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What Are the Best Tips for Spelling with Dyslexia?

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  • Written By: Laura Metz
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2016
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A great many tips are available for spelling with dyslexia. Many people with dyslexia focus on learn the rules that guide spelling rather than learning specific words. Others use a multi-sensory approach so that spelling is visual, auditory, and tactile, rather than simply visual.

Dyslexia is a broad learning disability, known primarily for making reading and writing difficult. Often a person with dyslexia finds it challenging to recognize or recall the look and sound of letters and words. To become a better speller, he or she must become familiar with each letter and the rules for combining them to make certain sounds. In short, a person with dyslexia must become proficient with the rules of phonics.

Teachers of children with dyslexia often try to facilitate learning by teaching spelling based on structure. A common technique is to focus each week on a specific spelling rule or type, such as “i before e” or words with a “-tion” ending. The student can then add certain types of words week by week, reviewing constantly.

This structure-based learning also aids in another important aspect of spelling, proofreading. After writing a word, sentence, or paragraph, a person can then be trained to carefully sound out each word, checking for proper spelling. Proofreading is an essential skill for every writer, but it can be especially crucial for those spelling with dyslexia.

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Another technique, multisensory learning, involves using several senses to recognize letters. Paying careful attention to feeling, seeing, and hearing the letter can help dyslexic learners remember its shape, appearance and sound. Many students learn better by feeling raised letters or letter cut-outs. Similarly, tracing or writing letters and words in the air may help students recall them better.

Since learning spelling with dyslexia is a long process, it can be especially important for the student not to get bored or overwhelmed with the subject. Short periods of study are easier to absorb and remember than long, tiring sessions. In addition, many people find that changing colors, writing implements, and even paper type can keep their mind engaged and make the spellings easier to recall.

Various other tips for spelling with dyslexia include using flashcards and repetition. Spelling pronunciation, in which the reader pronounces a word phonetically, may be helpful, particularly for words that do not follow a simple rule. Some people with dyslexia find that using certain colors of paper, ink, or overlays make it easier for their eyes to focus on the words, decreasing the tendency to see shifting letters.

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