Home » Chapter 5: The FASD Student & Learning Issues » Educational Strategies for Students with Reading & Writing Difficulties

Educational Strategies for Students with Reading & Writing Difficulties

Consult with a learning specialist if there are language concerns; he/she may suggest specific interventions. These specialists can be very helpful:

  • Speech and Language Specialist
  • Resource Specialist
  • Occupational Therapist

Address Tracking Difficulties

Reading decoding may be difficult for some FASD students due to tracking difficulties.

  • Have the student’s vision checked once a year
  • Use a bookmark or a ruler if the student has trouble tracking
  • Use a green arrow on the left side as a reminder that reading is a left-to-right process

Make Reading Meaningful

  • Teach sound/symbol association in a meaningful manner
  • Do not use nonsense words or programs that incorporate a purely phonetic approach;
    this method will lead to confusion
  • Teach word families
  • Use a lot of repetition
  • Review learned material

Read for Comprehension

  • Use contextual clues to assist with comprehension
  • Use pictures/illustrations to assist with comprehension
  • Use a technique to help a student visualize what he has read, such as Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing-Verbalizing Program
  • Read in small chunks; check for understanding
  • Use high interest reading material at the student’s reading level

Visualize Writing

After reading a short story, make a picture-outline.

  • Tell the student to fold a paper in 1/4’s
  • Draw four main scenes from the story
  • Write a sentence about each picture
  • Put the sentences togetherpencil

The student now has a short paragraph.

Write for Communication

  • Practice writing phone messages
  • Write shopping lists
  • Write notes and memos
  • Write letters

Organize Writing

  • Anchor ideas
  • Brainstorm
    • Story web
    • Outline
  • Provide examples students can keep at their desks
  • Allow students to begin their writing assignment using a tape recorder

Teach Word Processing

  • Teach keyboarding skills
  • A desk size keyboard may be useful for students in the 4th and 5th grades when they are taking notes or working on writing assignments