Educational Care: Steps to Better Written Expression


Children and teens with language-based learning difficulties and executive functioning challenges often struggle to recognize the structure of written language and may have the following difficulties.

  • Poor sentence structure.

  • Short, static sentences that lack descriptive details.

  • Variable use of internal punctuation.

  • Inconsistent verb and noun tense.

  • Paragraphs that lack structure and purpose.

  • Rare use of transition words.

  • Poor story composition.

  • Trouble organizing good ideas into good written narratives.

Students with these challenges can benefit from a structured and flexible approach to addressing their needs.


Consider teaching your student the structure of the English language as it relates to written expression using the structured teaching tools:

Six Steps to Better Sentences

Four Steps to Planning Better Paragraphs

Three Tips for Writing Better Paragraphs

Purpose + Structure = Better Writing

Structuring for Better Reports

A Final Draft Checklist


Consider flexibly accommodating written expression challenges  that are most often associated with executive functioning challenges and learning problems.

Consider accommodating struggles with handwriting. Review the suggestions outlined in this previous post on handwriting, dysgraphia, and fine motor coordination.

Use technology to help your student prepare written work.  Being able to access a computer at school and home for written assignments will allow the support of word processing programs, spell-check, and semantic mapping software.    Most children with learning and attention disorders benefit from completing written class work and homework on a computer.  The use of computer technology has the potential to increase the quality of their written work. Consider the Parents Guide to Assistive Technology by Marshall H. Raskind, Ph.D. for specific recommendations.

Need Help Applying These Concepts?

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(c) 2010 – 2013, Monte W. Davenport, Ph.D.