Writing has been shown to be the single most complex skill domain of the academic process. The following quote from “Developmental Variations & Learning Disorders” says it well:
“The transmission of thoughts onto paper calls for a delicate and highly complex process of neurodevelopmental integration. Writing necessitates synchronizing all of the developmental functions (described in part I). Writing is a final common pathway of these functions, a confluence of processes demanding attention, spatial and sequential production, mnemonic facility, language ability and motor skill.”
Motor skills (the skills targeted in OT) are the tip of the iceberg. It’s a good first step. What’s the next step? Most of the time, I am not hearing the next step. I only hear about the child getting, “OT.”
Beyond OT, a child needs much more remediation to address their deficits in writing (which are becoming more and more pervasive with the kids I am seeing).
For some time I have been beating a drum (although I understand no one is really listening), that a child struggling with writing needs to work first at the sentence level and master the skill of writing a good sentence before moving on to more complex operations.
Analogous to reading remediation, a child needs to work at very simplistic levels initially, derive a sense of mastery and then move forward to higher levels of complexity.
Most of the kids that I assess have little ability to understand what goes into writing a sentence or a paragraph, so to have them writing lengthy essays is way beyond them. It’s somewhat like asking someone to lift 25lb weights when they can barely lift 10lbs.
Once your child has a had a good dose of “OT” to address his or her writing, ask, “Now what? What’s next?”
What’s next needs to be the heavy lifting of writing remediation.