Spelling Disability
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  1. #1
    Kess is offline Member
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    Default Spelling Disability

    My daughter is a very bright 7th Grader. However, she struggles terribly with spelling. When she was in school she would get 100 on her spelling tests, but then the very next day would misspell the same words in a writing assignment. She reads on grade level but her spelling is grades behind what it should be. There is very little info on this. Mostly everything I find has to do with reading disabilities. One site I found talked about a specific spelling disability and that it may be a slight form of dyslexia. She was tested at school and they said that she does not have dyslexia, but does have a “specific learning disability”. However, the site I mentioned said that this form of dyslexia often gets overlooked, and all the symptoms they mentioned seemed to fit my daughter. Is anyone familiar with this? And does anyone know of a spelling program that teaches word patterns, rules, etc. instead of just a list of spelling words to memorize? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Kess

  2. #2
    SahmIam is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Spelling Disability

    I have not heard of that LD, but what you're saying makes sense. When they memorize a word for a list, they can't translate it to the context of everyday writing. My second child does that quite often.

    Here are a few sites and resources I found that focus more on patterns than rules. Hope you find something that helps!

    Spelling Strategies (too young? but good ideas):
    http://teacher.scholastic.com/lesson...tor/spell4.htm

    Go Fish style Card game (diy, gr. 6-8):
    http://www.readwritethink.org/lesson...ew.asp?id=1046

    Spelling pattern word searches:
    http://www.ictgames.com/hybrid.html

    Spelling pattern list e-books of many difficulties ($30 each or free w/ $25 annual membership to AVKO ):
    http://www.avko.org/patternsofenglishspelling.html
    Melissa.

  3. #3
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    denimay is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Spelling Disability

    You might try a box about 6-10" wide and about 18" long......fill it with sand or cat litter (the really cheap clay stuff) and have your daughter "spell" her words with her finger in the sand once or twice a day during the week. I've found this has helped my dyslexic kids......another thing is to cut out letters from fine sandpaper and glue them to tiles or thin blocks; arrange them to spell the word and trace these with your finger............you should spell the words OUT LOUD as you trace as this adds an auditory component.....just a couple of thoughts.....neither costs much and it could help...
    deni may ............
    artist and teacher

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  4. #4
    Kess is offline Member
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    Default Re: Spelling Disability

    Thank you both for you suggestions. I will definitely try some of those. I think I might start with the "Go Fish" game, that might be right up my daughter's alley.

    Thank you again!

    Kess

  5. #5
    SahmIam is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Spelling Disability

    I am thinking about using the Go Fish game with simpler spelling patterns for my girls (one is doing gr 6+ and the other is doing 3rd, so the suggested words may be too advanced for us). It looks fun!
    Melissa.

  6. #6
    heather72 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Re: Spelling Disability

    Hi Kess, I hope you get this. My son also had the same exact problems in spelling. 100%s on test and then the words were just totally gone. As the words on the tests became more in number and harder he started shutting down. Also, he was unable to memorize basic math facts no matter how many times we went over it. During testing with the school dist. for services for his LD and aspergers, the school psych noticed his eyes weren't tracking quite right. I had never noticed this as his eyes appear normal to me. Well I took him to an opthamologist , specializing in special needs and vision therapy. The Dr. said that He had a number of vision problems, especially poor tracking with his eyes and 4 percentile on visual memory (normal being 50 percentile and above 50 being above average). The lack of visual memory is why he could not retain basic math and spelling. We have a family history of dyslexia on my side of the family, but we never knew about vision therapy. The Dr. said he needed 48 weeks of therapy and we are about half way done now. It is expensive and hard work, but the results are wonderful. He has made so much progress and now we are really focusing on the visual memory excercises. His confidence has improved and he is starting to sound words out on his own more often. He is in 5th grade and he had not gone past beginning 1st grade spelling before this. His IQ is in the 120s so it was not lack of intelligence causing the problem.I finally have hope. I have also noticed improvements in mental math problems. I think the brochures on vision therapy said about 80% of special needs kids need vision therapy. If that wasn't the right %, I do remember it was very high. I do hope you can check in to this and see if it is related to your daughters spelling problems. I know therapies cost a lot and not every insurance covers vision therapy. I do know this is life changing for my son. I will check back in case you have any questions. If you can't swing the vision therapy cost, I did see a book on Amazon on vision therapy. I am not sure how effective it would be going on your own but It couldn't hurt. Wishing you the best with you daughter, Heather

  7. #7
    mg22fpb is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Re: Spelling Disability

    I am familiar with this type of problem, my daughter has it too. Since they are such good readers, it is not dyslexia. I blame it on the current spelling prorams offered in schools. There is a great solution, go look at and check out some of the books in the Words Their Way series. It is a visual spelling program that makes sense out of spelling patterns using word sorts. It can be adapted for higher level learners. She probably needed more assistance with spelling in elementary school on a visual level and did not receive it because she was overall a good student. At 7th grade she should be studying origin of words.

    The original book also has spelling assessments included for each grade level. To help her, you need to assess where she is now in her spelling learning and start from there. This series was reccommended from my professor for my Reading Endorsement at a college that is specialized in Special Education. I tried the sorts out with my kids, it really helps.

    Good luck, let me know how it works for you.

  8. #8
    Kess is offline Member
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    Default Re: Spelling Disability

    Heather & Mg22fpb,

    Thank you both for your comments and suggestions. Sorry I haven't been around for a few days and haven't checked the board. Heather, the vision thing is so interesting. I've never heard of that before and will definitely check into that. My daughter also has difficulty memorizing her math facts. I'm so glad you found what worked for your son.

    And, I entirely agree that the way the schools teach spelling just does not work for a lot of children. Thank you for the tip about the book series. I’ve been really searching for something like that. I’ve tried a few things so far, but nothing that I’m really thrilled with yet.

    I'm so happy to know that I'm not alone in this. I sometimes feel nobody understands my daughter’s problem. It seems very rare and there is so little info about it. It’s nice to know that the two of you have experience with this.

    Thank you both again so much,
    Kess

  9. #9
    Syd'sMom is offline Member
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    Default Re: Spelling Disability

    My daughter left ps in 5th grade with all A's. When we started hs'ing, I realized she had a terrible spelling problem. I bought a 1st through 8th spelling curriculum. (This was before I found T4L) She missed 8 of the 2nd grade words. We worked on it together for almost a year with little success. Finally we had her evaluated by an educational research foundation in our area. They said she has an encoding issue (from brain to paper) rather than a decoding issue (from paper to brain.) Encoding issues are less common and less frequently diagnosed because the kids can read and get good grades.

    We use AVKO's Sequential Spelling. We spend 10 to 15 minutes a day (every day) on it. She has no word lists to study and no tests to take. During our spelling session she self-corrects her mistakes. The program is designed to build on word families. It highlights patterns and it's very positive. But the best thing about it is it works. She is a better speller after a year than I ever thought possible for her. We started in a book designed for adults. It's called "If it is to be, it is up to me to do it." She and I highly recommend it.

  10. #10
    Kess is offline Member
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    Default Re: Spelling Disability

    I've heard a lot of positive things about AVKO's Sequential Spelling. I looked into it back in September when we first started HS'ing, but I didn't try it because my daughter LOVES the computer and hates learning from books. So, I was trying to find a spelling software program that teaches spelling rules, patterns, etc that she could do on the computer. I have tried 2 so far, but they were a little disappointing. At this point, I am going to have to go a different route. I am going to look further into AVKO's Sequential Spelling and the Word Their Way series and see which might work better for her.

    Your daughter is in 5th grade and you mentioned that you started her on the upper level of the spelling program. My daughter is in 7th, so do you recommend I start with that version also?

    Thanks,
    Kess

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