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Writing Difficulties and ADHD

Writing Difficulties and ADHD
Symptoms / Diagnosis
Readers Respond: What Aspects of Writing Are Most Difficult
for You or Your Child?
Responses: 11
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By Keath Low Updated September 22, 2011
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From the article: Writing Problems Common for Students With ADHD
Share Y our Experiences
Many kids and adults w ith ADHD find that the process of w riting can sometimes be
overw helming. It may take longer to think through and organize thoughts, then get them
dow n on paper. Or it may be that using a pen or pencil and handw riting is frustrating.
Sometimes spelling can get in the w ay. Other times just keeping one’s “train of thought”
focused and on track can be a challenge. If you are a parent of a child w ith ADHD or an adult
w ith ADHD yourself, please share any areas that are difficult for your child or for you in regard
to w riting. Share Your Experiences
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Starting off and staying on a topic is a challenge.
Using upper and low ercase w hen it's not needed.
—Guest guest
Writing Difficulties
Our child (grade 2) has an aversion to w riting. W hen he does w rite, it takes forever and
looks aw ful. He seems to have his ow n quirky shorthand. He doesn't get the concept of
staying w ithin the lines or proper spacing of letters/w ords. He w rites upper & low er case
indiscriminately (in the same w ord). W e've just been told through an independent
evaluation that these are signs of a bigger problem and that services are needed to
catch w riting issues now before they become w orse. Apparently, the risk is ending up
w ith a kid w ho can't w rite and w ill refuse to w rite.
Readers Respond
Tell Us About Your Parenting ADHD
Kids Blog
Read Responses (9) | Add Your Response
—Guest Always Sharing
copying from board
My daughter has trouble copying dow n information that her teacher w rites on the w hite
board. Just getting the w ords off the board and dow n on her paper on her desk is
—Guest guest
Writing Issues for my Son
W e found out last year, w hile my son w as in fifth grade, that he is dyslexic. He w as
diagnosed w ith ADHD in 2006. He is now in a dyslexic class and is re-learning to w rite
cursive. It is much easier for him than printing. Because of his dyslexia, the teachers don't
count off for spelling except on spelling tests. Thanks to Section 504, the school is
w orking w ith him in several areas. His confidence is much better, now that he has the
tools to w ork w ith. It w as nice to see him turn in a poster board presentation w ith
handw ritten information, and make a high B.
—Guest vickiesteward
Writing Difficulties
W hen I w as young and in elementary school, the teachers continually complained to my
mother that my handw riting w as not legible, maybe because I w as dyslexic and I w rote
so many of my letters backw ards. My main problem w ith my w riting assignments
according to my teachers w as that my thoughts w ere scattered and unclear. But I
w orked very hard at my penmanship and clarifying my statements and piecing my
thoughts better together and became quite a proficient w riter w hich teachers in high
school w ould compliment me on and they commended my style of w riting. I w ent on to
get a college degree in journalism and have had quite a few of my articles published.
Today, I journal daily to help my w riting skills stay in tune as w ell as help myself clarify my
ow n thoughts and feelings.
ADHD and writing are not friends
Writing Difficulties and ADHD
My son has ADHD and has struggled w ith w riting since 4th grade. Now in 6th grade the
teacher does not have any patience w ith him. She does not understand that he gets
frustrated because his mind moves so much faster than his pencil, or that he seems to
forget w hat he w anted to w rite, or that he needs guidance to think through his thoughts.
I have asked before for a syllabus or some w ay to guide him from home and she does
not provide any feedback until after it’s too late for him to correct the assignment. I am
w orried she is one of those w ho "do not believe in ADHD". He is an A student in all of his
other classes and taking pre-ap. None of the other teachers seem to have a problem
w ith his learning style.
—Guest mom
iPad Use at School Helps This Challenge
Our son in 6th grade has ADHD and dyslexia. His principal offered for him to use a
calculator in math and w elcomed my husband's idea of him being able to use an iPad
instead of handw riting notes and reports, even for test taking. The only hotspot for W iFi
is in her office, so he can't cheat online w hile test taking in the classroom. His teachers no
longer have to muddle through, trying to figure out spelling and w hat he's trying to say.
He quickly learned the programs w e chose for the iPad, including Dragon Naturally
Speaking, and seems to keep up w ell w ith his peers. His friends think it's cool that he
gets to use the device, instead of him carrying around a school-issued chunky keyboard
for the same purpose. It is important to have a good rapport w ith the teachers, and
especially the principal. They see these kids struggle every day, and so far in our case,
have been open to our suggestions and ideas, in helping students in their classrooms to
learn more easily.
—Guest adhdisokay
once I get started....
The hardest part about w riting papers is _getting_started_. Once I'm started/know w hat
I'm w riting, I'm good at hyperfocusing and punching out a pretty decent piece of w ork.
The main problem then is that the body of the paper doesn't alw ays match w hat I
planned to w rite about. W hen I hyperfocus I tend to get very invested in my tangents.
This means my papers tend to flow the same w ay my mind w orked w hen I w rote it and I
*alw ays* have to rew rite my beginning to match w hat the paper w ound up being about.
As far as handw riting, I w rite so so slow ly!!! I had a neuropsych evaluation a few years
after I w as diagnosed (diagnosed 7th grade, neuropsych 10th. Now a sophomore in
college) and w e discovered my processing speed is in the 16th percentile (and 90
something for everything else), so I w rite by hand, it takes me forever. Plus, I have some
OCD tendencies and they mostly revolve around making things aesthetic. I'll rew rite
things over and over till they look right, not conducive to w riting faster!
—Guest Wendy
Typing is being used for my ADHD son
The school my son goes to has implemented typing to help him. It's fast once you have
mastered it and his brain has something to try and keep up w ith. I believe that w riting is
slow and sometimes difficult for someone w ith ADHD. Typing helps once it is mastered.
—Guest Guest
ADHD and Writing and reading
Hi, I am 35 years old, female. English is my second language. After I read the articles
about w riting and reading related to ADHD, I related to the struggles. Now I am looking
for strategies and resources in w riting and reading to help me as a second language
learner to be able continue my education. I used to struggle in w riting and reading in my
first language.
—Guest Fedaa
Writing No Problem, Math, Well,,,,
Although I w as only diagnosed 10 years ago, at the age of 50 w ith ADHD, w riting has
never been a problem for me. As I look back at my life, I assumed that the ADHD w as the
reason that I never did w ell in math or any science that required formulas or building
block steps. The w orking, or executive, memory component of ADHD w as at its finest
preventing me from excelling at those disciplines, and making me feel "stupid" and
inadequate most of my life. I suppose that there are variations in all aspects of this
condition. By the w ay, my major in college w as Journalism.
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What Aspects of Writing Are Most Difficult for You or
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