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HELP!!! 16 year old daughter still can't spell


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#1 nukeswife

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:01 PM

I'm really feeling lost.  My daughter is 16 and although she's a lovely girl and very gifted artist she struggles with spelling all the time.  We've tried every program out there from Spelling Workout, to spelling power, to AAS, and everything else we could think of.  Nothing sticks.  

I'm adding a picture of something she wrote today, it's scary.  I've had her tested.  At age 10 II had her evaluated because she also wasn't reading, they found a binocular dysfunction and she went through a year of vision therapy which helped immensely.  She's now an avid reader, but the spelling still isn't coming together. 

I have no idea how this girl will make it in college with this issue, it's not a matter of "spellcheck will be her best friend" it's such a problem even spellcheck doesn't catch a lot of it. 

Any suggestions are welcome. 

 

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#2 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:37 PM

Who did the evaluation and what were they evaluating for? What tests were run? Was it only a vision evaluation? Was it through a developmental optometrist? Has she ever had an evaluation through a neuropsychologist or edu psychologist?

#3 scoutingmom

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:06 PM

Looks much better than my 14yo son...... did they test for dysgraphia?

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#4 EKS

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:15 PM

Was she evaluated for dyslexia?  Late reading and lingering spelling issues are common signs.


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#5 nukeswife

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:42 AM

Who did the evaluation and what were they evaluating for? What tests were run? Was it only a vision evaluation? Was it through a developmental optometrist? Has she ever had an evaluation through a neuropsychologist or edu psychologist?

She had many of them through various avenues, yes the VT was through a developmental optometrist, yes she was tested by a neuropsychologist 

 

Looks much better than my 14yo son...... did they test for dysgraphia?

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Yes. 

Was she evaluated for dyslexia?  Late reading and lingering spelling issues are common signs.

 

Yes. We were told she is not dyslexic. 



#6 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:04 PM

Not all evaluators use the term "dyslexia" since it is not really an official diagnosis.  Is there a possibility the diagnosis is in the results but not the term "dyslexia"?  I ask because that has happened on this board before.  Someone posted results of an evaluation because they were confused that their child did not have dyslexia but had a lot of the issues.  Turns out the evaluation basically WAS indicating dyslexia but did not use that term.  

 

When your child reads out loud, how well does she do?  Does she decode accurately and with fluency?  Does she skip words, guess based on the first letter or first sound?  When spelling a word if she reads the word out loud afterwords can she tell that the word is misspelled?  

 

Either way, I would like to encourage you regarding your daughter's options.  While good spelling can be immensely helpful, it is not the be all and end all of existence.  FWIW, my husband is a very poor speller (his handwriting is also really bad).  My dad was never very good at spelling.  My nephew has abysmal (as in literally illegible even to him) handwriting and spelling.  They all went on to college and have all done well in their respective careers.  These stories are anecdotal I know but I am hoping to help you see that there are ways around deficits like this.  While you seek answers and helps I would not be giving up hope of your child going on to college if that is what she wants and that path would help her achieve her goals.

 

Have you tried scaffolding her with speech to text software?  That might help her with output.  

 

Also, FWIW, Barton Reading and Spelling turned DD's abysmal spelling issues around really well.  Even though she had vision issues and still does, Barton helped her to be able to spell when no other program had.  It also taught her how to use a spellchecker when she was uncertain of letters within the word.  And helped her internalize strategies for figuring out the spelling of words she had never seen.   She went from barely spelling anything well to spelling the majority of her words correctly.  It is an expensive program to use but each level usually sells for nearly the original purchase price.  Also, if a student gets through a level extremely quickly it can be exchanged for the next level up at no additional cost (besides maybe shipping) so if your child were to blow through Level 1 you could exchange it for Level 2, for instance.  It may be overkill for your scenario but I thought I would mention it since it really did help DD's spelling in dramatic ways.



#7 City Mouse

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 01:34 PM

I agree with using Barton.
Go ahead and give her the Barton pre-test.
Since she doesn't seem to have trouble with reading, you could focus on the activities with nonsense words, but you may find that there are gaps in her skills that she has been compensating for without realizing.

When we started Barton I found out that my DS who was 10yrs old at the time could not rhyme. That should have been a red flag when he was in kinder and 1st grade, but he had tought himself a way to come up with one rhyming word. When he was asked to give more than one he could not do it.
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#8 scoutingmom

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 03:34 PM

And for when spell checkers don't know.... a verbally activated device will likely. "Hey Siri (Alexa, Galaxy, whatever), how do you spell Repeat?" will likely work just fine...

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#9 Heigh Ho

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 03:54 PM

We used Megawords 1 to go through the basic spelling rules.  That cleared up a lot...the kid knew most of the choices, but not the rules as far as which  one to pick if he couldn't recall.



#10 Ottakee

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 06:05 PM

Apples and Pears is another unique spelling program that is designed for dyslexia.  It is simple to use.



#11 EKS

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 09:35 AM

Yes. We were told she is not dyslexic. 

 

I would assume she is anyway and proceed accordingly.



#12 lewelma

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 02:58 PM

My younger ds (14) was/is similar.  2 years ago we started 'typing dictation.'  I would dictate the book to him and he would type it out.  This is not SWB dictation, this was/is spelling dictation.  I correct spelling word for word, and I purposely mispronounce the words to augment the correct spelling. This technique is called "think to spell" in SWR.  We don't do a lot of rules, because he knows them, but cannot apply them.  The problem is a lack of automation.  He can spell cat, but at age 12 would have to sound it out, and this would happen with every.single.word, and if it was irregular or there were multiple acceptable representations for a sound, he could not get it right.  

 

So at age 12, we started with Cat in the Hat, to make sure he could master the top 100 words.  We kept with it for about two months.  So 30 minutes a day and about 200 words at that point. Next book, was Frog and Toad I think. We slowly built up with books he liked and now he is using Eragon.  Each book is slightly harder in spelling, plus each book uses different words.  He currently mis-spells about 10-20% of the words in Eragon, and can now encode at about 15-20 words a minute.  I say 'encode' because if he is typing while looking at the text he can type at 40 words a minute.  The problem is not typing, it is the encoding, the spelling.

 

DS was identified as Dysgraphic, but scored at the top 80th percentile for spelling. (haha) The test was for spelling regular, made-up words.  Basically a test of if he knew the rules, but that is not the problem.  Spelling for him is just not automated. He had to sound out every single word which was crazy slow and he would forget what he was going to say, and at least 50% of the words would be spelled wrong.  What he needed was just *more* practice spelling. So now in addition to his compositions for WWS once a week, he does an additional 200-400 words a day through dictation.  We have come very far, and he is very motivated to continue.

 

Ruth in NZ



#13 nukeswife

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 03:22 PM

Thanks all for you input, when reading out loud she does fine with pronunciation for the most part, typical issues with longer words that you'd expect her to have trouble with because they aren't commonly used.  All the small words that she has trouble with in spelling she can read with no problems. 

 

The concern I have for college is  where she may have to do an in class essay as a test/exam.  My son is going to the school she is currently planning to and his English 1010 final was an in class essay.  Something like that could tank her grade. 

After looking over Barton and AAS again, we decided to try AAS.  They now have an app, which was her biggest push back with that program.  We're going to make spelling and writing a bigger focus than we had been.  It may mean she reads less literature but sometimes sacrifices have to be made. 


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