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Old 05-11-2010, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do any of you who have school aged kids have children with difficulties with written output? I have been doing some looking around and it seems that this is not uncommon for kids who may be identified as 2E, but I hadn't heard this before. My son is struggling with written work. At first I thought it was simply because he doesn't express enthusiasm or motivation for anything that doesn't interest him, but as time goes on I think that there is actually more to it.

Does this ring a bell with anyone else?
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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Do any of you who have school aged kids have children with difficulties with written output? I have been doing some looking around and it seems that this is not uncommon for kids who may be identified as 2E, but I hadn't heard this before. My son is struggling with written work. At first I thought it was simply because he doesn't express enthusiasm or motivation for anything that doesn't interest him, but as time goes on I think that there is actually more to it.

Does this ring a bell with anyone else?
How old is your son? Not sure if you're talking about the actual physical process of writing or if you're talking about coming up with what to say, constructing sentences & paragraphs, spelling, etc.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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Oh, yeah. It's fairly common with gifted children, and seems to occur a little more with boys than girls. If he isn't identified as 2E with particular dysgraphia issues, it may be as simple as the fact that his brain is filled with all sorts of interesting, detailed information - more than his gross motor and fine motor skills can manage to get down on paper before he loses interest in the topic. It isn't a true dysgraphia. It's almost more of an information flow management problem.

What age is he? With my ds, it really became apparent when written output demands increased in about 3rd grade. He could give brilliant long explanations and detailed stories - verbally. Writing was slow and painful, because his mind had already moved on by the time he could actually write his ideas down.

We worked on a few solutions. Keyboarding helped. Verbal and video reports were good alternatives. He still needed to learn to write though. With writing reports, one of the best solutions was teaching him to make a brief "jot note" outline as a first draft. The second draft was where he got to add in detail, but with the outline, he was less likely to fill up his first paragraph with a extensive details before he ran out of steam. Of course, at first it almost killed him to have to re-draft something. He just wanted to write once and get it over with.

At 17 y.o., he's still the king of the minimal summary and he'll never win a Charles Dickens award for verbose, dense writing. He recognizes how to approach a writing assignment though, his grades are good, and most importantly, he can communicate effectively in writing.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, sorry, that would have been helpful info to include! He's 7, and I am primarily talking about sentence construction, putting together a paragraph, and writing on a topic that is not of his choosing. Even topics of his choosing are tough. Handwriting is somewhat poor for his age, although not bad enough for an OT intervention at this point. His abilities are very high, but this is a very difficult piece in school.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ollyoxenfree, this is my ds to a "T". School is incredibly writing intensive, so it's frustrating for him.


"Oh, yeah. It's fairly common with gifted children, and seems to occur a little more with boys than girls."

Can you tell me more about where I can research this? Articles/web links? Thanks.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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Oh, sorry, that would have been helpful info to include! He's 7, and I am primarily talking about sentence construction, putting together a paragraph, and writing on a topic that is not of his choosing. Even topics of his choosing are tough. Handwriting is somewhat poor for his age, although not bad enough for an OT intervention at this point. His abilities are very high, but this is a very difficult piece in school.
Does he type? If so, I wonder if he would enjoy composition more if he typed instead -- or if you typed out his ideas. Of course, this solution wouldn't help immediately with in-school writing assignments that can't be typed, but it could allow him to practice composition outside of school and make it more enjoyable. Outlining could also really help organize his thoughts, as ollyoxenfree suggested. Start with a general theme and then organize different points into topic sentences, etc. It could help to read a book that he likes together and talk about how/why the author organized it into different paragraphs, chapters, etc. Point out the topic sentences and how the sentences in each paragraph support the topic sentence. HTH! He is still very young, and I wouldn't be surprised if the tedious and slow process of handwriting is off-putting to him.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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I have to admit, it's been a long time since I read up on it. I've lived with it and I've heard the same story over and over from gifted students and parents of gifted boys. Not helpful, sorry.

My dc have attended gifted programs and it's interesting how many boys have laptops in class to help them with this issue. The teachers seem to accept and understand that it happens. One thing I appreciated was their willingness to vary assignments. They didn't abandon the concept of written work and reports, but there were a lot of oral reports, video reporting, posterboard presentations, Powerpoint presentations on computer, plays or skits - lots of variety that was helpful to students like my kid.

My usual resource for all things gifted is the Hoagies Gifted site , but a quick noodle around didn't reveal anything too helpful.

I did find this page, and I think it has some worthwhile suggested tactics and strategies for writing, whether it's dysgraphia or not:

http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/dysgraphia.html

This is one parent's experience with helping her visual spatial learners and writing. My ds is definitely an auditory sequential learner. We laugh about how extremely auditory he is, so it didn't even occur to me to raise this possibility earlier. It may be a factor for other gifted children and written communication.

Hope those links help a little.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to admit, it's been a long time since I read up on it. I've lived with it and I've heard the same story over and over from gifted students and parents of gifted boys. Not helpful, sorry.

My usual resource for all things gifted is the Hoagies Gifted site , but a quick noodle around didn't reveal anything too helpful.

I did find this page, and I think it has some worthwhile suggested tactics and strategies for writing, whether it's dysgraphia or not:

http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/dysgraphia.html

This is one parent's experience with helping her visual spatial learners and writing. My ds is definitely an auditory sequential learner. We laugh about how extremely auditory he is, so it didn't even occur to me to raise this possibility earlier. It may be a factor for other gifted children and written communication.

Hope those links help a little.

I have quickly perused the link to the parent's experience, but had to close it because it's so emotionally overwhelming to me to read it. It is my son- all of it. I could be writing that article now. I have felt so alone in worrying about this. Thank you.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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Do any of you who have school aged kids have children with difficulties with written output? I have been doing some looking around and it seems that this is not uncommon for kids who may be identified as 2E, but I hadn't heard this before. My son is struggling with written work. At first I thought it was simply because he doesn't express enthusiasm or motivation for anything that doesn't interest him, but as time goes on I think that there is actually more to it.

Does this ring a bell with anyone else?
I will write more later - but the short answer is absolutely.

My son has (had?) issues with writing, and my midle child did to a lesser extent.

The thing that helped in both cases was keyboarding and having something genuine to write about. In DS case it has been gaming and, to a lesser degree, movie reviews. With DD it is her desire to particiapte in animal forums. Ds is taking a cyber geography course right now that he wants to do well in, and of course writing is how you prove what you know, so the course has been fairly good for his writing skills.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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One more thing: when my son was in school, if the written output demand seemed high, I would write some of it for him and write "scribed" beside it.

Example: If he had to answer 5 questions in short papreagraph form, he would physcially write 3, and I would scribe 2(meaning write his word verbotum for him).

No teacher ever called me on it, lol

Kathy
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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How is his cursive? DS1 has the handwriting issue and one of the specialists that we have seen recommended that he start cursive and keyboarding now to help him produce closer to the speed he thinks. He's in grade 1. I can tell that the longer sentence and paragraph construction is going to be an issue soon.

Motivation to work hard on something that isn't of interest is always a challenge. I also think that it might be challenging to consolidate big ideas into a small written output on things he is interested in. Maybe this is a good time to introduce ideas like a 5 sentence structure: thesis, 3 arguments, conclusion, which is great as a basis for a longer paper later on.

Kate
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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Oh, sorry, that would have been helpful info to include! He's 7, and I am primarily talking about sentence construction, putting together a paragraph, and writing on a topic that is not of his choosing. Even topics of his choosing are tough. Handwriting is somewhat poor for his age, although not bad enough for an OT intervention at this point. His abilities are very high, but this is a very difficult piece in school.
It could be that when he's focussed his printing is tidier, but that when he attempts larger volumes he fatigues and thus doesn't persist.

If you can get an OT assessment, from someone who's very experienced with hands as opposed to a generalist, you may find particular areas of challenge for your son. In my son's case, it's a bunch of things but includes trunk strength, which I wouldn't have identified myself.

How's his reading? Written output can be affected by hand eye (something an OT or PT would pick up on), or it could be affected by subtle vision issues.

My son is very, very VS, and has sensory and motor issues, has vision issues. Apparently his fine motor is fine, but his written output is very poor.

The Eides' book, The Mislabeled Child, has a whole chapter on written output and they're very interested in gifted kids so it's a great resource.

Oh, and did I mention, yes, it's an issue here too .

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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Old 05-11-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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This is our DS. He's 9 and in 4th grade. Written work is still a great struggle. His penmanship is barely legible and that is with years of work. We've been fortunate that his school, being a language immersion school, requires a lot of oral work. This has allowed his teachers to see that the child that participates in class is not the same child they see on paper. What has helped the most is being given the opportunity to type pretty much everything in and out of class. It lets him be more expressive and thorough as opposed to simplistic sentances that he can physically write.

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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I'm glad this topic was brought up because it's something that seems to be neglected in gifted discussion. Everyone seems to over focus on learning to read earlier than average, but from what I've seen in schools reading is not really that difficult to learn at fairly young ages, but what is difficult is learning how to write properly and having good reading comprehension. Writing language is so much harder than simply reading language and I think this is where you see a large difference between those who are verbally gifted and those who are more average. That's not to say it can't be learned though and luckily there is time to practice one's writing for many years to come.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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I'm glad this topic was brought up because it's something that seems to be neglected in gifted discussion. Everyone seems to over focus on learning to read earlier than average, but from what I've seen in schools reading is not really that difficult to learn at fairly young ages, but what is difficult is learning how to write properly and having good reading comprehension. Writing language is so much harder than simply reading language and I think this is where you see a large difference between those who are verbally gifted and those who are more average. That's not to say it can't be learned though and luckily there is time to practice one's writing for many years to come.
I would be careful, especially in a thread like this one, about suggesting that writing well is the prime indicator of verbal giftedness. Writing well takes a lot of different skills and if one is not strong with the physical skills, one is unlikely to demonstrate the intellectual skills, whether they are there or not.

Also, for VS thinkers in particular, taking a gestalt understanding of a concept and breaking it down into it's component parts to write clearly about it or even to answer comprehension questions aimed at details means learning a new way of processing information.

Kate
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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but what is difficult is learning how to write properly
I guess I should have read the whole thread. I was under the impression the OP was about penmanship lol.

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Old 05-12-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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I'm glad this topic was brought up because it's something that seems to be neglected in gifted discussion. Everyone seems to over focus on learning to read earlier than average, but from what I've seen in schools reading is not really that difficult to learn at fairly young ages, but what is difficult is learning how to write properly and having good reading comprehension. Writing language is so much harder than simply reading language and I think this is where you see a large difference between those who are verbally gifted and those who are more average. That's not to say it can't be learned though and luckily there is time to practice one's writing for many years to come.
I don't think writing output is necessarily a very good indicator of verbal giftedness particularly in a younger child. For example, when my child was 8 and we had testing done, her verbal IQ was in the profoundly gifted range but her writing was not really advanced. In fact her spelling was barely at grade level. Her reading comprehension was sky high. This can even be more dramatic in a dysgraphic child. A friend's son also had extremely high reading comprehension but writing was years behind age level. He was dyslexic/dysgraphic. He also has a very high verbal IQ - which is readily apparent to anyone who listens to him for a few minutes. However, I don't think my child would be diagnosed as dysgraphic - just asynchronous. Or as her tester said - I just don't think she's very interested in that right now.

I also think it made using standard writing instruction and curriculum a really horrible fit. We gave that up quickly! We took a odd approach to writing instruction, but it seems to have worked well so far. She is 11 now and easily writing A papers in high school classes. She also writes tremendous fiction (but never finishes her stories which drives me nuts because I get into the story and want to know what happens!!). However, at 8 she barely wrote at all. She would have been seriously misjudged if writing output was the measuring stick.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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I'm glad this topic was brought up because it's something that seems to be neglected in gifted discussion.
Gifted discussion where?

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Old 05-12-2010, 01:45 AM
 
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I guess I should have read the whole thread. I was under the impression the OP was about penmanship lol.
I think it could be "penmanship" - his written output is limited due to fatigue rather than a limited ability to produce ideas, formalize arguments etc.

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Old 05-12-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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It could be that when he's focussed his printing is tidier, but that when he attempts larger volumes he fatigues and thus doesn't persist.

If you can get an OT assessment, from someone who's very experienced with hands as opposed to a generalist, you may find particular areas of challenge for your son. In my son's case, it's a bunch of things but includes trunk strength, which I wouldn't have identified myself.

How's his reading? Written output can be affected by hand eye (something an OT or PT would pick up on), or it could be affected by subtle vision issues.

My son is very, very VS, and has sensory and motor issues, has vision issues. Apparently his fine motor is fine, but his written output is very poor.

The Eides' book, The Mislabeled Child, has a whole chapter on written output and they're very interested in gifted kids so it's a great resource.

Oh, and did I mention, yes, it's an issue here too .
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Oh, sorry, that would have been helpful info to include! He's 7, and I am primarily talking about sentence construction, putting together a paragraph, and writing on a topic that is not of his choosing. Even topics of his choosing are tough. Handwriting is somewhat poor for his age, although not bad enough for an OT intervention at this point. His abilities are very high, but this is a very difficult piece in school.
I agree with joensally about an OT assessment. My DD's OT pursued handwriting interventions not because of her scores (not bad enough for insurance purposes and certainly not bad enough for school intervention), but because of the large gap between her verbal abilities and her writing.

to the rest of what joensally wrote about. Through working with our OT and reading the Eides book, it's amazing all the different factors that affect handwriting - from trunk strength, to hand strength, to motor planning, to spatial awareness, to adding cognition to a writing task, to personality on any given day . . . it's enough to make your head spin!

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Old 05-12-2010, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here. We've had OT take a look, and the feeling was that the penmenship was within the realm of normal for the age, but would need to progress with his age. In other words, it's sort of barely OK, and my guess is that we'll need some OT help.

The real issue is producing content when asked. ( And let me say that verbal IQ, reading comprehension, etc.-all are in the gifted range. This isn't really about a subjective wondering if his written work is a marker for giftedness. It's why the subject is so confounding to me. This child has more ideas, more plans, can recite complex plots from memory (think Lord of the Rings). ) A few things happen when he is asked to write. On some days he is able to produce what is asked, which is generally a few sentences to a paragraph. Other days he stalls, thinks, does anything else he can, saying he can't think of anything to write. Finally, under pressure, he will complete the work. Sometimes he is missing another "fun" part of the day to complete the work. The less usual, but occ. happens, is just an outright not doing the work.

When we talk about it, ds says that he can't think of what to write. Even with prompts he struggles. He is also amazingly stubborn and persistant, so if he feels that he covered a topic 6 months ago during writing time, he won't re-visit another aspect of that topic, ie "Fun things I did over the summer". To be truthful, I saw (and wrote about here, I think), the same issues last year with coloring, believe it or not. In kindy he would often not color, or finish, or even start because he was deciding about a particular color, or combination-and he would end up in the same boat. "Work" not done, sometimes missing something to finish.

So, what is this? It's not comfortable for him because he's generally loving and a pleaser, and this creates conflict for him. I think that if he could make himself have an easier time of it, he would. Where are the thousands of ideas he talks about all day? The creative stories, fantasies, etc. The reading and links folks have provided are giving me some insight, as well as helping me see that this is not just us. My best guesses are that this is asynchronous development as well as a very stubborn personality, and some potential OT issues. We're dealing with some distractibility issues as well, esp. when there is downtime or anything that doesn't engage him. He has great auditory skills, so he can listen to a little of something and manage to get all the concepts without being fully engaged.

Gosh, it's overwhelming to share all of this, and I know it probably sounds like a big mess. If you've followed this thank you.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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OP here. We've had OT take a look, and the feeling was that the penmenship was within the realm of normal for the age, but would need to progress with his age. In other words, it's sort of barely OK, and my guess is that we'll need some OT help.
Is there any question in your mind if he is *just* gifted or if he is possibly 2E?

My 2E DD struggles with fine motor skills to a point that blows me a away, these issues are associated with ASD such as asperger's.

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He is also amazingly stubborn and persistant,
rigid thinking is another flag.

I think there is a blurry line between gifted kids who have a few ASD traits but not enough for a dx or to interfer with their lives, and 2E kids where the traits are just extreme enough to warrant interventions and accommodations so they can reach their potential.

BUT I think that many younger children are required to do far more writing that is appropriate for them. I think this is sometimes more true of gifted kids because their fine motor skills are age appropriate and developing normally, but sometimes adults expect them to be inline with their other skills.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 05-12-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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Fine motor skills really go down the tubes when fetuses are exposed to a high level of testosterone. This is also correlated to ASD, visual spatial tendencies, etc. You're basically getting a male who is more male if that makes any sense. I've often wondered the same thing about my lefty son. Left handedness is also correlated to high fetal testosterone and slower development of fine motor skills. His handwriting is okay for now, but most of the boys have terrible handwriting. I think this is more normal than not.

I'm not sure if you are familiar with myers-briggs personality sorter, but to the OP, you're son sounds like a textbook example of a P (perceiver) type. These people are full of ideas, but the ideas just spill out from inspiration and cannot be summoned at will. Perceivers are also terrible with organization which is what writing well is all about, getting the great ideas down with some sort of organization so that the reader is not completely lost. The opposite type is the judging type of personality and these people are naturally organized. They don't have as many ideas, but organization is not as difficult for them, in fact many enjoy it.

I've noticed on this forum that people seem to think that perceivers have a learning disability, especially add or executive fuction disorder. I think it is just a common personality type in gifties and non-gifties, not a disorder, but not exactly the most adaptive personality for our highly organized and deadline oriented society.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:09 PM
 
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so when DO their writing skills improve?

my dd is in second grade and she STILL struggles with penmanship for two reasons. her thoughts are faster and it is too tedious. its an extremely emotional thing for her because she writes the minimum possible and then regrets it esp. when she has to write a story.

is there a learning how to type program for kids? she loves chatting and emailing online and does not have a problem with that. she is not as fast as she would like to be on the computer.

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Old 05-12-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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so when DO their writing skills improve?

my dd is in second grade and she STILL struggles with penmanship .
She's really, really young. Really young.

My *just* gifted DD homeschooled until she was 10 and didn't really do a lot of writing. She started school and really worked hard for a year, and now at 11 is an excellant writer. I don't know if her educational path had pushed writing if she would have gotten the hang of it sooner, or if she just would have been more frustrated.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 05-12-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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so when DO their writing skills improve?
I don't know if there is an easy answer. For my brother, it didn't happen until college. But, when it did happen it really happened. He went to one of the best law schools in the US, didn't make Law Review, but wrote an article that was so good that the Law Review published it.

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Old 05-12-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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so when DO their writing skills improve?
I've been following this thread with interest. My older DD is similar in many ways to the OP's son. For her, there was a huge leap in writing stamina between second and third grades.

In second (age 7) she literally could not write a paragraph without it being a huge struggle. Now in third grade (assuming she is not overtired, hungry, etc.) she can sit down and write a page long book report, start to finish, in about 20 minutes.

They also taught her in school this year a visual technique for outlining, called a writing "web". I was always taught the traditional outline, but the web really works for her because she is highly visual. She can use the web to capture her thoughts and then write the paper from the web.

She also learned cursive this year and she loves it, which is amusing to me because I hate it. And her cursive penmanship is quite good, although her printing has also really improved.

New WOHM to DD8 and DD3
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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OP here. We've had OT take a look, and the feeling was that the penmenship was within the realm of normal for the age, but would need to progress with his age. In other words, it's sort of barely OK, and my guess is that we'll need some OT help.

The real issue is producing content when asked. ( And let me say that verbal IQ, reading comprehension, etc.-all are in the gifted range. This isn't really about a subjective wondering if his written work is a marker for giftedness. It's why the subject is so confounding to me. This child has more ideas, more plans, can recite complex plots from memory (think Lord of the Rings). ) A few things happen when he is asked to write. On some days he is able to produce what is asked, which is generally a few sentences to a paragraph. Other days he stalls, thinks, does anything else he can, saying he can't think of anything to write. Finally, under pressure, he will complete the work. Sometimes he is missing another "fun" part of the day to complete the work. The less usual, but occ. happens, is just an outright not doing the work.

When we talk about it, ds says that he can't think of what to write. Even with prompts he struggles. He is also amazingly stubborn and persistant, so if he feels that he covered a topic 6 months ago during writing time, he won't re-visit another aspect of that topic, ie "Fun things I did over the summer". To be truthful, I saw (and wrote about here, I think), the same issues last year with coloring, believe it or not. In kindy he would often not color, or finish, or even start because he was deciding about a particular color, or combination-and he would end up in the same boat. "Work" not done, sometimes missing something to finish.

So, what is this? It's not comfortable for him because he's generally loving and a pleaser, and this creates conflict for him. I think that if he could make himself have an easier time of it, he would. Where are the thousands of ideas he talks about all day? The creative stories, fantasies, etc. The reading and links folks have provided are giving me some insight, as well as helping me see that this is not just us. My best guesses are that this is asynchronous development as well as a very stubborn personality, and some potential OT issues. We're dealing with some distractibility issues as well, esp. when there is downtime or anything that doesn't engage him. He has great auditory skills, so he can listen to a little of something and manage to get all the concepts without being fully engaged.

Gosh, it's overwhelming to share all of this, and I know it probably sounds like a big mess. If you've followed this thank you.

I'd start with trying to remove some of the conflict and easing up the pressure a little. Does he have an IEP at school? Even if he doesn't, is the teacher willing to accommodate anyway? If his developing his writing skills is a separate item on his IEP, then it may be easier to get some accommodations for classwork. I'd try to adjust the teacher's expectations about written work assignments and ask to substitute some oral and video documentary reports or Powerpoint presentations or photo essays/posterboard work. If s/he isn't already giving these assignments in class, s/he may be pleasantly surprised how much more creative and interesting the output is, and how engaged the students become with these sorts of projects.

I would include him in the "negotiations" about how much written work he needs to do over a term. He's probably feeling overwhelmed about writing too. He may be a more able to focus and more willing to complete one or two larger project if he knows that he doesn't have to work on 10 or 20 smaller ones too. Or maybe he prefers a series of smaller written assignments, if he knows he can use a different method for his larger projects.

Once some of the pressure is off, you can focus on sorting out his specific issues and figuring out a few techniques that will help him develop his writing ability.

One thing I wanted to mention was gross motor skills. I think they've been mentioned in this thread (or it may be another one, I can't remember, sorry). Gross motor weakness is sometimes an undiagnosed contributor to poor writing. Activities like swimming, dancing, fencing, and gymnastics will help develop core trunk strength and muscle tone.

I think for gifted kids with writing issues, it's helpful to take a long term view. We get so used to our kids learning things at an amazingly quick pace. It can be daunting if they don't master something immediately and without effort - for them and for us. Take heart - with guidance and support, it will come along eventually.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:33 AM
 
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I'd start with trying to remove some of the conflict and easing up the pressure a little. Does he have an IEP at school? Even if he doesn't, is the teacher willing to accommodate anyway? If his developing his writing skills is a separate item on his IEP, then it may be easier to get some accommodations for classwork. I'd try to adjust the teacher's expectations about written work assignments and ask to substitute some oral and video documentary reports or Powerpoint presentations or photo essays/posterboard work. If s/he isn't already giving these assignments in class, s/he may be pleasantly surprised how much more creative and interesting the output is, and how engaged the students become with these sorts of projects.

I would include him in the "negotiations" about how much written work he needs to do over a term. He's probably feeling overwhelmed about writing too. He may be a more able to focus and more willing to complete one or two larger project if he knows that he doesn't have to work on 10 or 20 smaller ones too. Or maybe he prefers a series of smaller written assignments, if he knows he can use a different method for his larger projects.

Once some of the pressure is off, you can focus on sorting out his specific issues and figuring out a few techniques that will help him develop his writing ability.

One thing I wanted to mention was gross motor skills. I think they've been mentioned in this thread (or it may be another one, I can't remember, sorry). Gross motor weakness is sometimes an undiagnosed contributor to poor writing. Activities like swimming, dancing, fencing, and gymnastics will help develop core trunk strength and muscle tone.

I think for gifted kids with writing issues, it's helpful to take a long term view. We get so used to our kids learning things at an amazingly quick pace. It can be daunting if they don't master something immediately and without effort - for them and for us. Take heart - with guidance and support, it will come along eventually.
Agree with all, but would like to comment on the last paragraph. I just had tear-filled conversation with DS over this issue, having to explain asynchrony to him. I do have a long view, and right now what I foresee as a strong potential is that DS checks out of school because he can't demonstrate his abilities, the work doesn't seem meaningful or relevant to him because he's forced to limit his expression to what he can write, and that he's forced at times to work on lower level work due to the writing issues.

For some kids, writing doesn't come along eventually, or never comes in line with their other abilities. I anticipate that every year of school will have this as part of the struggle and will depend on the teacher's ability and willingness to accomodate. DS already thinks that he's better off learning stuff on his own and that school is about things other than learning.

/solo pity party online

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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Old 05-13-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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For some kids, writing doesn't come along eventually, or never comes in line with their other abilities. I anticipate that every year of school will have this as part of the struggle and will depend on the teacher's ability and willingness to accomodate. DS already thinks that he's better off learning stuff on his own and that school is about things other than learning.

/solo pity party online
Well, when I wrote "it will come along eventually", I had my earlier post in mind as a qualification about expectations for "it will come along". That's where I wrote:

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At 17 y.o., he's still the king of the minimal summary and he'll never win a Charles Dickens award for verbose, dense writing. He recognizes how to approach a writing assignment though, his grades are good, and most importantly, he can communicate effectively in writing.
Effective written communication was our goal here. That's all. Not Booker Prize winning prose or Pulitzer Prize winning journalism. It isn't easy and it takes a lot of adjustment of expectations. Writing may never be a strength, but my ds learned that it doesn't have to be a constant overwhelming struggle or a dismal failure either. He knows that he often communicates better in other media. I think it's unlikely he will choose a career in any area that requires a huge amount of writing. That's okay - he's learned what he needs and will focus on other areas of strength.

And yes, we have had frequent conversations with teachers over the years about expectations with writing and accommodations. We left the tears and arguments behind a long time ago though. Usually, we roll our eyes when the issue comes up now, and quite often, laugh a little too. "Expand! Expand!" is a rallying cry around here. This week, he wrote an essay for English lit.. It was 2 pages long. He realized on his own that he needed to re-draft it and expand on what he'd done. So he sat down and did it.

Here, with my ds at age 17 and almost finished high school, we're well along a journey that many of you have only just started. I wish everyone all the best with that journey.
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