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V slow writing speed - ideas/help needed

(11 Posts)
plasticinemachine Fri 29-May-15 09:28:46

Hi, I am currently tutoring two home schooled boys, one of which is 10 years so would be year 5. I tutor them in creative writing. The family are moving to America in 6 months time and the boys will be put in school.
The boy I need advice on is bright and well read. He works really hard and his writing in terms of spelling, handwriting, punctuation etc is excellent. His problem area is that he seems to be easily distracted (the group only has 4 kids in and everyone is on task) and he writes painfully slowly. He is left handed.
I think he does have some difficulty generating ideas & so I have tried to help him with this by using 'mind maps' and other planning tools. I also prompt him often to keep him on task.
Mum is desperate for me to speed him up. In an hour lesson where perhaps half an hour is a focused writing task (usually split in to two stages) he will only write about 4 words or at most a sentence. In that time his brother who is only 7 will write a full page. Obviously you cannot make comparisons but the I guess it shines a light on the older brother's slow speed.
Mum's concern is clearly related to how he will cope in school, in a class situation where the teacher cannot be constantly prompting him.
So, any suggestions of how I can help him in the next 6 months? He is a lovely boy and trues really hard. It's not lack of effort. I know he does not enjoy writing particularly, although he does seem to enjoy our lessons. What can I do?

plasticinemachine Fri 29-May-15 09:30:47

tries not trues!

raindrops99 Fri 29-May-15 13:07:39

Does he have any motor issues that an occupational therapist could help with?

canny1234 Fri 29-May-15 13:17:18

My Ds has this problem as well as spelling issues.We recently took him for a private assessment and he was diagnosed dyslexic.Its thought that a slow processing speed and poor spelling contributed to this writing issue.Maybe suggest that this child be taken for an assessment.The resulting report should give the parents ideas of how to help.

TeenAndTween Fri 29-May-15 13:35:17

Can he dictate a story to you?
If you dictate to him can he write faster?
If he knows the story can he dictate it (eg Goldilocks)?

In y5/y6 I used the dictate to me, then I dictate back again approach for DD1. She couldn't formulate ideas at the same time as concentrate on handwriting, so we split the two processes up. (In y11 we finally got a dyspraxia diagnosis for her.)

var123 Fri 29-May-15 17:41:50

Find out what his copying speed is to try to isolate the problem.

plasticinemachine Fri 29-May-15 19:50:29

Ok thanks good ideas, will check copying speedsmile

adoptmama Sat 30-May-15 20:46:39

You need him assessed for dysgraphia. It is not just about 'messy handwriting' as many people think but to do with being able to plan and execute the motor movement of writing. It will affect the ability to plan and get down things on paper eg he may tell you what he is going to write and then forget what he was going to do.

Shirleycantbe Sat 30-May-15 20:51:44

My DD was/is similar though not quite to that extreme. We had an ed psych report done and she has a low processing speed relative to her other abilities. She is also left handed and has joint hypermobility which contributed to writing issues.

I would definitely get an ed pysch assessment to pin point the true issue so that the US school can help better.

Potterwolfie Sat 30-May-15 21:06:31

Following with interest. DS2 (9) finds it incredibly hard to write. He's very able academically, a brilliant reader (four years above where he 'should' be) and an excellent speller. But writing, he really struggles with. He gets angry, frustrated and often tearful at home when trying to write even a short thank you letter, or a sentence. It's as if he can't work out how to get the words to the page. He was a very vivid imagination and can recall stories well.

After doing loads of research, we mentioned dysgraphia to his teacher, and she thought it may be the case, but because he scores so highly in the standardized tests, and other areas, she wasn't really concerned enough to explore it further, and they don't test for it at our school (currently in USA). We may explore it further once back in the UK school system in September.

Really interest in hearing about other experiences.

var123 Sat 30-May-15 22:12:36

DS has dysgraphia - the type where spelling is unaffected.

(The test I suggested below is one of the battery he did when being diagnosed. You need ro check copying speed both visually and verbally.).

DS does very well on speaking and listening tests but less well when he has to write his answers down.

Now that he is getting older (nearly 13) he can describe it to me. He says he has to concentrate so hard to write that he forgets what he wanted to say. Also he tries to shorten his answers just to end the ordeal of writing.
Typing should be the solution but he'd rather struggle quietly and achieve much lower results than he is capable of, instead of revealing to his classmates that he has a disability.

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