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Dyslexia Spelling Program
Phonics, spelling rules and exceptions
Many people think a dyslexia spelling program should address the visual difficulty often associated with dyslexia, difficulty sequencing letters.
This is wrong. Spelling is a language skill. Children with dyslexia struggle with spelling because of language processing issues. They reverse letters because they do not hear them clearly.
Spelling Predicts Reading Success
Spelling is not just a writing skill. It is an essential reading skill also. Spelling pattern recognition is how the brain recognizes and stores words — eventually every word becomes a sight word. For children with dyslexia, spelling difficulties slow reading fluency and reading comprehension.
Why Spelling Is So Hard For Dyslexics
Nearly 50% of English words are predictable, spelled phonetically. Another 37% are predictable except for one sound (e.g., knot and goat). Most children learn to spell these 87% of words easily, leaving them time to focus on the 13% that are not easy. However, children with dyslexia find even the phonetically predictable words, the 50%, difficult, meaning for them every word is challenge.
How We Improve Spelling For Dyslexic Children
Step by Step to Spelling Proficiency
Our spelling programs for dyslexic children target phonological awareness first, before teaching spelling rules and exceptions:
- Matching sounds to letters. Being able to break a word apart phonetically, an essential spelling skill, requires phonological awareness. This is the first focus of our program.
- Recognizing patterns. Patterns such as the six basic syllable types of English help students recognize vowel sounds in predictable ways.
- Spelling rules. Then comes spelling rules and conventions.
- Spelling exceptions. The final step is spelling exceptions, those unpredictable spellings that present difficulties for all readers.
Our dyslexia spelling program is Fast ForWord. Its cognitive skill exercises build the phonological framework to recognize letter sounds in words for phonetic spelling and working memory, often lacking in dyslexic children, but a key spelling skill.
Fast ForWord also builds listening and reading efficiency, giving dyslexic children the capacity to absorb spelling patterns as they listen or read.
Then, the Fast ForWord Reading series features spelling exercises that teach rules, unusual spellings and exceptions, as part of a comprehensive reading intervention.