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Dyslexia and spelling

(27 Posts)
tanith Sat 24-Jan-15 15:36:21

My granddaughter is newly diagnosed with Dyslexia and I just wonder if anyone can advise me what I could buy her to help especially with spelling, is there a dictionary for dyslexics for instance? I've looked on Amazon but do wonder if what they have there would be good for her as you can't seem to 'look inside' like you can with other books..
She is 10yrs by the way... any advise would be welcome. We are trying not to make a 'big thing' about it as I'm sure she will cope well and adapt her way of learning as many others do I just want her to have whatever I can get her to make it easier.

hildajenniJ Sat 24-Jan-15 15:45:43

I just wondered if she has been prescribed tinted glasses. I knew a care assistant who was diagnosed with dyslexia in her thirties. Her writing and spelling were terrible. I think she went to Glasgow to see a dyslexia specialist who tested her with various lens colours. She found that a dark yellow lens kept the words on the page, and in a straight line! She hadn't achieved anything at school, but realised that she wasn't stupid, and applied for nursing. She got her degree, and has never looked back.
Sorry, I went on a bit but the tinted lenses were very effective.

Mishap Sat 24-Jan-15 16:07:26

My DD used a ruler - she would put it under each line and it helped her to keep in the right place and to find the beginning of the next line. She has an MA, so take heart, it need not hold her back. She was (stiill is!) a npretty determined character though!

One important thing that hekped her through was a real sense of self-worth, and an absence of embarrassment about the problem when she was older - it did worry her a bit when she was younger though to the extent that she refused any special help or aids in exams (like extra time). She was determined to achieve her aims without being singled out. We did help her at home particularly with the reading of set books.

She is a happy, well-adjusted woman bringing up her family and running a music business with her OH. We are very proud of her.

Mishap Sat 24-Jan-15 16:08:56

Just to put that more clearly - I think the most important way that you as grandparents can help her is to foster her sense of self-worth to help her feel that she is just fine and her dyslexia is just one small facet of who she is.

FlicketyB Sat 24-Jan-15 16:10:13

Tanith you need to know what form her dyslexia takes. Dyslexia is a wardrobe term and covers a range of problems. hildajenniJ above has described one. The dyslexia of the children of a close friend was caused by short term memory problems. Their brains were/are not good at transferring data from short to long term memory. They saw a special tutor who drilled them in phonetics. Once the phonemes got through the short term/long term barrier, plus a limited range of 'exception' words, they used the phonemes to decode words every time they read them.

There are also other causes of dyslexia, so find out the cause of the problem and then you will better be able to gauge the best way of helping your DGD.

Dyslexia may cause her some problems, but needn't stop her achieving her potential. One of my friend's children went to university and the other holds a senior position in the IT industry.

J52 Sat 24-Jan-15 16:15:56

There are phonetic dictionaries on the market that allow the pupil to look up words as they sound.

Hand held electronic spellcheckers are good and they often have games like hangman on them. They used to be sold by WH Smith and Argos and were quite small. I hope they have not been replaced by apps on phones.

Usually schools don't mind them being used in class. ( well in my day they didn't ! )

Confidence building is really important - what a child is writing is more important than how they spell. If they are hung up on the spelling they sometimes are reluctant to put their good ideas on paper.
Also remember, few people have to read aloud in their jobs, except for teachers and vicars! X

vampirequeen Sat 24-Jan-15 19:05:26

A piece of card with a strip cut out sometimes helps with reading. You put it over the page so you only see a few words at a time. Tinted acetate over the page sometimes helps too. Try green first.

How is your GD with the alphabet? If she has a problem with the order play alphabet arch games.

Brendawymms Sat 24-Jan-15 19:56:05

There is a dictionary for people with dyslexia. It's calle ACD. Dictionary. Which stands for aural coded dictionary I think. The vows are listed by pictures such as pig, cat, etc and then there words are further divided. My younger daughter was officially educationally handicapped and we bought her one of these dictionaries about 26 years ago and it made such a difference. She tells me they are still available.

TriciaF Sat 24-Jan-15 20:00:29

J52's advice is good, more up to date than me!
The Dyslexia Institute used to offer private lessons and used a very formal approach eg teaching the "ee" sound and then giving lots of examples to read and spell with much repetition.
Don't know if they've changed their approach.
I read recently that some group is pushing for simlpification of english spelling which is one of the most complex and illogical in the world.

rockgran Sat 24-Jan-15 20:14:34

I used to teach dyslexic children (years ago) and used the book Alpha to Omega by Beve Hornsby which I believe is still going strong. (You can get it cheaply on Ebay) It breaks down the phonetic process into much more detail which a dyslexic child needs.

tanith Sat 24-Jan-15 20:30:33

Thankyou all for you advice and input I will come back to this thread and take notes of all the good hints and tips you've given me.. thankyou

trisher Sat 24-Jan-15 23:19:02

The problem with the term Dyslexia is that it is used to describe a condition which can have numerous causes. Some dyslexics do have visual problems which can be improved by the use of tinted lenses, others have problems with distingushing and identifying sounds, some have short term memory problems. It takes a great deal of time and effort to improve their spelling. They are best working regularly in short periods as many of them find the process very tiring Synthetic phonics is an excellent programme. There is also evidence that practising and improving other physical skills- hand-eye co-ordination,through juggling, balance, through exercises can help.
The good news is that as she gets older she will have a wide range of IT support. My son who is dyslexic has a spell check on his lap top which recognises words by their context as his attempt is sometimes unrecognizable to a normal spell checker. He has a voice program which reads text when he is very tired and struggling. He has just completed an MA. Dyslexia also often brings talent and skills in other areas.

Coolgran65 Sat 24-Jan-15 23:58:07

My son is dyslexic...diagnosed at second year uni.

At primary school he was poor at English.
He made it to grammar school, only just.

At GCSE he had to sit his English twice with extra tuition.
Went on to do 4 A levels, all in the sciences.
In the school A Level mock exams his results were always in the 90s, and several times got 100% for mathematics. By this time he had dropped English.

At uni his grades slipped because of the quality of his written reports so he changed his course slightly to include more mathematics and less reports.
During 2nd year uni he knew something was seriously wrong and saw relevant person at uni. Got assessed and diagnosed as dyslexic with maths in the superior range. Uni provided him with his own pc so he didn't have to queue at uni.. He went to phonetic lessons for a year. This was 20 years ago. He was a disabled student.

Final year he came first in his year of 42 students.
Got bursary and did his ph.d in chemistry.
He is now a senior scientist.

Coolgran65 Sun 25-Jan-15 00:13:46

Sorry...the point of my long story was that help is available, even 20 years ago. The Dyslexic assessor should be able to guide go the help and books, dictionaries etc.

And yes my son also was not concerned about being dyslexic it was just something to be dealt with.

However, my ex husband felt a great embarrassment and would not tell anyone, said it should be kept in house !!

This was one of the attitudes that led to him being ex husband.

With support your granddaughter will blossom and her talents will flourish.
Especially with such a caring gran.

vampirequeen Sun 25-Jan-15 00:14:44

People with dyslexia need to reassured that they are not 'stupid' because they have trouble reading and writing. I worked with a child who gained level 5 in Maths and Science but a level 2 in Literacy. It was so difficult to convince him that the level 2 didn't mean he was stupid (stupid was his word).

Coolgran65 Sun 25-Jan-15 00:40:53

A person with dyslexia is very likely to be extra talented in other aspects than English Language/Literacy. The big step is that English language is a necessary subject at GCSE level in order to proceed further in formal education.

Reassurance and support, and knowing that an individual's ability will lead down the path where the talents are strongest.

Iam64 Sun 25-Jan-15 09:27:56

Dyslexia used to be dismissed as something only middle class parents raised in order to excuse lazy or not very bright children. I first raised it about one of my children at age 6 and again in 1st year high school. Both times I was reassured by experienced teachers that the spelling/organisation/writing issues were due to my child being the youngest in the year.
A diagnosis of dyslexia in words and (especially) maths was finally made age 23. A number of friends have experienced this and I do hope it helps your granddaughter to have an earlier diagnosis. It certainly helped the now young people I know, who were diagnosed at university, to feel more confident about their abilities.

Nelliemoser Sun 25-Jan-15 10:03:35

Tanith be pleased she is diagnosed. I went through childhood with this. I would try to ensure she is getting support in school.

I was diagnosed at 50 when doing an OU course.

Like Hildajennis neice my writing was always bad. I know how to spell lots of words but getting the right words written down on paper is a different matter.

As many of my posts show I find anything written in large blocks of text difficult to read. It's something to do with eye trackin, as well as coloured paper or over lays.

I find mobile phone numbers written as groups of 5 and six digits hard to track. I always write them down in groups of 4-3-4.

I even struggle with "no milk today" notes to the milkman if I don't think about every letter of the words separately.

The OU allowed me extra time to do exams so I could write properly. I think schools should do the same.

Nothing personal, but right now I find the text of some of you above who have not used much line spacing at all more difficult to read.

vampirequeen Sun 25-Jan-15 10:21:31

DH is dyslexic. At school he was deemed to be either stupid or lazy. In fact if you look at Gardner's 9 types of intelligence he ticks far more boxes that I do. The only one he had problems with is Linguistic Intelligence whereas I have difficulty with Naturalist Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence and Spatial Intelligence. He can make and do things that save money whereas I have to pay other people to do things for me. He's brilliant with DIY, the car and anything else that is practical. He understands and empathises with people. His logic skills far excel mine. The list is endless.Yet I am the one deemed by society to be clever because I managed to get a degree.

If ever there was a disaster that put us back into the dark ages he would have the skills to survive whereas me, with all my abilities to learn from books, would be useless grin

Pittcity Sun 25-Jan-15 10:27:11

DD2 was diagnosed as dyslexic age 6 and DH got a formal diagnosis at the same time.

To be honest we went out and bought phonetic dictionaries etc. but they just spent time gathering dust.

We found that the professional help that we were referred to through the school was enough to get DD2 through school and college and into a good management position and DH even gained a B in GCSE English!!

They have both now developed their own coping mechanisms and are doing well.

Hunt Sun 25-Jan-15 10:27:43

Beve Honsby's book Alpha to Omega is extremely good. Getting an improvement in the writing skills is also a step forward. Books with writing patterns are available. I used to tell my Dyslexic pupils that writing is just communicating and if your writing is easy to read you are half way there. For instance - I wood lik a sanwij for mi tee - is so much easier to understand if it is written clearly.

jeanie99 Sat 06-Jun-15 23:29:07

Our daughter was diagnosed when she was studying for her A levels.
The college were amazed she had managed all through her school years without it being spotted.
As parents we had no idea and our daughter just thought everyone had the same difficulty as her.

She went on to University and received a 2.1 in Radiography, she is meticulous in her writing and goes over everything a number of times to ensure it is correct.

She is 35 yrs old now and holds down a very responsible job.

TriciaF Sun 07-Jun-15 09:52:51

My husband is dyslexic and says one of the reasons he married me is because I'm good at spelling, so I can write/type his letters for him. wink
But as others have said he learned early on to choose activities and skills which didn't need writing. So on the whole has been quite successful in life.

Falconbird Sun 07-Jun-15 10:03:28

I used to help Dyslexic adults with spelling and most of them had very successful lives indeed.

I remember coming out of a class one evening and noticing that my students all had fantastic cars and my DH was waiting for me in the Skoda. smile

trisher Sun 07-Jun-15 10:50:37

DS is dyslexic and had real problems with education. There are varying degrees and many diferent reasons for dyslexia. Given her age I would say go for an IT route. There are now excellent things to support dyslexics including spell-checkers which use the context (most use letter patterns-dyslexics produce bizarre combinations which make these useless) and programs which will read things out to her both texts and her own written work. That said she will find it hard work. The best advice I had with my son came from a friend who found out she was dyslexic as an adult-"Reading and writing will always be hard . He will tackle them when he finds something that interests him so much he has to do them"
It is so difficult to realise that something you think of as a pleasure like reading is for them just really hard work. My son now has an MA he found his interest and put in the work. BUT he is still dyslexic. He uses IT to support him all the time.
Oh and be careful when she gets tired any literacy work will be much harder for her then.