As has been outlined in the other four articles about writing tasks and the ADHD student, it is really difficult, if not impossible to get one's writing down perfectly the first, second or even third time. As luck would have it, we live in an age when high accessibility to paper makes it less critical that a first draft be almost the last draft. We also live in an age when computer technologies make it super easy to edit and even move huge chunks of writing around quickly and easily. The first step to making writing easier for any one, but especially for our ADHD kids is to remove the pressure to make the writing perfect the first (or even second) time.
Technology Helps: Don't put it on plain old lined paper
Handwriting and spelling are particularly difficult and can really get in the way for many ADHD kids. As soon as our kids are ready to learn touch typing, teach it to them! Typing will allow a child to have a much better chance of keeping up with his or her thoughts and reduces the likelihood of drawing a really frustrating blank.
By recording ideas in an audio format, a child can then push pause as much as needed while listening and getting ideas down onto paper, or typed onto the screen.
Software such as Powerpoint actually generates an outline alongside the slide show being created. Using tools like powerpoint to generate separate slides that can easily be arranged and rearranged can help children get their ideas in order and go back and double check for flow and clarity. Mindmapping software helps kids with getting their thoughts organized and sorting out main ideas from supporting details.
When used correctly, word processing can help tremendously by aiding children in catching spelling and grammatical errors. Similarly, there are now also programs available (like this one) called, "word predictor software" that actually predict the next word the child is likely to use when typing into the computer. While this could produce distraction during some parts of the writing process, it can also be extremely helpful in aiding a child in choosing the best word and spelling while the child is drafting a written piece. Using such a program can cut down on the amount of "revising" needed and build self confidence in the writer. If a child pays attention to the spelling offered, over time they can also learn from the computer in regard to how to correctly spell certain words in the first place.
Software such as Powerpoint actually generates an outline alongside the slide show being created. Using tools like powerpoint to generate separate slides that can easily be arranged and rearranged can help children get their ideas in order and go back and double check for flow and clarity.
Modern word processing software also allows children to cut and paste entire chunks of their writing in order to easily rearrange their work in the final editing stages.
There are also options for speech recognition software that allows a child that has particular difficulty with the motor skills involved in physically writing or typing his or her ideas to dictate their thoughts directly into the computer. These programs require "training" which takes a lot of time and can be pretty pricey, but depending on the particular needs of your child, may be well worth the investment.
If you liked this article, you might also like;
The Writing Process
Teaching Wiggle Worms
How to Make Your Own Fidgets
Writing Tasks for Your ADHD Student - Part 1: The Multitasking of Writing
Part 2: Chunking
Part 3: Idea Generation
Part 4: Getting it all Organized
Part 5: Putting Technology to Work