The Complex Task(s) of Copying
Copying from the board (far point copying)
requires the student to read and hold information in his mind and then look down
to paper locate place to write and then take info from memory and transcribe
to paper. Usually the weakness is in holding the info in memory long enough to get it to paper. Then the student has to look up, scan and locate where they left off, get the info, hold it, look down and scan
the paper to locate where they left off and transfer from mind to paper. The process I described doesn't even touch on the mechanical process of putting written word on paper. Near point (from book etc.) may or may not be easier because the distance between source and copy is shorter so the transfer can be "quicker". But sometimes textbook copying is harder because the source document is more complicated, cluttered etc. Also, when copying, because the ability to hold bits of information in the mind is challenged, the student takes smaller chunks of info, (ie a few letters) vs. words or a whole sentence. Chunking info is a useful strategy, but if the student can only hold a few letters at a time, the process gets more laborious, and working with pieces vs. a whole (ie a sentence or part of a sentence) makes it harder for the student to relate to the material in a more meaningful way. (sees all the trees and not the whole forest)
A note taker can be an assigned buddy that takes notes and provides the challenged student with a copy of his/her notes. Be sure the student chosen is a decent note taker, as your child may have trouble
filling in the missing pieces.
Taking oral directions is also challenging because it requires listening and writing at the same time, and holding info in head while trying to get it on paper and still listening. Auditory processing issues are in play here.
I emphasize to DS's teachers that providing written rubrics (instructions) are the best to help him. He can refer back to them at any time and they are guaranteed accurate. I think this should be done for all students, falling into the universal design classroom where logical tricks and methods are applied to entire classrooms so all kids can succeed.