QMS Resource and Methods
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Tips on How to Study
Special Education Plans (SEP)
Memory Deficit Strategies
Math Deficit Strategies
Language Processing Deficit Strategies
Written-Expression Deficit Strategies
Visual-Spatial Deficit Strategies
Visual-Processing Deficit Strategies
is the inability to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas in a structured, sequential, and organized form.
The following is a list of characteristics that may be evident in children with this deficit. Use this as a checklist with regard to students who you think may fit this category.
• The student has poor or dysfunctional handwriting, otherwise known as
• The student has total dysfluency on paper, known as
• The student has poor spelling.
• The student has difficulty copying from the board or from dictation.
• The student has poor visual-spatial perception (may start in odd places on the page, use erratic spacing, use different sizes for letters).
• The student prefers to print while others are writing, or the student uses both printing and cursive writing in the same assignment.
• The student is much slower than others to complete written work.
The student loses the gist or thought easily when writing.
• The student omits capitalization and/or punctuation consistently
• The student can express himself or herself much better orally.
• Consider alternative forms, other than written tasks, of practising and demonstrating knowledge in a concept area.
• Encourage the use of a word processor.
• Pair the student with a classroom buddy who can do the writing for the child.
• Utilize co-operative learning groups.
• Model written work for the student to allow him or her to imitate your sentence structures.
• Allow the student to read his or her written work aloud to help identify errors in organization.
• Help the student “brainstorm” ideas about a topic and then show him or her how to put these ideas into an outline form, combining some ideas and discarding others.
• Reduce distracting stimuli by placing the student in a study carrel or “office” when engaged in writing activities.
• Have a peer act as a model for spelling words phonetically. Have the student read the material that the peers write phonetically.
• Allow the student to keep a dictionary of “most often misspelled words.”
• Provide practice in spelling by using a computer software program that gives the student immediate feedback.
• Try various activities to help strengthen and reinforce the visual memory of spelling words (i.e. flashcards, word lists on the chalkboard, a list on the student’s desk, etc.).
• Have the student maintain a folder of allspelling words.
• Place a grip on the pencil to enable the student to hold it more effectively.
• Allow the student to use wide-lined paper (for students at the beginning stages of learning printing and cursive writing).
• Use computer paper to help the student write letters at the correct height.
• Use paper with raised lines to help a student whose letters tend to go above or below the line.
• Allow the student to demonstrate knowledge in non-written form (i.e. oral report, art project, play, etc.).
• Have the student practise air writing (of critical importance for dyslexic and dysgraphic students). This connects kinesthetic with visual mode.
• Have a poster with a list of the qualities of good writing posted in the classroom.
• Provide specific organizational strategies for writing, e.g. story maps/webs, visual organizers, flow charts, outlines.
• Allow the student extra time for copying or for producing written assignments.
• Have copied notes available for the student.
• Encourage the student to use a tape recorder to record draft copies of written work.
• Permit the use of point form or visual organizers for answers to essay questions or questions of a similar type.
• Provide oral testing or a scribe when possible.
• Follow up a written test with oral questioning on missing parts.
• Provide a word processor for tests.
• Consider a take-home test.
• Use fill-in-the-blank, true-or-false or matching questions to reduce writing requirements.
• Allow the student to answer questions, using a tape recorder.
• Have the student with visual perception difficulties use a ruler to place under the question to guide him or her to the correct response box.
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