WAC Tip # 10: Strategies when working with a writer with A LEARNING DISABILITY

Source: Ryan, Leigh, and Lisa Zimmerelli. The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. Print.

There is a wide variety of learning disabilities and it is hard to generalize. Still, here are a few quick tips to consider if you are working with a students with a learning disability.CanadaCollegeLogo

  1. Instructors and tutors are likely not sufficiently informed to “diagnose” a Learning Disabled writer. If a student voluntarily shares with you that they have a Learning Disability or receive support services from the Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) office, ask for information about coping strategies.
  2. Find a quiet place to work in order to limit distractions.
  3. Ask what you can best do in terms of approach and in terms of tasks.
  4. Be patient, explain things clearly, and repeat or rephrase as necessary.
  5. Make lists or notes that can later serve as a guide for the writer.
  6. Encourage LD writers with positive comments.
  7. If the student continually makes the same error, even after discussing it with you, be aware that this is not necessarily a sign of laziness or lack of attention; it may reflect their LD.
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