Is your kiddo struggling to learn this important skill? Teach your special needs child to spell and write their name with this simple and effective technique!
First, Let’s See If Your Child Is Ready?
Your child may be ready to learn to SPELL their name if they have mastered these foundational skills:
Able to match by color and shape.
Able to complete simple non-interlocking puzzles.
Know or are learning the letters of their name.
May be able to rotely spell their name when asked.
Your child may be ready to learn to WRITE their name if they have mastered these foundational skills:
Able to hold a pencil (or other preferred writing implement) with a functional grasp. Wondering if your child has an age appropriate grasp? CLICK HERE!
Able to copy vertical, horizontal, diagonal lines and a cross.
Able to draw and/or trace basic shapes, (i.e., circle, square, triangle).
Able to trace with fair to good accuracy.
Understands directional cues.
Make a “Name Sheet” for Your Child. Here’s How!
NOTE: Most children can more easily write their name in all capital letters as there are less curves and directional changes than their lowercase counterpart. I used Microsoft Word with Calibri font, size 150, and “Word Art” to make this template.
I used the “Word Art” highlighted in the blue box
Type your child’s name four times in a row leaving about 1.5″ to 2″ at the bottom (optional for drawing boxes). I put an extra space in between each letter.
Print out TWO copies of the “name sheet” on cardstock.
Do the following to both “name sheets”:
Line one: Write each letter of your child’s name in a DIFFERENT color inside the “bubble letters”.
Line two: Write each letter of your child’s name in BLACK inside the “bubble letters”.
Line three and four: Place a RED dot where your child should start each letter.
Draw optional “letter boxes”, one box for each letter of your child’s name. Place a RED dot where your child should start each letter.
Laminate both “name sheets”.
On one of the “name sheets”, cut out the colored and black letters in a square/rectangle.
Put Velcro on the back of each cut out letter as well as on each letter of the “name sheet” so they can be matched up.
Teach Your Child to Spell Their Name
Your child’s “Name Sheet” is now ready! Best of all, this activity is already scaffolded. Your child can start by simply matching colors. As you say the letter names while they match them up, they will begin learning the letters, as well as the order in which they go to spell their name.
Next, your child will match the letters of their name without the use of color as a visual cue. They will now be required to notice the shapes of the letters in order to match them correctly. By now, they may even know the names of each letter. You can display them in the correct order just below each matching letter, or mix them up depending on your child’s skill level.
Teach Your Child to Write Their Name
Your child is able to spell their name! Hooray!! They can now use the “Name Sheet” to learn to write their name. Many kiddos require hand over hand assistance (at least at first) to properly form each letter – especially in the correct direction.
Have you noticed that all kids these days write from bottom to top?? Seriously! If you haven’t, take note of it. I often wonder if they will eventually change the way in which letters are formed having each of them start at the baseline. For now, we will form the letters the way most of us oldies but goodies were taught! Hence the point of the RED starting dot at the top.
Show your child how to write each letter within the “bubble letter” starting at the RED dot. The (optional) boxes at the bottom fades the visual prompt of the “bubble letters” but still offers a starting point. It also allows your child to look above for a visual reminder of how each letter should look once complete.
Your child may like to make the “Name Sheet” their own by decorating it with stickers, coloring it etc. REMEMBER: Repetition is key!! AND HAVE FUN!!