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Module 6: Academic Strategies for Students with ASD

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1 Module 6: Academic Strategies for Students with ASD
Lesson 3: Writing Strategies

2 Lesson Overview Students with ASD and Writing Prewriting Strategies
Drafting Strategies Editing/Revising Strategies

3 Writing and Students with ASD
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 This lesson will provide strategies to increase participation in the writing process for students with ASD that address these problem areas

4 Prewriting Strategies

5 Prewriting Often times, not enough instructional time is put into teaching prewriting strategies and allowing students time to engage in prewriting activities. For students with ASD, providing opportunities to learn and use prewriting strategies is essential to prevent them from “shutting down” during writing activities.

6 Drawing Pictures For students 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.

7 Power Writing There is a writing strategy called Power Writing the uses outlining in a way that may be useful for students with ASD. The outline starts out like this: 1 2 The 1 stands for the topic/main idea of the writing, and the 2’s stand for supporting details The students simple place a word or short phrase next to each number to represent their thought (word power) After the outline is finished the students share their ideas orally with a peer partner or the teacher (language power) Then the students write their ideas that they shared on paper (sentence power) As students get more advanced, you can add 3’s to elaborate on the 2’s and also add a 1 at the end to represent the conclusion/ending The students can use “paragraph power” by having each 1 and 2 represent a paragraph in their paper For more information on Power Writing visit: sources/approaches/power/link s.asp The power writing strategy enables teachers to easily differentiate their writing instruction for students in inclusive classrooms. Some students by be using 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s to prepare for a five paragraph paper, and other students may simply be using 1’s and 2’s to work on “word power” and “language power” only.

8 Building Motivation To build 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

9 Drafting Strategies

10 Word Processing For some 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.

11 Scribing (Kluth, 2003) It may 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

12 Prompting/Fading Procedure
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”)

13 Positive Reinforcement
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)

14 Timed Writing Probes 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.

15 Editing Strategies

16 Build Motivation for Editing
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)

17 Teacher Think Alouds (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

18 Provide Specific Expectations
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. Editing checklists can be helpful during peer conferencing or independent editing. These checklists can be differentiated depending on present levels of writing performance.

19 Module 6, Lesson 3 Activity
Write a 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.

20 References Kluth, P. (2003). “You’re going to love this kid!” Teaching students with autism in the inclusive classroom.” Baltimore, MD: Brookes. Kluth, P., & Chandler-Olcott, K. (2008). A land we can share: Teaching literacy to students with autism. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

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