Why Children With Dyslexia Struggle With Writing and How to Help Them Purpose Children with dyslexia often have related writing difficulties. In the simple view of writing model, high-quality writing depends on good transcription skills, working memory, and executive function—all of which can be difficult for children with dyslexia and result in poor spelling and low overall writing quality. In this article, ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   October 24, 2018
Why Children With Dyslexia Struggle With Writing and How to Help Them
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael Hebert
    Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Devin M. Kearns
    Department of Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs
  • Joanne Baker Hayes
    Department of Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs
  • Pamela Bazis
    Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Samantha Cooper
    Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Michael Hebert: michael.hebert@unl.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Tiffany Hogan
    Editor-in-Chief: Tiffany Hogan×
  • Publisher Note: This article is part of the Clinical Forum: Dyslexia.
    Publisher Note: This article is part of the Clinical Forum: Dyslexia.×
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Clinical Forum: Dyslexia / Tutorials
Tutorial   |   October 24, 2018
Why Children With Dyslexia Struggle With Writing and How to Help Them
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2018, Vol. 49, 843-863. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-DYSLC-18-0024
History: Received February 3, 2018 , Revised May 23, 2018 , Accepted July 9, 2018
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2018, Vol. 49, 843-863. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-DYSLC-18-0024
History: Received February 3, 2018; Revised May 23, 2018; Accepted July 9, 2018

Purpose Children with dyslexia often have related writing difficulties. In the simple view of writing model, high-quality writing depends on good transcription skills, working memory, and executive function—all of which can be difficult for children with dyslexia and result in poor spelling and low overall writing quality. In this article, we describe the challenges of children with dyslexia in terms of the simple view of writing and instructional strategies to increase spelling and overall writing quality in children with dyslexia.

Method For spelling strategies, we conducted systematic searches across 2 databases for studies examining the effectiveness of spelling interventions for students with dyslexia as well as including studies from 2 meta-analyses. To locate other instructional practices to increase writing quality (e.g., handwriting and executive function), we examined recent meta-analyses of writing and supplemented that by conducting forward searches.

Results Through the search, we found evidence of effective remedial and compensatory intervention strategies in spelling, transcription, executive function, and working memory. Some strategies included spelling using sound-spellings and morphemes and overall quality using text structure, sentence combining, and self-regulated strategy development.

Conclusions Many students with dyslexia experience writing difficulty in multiple areas. However, their writing (and even reading) skills can improve with the instructional strategies identified in this article. We describe instructional procedures and provide links to resources throughout the article.

Acknowledgments
Support for this research was provided by the National Institutes of Health Grant 1R37HD090153-01A1 (awarded to Haskins Laboratory). The content herein does not represent the views of the agency.
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