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Writing Coach

Article: Efficacy of an Electronic Editing Strategy with College Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. By Woods-Groves and others. In Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 2017, 52(4).

Most people you ask will agree that writing skills are necessary for professional and academic success in most disciplines. No one points out their stellar writing, but they always apologize for their terrible writing. Effective writing is becoming more and more the norm, and as our communication becomes ever more digital, writing skills matter more.

So you hire a writing coach for your intellectually or developmentally disabled child, and you choose the coach with the best website, or one that has the highest reviews. Allow me to suggest another criteria: competence. We have been researching the science of teaching writing skills to individuals with disabilities for a long time now, and there are actually methods writing coaches can use that have empirical (scientific) backing.

For instance, is your child's writing coach able to elucidate the three areas of struggle for learners with disabilities in the writing process? I was not, and for this reason and others, I don't teach writing. They are (a) poor planning and goal setting, (b) failing to write things that are more than just reiterating knowledge, and (c) problems with the mechanics (e.g., grammar rules, spelling, etc.) of writing.

This study describes and tests the EDIT Strategy for helping disabled learners master the mechanics of writing. This study confirms scientifically that the EDIT Strategy is useful. Is your child's writing coach using the EDIT Strategy? Why not? Perhaps they have an empirically-based technique that they have found to be more effective for children who learn like your child. I recommend you verify this before you sign the next check.

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