Writing skill is one of the most advantageous skills for children with autism as it serves as an alternative way of communication for children who has a speech delay or difficulty and to excel in their academic performance as well.
But on the other hand, it seems to be a challenging task for them because it involves,
- Core muscle strengthening
- Hand and finger muscle strength
- Fine motor skills
- Cognitive and perceptual skills
- Language skills
- Eye-Hand Coordination
- Motor planning
- Sitting tolerance
- Task tolerance
- Addressing sensory issues
Before we prepare the child for the writing task, the child must accomplish pre-writing skill, which is considered as a prerequisite for writing skill. Also most importantly, children who have sensory integration difficulties must be addressed in the first place and the activity has to be planned accordingly.
(Refer ACTIVITIES FOR PRE-WRITING SKILL article for more information)
Let’s discuss some activities that create interest in writing and help to achieve the task.
1) Painting or coloring:
This activity normally needs coordination, planning, etc., therefore it is worth encouraging the kid to do coloring or painting a picture with watercolors, color pencils and crayons.
2) Sensory writing:
Allow children to write alphabets and numbers on sand or kinetic sand. This would make them get familiarize with the alphabets and numbers
3) Reading Task:
Another way to get familiarize with the words and numbers is by reading a storybook along with the child.
4) Finger painting:
Paint child’s index finger and ask him/her to write letters and numbers using their painted finger.
5) Trace letters and numbers:
Tracing worksheets are available for free download to practice letters and numbers with ease.
6) A picture with word tracing:
This activity contains an image on one side and the name of that object below in the form of tracing, this would enable the child to write and learn the name of an object.
7) Copy on the wall:
Select a few labelled pictures of the child’s choice. Provide them colorful chalks and ask them to copy and write the word on the blackboard or on the wall.
8) Restaurant game:
This is kind of a role-playing game where your child performs the role of a waiter and takes a food order from his/her family members.
9) Cut letters:
Provide some crayons or bold sketch pens and a piece of paper (which can hold one letter) to the child and ask them to write the letters of a word, for example, FAN – F A N. After writing, ask them to cut the outline shape of the written letter and paste it on the chart paper.
10) Counting and writing:
Provide counting objects worksheet, colour pencils and paper to the child and ask him/her to count and write the answer on the paper using colour pencils.
- Always make sure whatever the child writes either letter, number or word, it must in a bigger font.
- Encouraging the child for making even small steps is utmost important (especially when it comes to writing).
- Make it fun and never fix a limit or target at the initial stage.
- Make sure you practice writing every day.
- Paste some pictures with name on the wall, as some children love to learn on the go.