First of all I will begin with a short explanation what is Phonological Processing and how it is related to dyslexics.

Phonological processing is the ability to see or hear a word, break it down to discrete sounds, and then associate each sound with letter/s that make up the word. The reason Phonological Processing is related to dyslexics, is because there is a wide consensus that dyslexia stems from a deficit in phonological processing. Good phonological processing seems to be key for strong reading and writing abilities, therefore our weak phonological processing abilities make us poor readers and writers…

So, now what I would like to relay to you is how my phonological processing is performed. It is not that I completely can not break up a word to sounds. But usually, I am able to perform it only to the first and last sounds of the word. So for example the word “unfortunately”, I can translate the sound of the beginning of the word to “un” and also the sound of the end of the word to “ly” but I just can not perform the same processing to all the middle sounds. And then I just have to try and from my visual memory try and remember the picture of the missing letters. But my “visual” memory catalogue isn’t that great so I end up spelling the word “unfortunately” something like “unforchently“.

I can not say also that I am consistent with my spelling errors. Since as I said many times I can not complete the spelling of the word from either the sound processing or from my visual memory, so I simply guess. And at different times I may “guess” different results to the spelling of the same words… so here my lack of consistency comes to play… Here is my try to write again the word “unfortunately”: “unforvently” and again, “unfocantly”.
So as you see I tried 3 times to spell the word “unfortunately” and got 3 different results, none of which regular spellcheckers could offer the correct spelling…

Spelling errors examples

Anyway, this is a blog about my personal phonological processing. If you are dyslexic, it would be interesting to hear how do you perform your “phonological processing”?

And for a solution, look at Ghotit Real Writer and Reader designed for those with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia.

9 thoughts on “My Dyslexia and Phonological Processing

  • June 25, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I am fortunate. My visual memory does nearly 100% of the work for me. It wasn’t until my 40s, though, that I learned a method by which to do that fairly efficiently. Not only do I do this for written language, but often for spoken. I will associate a picture or motion with a string of approximated sounds, often an ASL sign, or lip/tongue formations. Ummm, telephone is difficult until I know the person well enough to predict what words they’re going to use in common conversation. Everyone seems to have preferences…and patterns.

    My mother takes down conversations in old-time short hand and reads it later as she can process best phoneme to symrbol rather than phoneme to sound.

  • January 20, 2010 at 4:04 am

    I have a 10 year old – 5th grade – we have been struggling with him in school since kindergarten trying to figure out why my son is having such a difficult time with reading and spelling. Today they finally diagnosed him with Phonological Processing. Your blog is 1st thing I found when I googled the term and found your explanation very helpful and informative. You described exactly what my son has been going thru. What I was wondering is do you have suggestions or idea’s to help him live with this disability. I’m sure as you area aware; reading is core and it effects all the rest of his classes, even though his IQ scores off the charts. if you can’t read, it’s difficult and if you can’t spell it’s even harder as he gets older.

    • January 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm

      I myself was diagnosed at around 10 as dyslexic. My parents invested a lot of time and effort in order to maximize my ability to read and write. But at the end of the day I still remained a terrible speller.

      However, I did receive the skill set to complete high school and graduate from university. I have no magic answer, but the strong belief that with hard and dedicated work, you can still become and educated and productive adult. It is important to identify what are your strengths. For example, a different way of thinking and analyzing situations that enables you to solve problems that other find too difficult…

      The right Assistive Technology can of course assist. That is the reason I developed Ghotit, developing an optimized writing solution for dyslexics.


  • April 16, 2010 at 2:24 am

    I am also a Dyslexic and found this blog by my faithful spellchecker Google. I was trying to spell unfortunately and used unfocantly. I wish there was a program like Google that uses the context to help with the spelling.

    • May 17, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      Hi Julie,

      Ghotit offers exactly such a program. It offers spelling suggestions based on the context of the sentence…

      PS sorry for the delayed response… Ofer

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  • January 4, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Hey guys–
    does anyone know of a structured program, either online or in workbook format to improve phonological processing? Specifically for adults? Any direction is appreciated.


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