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Learning Disability (Writing)

Students diagnosed with a learning disability in writing have difficulties in organizing information into written form.

A student with a disability in writing may encounter a wide range of difficulties when generating written output. When conceptualizing a written work, a student may have great difficulty organizing thoughts into sentence or paragraph compositions. The inability to correctly choose words spell correctly may cause a student with a writing disability to write simple sentences and avoid using some vocabulary because they are not confident in either their spelling or their correct use of vocabulary.

Observing Learning Disability (Writing) in the Classroom

Faculty might observe the following characteristics in students with a learning disability in writing:

  • May have difficulty organizing ideas and structuring them formally
  • May produce text containing incomplete thoughts or run-on sentences
  • May frequently misspell words or reverse and rotate letters
  • May write in a short and informal way, lacking detail
  • May use a limited vocabulary of comfortable terms
  • May write with simplified grammar use or show difficulty using grammar correctly


Related Functional Characteristics

Fatigue (Cognitive) : The use of compensatory strategies and the level of active cognitive time necessary result in cognitive fatigue.

Fluid Reasoning : Students with fluid reasoning deficits need special strategies and extra time when organizing information into an ordered form.

Information Processing Speed : Reduced information processing speed when processing word and concept meanings when generating sentence structures increases the effort required to communicate clearly.

Long Term Memory Deficit : A long term memory deficit makes it more difficult for students to retrieve the information necessary for achieve their writing goals.

Production (Written) : Many students with writing disabilities have difficulty with spelling and handwriting fluency.

Working / Short Term Memory Deficit : Reduced working memory resources increase the difficulty and slow the process of recalling information and integrating it to produce written work.

The Building Accepting Campus Communities (BACC) project was funded by the US Department of Education Office of Secondary Education grant #P333A080070-09. The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.