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Spelling - 9th grader - auditory processing/dyslexia


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I'm exploring spelling options for a 9th grader with auditory processing and dyslexic challenges.  She has come a *LONG* way in this area, however, spelling is still quite a challenge...mainly because she has trouble hearing sounds in some words.   We tried all the "best" and Orton Gillingham phonics based programs.  She finally *started* to read in 3rd grade using Pathway Readers which are more whole word focused.  We did not abandon phonics however have learned that phonics rules are often *not* helpful to her. 

 

Spell check is definitely a needed and used tool but I see that technology will not always be on hand.  It is embarrassing and frustrating for her when she has to ask others how to spell words when writing something.   We've learned that rules focused programs are not helpful. 

 

Over the years, some of the resources we have used included: traditional spelling programs (which were memorized by pattern for the test and often forgotten), Barton level 1 &2,  All About Spelling, Reading Horizon (computer program), and Spelling Power.  We used Spelling Power for a few years.  It was most effective of all we've tried but she needs more practice and review.  This year we went through two Megawords books.  I am considering sticking with that program but the spelling portion is not really enough and the rules tend not to be helpful.  I am also considering Sequential Spelling. 

 

Are there any other ideas for programs and tools like ipod or computer apps, etc...?  Her weakest areas are multi-syllable words and words with unusual/unpredictable spelling. I understand we will not fix her challenges.  I do think though that we can improve her spelling skills more before she graduates. 

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Have you had her examined by an audiologist?  

 

My first suggestion is Lindamood Bell's LiPS program.  There are centers and professional tutors you can look into using if there are any in your area, but if you think you can tutor it yourself you will save thousands of dollar in tutoring costs.  DS still has issues (and the underlying causes are very similar to your DD) but once he did LiPS then his OG based reading and spelling system worked a lot better.  Things finally started clicking in ways they hadn't before.  I don't think he went far enough in the LiPS program but he doesn't want to switch back to LiPS from Barton at this point so we keep plugging away, even with his trip ups.  Before LiPS Barton was a real nightmare for him, though.  Now, things are clicking really pretty well.

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You wrote that 'she has trouble hearing sounds in some words'.

With APD, this can be letters in a certain frequency range.  Most often in the higher frequency.

I would ask if you have identified which letter and phoneme sounds she has trouble?

Also if her spelling difficulties occur generally, or more with words that she has trouble hearing?

 

 

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I would use Spelling Plus at this point, it focuses on the most common 1,000 words in English, which account for 90% of any running text. It is by Susan C. Anthony. She has an accompanying book called Spelling Dictation that had the words in sentences to make sure they are transferring over to written work.

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I did a computer search for lists of most common words and started working on them. My son uses a Franklin digital thesaurus/dictionary thing that has games like hangman where you can enter in spelling words you want to work on for it to give practice on in various games. That has been helpful. There is also a website for something like spelling city where you can enter words and get games...we used that a few times, but the Franklin has been more helpful, especially since it is very portable.

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I don't know if you are still reading this, but I was wondering about Spelling Power...   Did you do the whole 10 parts to memorizing the words work and still found that more review was needed?  Would it be possible to do that by having a repeat of prior words review that you do every so often?

 

What are the 10 steps in Spelling Power anyway?

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A good tool you can use, if she can recognize a properly spelled word, is a Franklin Speller.  It's about the size of a calculator and is designed to interpret phonemically spelled words to determine what word the child may have WANTED to type.  Teaching her to use a Franklin Speller as an "always with her" assistive technology device can serve her on those occassions when spell-check is not available. 

 

The Franklin Speller works best when the child can read decently.  The Speller has a built-in dictionary, so a child can check the list of possible words' defnitions to be sure she picks the RIGHT word.

We worked on spelling for YEARS, but reached a point where our neuropsychologist told us that spelling is the MOST resistent aspect of dyslexia to remediate.  At some point, it is useful to teach a child to use assistive technology as a lifelong coping skill.  My son was about the age of your DD when we stopped working directly on spelling and started working on self-correction.  Using the self-correction spelling method (link leads to my website explaining the process of self-correction) actually IMPROVED my son's spelling a LOT--far more than his spelling had improved over the prior year or two that we worked directly on spelling.

 

I don't know if that helps or not, but if you have any questions about how we used the Franklin Speller and word processor, feel free to ask!

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My severely dyslexic, dysgraphic and low memory ds (finishing up 8th grade) has finally made progress using the brand new Spelling U See (yes, by the same company that does MathUSee).  There comes a point when you realize that some kids don't retain all those various spelling rules (I wish I could have avoided the whole silent e lessons because now they appear on every word!) but we decided to give the new spelling program a go.  It was key to do the placement test and he hated doing it but I think I made the right choice in going one lower versus the suggestion on the website to use the one according to age.  It started off easy enough but it made him stop and think through the words.  The colored pencils worked in pointing out the key lesson for the week.  What was most key to success has been my involvement.  I think this program lends itself easily to mom going over said lesson on Monday and then the child working through it each day until Friday's dictation day.  I've seen a big difference in doing it that way versus me reviewing those lessons each day.  He is working hard in spelling the words correctly but the lessons are short and sweet so he doesn't get bogged down and discouraged.  I love Thursdays because it is no-rule day and encourages them to free write a story and you don't correct the spelling.  He is now more concerned about how to spell things.  He has taken note of places he has seen words spelled correctly and brings that into his stories.  Overall, I'm shocked that this is working so well - far better than anything I've ever tried.  No more breakdowns, disappearing into the room under the bed moments.  I've got no stake in the company for sure and I don't blog so I don't get any kickbacks but I think this spelling program is a very welcomed addition to the homeschooling community.  Not all kiddos succeed with a rules-based, test on Fridays kind of program.  This program has been working wonders in my struggling ds along with his visual spatial little brother, too!

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