Different signs of writing problems

What are some visible signs of writing problems in your child? Clinical psychologist and author Karen Schiltz, PhD helps parents understand what to look for in children and teenagers and how to help them if writing problems arise.
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Different signs of writing problems

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What are some of the signs of writing problems? There are many flags or warning signs or markers that you will see in your child. In the younger child, they have difficulty using utensils when eating. They may have problems, in other words, holding a fork or a spoon. They will have problems coloring. They will color outside the lines. The younger child will have difficulties writing on the line and they will complain that their hand hurts. I hear that a lot of times with the 6 year olds, 7 year olds. They don´t like to write. They hold the pen and pencil very, very tightly. Sometimes they will even put holes through the paper. In the older child, they will not like to write even text. They will have problems getting going. We call that initiation. In the older child, they will have homework requiring them to write essays. They won´t know where to start. Their ideas will get jumbled. They may even trouble finding the right words to express themselves when they are writing on paper. And last, they will avoid writing. So these are all flags. These are all things that you need to look at as a parent. And if you see more than one flag, get help. Early intervention is everything.

What are some visible signs of writing problems in your child? Clinical psychologist and author Karen Schiltz, PhD helps parents understand what to look for in children and teenagers and how to help them if writing problems arise.

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Karen Schiltz, PhD

Neuropsychologist

Dr. Schiltz is a clinical psychologist, licensed in the state of California. From 1985-1987, she completed a post-doctoral residency in clinical neuropsychology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine within the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. She received her doctoral degree in psychology in 1984 from the American Psychological Association accredited California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. Dr. Schiltz has conducted a private practice specializing in the clinical and forensic neuropsychological assessment of children, adolescents, and young adults since 1988. She has held an appointment as an Associate Clinical Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine within the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, since July of 2004. She also held an appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor within the same department from September 1993 to July of 2004. Dr. Schiltz has been a clinical supervisor within that department since August 1993 to the present time. Her faculty duties at UCLA include lecture presentations in the field of pediatric neuropsychological assessment, attentional disorders, accommodation assessment guidelines, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Dr. Schiltz has written numerous articles on regulation and selective neurobehavioral disorders. In her 24 years of clinical work with children, adolescents, and young adults, she has emphasized the critical importance of integrating neuropsychological assessment findings to the application of accommodations to the classroom and home environments in a “user-friendly” manner. Dr. Schiltz supports a comprehensive team approach in the assessment and remediation of children who struggle with cognitive, learning, behavioral, social, and emotional difficulties. She sees a variety of students who are referred subsequent to or in the process of being diagnosed with a suspected learning disorder, attentional and concentrational compromises, suspected social communication disorder, memory disorder, neurotoxin exposure, scuba diving illnesses, seizure disorders, traumatic brain injury, cognitive changes due to medical illness or surgery, substance abuse disorder, pervasive developmental disorders, high cognitive ability profiles, among other neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions. Her experience has come from assessing children and working on intervention teams both in the hospital units as well as university and private-practice based settings.

In addition to her private practice and academic supervisory duties, Dr. Schiltz has written, co-written, and/or presented over 81 papers, manuscripts, and publications. Her book, Beyond the Label, was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. The book, along with coauthors Amy M. Schonfeld and Tara Niendam, helps parents and educators recognize the warning signs that may indicate a potential problem with a child and explain how to find the best help. Throughout the book, the authors stress that by focusing on behaviors and not labels, parents will be able to better understand the whats, whys, and hows of a child's learning and emotional challenges.

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