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Dyslexia question

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I wondered if someone could give me an opinion about my son. He's 9. He reads well. It's his spelling that has been more of a struggle. I have considered his mistakes too phonetic for dyslexia but I wondered if someone might take the time to give me some thoughts. I'm sorry this is long.


He has persistent reversals in some numbers. Despite working on this repeatedly he almost always writes 5 backwards and never recognizes the error. He sometimes does the same with 7 and 9. He does write a few letters reversed still but he always catches and corrects the letters on his own (b/d, g/p/q). The letter z he will write backwards and not catch.


Cursive is going ok though he's struggling more than his twin. It's directionality that's the issue there too.


He has issues with left/right. Multiplication memorization was more of a struggle than I expected but he's doing ok I think. Memorizing lists and such are harder for him than his twin but his twin is probably particularly good at that so it may be normal. He has issues, though, with remembering even address and phone number type information.


He have speech issues in articulation alone but some weird grammar stuff too (like "a apple" sounds perfectly fine to him).


I have a cousin with dyslexia. My sister has diagnosed dyscalcula and symptomatic spelling issues that likely indicate mild dyslexia.


Spelling errors, though, seem too phonetic for dyslexia to me?


goas for goes

bolth for both

carese for carries

knieves for knives

looke for look

stoped for stopped

travelling for traveling

miny for many

glasess for glasses

cleare for clear

kictchen for kitchen

likeley for likely


Those are some I wrote down a while ago. But one thing he does is add some really strange, not particularly phonetic, letters sometimes. I can't think of an example now.


I think his biggest issue is that he just doesn't remember the visual for words. I switched to Apples and Pears recently and it seems to be helping him.

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Things that pointed us to Dyslexia with DS- Consistently DS leaves out vowels (we joke at our house that unlike Wheel of Fortune, vowels are free), he does sometimes swap letters (does is consistently spelled dose). His letter confusion is P&Q, B&D, 9&6-he doesn't generally write them incorrectly anymore but he does confuse them still. Rhyming or nonsense words show his weakness. He might know how to spell "pillow" but not "willow". DS also has difficulty with math facts, peoples names, phone numbers, etc. basically general short term memory. Also missing those connecting words like "an, the, and" when reading. It really makes the context a problem in textbook materials not-so-much in fiction. It sounds like there is probably some phonetic weakness and maybe someone can correct me, but the reversals should be done by 9. You might check out the dyslexic websites for some more detailed descriptions of symptoms, and as a starting point for testing. I am so glad that Apples and Pears seems to be helping.

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Sounds a lot like my son, although his reading is still what would be considered below grade. He has good days and days when numbers are written backwards or upside down. Generally now he recognizes and corrects without my having to say anything.


One thing that seems to be helping him is a solid OG program with rules eg when do we add just "s" and when is it "es"; when do we double a consonant and why, etc. Strangely enough his spelling now seems to be going better than his reading! If Apples and Pears is working, that's great.


One thing I have heard is that with kids with a strong visual memory, it's important for them not to see too many misspellings of a word. So I haven't allowed to to make up his own spelling, and if he needs help I help him spell it correctly. Typing with spellcheck can be good for this!

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My dd is 14 now, but I took her in for formal testing at the end of 5th grade. She was testing at grade level through our local ps (who would do a full battery of testing on her for me even though she was homeschooled).

Spelling has and continues to be a huge struggle for her. Most people are able to "see" the word in their head and tell if it is spelled correctly when written down. She says that she does not "see" the word at all. She has also always had a bit of a speech disorder and when I correct her on her sounds, she says she cannot tell any difference between the correct and incorrect pronunciations.


When I took her in for formal dyslexia testing, the evaluator asked me to list what my concerns were. Here is what I said:


Specific Examples of Concerns:

1. When reading: CONSISTANTLY, "dd" will skip or misread small words such as: and, the, an, from, on, of, these, that, etc. Many times, this will change the meaning of the sentence she just read.

2. Will change the ending or suffix of words – completely changing the meaning or tense of the word.

3. Sight words continue to be a problem for her – both in reading and spelling. When spelling – she doesn’t add vowels. It doesn’t matter how many times we work on spelling certain sight words, she will misspell them.

4. Will read a word on one page and will not know it two pages later, although this is improving.

5. Still reads aloud in a monotone cadence without inflection unless reminded. This has improved somewhat, but usually needs a reminder.

6. Will ignore punctuation making the reading hard to comprehend.

7. Comprehension is much higher if I read to her than if she reads to herself. She will use context and score high on a comprehension test, but I know it is gleaned from what she surmises from select words.

8. Still finds it hard to sound out some larger words, then with other large words, she will read them correctly. She has problems distinguishing syllables, vowels sounds and blends. Even after repeated study in phonics and rules, she continues to struggle with this.

9. "dd" will start out reading well for a couple of pages and then seems to tire. It is hard for her to read very long passages and keep her fluency consistent.

10. Writing is still hard for her – she starts letters at the wrong point and will make a lot of them “backwardsâ€. Cursive, both reading it and writing it, are hard. Retention of “how to make the cursive letters†is lost without constant repetition.

11. When writing a list, as in a spelling list, she will start at the left side of the page and the “list†will slant toward the right side of the page by the end of the list.

12. Grips pencils very tightly and has a problem with spacing between letters and words.

13. Has a hard time remembering days of the week, months of the year, cannot alphabetize without starting back at the beginning and saying the entire alphabet, etc. She finds it hard to understand terms such as “day after tomorrow†and “a quarter till twelveâ€.

14. Suffixes and prefixes are difficult and meanings are not retained or transferred to other words.

15. "dd" has always had a problem with tenses and will often use the wrong tense of a word in her speech.

16. She will glance at a word and say a word that may start with the same sound, but will not be close to the correct word. Even when pressed to re-read the word or to sound it out, she will continue to mispronounce it.

17. When I am explaining an assignment to "dd", she will not look down at the book. She tends to look at the wall in front of her and I have to repeatedly ask her look at what I am explaining. It is interesting to me. She is not a defiant child at all and tries very hard to please and to learn, but it is almost as if it pains her to focus on the page and at times, will upset her.

18. When asked to explain what she experiences when she reads, "dd" stated that she just does not see some of the words. “It’s like seeing two rocks with a space between the rocks, and that space is a word, but I don’t see it.†She also told me that it is not her eyes that get tired when she reads, it’s just that she gets tired.

19. Has trouble distinguishing left from right.


Her formal diagnosis wound up being "mild" to "moderate". To this day, spelling is an issue. Her reading is better, but slow.

She compensates for her weaknesses, but it takes so much more work on her part to come even close to what a "normal" student her age has to do.


After watching my dd, I think dyslexics are some of the most brave people there are on this earth.

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