Written work - Inattentive ADHD - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Written work - Inattentive ADHD


Hello my DS 9 is on medication for Inattentive Adhd. It has been great for focus and we don't really have any issues at school from that perspective anymore - maybe a tiny bit but no more than most of the kids. However he does still struggle with composing English essays - the longer type - i guess its the structure, thinking of what to say etc. His spelling, reading and comprehension is great so its nothing to do with that. Is there anything i can do to help, it seems to a be the residual problem we have and is impacting his progress on written English. Many thanks.

5 Replies

Hi, there. Does your son have any difficulty with handwriting as part of what he's experiencing with written expression? I ask because we are getting our son evaluated for dysgraphia later this week because he has some of the same issues it sounds like your son does. His handwriting is pretty poor at times, but I believe there is also a disconnect for him somewhere in the process of actually getting what's in his head to his fingers/hand and onto paper. He has great ideas, is creative, etc., but something breaks down when he has to express himself in writing. Interestingly, he is much more fluent on a keyboard and the issues he experiences when handwriting largely go away when he's able to type instead (it's really hunt and peck at this point, but he's still much more fluent). It's been really helpful to hone in on that for him because you can address it with some fairly easy accommodations (i.e., pencil/pen grips, hand exercises, letting him do more typing and less writing, when feasible) and relieves a lot of the stress of written expression for him.

May be something totally different for your son, but just wanted to throw it out there! Good luck!

Thanks for the reply. I did wonder as he hated handwriting. It’s ok now but I wouldn’t say he loves it. I had him assessed by an OT and she said that he has slightly flexible localised knuckle joints hence why handwriting is tiring. She didn’t highlight anything else

We did an excellent programme called magic link which sorted the handwriting. We are only six months into meds and that has sorted the focus thing so was hoping might improve the written thing over time but if not I will look at this again.

I would imagine just because they start to focus there is still a lot of ground to make up from stuff they missed at school.

Hello, I have similar concerns with my son. What has helped is to have a graphic organizer that he uses to organize his thoughts and then formulate sentences. He requires a lot of prompts to get through the writing assignments. Otherwise it is not cohesive and does not flow properly. If you have an IEP, you can ask for the use of graphic organizers as an accommodation.

From what I understand it is common for young boys to have difficulty with written expression. I believe they don’t develop as quickly or in the same manner as girls in this area. I did get tutoring for one if my sons to help develop his writing. One to one tutoring allows the child to get help where he is at in his writing abilities which is not easily done in classroom full of students with further developed writing skills.

A couple of things I can think of to help is breaking the assignment down into smaller parts and giving some structure to the assignment. Define how many paragraphs are needed and what each is to include. Help him develop a topic sentence and brainstorm supporting ideas. Have him select a couple ideas to write 2-3 sentences about. Giving specific objectives for how to structure the essay is important as writing requires organizing ideas and expressing them coherently. This is especially difficult for many kids with ADHD and younger kids in general.

thanks all - excellent advice. Will have a go at home with breaking it down etc and helping him structure before he dives in. Will see what teacher says at next parents evening in jan and if still an issue will look back at dysgraphia as a possible. We have a private tutor for both my children so will get her to focus exclusively on this area i think.

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