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sbgrace

? about spelling and speech

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My 8 year old son spells things a bit strangely and I'm wondering if it means anything. He does have speech issues (l and r especially but also th and s) and receives speech therapy. He's making good progress.

 

But today, for example, he spelled "both" as "bolth" and I've noticed he adds l's or similar letters like that a lot. I'm wondering if he might be hearing those sounds or his own speech issues might be connected.

 

Any thoughts?

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They could be connected. Has he ever had a really good hearing test done, not just a screening? If there is a slight hearing issue it could certainly affect speech and spelling.

 

If that is not the issue, we found that really focusing on the phonics helped our son with his speech. He could SEE the sounds he was supposed to say--and not add or forget any sounds.

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Interesting. Yes, they're likely related. If he's having problems with his speech then he can't rely completely on his mouth to help him with spelling. The tongue for an /l/ is placed close to the same place as it is for /th/. Does he rolls his tongue into something of an l position as he moves into the th from the o in both?

 

Since he's in speech therapy, I'd mention it to the speech therapist.

 

 

I'd suggest you make a list or index cards of the words he misspells like that and work on them. Add them to his spelling tests. You can use spelling to help him with his speech by showing him through letters what sounds are in words. That works for most words, but not all, (like could, should, comb, etc.) Words like that might be adding to his spelling trouble. Teach him the irregular words, but reinforce that those words are the exception. If it's an overwhelming number of words, just work on 3 or so at a time until he knows them.

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Our SLP puts all her kids through Earobics to make sure they're hearing sounds correctly. You're not crazy to think he might not be. I've started it with my ds, and since I have it I went ahead and started my dd as well. She had a few oddities (in addition to a 20 point difference between her CTOPP and reading despite years of SWR/AAS) that made me wonder. So it definitely can't hurt.

 

Not saying it eliminates the need/benefit of the auditory eval. We haven't done an auditory eval, so I really know nothing about that.

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Many of my remedial students have underlying speech problems, it makes phonics and spelling more difficult to learn and you have to be even more explicit when teaching. You also have to explain to a higher level of understanding and teach in smaller increments. I like marked print for students with underlying speech difficulties, the 1908 Webster, the 1879 McGuffeys, my UPP (in my phonics lessons and here.)

 

I also like to use this website when teaching the sounds.

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We learned that is often time the way WE say things that makes for confusion in spelling.

If you talk slowly for instance, the tongue actually finds it's way to the teeth before the "th" sound, creating a miniscule small "l" sound. Say the word a few times outloud slowly and faster. If you or any other family members do this, then I bet your son picks up on it.

 

Good luck!

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