Writing Strategies Made Simple

Writing Strategies Made Simple

Writing can be a difficult task for students with disabilities.

The whole process of writing can be time-consuming and frustrating for students who do not have a strong understanding of the basics of writing.

Students with disabilities can utilize various writing strategies that will help them to become better more fluent writers. **This is not an all-inclusive list.***

Writing Strategies Specifically For Children With Special Needs;

Text Summarizing

One strategy to use with struggling writers is text summarizing. When summarizing the text with struggling writers, it is important to read the passage then reread the passage. After doing this, it’s important to ask the reader what they read about. Ask the reader specific questions (recall questions) about the passage, and then have them summarize it using their own words, not the words of the author.

Graphic Organizers

Another strategy to use with struggling writers includes graphic organizers. Utilizing graphic organizers allows the writer to have a visual outline to follow during the prewriting stage. There are many writing graphic organizers available just make sure to find the one that is specific to the given writing assignment. The graphic organizers help the writer to “see” their ideas in a structured way which also helps them during the draft phrase of writing. One of the best ways to get a struggling writer motivated is to use a story map. Here the writer can draw and write about the given story from start to finish and create their own story from the writing prompt.

Audio Record

Another useful strategy to use with struggling writers is to have them audio record the writing. This allows the struggling writer to have another way to communicate their writing ideas without frustrating them with the physical aspect and mechanics involved in the writing process. This is a fun alternative to writing and less stressful for the struggling writer.


A fourth strategy that can be used is photographs. This can be used more as a teaching strategy for the struggling writers. When using this strategy, the students search through family photos, books, magazines, comics, newspapers, etc. to find something interesting and inspiring to write about. This gives them the option to choose their writing which empowers them because they have a “say” in what they want to write about. Once they choose the pictures, have them place it in their writing journal so they can reflect on it while writing.

Peer Talks

A fifth strategy that can be utilized is peer talks. When using peer talks, the students are placed in pairs and each student in the team takes turns writing down what the other student says. This strategy makes the writing process fun because the students will have the opportunity to work with another student which typically doesn’t happen with writing assignments, and they also will find it humorous to write down what the other student says.

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Integrated Art

Integrating Art is another strategy that can be used as a writing strategy. This strategy allows the struggling writer to brainstorm his/her ideas using drawings/pictures. It also gives him/her the opportunity to add “life” to his/her story. The main goal of using this strategy is to allow the struggling writer the opportunity to invoke their cognitive thinking skills in order to communicate their ideas.

As all these strategies suggest the ultimate goal for struggling writers is for them to get the point across. It doesn’t matter what that method looks like as long as they can express themselves.

All of the strategies mentioned above, apply to the many different learning styles of students. Each of the strategies can be adapted to meet the individual need of the student. As mentioned earlier, this is not an all-inclusive list. There are many other writing strategies available for struggling writers.

If, as a parent, you still have difficulty in teaching your child writing skills… perhaps a Special Needs Tutor could help! We do this every single day and would be more than happy to help your child get back on track!

Do you have any strategies that help with teaching writing? Please leave them in the comments below!


Picture of Amanda Wagoner, MAT

Amanda Wagoner, MAT

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