My ADHD Story: My Son, the Writer

An ADD student's punishment reveals a surprising solution for his writing problems.

Parents talk about word processing gadgets for ADHD children with learning and writing disabilities. ©istockphoto/dell640

My husband and I were called in to school to discuss my son’s behavior. The teacher said that every time she finds a reward that works for Fast Boy -- my nickname for my, at times, maddening ADHD son -- he loses interest in it after a week. Welcome to my world!

We continued to chat about what works and what doesn’t. I brought up a time when I had Fast Boy write an explanation of his bad behavior, as a consequence for that behavior. I had good results. Making my attention deficit son concentrate on the problem by having him write about it made him realize what he did. Then his teacher said, “I do that with him, too.”

When I asked to see samples of his writing, she presented me with several paragraphs that he had typed on the computer. Unlike the messy, misspelled, incomplete thoughts my husband and I saw in his handwritten work, these paragraphs held full sentences that flowed together. They were grammatically correct and free of spelling errors.

What an eye-opener! Fast Boy can write. He just has trouble writing with a pencil or pen. He gets so hung up on the mechanics of handwriting that he can’t put his thoughts together. Who knew?

The school has since given him an AlphaSmart -- a portable, word-processor -- to use in class for essay tests. I haven’t received a progress report yet, but I’m very excited to see the results.

—From Life with Fast Boy (


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TAGS: ADHD Accommodations, 504s, IEPs, Learning Disabilities

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