In this guest post, Grace Carter talks about how we can assist children who have ADHD with their writing. Many thanks to Grace for providing this article for the Axcis blog.
Writing Tips for Teachers Assisting Children with ADHD (Guest post)
Studies have shown that ADHD does not have anything to do with intelligence; rather, a person with ADHD has difficulty with motivation, handling emotions, and organizing. These challenges mean that writing can be especially difficult for a student with ADHD. However, a teacher can help their student overcome these challenges with a few tips and tricks.
Students with ADHD often have a difficult time concentrating on assignments. You can help them by making your instructions as clear as possible, and by dividing your instructions into parts. The more precise you can be, the better; try not to leave room for interpretation. Also try and break down the writing assignment itself into smaller parts that they may tackle individually. Instead of looking at it as one large assignment, the student can approach it as several smaller ones. These mini assignments can be worked on in a rotation, allowing the student to switch from task to task as they please.
Getting thoughts organized
Brainstorming is a great way to get their writing assignment started. Students with ADHD often struggle to hold onto an idea, which can make it difficult for them to get started on their writing project. You can help by writing down their ideas as they come up with them. While you and your student brainstorm together, avoid anything that could interrupt their flow of ideas. Grammatical corrections and feedback can wait until later.
Some teachers have found success by having their students write down their ideas on individual Post-it notes and then grouping similar notes together.
Consider using a graphic organizer. A graphic organizer is a printed worksheet on which the student can write down their thoughts in the sections you have provided. These sheets are a good way around the mental roadblocks that can make writing difficult for someone with ADHD. Some teachers have found success by having their students write down their ideas on individual Post-it notes and then grouping similar notes together.
The writing process and online resources
Now that your student has some ideas down on paper, it’s time to get them writing. These online resources could help you assist your student:
- ViaWriting and Grammar Checker are good resources to help you make sure your student’s grammar is correct.
- Academized is an editing tool that has been suggested by SimpleGrad in Academized review.
- CiteItIn and EasyWordCounter are good tools to help with citations and keeping track of that word count.
- EssayRoo and Assignment Help are helpful writing communities.
- StateofWriting and MyWritingWay are writing guides you may find useful in assisting your student.
- PaperFellows and BoomEssays are useful educational tools recommended by the Huffington Post in Write My Essay feature.
Be their guide
“Start by going over the notes you made during the brainstorming session. Ask some questions to see if you can get them going. If they are still struggling then try writing a line yourself and have them put it in their own words,” suggests Richard Feldman, ADHD tutor at Assignment Help Service. As you continue on, your student will become more familiar with the process and require less help.
Accommodate when necessary
Your student with ADHD can excel with some minor accommodation. They may not be able to complete their assignment by the deadline you have assigned for the class. Remember that they learn and work a little differently than the other students, so they may need a little more time. You can also help them by allowing for procrastination. Yes, you read that correctly. Allowing time in between writing sessions for extra research or brainstorming will help your student with ADHD focus and finish their work.
Spelling and editing
Spelling and editing can prove especially difficult for students with ADHD. A teacher can help by introducing the student to spellcheck and grammar applications. Editing can prove a challenge since, by editing time they have gone over their writing assignment several times and may find it hard to concentrate on finding errors. You can improve their editing skills by having students practice proofreading one another’s assignments. Since this will be their first reading of the material, they will have an easier time concentrating, while learning the editing process.
Help your student succeed
With a few modifications to the learning process, a student with ADHD can greatly improve their writing. You can assist them by focusing their concentration, helping them brainstorm, guiding them through the writing process, accommodating their learning style, and using some innovative methods to teach them the editing process.
Grace Carter helps with content management at OXEssays and Assignment Writing Service. She is a business coach and teaches people how to improve business communication. Also, she is a proofreader at Revieweal, online reviews website.