Writers block is the term usually used when a writer doesn't know how to proceed, or "gets stuck." But if your child with Aspergers is "stuck" in his writing, it's probably more than writers block.
Kids with Aspergers often have wonderful skills in one academic area and are more challenged in another academic area. Trio Man, for example, is a phenomenal reader but struggles with writing. By the time I pulled him out of school to homeschool, he "hated writing."
So Trio Man doesn't suffer from writers block. He's a reluctant writer.
Interestingly, I have the opposite problem of Trio Man. I have always been a slow reader but a good writer. As teachers will tell you, this is unusual. Researchers say that there's a strong correlation between reading and writing. If you read, you become a good writer.
However, Aspergians often have "splinter skills," that is, they are often good at one thing and then not so good at another.
I am frustrated because I can't solve this problem. I'm a writer and a researcher. I'm addressing this issue of Aspergers and being a reluctant writer like it's a graduate school paper or thesis, but I'm having a hard time finding any research.
Research on Aspergers and Autism in education is primarily about social skills. The only academic topic that I've found is about handwriting.
So, just in case you didn't already know, children with Aspergers and Autism are challenged with handwriting. Not surprised? Of course you already knew that because most children with Autism have problems with fine motor skills.
As we Aspergers Syndrome parents already know, our kids are often have more sensory issues than other kids as well have more challenges with fine motor skills.
In an effort to help Trio Man, I began looking for books and articles on helping reluctant writers. The only thing I found that seemed like it would be helpful is Ralph Fletcher's book Boy Writers.
Seems that handwriting is not limited to Autism. Many NT* boys are also challenged with handwriting.
*NT is short for neuro-typical. It's the polite way to refer to people whom others might call "normal." As you can imagine, to use the word "normal" is offensive to those of us who are not.
Boys are typically further behind in writing than girls. This fact was really bothering Ralph Fletcher, who teaches teachers how to use the "writers workshop" in their classrooms. So, he began his own investigation.
Fletcher's book was the only one that I could find that might address Trio Man's challenges with writing. It was a good start. And I highly recommend it.
For you, I've combined what I learned and successfully implemented from Fletcher's book with what I know about sensory issues common to Aspergians.
I have also included a teaching technique that homeschoolers know as the Charlotte Mason method of "narration" but that teachers recommend as well without putting a name to it.
For the complete list, read the Barriers to Writing page.
Barriers to Writing
When you have a kid who is reluctant to write, you have to figure out why. There are several barriers to writing that are a bit more simple to tackle than dysgraphia, which is the inability to translate language into letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. Try these tips.
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