphia
Writing is one of the most difficult skills individuals must master. It requires putting together the motor process of handwriting, sound-symbol association with spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and organizing language into written thoughts that make sense. Here are some helpful resources if your child is struggling with writing skills.
First off, work on handwriting and the other parts of writing separately. I’ve tried and used different handwriting programs over the years. My number one choice is Handwriting Without Tears. This program was developed by an occupational therapist to help her own son. The directions are clear and simple. It builds on simple pencil strokes and keeps the writing style simple.
Children with dysgraphia will need to learn fine motor control through a variety of multisensory activities. These may include mazes and multisensory activities. Handwriting in sand, with finger on velvet, with soap on a large flat pan, etc. are all fun ways for learning handwriting movements.
Spelling improves when sound-symbol association improves. It improves when symbol imagery improves. This is done through systematic, explicit Orton-Gillingham based methods.
Word study, such as with Words Their Way, is a fun, hands-on way to practice spelling. There are many apps and games that help reinforce spelling. “The Measured Mom” blog has a great listing of free resources.
I’ve used, with a great amount of success, Step-Up to Writing processes. However, it requires training and may not be the most parent-friendly. These sites offer resource ideas for parents:
LD Online: Tool Kit for Parents: Tips for Helping with Writing Tasks
NAEYC: Support Writing at Home
Well-Trained Mind: Resources for Dysgraphia