Disorder of Written Expression
For many years, Dr. Petrosky has evaluated and consulted clients with a Disorder of Written Expression. See common questions and answers about a writing learning disability below.
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What is a Disorder of Writing Expressions? What is a writing learning disability?
A Disorder of Written Expression is a learning disability that affects the person’s ability to formulate written sentences and/or paragraphs.
What are the symptoms of a Disorder of Written Expression?
Children with a Disorder of Written Expression have difficulties in areas including:
- Writing mechanics, that is, capitalization and punctuation rules.
- Syntax and grammar. For example, a child with a Disorder of Written Expression may write with incorrect subject – verb agreement, use the incorrect verb form or tense, put words in the wrong order, or sequence words in a way that creates an awkward or illogical sentence.
- Combining ideas into complex and compound sentences.
- Paragraph and essay writing, such as:
- Generating content or ideas for the essay. Thinking of “what to say.”
- Organizing ideas by topic.
- Writing good introductory sentences that summarize the main point(s).
- Sequencing sentences and paragraphs in a logical manner with smooth transitions from idea to idea.
- Staying on topic.
- Writing good concluding sentences that reiterate and summarize the main conclusions and bring closure to the essay.
How can I help my child’s writing?
There are many ways of helping children with a Disorder of Written Expression learn how to write better. Special Education offers services such as Resource Room, Speech and Language Therapy, and Assistive Technology. Many reading specialists, in addition to working on reading, also work on writing skills. Children with a Disorder of Written Expression also may qualify for classroom and examination modifications and accommodations, such as copy of class notes, use of a word processor in class, use of graphic organizers, outlines, and other means of organizing information, examinations scribed, and extended time on examinations. There are also private educational therapists who offer specialized writing instruction.
Better writing skills also improve children’s comprehension as well as their ability to organize their thoughts and think critically.