Lesson 3: Writing Strategies Students with ASD and Writing Prewriting Strategies Drafting Strategies Editing/Revising Strategies The writing process can be a very difficult area for students with ASD due to problems with: • Language and communication • Social interaction • Fine motor skills • Attention and focus Thislesson will provide strategies to increase participation in the writing process for students with ASD that address these problem areas Often times, not enough instructional time is put into teaching prewriting strategies and allowing students time to engage in prewriting activities. Forstudents with ASD, providing opportunities to learn and use prewriting strategies is essential to prevent them from “shutting down” during writing activities. Forstudents with ASD who are interested in drawing, you can have them draw a picture about something as a prewriting activity. The students then can place numbers on their picture to indicate when they will write about each event/idea on the picture. The numbers can represent words they will produce, sentences, or paragraphs depending on their present level of writing performance. There is a writing strategy called Then the students write their Power Writing the uses outlining ideas that they shared on in a way that may be useful for paper (sentence power) students with ASD. The outline starts out like this: As students get more 1 advanced, you can add 3’s to 2 2 elaborate on the 2’s and also 2 add a 1 at the end to represent The 1 stands for the topic/main the conclusion/ending idea of the writing, and the 2’s The students can use stand for supporting details “paragraph power” by having The students simple place a each 1 and 2 represent a word or short phrase next to paragraph in their paper each number to represent their thought (word power) For more information on Power After the outline is finished the Writing visit: students share their ideas orally http://www.thewritingsite.org/re with a peer partner or the sources/approaches/power/link teacher (language power) s.asp Tobuild motivation at the prewriting stage, you can do any of the following to give students ideas for writing: • Read a short picture book that can then be used to generate topic ideas • Show a picture as a writing prompt (the students can then write a story about what is going on in the picture) • Have students generate a list of things they are interested in that they can use as writing topics Forsome students with ASD the actual physical task of writing is so difficult due to their fine motor problems. For these students, allowing them to use a word processor to draft their writing can be quite helpful in reducing the stress of writing. Itmay be helpful for some students with ASD to have scribes A teacher or peer simply writes what the student says The student can then read back what was written The prompting/fading procedure can be helpful for students with ASD during the drafting process When students get “stuck” and cannot get their thoughts on paper the teacher can prompt by doing things such as: • Pointing to the prewriting the student generated to show the students that they already know what to write about because they planned it ahead of time • Starting the writing for the students and having them complete the sentence or write the next sentence(s) (ex. The teacher writes, “My favorite animal is ….” and the student completes the sentence). The teacher may need to do this throughout the draft and gradually fade out how much writing is being provided by the teacher • Providing gentle encouragement (ex. “I can’t wait to read what you write about turtles”) As students are writing, provide positive reinforcement throughout. This can be done by: • Providing social praise (ex. Smiles, thumbs-up, high- fives) • Putting stars and happy faces on the students paper when they write a certain amount (ex. A student may get a star after each word they write, after every 3-5 words they write, or after each sentence they write) • Allow students to read what they wrote so far to a teacher/peer • Read what the student wrote aloud to the class • Give token reinforcement (ex. Stickers, coins, tickets) • Providing timed-writing can help students see a “light at the end of the tunnel” and build writing fluency • Tell the students they are going to write for specified time (one minute, two minutes, ten minutes ,etc.) and set a timer. • You can graph how many words the student writes in the designated amount of time and set a goal. Students can graph themselves if they are interested. • Provide positive reinforcement when the students engage in writing for the designated amount of time. Students with ASD may have difficulty understanding the purpose for editing. You can build motivation for editing by having them write for authentic audiences such as: • Producing a writing for the classroom website • Writing a book for younger children to read • Posting the writing in the classroom/school • Submit writing to local newspapers • Assign a particular genre (ex. poetry) (Kluth & Chandler-Olcott, 2008) You can use teacher think alouds to model editing techniques by doing things such as: • Reread a text outline to see if any words were left out • Insert a caret to indicate a word that was left out • Reread a text looking for one kind of error (ex. spelling, ending punctuation, capitalization) and model how you correct the error When requiring students with ASD to edit their writing, it is important to explicitly teach the expectations Peer conferencing can be used, however, providing specific guidelines for how students will participate in the conferencing and what they are expected to look for is important. Editingchecklists can be helpful during peer conferencing or independent editing. These checklists can be differentiated depending on present levels of writing performance. Writea present level of performance for writing for student with ASD. Write a writing goal for the student. Provide a specific description of the strategies you will use to teach prewriting skills, drafting skills, and editing skills. Kluth,P. (2003). “You’re going to love this kid!” Teaching students with autism in the inclusive classroom.” Baltimore, MD: Brookes. P., & Chandler-Olcott, K. (2008). A Kluth, land we can share: Teaching literacy to students with autism. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
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