wuns a pon a time their was a boy wgo had no frends so he was always alon But than on day evry thing change His mom gave him a voilinto play it sounded horabel so he said I am never playing this again so one Day he went to in the stor and heard the guy play the vialin it sounded awsome so he said to his mom thats how I want to play well then you need to pratis his mom said and then he did and he was so good at it.
Completed by James, a 10-year-old boy, this writing sample was written after he was asked to write a story to a picture of a boy looking at a violin. (The story is is written as he wrote it minus the chaotic handwriting.)
Writing can be a window or an x-ray revealing a person’s feelings, as well as showing their basic understanding of written language.
The more I got to know James, who was diagnosed with a severe reading disability, the more this story became a true window on two levels.
Metaphorically speaking, James looks around his classroom and sees others playing the violin fine, while he cannot. Acutely aware of the fact that he is not measuring up, in spite of hearing his parents tell him repeatedly that he is “so smart and so amazing,” James feels pretty discouraged, as expressed in his story (although there is a spark of optimism at the end).
Besides being academically discouraged, James also feels outside relative to the social dynamics in his classroom. James thinks the other kids snicker at him behind his back (sometimes not behind) and James tries too hard to make friends, which often backfires, making things worse.
So, what does James need?
James needs two things that he is not getting.
First, he needs a sense of personal connection Perhaps James can form a good working relationship with a therapist who can be encouraging, while helping him recharge his battery.
As part of the counseling, James’ parents can be guided to find a way to talk with him more effectively, as they are becoming overly testy with him, which only leads to sparks flying around the household during the nightly homework battles.
James also needs good tutoring using structured, systematic direct instruction, focusing on his writing, starting with writing a simple sentence.
Tutoring can have magical effects, as noted in an earlier blog, “Relationship the Secret Sauce of Success.” (“Relationship – The Secret Sauce of Success”
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