Advice about writing support please(5 Posts)
My six year old ds has dyspraxia, hypotonia and expressive language difficulties but is reasonably bright. He has a good grasp of phonics and makes a decent go at spelling phonetically. He is poor at structuring his letters and placing them on the page, applies too little force to the pencil and tires very quickly. His language difficulties means he can't structure a grammatically correct sentence yet. Started back at mainstream before Christmas after language unit was closed (he should have been there at least until the end of this year).
The only support he seems to be getting with written work at the moment is to be at a 'support table' (i.e. A table with 3/4 children who need extra support) where the TA writes his sentences on a white board for him to copy down. That seems to be how he is doing all his written work. I am unhappy with this. It means he is not even trying to spell himself and turns a written exercise into a copying one. Am I being unreasonable? Is this a good way to support him and if not can you give me a proper understanding of why not from a teaching perspective?
Does he have a statement of SEN? If he does, that should outline the support that should be provided in school. I work with a child with SEN who can't write, and one of the methods we use is for him to dictate to me and I write or type it for him. The outcome there is for his ideas and content, and not for his spelling or sentence structure. Another time we concentrate on him typing and spelling independently. Very rarely do we do all of the above as it is too much for him to cope with, and just ends up with tears (from him) and not much written down. I have done various courses about alternatives to handwriting with children with SEN, and there is loads of useful software out there to help. Clicker 6 is really useful and you can get a home licence, as well as a school one. Perhaps have a meeting with the class teacher and SENCo and ask questions about support.
In reception at my daughter's school, they started each day with a 'dough disco' to strengthen the muscles the children would be using to grip a pencil for longer periods than out they'd been used to. Perhaps you could give it a go to help with his strength and dexterity?
Will try to find a link...
Thanks for your replies. We are in Scotland so no statements or EHCP here. I am unhappy as it was agreed he needed 1:1 when he was moved from his unit and he seems to have ended up as an add-on to another child's/class TA with ds only getting support when that child doesn't need it. I get the feeling that writing on a white board and getting him to copy it down is an easy way to get him to produce a bit of work rather than supporting him in his learning.
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