For twice exceptional (2e), high functioning autism kids (ASD), and kids with attention disorders (such as ADHD), writing can be pure trauma. The key to providing effective support is understanding where the writing process breaks down. As I’ve mentioned before, careful assessment is vital. Your student’s feelings and personal assessment should not be overlooked. Apart from observation and analysis of student work, I use surveys and graphs to elicit feedback from kids.
The surveys always begin with a focus on positives, such as what kids enjoy and which academic subjects are easier. I create a unique survey for each student, depending upon my assessment to date and their ability to answer questions. I may already know the answers to some of the questions, but I am interested in the student’s perspective. Here’s a sample:
As students answer, they refer to the following chart:
This chart helps kids keep the answers in mind, although I may probe further if their answers are unclear. It also gives them something to look at besides trying to decipher what I am scribbling on my clipboard. When I’m done, I can safely show them the actual survey, since my handwriting is illegible to all but me!
Next post: Writing Graphs