This chapter focuses on the methods of teaching how to write to students with Learning Disabilities (LDs) and the processes involved in effective writing. Students with LDs often have difficulty finding enough to say when they write. Their papers are inordinately short, containing little detail or elaboration. Once an idea is generated, they are very reluctant to discard it. Many students with LDs struggle with the mechanics of writing, producing papers full of spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and handwriting miscues. An important goal in writing instruction for students with LDs is to help them develop the knowledge, skills, and strategies used by more skilled writers. Methods for fostering motivation for writing and sharpening self-efficacy are also important, as children are less likely to engage in the types of mental activities that epitomize skilled writing if they do not value writing or if they overestimate their abilities. An essential tactic in preventing writing difficulties is to provide exemplary writing instruction right from the start, beginning in first grade and continuing through high school. A critical element in providing effective writing instruction to students with LDs is to tailor instruction, so that it is responsive to their needs. Teachers need to devote more attention to teaching handwriting, phonics for spelling, and punctuation and capitalization skills to weaker writers than to average writers.
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