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Helping with writing about opinions

(3 Posts)
streakybacon Mon 07-Sep-09 14:45:13

I've already posted this in SEN but thought I might also get responses here.

DS is nearly 11 with AS, and has been home educated since last October.

He's very bright and knowledgeable but has always struggled with output. He isn't comfortable with handwriting (though that's improving since he's been HE'd) but I'm struggling to get anything from him where personal opinion is concerned. For example, questions like "Choose a Tudor monarch and say why you like them" - he just doesn't seem able to express any thought on such things. Also, "Think of six questions you would ask X" leaves him cold - he's quite content with how much he's found out and has no interest in asking for more, so doesn't see the point in asking.

Subjects such as maths and science are far easier for him, I think it's because the answers are definite, either right or wrong, but with literacy etc there's margin for personal opinion and flexibility. He can't cope with that, and is afraid of getting it wrong.

In my day comprehension was much more straightforward - you read the question and scanned the text for the answer - but nowadays there always seems to be an emotional slant to the question, eg "Why do you think such-and-such happened?", or "How would you feel if...", which is not very AS friendly.

Does anyone (SENCos especially!) have any tips for developing his ability to answer questions like this and getting something on to paper?

For the record, he had the same problems in school but they were skirted around and never addressed, he never had classroom support and pretty much muddled through (which is partly why we're home edding now).

All views gratefully received smile.

daisy5678 Mon 07-Sep-09 19:38:51

I'd start with simple options, perhaps even tick-boxes e.g. would you feel good or bad if that happened to you? For the motives, same - perhaps 3/4 options.

I try to get J to think of a similar situation e.g. he can't imagine how x feels when y stole their chair, but he can definitely work out how he would feel if y stole their chair!

streakybacon Tue 08-Sep-09 09:34:38

Thanks for that giveme. Ds is fine with tick boxes but it seems such a huge leap to the next step.

I've suggested we look again at the one about six questions for X but using Bionicles instead of Henry VIII, and he likes the idea grin, so will give that a go. I also encourage him to write stories about history to see if I can pull anything out of him that way. Somehow he always manages to incorporate Star Wars clone troopers, and I'm sure there weren't any at the time of the Armada!

I'm told that SALT can help with this sort of thing too, and am making enquiries into private therapist locally.

Thanks for your help grin

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