Writing is a part of communication. Written expression is a component of expressive language. Writing is a higher level skill because there are many components at work at one time while one is writing. Some of the components of the process are:
• Initiation of an idea
• Visualizing the theme and flow
• Sequencing and organization
• Vocabulary choice
• Memory of the story flow and details
• Attention to detail to make it interesting and unique
• Sentence structure
• Processing speed and time management
• Motor skills to type on a keyboard or for hand writing
The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) will help find out where the breakdown occurs in the writing process. That way, you are better able to target the underlying cognitive and language foundation skills that make writing difficult. Underlying skills, such as attention to detail, are used to be able to convey a more robust visual picture to the reader. We also use our attention to detail skills during the editing process.
The writer must be able to transition and show mental flexibility in order to think of options in the story line and to construct varied sentences. Mental flexibility is used later in writing when editing. Logic and reasoning skills are needed for sequencing and organization.
Memory skills are required to hold an idea and to recall details and information from one’s experience to make the story richer. To write for a specific audience, we use memory skills. Memory is also used for word retrieval.
Concept associations provide the Gestalt of a story and allow for the writer to compare and contrast ideas in their writing. Association skills also allow for more varied sentence structure to provide nuance and clarity. Word association skills help with vocabulary choice.
SLPs are trained to work with individuals on sound-to-letter encoding for better spelling. Motoric handwriting skill difficulties are referred to Occupational Therapists.
If you can relate to any of the following statements, you might want to seek out the skills of a SLP.
There appears to be a disconnect; your child can speak well and explain their thoughts. However, they have difficulty getting their ideas down on paper.
My child is anxious when writing and can’t get started.
My child is so disorganized. Their sentences sound jumbled.
My child’s writing skills seem immature and too young for their grade.
At The Brain Trainer, Dr. Parker will start with an evaluation of your child’s overall language skills with an emphasis on writing. Then you will meet with Dr. Parker to review your child’s strengths and weaknesses and where their breakdown may be occurring.