Can you improve spelling with dyslexia?

Enjoy our free spelling game

If you or someone you know has dyslexia, you may be wondering if it's possible to improve spelling.
The answer is yes!
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects the way a person processes and reads information.
While it can't be cured, there are several strategies and techniques that can help individuals with dyslexia become better spellers.
In this blog post, we'll discuss how to improve dyslexia spelling, and answer the question: Can you improve spelling with dyslexia?

Check out our Spell Wizards App

The Link Between Dyslexia and Spelling

Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that can cause difficulty in reading and spelling.
People with dyslexia have trouble breaking down and making sense of letters, words, and sounds.
This can make it difficult for them to recognise and remember letters, syllables, and even entire words.
As a result, spelling can be a challenge for individuals with dyslexia.
The way people with dyslexia process information is different from those without dyslexia.
The traditional teaching methods of memorising the spellings of words can be ineffective for those with dyslexia as they often struggle to retain the spelling patterns they are taught.
However, dyslexia doesn’t need to mean that spelling is impossible.
With the right strategies and support, people with dyslexia can learn to spell more accurately and confidently.

Check out our Spell Wizards Extra Curriculum App

Why Traditional Spelling Methods Don't Work for Dyslexia

For many dyslexic individuals, traditional spelling methods don’t work.
Traditional methods are often based on memorising the spelling of words or looking for patterns in words.
However, due to their difficulties with visual and auditory processing, these methods can be difficult for those with dyslexia to learn.
Those with dyslexia struggle to identify phonemes, or the small units of sound in words, and this makes it hard to match the correct sound to a specific letter.
They also have difficulty with short term memory recall, making it difficult to remember spellings even after learning them.
And because dyslexia can affect reading speed, it can take longer for dyslexic students to learn to spell correctly.
The main problem with traditional spelling methods is that they rely heavily on visual and auditory processing, which are the areas most affected by dyslexia.
Traditional methods focus on memorising the spelling of words through repetition and identifying patterns in words.
This can be particularly challenging for dyslexic individuals who have difficulty recognising visual patterns, hearing phonemes, and retaining information.
In order to help those with dyslexia become better spellers, alternative approaches are needed.
The Orton-Gillingham approach is one such method that has been used successfully to teach students with dyslexia how to spell.
It is based on teaching the sound symbol relationships that exist between letters and sounds and breaking down words into smaller components such as syllables and phonemes.
This type of instruction is more effective for those with dyslexia as it emphasises the use of auditory and visual processing while teaching spelling.

Check out our grammar game

The Orton-Gillingham Approach

The Orton-Gillingham Approach is a widely used and accepted approach to teaching reading, writing, and spelling.

It was developed by Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham in the early 1930s.
This method of instruction focuses on the individual needs of the student with dyslexia, as it is tailored to each person’s learning style and abilities.
It emphasises auditory, visual, and tactile modalities for instruction, and encourages students to use their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.
In this approach, the student starts with understanding letter sounds and the associations of those sounds with written symbols.
As students learn to recognise the letters and sounds, they are taught how to blend them together to create words.
Through practice and repetition, the student is then able to accurately read words they may have previously struggled with.
As well as working on individual words, the Orton-Gillingham approach helps the student develop an understanding of how the sounds of language are combined to form larger units such as syllables, prefixes, suffixes, and roots.
Through this approach, the student is able to gain an overall understanding of word structure and spelling patterns which helps with reading fluency.
Ultimately, the Orton-Gillingham Approach enables students with dyslexia to develop literacy skills necessary for independent reading, writing, and spelling.
With its emphasis on one-on-one instruction and building up of skills gradually, this approach is considered highly effective for students with dyslexia.


The importance of Visualisation

Visualisation is an important part of the Orton-Gillingham approach to helping improve spelling for those with dyslexia.
This method involves visualising words and their parts in order to make them easier to remember.
The goal is to create an image that will help you remember the word.
For example, if the word is "doubt," you could think of a cloud with a question mark on it to help you remember the word.
Visualisation helps dyslexic spellers to separate the sounds they are hearing from the letters that make up the word.
This helps them to break down the words into their individual parts.
Visualisation can also be used to help dyslexic spellers recognise and remember patterns within words.
By visualising the same letters or letter combinations, dyslexic spellers can recognise similarities between words, making them easier to remember.
Finally, visualisation can help dyslexic spellers identify prefixes, suffixes, and root words.
This is important because many words in English are derived from the same root word but have different endings depending on their context.
By using visualisation techniques, dyslexic spellers can better distinguish between these words.
Visualisation is an effective way to help dyslexic spellers improve their spelling skills.
With practice and consistency, dyslexic spellers can use visualisation to remember words and become more confident spellers.

Does your child need a dyslexia screening?

Other Tips and Tricks

When it comes to improving spelling with dyslexia, there are a variety of tips and tricks that can be used to help make the process easier.
Here are some of the most helpful strategies:
1. Use Memory Games: Memory games are a great way to help strengthen your memory, which can be incredibly useful for spelling. By playing a variety of simple games such as Concentration, you can help your brain form connections between words and spellings, making it easier to remember.
2. Break Up Words: Breaking up difficult words into smaller parts can make them much easier to remember and spell. By breaking words down into their base syllables, you can learn how each part is pronounced and how it affects the overall word.
3. Look Up Confusing Words: If you come across a word that you don't understand, don't be afraid to look it up! You can either use an online dictionary or a printed one. This will ensure that you always know exactly how to spell a word and how it's pronounced.
4. Make Flashcards: Flashcards are a great way to commit spelling words to memory. All you need to do is write the word on one side of the card and its definition on the other side. As you go through your stack of cards, try to recall the spelling of the words. With enough practice, this strategy can be incredibly helpful for people with dyslexia.
5. Practice Writing: Writing out words multiple times can help you learn them faster and more effectively. Try writing out each word a few times until you have memorised the spelling correctly. Once you've done this for a few words, you can move on to more challenging ones.
Using these strategies can help you improve your spelling with dyslexia, allowing you to better communicate with those around you.
With enough practice and dedication, you can become a master speller in no time!

Sign up and see your child's spelling improve

Back to Blog list