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Frequently Asked Questions About Expression in Writing

Why is writing so hard for my child? 

What does John focus on when helping with my child's writing?

Why can't my child just learn to write in school?

At what age should my child be able to write easily?

Helping Children Improve Their Expression in Writing

Writing is one of the most complicated skills for a child to learn. Certainly some children can simply begin writing but for others it is difficult.

Consider for a moment just a few concepts that are involved in writing a few sentences:

  • Choosing a starting point.
  • Knowing where a sentence ends.
  • Remembering to use punctuation.
  • Neat writing.
  • Spelling.
  • Checking it makes sense.
  • Remembering the sentence.
  • Remembering the main ideas. 

It is therefore not surprising that many children have difficulty with writing. Writing difficulties stretch from mild weaknesses through to children who may be experiencing other learning difficulties. There are many cognitive or thinking skills behind writing, and just some of these include the following:

  • Concentration.
  • Memory.
  • Motor or movement control.
  • Language Weaknesses in these skills can often be directly targeted.

Process for Assessment and Treatment
of Difficulty with Expression in Writing

Step 1: You will be asked to complete a history form. This form will ask you as a parent to share your observations related to your child’s writing skills and there will be a checklist which will include numerous questions about your child’s abilities in the following areas:

  • Ability to form ideas.
  • Ordering their thoughts in writing and linking their ideas.
  • How confident are they to begin?
  • Use of full stops and capital letters.

Step 2: During the assessment, John will review your child’s history form to discuss what assessment he is proposing. Your child can be a part of this process if appropriate or younger children can relax in the waiting room.

Step 3: After this, John will carry out the assessment with your child where he will consider the following areas:

  • Ability to begin writing comfortably.
  • Sequencing and linking ideas.
  • Use of punctuation.
  • Sentence formation and use of conjunctions or joining words.
  • Ability to manage spelling and sentence formation.

The following areas will also be checked where appropriate:

  • Observation of concentration skills.
  • Observation of recent memory for events and ability to follow instructions and comprehend conversation.
  • General language ability with a focus on ability to form strong sentences when speaking.
  • Where literacy weaknesses are reported all sound areas will be checked to ensure your child knows their sounds. This includes consonants, basic vowels (a e i o u), digraphs (sh, ch, th) and more complex vowels such as er, ar ou,
  • General ability to listen for sounds and hear the difference between sounds.

Step 4: All results will be discussed and explained with parents and your child where appropriate.

Step 5: A support and treatment plan will be discussed.


It is essential to investigate the causes of any potential writing difficulties that your child may be experiencing. Obviously, it is important to ensure they keep up with their peers as the demands of writing progress through the years in schooling. Provided these skills are targeted early, children can typically get back on track with their writing.

John Saunders Children's Learning & Literacy works with children aged between 5 to 18 years.

Office Location

Trading as:
John Saunders
Learning & Literacy

2/554a High St

Prahran, VIC 3181