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Discussion Starter #1
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.<br><br>
Does this ring a bell with anyone else?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>karne</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15394267"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.<br><br>
Does this ring a bell with anyone else?</div>
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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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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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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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Discussion Starter #4
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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Discussion Starter #5
Ollyoxenfree, this is my ds to a "T". School is incredibly writing intensive, so it's frustrating for him.<br><br><br>
"Oh, yeah. It's fairly common with gifted children, and seems to occur a little more with boys than girls."<br><br>
Can you tell me more about where I can research this? Articles/web links? Thanks.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>karne</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15394455"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.</div>
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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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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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
My usual resource for all things gifted is <a href="http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/" target="_blank">the Hoagies Gifted site</a> , but a quick noodle around didn't reveal anything too helpful.<br><br>
I did find this page, and I think it has some worthwhile suggested tactics and strategies for writing, whether it's dysgraphia or not:<br><br><a href="http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/dysgraphia.html" target="_blank">http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/dysgraphia.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www3.telus.net/giftedcanada/wrtout.PDF" target="_blank">This</a> 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.<br><br>
Hope those links help a little.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ollyoxenfree</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15394684"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.<br><br>
My usual resource for all things gifted is <a href="http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/" target="_blank">the Hoagies Gifted site</a> , but a quick noodle around didn't reveal anything too helpful.<br><br>
I did find this page, and I think it has some worthwhile suggested tactics and strategies for writing, whether it's dysgraphia or not:<br><br><a href="http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/dysgraphia.html" target="_blank">http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/dysgraphia.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www3.telus.net/giftedcanada/wrtout.PDF" target="_blank">This</a> 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.<br><br>
Hope those links help a little.</div>
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<br>
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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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>karne</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15394267"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.<br><br>
Does this ring a bell with anyone else?</div>
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I will write more later - but the short answer is <i>absolutely</i>.<br><br>
My son has (had?) issues with writing, and my midle child did to a lesser extent.<br><br>
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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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.<br><br>
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).<br><br>
No teacher ever called me on it, lol<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
Kathy
 

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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.<br><br>
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.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>karne</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15394455"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.</div>
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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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
Oh, and did I mention, yes, it's an issue here too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">.
 

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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.
 

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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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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15395841"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.</div>
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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.<br><br>
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.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">but what is difficult is learning how to write properly</td>
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I guess I should have read the whole thread. I was under the impression the OP was about penmanship lol.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15395841"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.</div>
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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.<br><br>
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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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15395841"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm glad this topic was brought up because it's something that seems to be neglected in gifted discussion.</div>
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Gifted discussion where?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>whatsnextmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15396127"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess I should have read the whole thread. I was under the impression the OP was about penmanship lol.</div>
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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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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>joensally</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15395281"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
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.<br><br>
Oh, and did I mention, yes, it's an issue here too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>karne</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15394455"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">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.</div>
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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.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> 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!<br><br>
Samm
 
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