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Dyslexic swapping order of vowel teams/blends


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I'm noticing that my dyslexic DS9 is reversing the order of letters in vowel teams and blends with increasing regularity in his spelling.  

We've completed ABeCeDarian levels A & B, but the fluency is still slow to come.  We started Apples & Pears spelling this past year with surprising success.  But now that he's 15 levels from the end, he's spelling "oats" as "aots",  "out" as "uot", and "that" as "htat" to name just a few examples.

Has anybody experienced this before?  Is there any thing to be done other than patient, repeated correction?  We already do the Dianne Craft idea of spelling it front to back and back to front .... but even then, the swapping will happen sometimes.

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When DC says to do this, is she saying to use visualization? So it's not his auditory memory but a visual image that he's using to spell it backward. Have you checked to make sure the dc is visualizing?

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I don’t think I would keep doing the backwards spelling to be honest.

Is he reading very much?  Reading can help, but it takes times.

I also liked highlighting a combination when reading.  
 

It was a slow process here, but I have not had experience with that kind of reversal.  
 

My son did a lot of reading words backwards so I would not do anything that took away from “we read from left to right.”  
 

I think with things like spelling backwards and forwards, they are great for kids they help, but that doesn’t mean they are great for everybody.

 

I also knew from OT testing my son had a weak visual memory.  He is not someone who had a strength with that.  Some kids do, some kids don’t.

 

I think it is a hard balance between going slowly with spelling to help remember patterns, and going quickly enough with spelling to reinforce reading.

Personally I think — prioritize reading and do what is needed to try to reinforce reading, and then go back for spelling.  
 

It is up to you what you see working with reading and spelling and what to prioritize.  It can depend on how fast things are going and if certain things are going well, etc.

In general there is a choice between keeping reading and spelling instruction together, or going faster in reading than spelling.  
 

It can make sense either way depending on how things are going.  
 

Another suggestion is to repeat lessons from your current program or spend more time on things before going forward, if it seems like it is going too fast.  But at the same time — if it is going well overall and this just happens once in a while — it might just be a phase.  

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@Lecka thanks. Would you please tell me more about your DC reading backwards and how you worked on it?

I have observed my DS doing something similar at times (usually more middle-to-left-to-right) and the thought did cross my mind about the irony of asking him to spell from right to left. 
 

Thanks too for the encouragement to pause spelling. It’s been another thing I’ve pondered doing, but we are sooooo close to the end of the book.  I know it’s influencing my decision making process. 

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Well, he would just look at words and say something in a jumble.  It might be backwards.  It might be middle, end, then beginning.

I got advice to use a card and slide it to only reveal part of the word at a time.

I would also just go back to sounding out for that word.  Sometimes he would just get discombobulated and start guessing and forget the process of sounding out left to right.  


Or he would get stuck with it in some way and then just see it the wrong way and say it that way.

Other advice I have seen is to put a sticky note on the left to remind about starting to the left (like on the side of a page).  
 

I also would just try to make a big deal out of going left to right.

 

We did continue needing to review very basic “this is how we sound out words” even after he was getting farther to where it would seem like he would just know that.  No, it took a long time to actually become automatic.  

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Posted (edited)

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57891644bebafbbe871a567f/t/57a50075b3db2b8908e9be1c/1470431350767/ABCD_Level_B_Chains.pdf
 

Not necessarily these specific word chains — I think I used them rom somewhere else — but like this.

I would usually write one word then the next word, not have a list all at once.

My son also did well with letter manipulatives for this like the AAS letter manipulatives.  He could physically slide the letters or touch each one as he said each sound.  Things like ou would go on one tile.  That actually helped him a lot.  You could order those or something like them if you don’t already have a letter tile set.  

Edited by Lecka
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I know it will seem like someone who has been through Level B wouldn’t still need this, but it is needed to review or build words as long as mistakes like this are made — if it is seen to be helpful!

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I just pulled out my AAS tiles this week!  And we are working through those exact word chains (albeit that's on break right this moment).  I'll try the writing them out individually though.

Great minds think alike!!!  This is helpful, though, as confirmation that we are on the right path --- just moving very slowly along the right path.  Thank you.

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Posted (edited)

When my DS9 gets phonograms turned around like that, I first ask him to see if he can spot his mistake, and if he can't, I might ask him something like, "Is ao a spelling choice for the sound /long o/?" Nine times out of ten he'll catch the mistake at that point and be able to fix it.  I will also plan reviews on any phonograms that he makes a mistake like that on.  (For us, this would be a multisensory review of the mistaken phonogram, plus reading/spelling several words with that phonogram).   We also drill all the phonograms he knows visually 2-3x per week (plus there is an another drill that involves writing all the spelling choices for each sound, which at this point we only get to any one particular sound maybe once every 2-3 weeks since we rotate through them).  I think practices like that really encourage getting/keeping the phonograms cemented in his brain in the correct order, because he can run through the options and realize ao, uo, etc aren't actual phonograms in our deck, so we wouldn't be writing those to represent those sounds. It's not that he never turns things around, but I feel like when we slack on the review or drills, the mistakes happen more often.

Edited by kirstenhill
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2 hours ago, kirstenhill said:

I feel like when we slack on the review or drills, the mistakes happen more often

errrrrr, why yes, we have slacked on our review because it's the end of the school year and getting bored with the same-old-same-old. 

Would you mind sharing more details on the drills/reviews that you use?  We just do flashcards, and I know it's not exciting. It sounds like you have a variety of drills. 

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For a reluctant writer — looking for a certain phonogram to highlight was pretty painless.

Also you know the word sorts in Abecedarian where you write the possible spellings for the phonogram at the top of a column?  Just looking for words to put in the columns.  I would not use all the choices, probably just two.  But he could look for words from his reading (or I would point out words when I read and then he would say which column).  I would write for him most of the time.  
 

He did also like the drills where the phonograms were written out across a page, better than flashcards.  
 

He liked anything where he controlled the materials better than anything where I controlled the materials.  Aka — me holding the flashcards was worse than him having his own space and controlling the paper.  
 

He would get flashcards very jumbled if he was holding them so it did not work well for him to go through flashcards. 

 

He also liked the tiles and did well with them, so just playing with the tiles and saying the sounds was good review.

 

Also good review could be — for the word “oats” write “ts” and he chooses the “oa” phonogram tile.  Things like that.

 

You can also check out Spelling City.  It was not great for my son bc fine motor issues, but it used to have a lot of free games and people will put in the word lists for different spelling programs.  I don’t know if that is still free but it used to have a lot of free sections and I know the AAS lists were available, and probably all the common spelling programs would be, too.  

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Posted (edited)

Also for review — any game can have a review card fo with a turn.  It is slow but can be fun and is a good chance to model (like — if you are blending then you model on your turn, and that can be good exposure).  This can be with a board game or with taking turns bouncing a ball.  
 

Anything where you write words or phonograms in chalk or on a post-it note and then try to hit them with a ball or with a nerf dart or crumpled piece of paper — those are fun review.

 

I think there is a lot of place for review that does not seem very efficient but that is fun.  
 

They can also be a reward for having worked hard on something — oh, now we can do something fun.  
 

Or if things are going poorly they can make for a nice change.  

Edited by Lecka
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I have read also that learning can be higher when engagement is higher — so that can be a reason to try to do fun things that don’t seem very efficient.

I definitely think it is good to mix things up to keep from getting monotonous to help maintain interest.  That does not necessarily have to be fun but fun can be part of that.

I am someone who is very much — mentally dividing up how long things take and how long it will take to get through things and calculating how long it will take.  I do that all the time.

But that is just not reality when kids have to have that engagement and interest level, and not just like — we are going to go through this stuff, so pay attention.  
 

It is not my nature but it is worth the effort, and also it does help to keep it from just seeming like drudgery.

And if they actually like it, it makes review a lot easier to make time for, especially if they ask to do review — it can even make it easier to just add in review days sometimes even if that means falling behind on the possible schedule.

I think too, sometimes things are just going to take longer than “going through the program” because there just is going to be a need for more time spent on practice and review.  Which I hate but — I think that can be reality.  

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/12/2021 at 10:44 PM, domestic_engineer said:

I'm noticing that my dyslexic DS9 is reversing the order of letters in vowel teams and blends with increasing regularity in his spelling.  

We've completed ABeCeDarian levels A & B, but the fluency is still slow to come.  We started Apples & Pears spelling this past year with surprising success.  But now that he's 15 levels from the end, he's spelling "oats" as "aots",  "out" as "uot", and "that" as "htat" to name just a few examples.

Has anybody experienced this before?  Is there any thing to be done other than patient, repeated correction?  We already do the Dianne Craft idea of spelling it front to back and back to front .... but even then, the swapping will happen sometimes.

My dyslexic does this still. He's 18. 

It is NOT for lack of instruction or understanding his learning style, or anything we can change. 

He knows the phonograms. He's applying them. He's just seeing them inverted.

Mine mirror writes in cursive, perfectly from right to left. He reads it the same forward or backwards.

Advice from this end: do NOT waste hours on spelling!!! Just do copywork & dictation, and choose meaningful content. Allow him to peek, take a mental picture, as often as needed. 

 

Spend MORE time on science, word problems in math, carpentry, mechanical engineering stuffs, physical play like swinging on ropes/making ramps for his bike or skateboard/building forts and such.

These kids see every angle. Literally. (It's why they words up their mix and spell shirt like hsirt)

He's never going to be a great speller. It's OK. 

He will be a phenomenal artistic and skilled something...doing things that good spellers cannot fathom. His brain is wired for creation, not spelling. And truly, it's OK. 

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