Autism Spectrum Disorder

It is well-documented that many students with autism struggle with writing.  Broun (2009) writes that many children with ASD wrestle physically with fine motor skills and visual-motor speed which can take their toll on handwriting and word processing.  In addition, the cognitive aspect can also be a challenge.  In order to be a good writer, one must be able to organize thoughts and  navigate through finding the best way to create a message.  Writing requires flexibility, and people with ASD are frequently rigid in thoughts and actions.  Temple Grandin (2006) notes the importance of visualization to persons with ASD; that they frequently think in pictures, and therefore the use of visual supports / scaffolds and graphic organizers may be of benefit.

The Art of Autism has a webpage on teaching a child with autism how to write.  Sasha from The Autism Helper has a video on YouTube about setting up a writing center in an Autism classroom.  And finally, TTAC Online, a community sharing resources to educate students with disabilities, provides an article titled, “Differentiated Writing Instruction for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Braun, L. (2009). Taking the pencil out of the process. Teaching Exceptional Children, 42, 14-21.

Grandin, T. (2006). Thinking in pictures: My life with autism. New York, Vintage.

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