Difficulty with writing is the most pervasive of the learning disabilities and can challenge students of all ages. When students write, they must simultaneously attend to many processes including handwriting, spelling, punctuation, word choice, syntax, text conventions, audience, and purpose.  Writing also makes huge demands on a student’s working memory and attention. Even typical learners can find it daunting to master the skills of good writing. But for students with learning disabilities or weaknesses in any of these areas, written expression can be formidable.

Students must learn to write good sentences, clear and organized paragraphs, write answers to textbook and critical and thinking questions and, finally, formulate essays and reports.

  • Practice writing well-constructed and grammatical sentences including compound and complex sentences.

  • Read writing assignments and know exactly what to do and how to get started.
  • Create clear plans that structure and guide their thinking prior to writing.
  • Write well structured, elaborate texts that convey their ideas clearly.
  • Write clear topic and concluding sentences/paragraphs.
  • Use transition words (first, next, finally) to add organization and cohesion to their text.
  • Manipulate word choice to best express their ideas.
  • Utilize sentence variety.
  • Evaluate their written work before handing in assignments.

Most importantly, my goal when teaching writing is to equip students with strategies to work independently and with confidence and to learn how to make adjustments when they encounter difficulty. Students must learn to use self-talk to guide them through the writing process and learn to actively reflect on their work, their strategies, and their attention and motivation. These meta-cognitive skills are the hallmarks of self-regulating learning.


Kathy Boroughs M.S., CCC - Speech Language Pathologist