So, I’ve been talking a lot about dysgraphia. Last post I had you do dictation with your child or student. Remember? That takes that orthographic loop out of the picture a bit and allows the student to write without thinking.
The next step? Make sure that the student can write a sentence on his/her own. If so, then drum up a picture that the student is interested in. You can find something online. Just make sure that it is a free image. If not, you can scrounge something up somewhere. For instance, if your child likes motorcycles, you can get a motorcycle brochure. If your child likes horses, find a coloring book or real book with horse pictures in it. You get the idea.
Here’s the next step. We’re going to kick in a bit of that loop, but we want the student to not “loop” and say “I’m thinking…” We don’t that loop going crazy!
All the student has to do is write about the picture. If he says he can’t think about anything to write about, just have him write about what he sees. For instance, if the motorcycle is red, he could write, “I see a red motorcycle.” This has worked wonders with our autistic students.
That is it. Don’t pester the student at this point about capitals or periods. Don’t bother him about spelling or paragraph formation. We just want him to get used to writing about what he sees at a concrete level. Keep practicing like this, even if it is just a sentence a day. Don’t ask him to put in any ideas or thoughts, to make the sentence compound or interesting. We just want him to write what he sees.
Don’t panic. We aren’t done yet. These are just the beginning stages. Remember. You have to walk before you run.