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Readers Respond: What Aspects of Writing Are Most Difficult for You or Your Child?

Responses: 10


Updated September 22, 2011

Many kids and adults with ADHD find that the process of writing can sometimes be overwhelming. It may take longer to think through and organize thoughts, then get them down on paper. Or it may be that using a pen or pencil and handwriting is frustrating. Sometimes spelling can get in the way. Other times just keeping one’s “train of thought” focused and on track can be a challenge. If you are a parent of a child with ADHD or an adult with ADHD yourself, please share any areas that are difficult for your child or for you in regard to writing.


Starting off and staying on a topic is a challenge. Using upper and lowercase when it's not needed.
—Guest guest

Writing Difficulties

Our child (grade 2) has an aversion to writing. When he does write, it takes forever and looks awful. He seems to have his own quirky shorthand. He doesn't get the concept of staying within the lines or proper spacing of letters/words. He writes upper & lower case indiscriminately (in the same word). We've just been told through an independent evaluation that these are signs of a bigger problem and that services are needed to catch writing issues now before they become worse. Apparently, the risk is ending up with a kid who can't write and will refuse to write.
—Guest Always Sharing

copying from board

My daughter has trouble copying down information that her teacher writes on the white board. Just getting the words off the board and down on her paper on her desk is difficult.
—Guest guest

Writing Issues for my Son

We found out last year, while my son was in fifth grade, that he is dyslexic. He was diagnosed with ADHD in 2006. He is now in a dyslexic class and is re-learning to write cursive. It is much easier for him than printing. Because of his dyslexia, the teachers don't count off for spelling except on spelling tests. Thanks to Section 504, the school is working with him in several areas. His confidence is much better, now that he has the tools to work with. It was nice to see him turn in a poster board presentation with handwritten information, and make a high B.
—Guest vickiesteward

Writing Difficulties

When I was young and in elementary school, the teachers continually complained to my mother that my handwriting was not legible, maybe because I was dyslexic and I wrote so many of my letters backwards. My main problem with my writing assignments according to my teachers was that my thoughts were scattered and unclear. But I worked very hard at my penmanship and clarifying my statements and piecing my thoughts better together and became quite a proficient writer which teachers in high school would compliment me on and they commended my style of writing. I went on to get a college degree in journalism and have had quite a few of my articles published. Today, I journal daily to help my writing skills stay in tune as well as help myself clarify my own thoughts and feelings.

iPad Use at School Helps This Challenge

Our son in 6th grade has ADHD and dyslexia. His principal offered for him to use a calculator in math and welcomed my husband's idea of him being able to use an iPad instead of handwriting notes and reports, even for test taking. The only hotspot for WiFi is in her office, so he can't cheat online while test taking in the classroom. His teachers no longer have to muddle through, trying to figure out spelling and what he's trying to say. He quickly learned the programs we chose for the iPad, including Dragon Naturally Speaking, and seems to keep up well with his peers. His friends think it's cool that he gets to use the device, instead of him carrying around a school-issued chunky keyboard for the same purpose. It is important to have a good rapport with the teachers, and especially the principal. They see these kids struggle every day, and so far in our case, have been open to our suggestions and ideas, in helping students in their classrooms to learn more easily.
—Guest adhdisokay

once I get started....

The hardest part about writing papers is _getting_started_. Once I'm started/know what I'm writing, I'm good at hyperfocusing and punching out a pretty decent piece of work. The main problem then is that the body of the paper doesn't always match what I planned to write about. When I hyperfocus I tend to get very invested in my tangents. This means my papers tend to flow the same way my mind worked when I wrote it and I *always* have to rewrite my beginning to match what the paper wound up being about. As far as handwriting, I write so so slowly!!! I had a neuropsych evaluation a few years after I was diagnosed (diagnosed 7th grade, neuropsych 10th. Now a sophomore in college) and we discovered my processing speed is in the 16th percentile (and 90 something for everything else), so I write by hand, it takes me forever. Plus, I have some OCD tendencies and they mostly revolve around making things aesthetic. I'll rewrite things over and over till they look right, not conducive to writing faster!
—Guest Wendy

Typing is being used for my ADHD son

The school my son goes to has implemented typing to help him. It's fast once you have mastered it and his brain has something to try and keep up with. I believe that writing is slow and sometimes difficult for someone with ADHD. Typing helps once it is mastered.
—Guest Guest

ADHD and Writing and reading

Hi, I am 35 years old, female. English is my second language. After I read the articles about writing and reading related to ADHD, I related to the struggles. Now I am looking for strategies and resources in writing and reading to help me as a second language learner to be able continue my education. I used to struggle in writing and reading in my first language.
—Guest Fedaa

Writing No Problem, Math, Well,,,,

Although I was only diagnosed 10 years ago, at the age of 50 with ADHD, writing has never been a problem for me. As I look back at my life, I assumed that the ADHD was the reason that I never did well in math or any science that required formulas or building block steps. The working, or executive, memory component of ADHD was at its finest preventing me from excelling at those disciplines, and making me feel "stupid" and inadequate most of my life. I suppose that there are variations in all aspects of this condition. By the way, my major in college was Journalism.

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