Dyslexia Spelling = Phonetic Spelling + Creative Spelling

What is Phonetic Spelling?

When you’re dictating a word and tell your son or daughter that he should write what he hears, your child will attempt to map the sounds in the words to the sounds of the letters.

However, English is not a phonetic language. There are a very large number of English words where there is a gap between how the word sounds and how the word is actually spelled. Not to mention, there are many times multiple correct phonetic options to a given sound (for example: k , c, ck, and qu – all sound about the same)…

What is creative spelling?

Given that English spelling is not phonetic, and each sound may have several spelling options, a lot of correct English spelling is dependent on the visual memory of a written word. If you have good visual memory of words, you will be able to spell a word correctly simply by writing it down, and from memory deciding if this is the correct spelling.

But kids with dyslexia and dysgraphia have very poor and inconsistent visual memory of spelled words, and therefore, can hardly rely on their visual memory of words…. Not to mention that children with dyslexia or dysgraphia sometimes confuse the direction of letters, and though they meant to write the letter “b” actually end up writing the letter “d”…

A child’s Creative Spelling refers to the spelling of a child that has no idea of how to spell correctly certain syllables of a word, and therefore, creatively makes them up as he writes. And each time he/she “creates” a word’s spelling, it usually ends up as a different spelling creation.

Can a regular spell checker correct dyslexia spelling?

English is not a phonetic language, and therefore the “creative spelling” of a child with dyslexia or dysgraphia must be taken into account in order for a spell checker to provide value for a dyslexic child. However the “creative” spelling of such a child is basically “noise” and therefore any computerized program, such as a regular spell checker, that tries to correct a single word at a time (and not based on the context of the sentence) is doomed to fail… That is why Microsoft spell checker many times simply fails to correct a heavily misspelled word written by a dyslexic… and the reason why dyslexic children require…



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