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16 yr old gifted in all subjects but Spelling..need help


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Joined: Apr 18, 2005
Posts: 5
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Posted Aug 16, 2007 at 1:10:01 AM
Subject: 16 yr old gifted in all subjects but Spelling..need help

Hello, I am new to this forum and I have a question regarding my sixteen year old son and his inability to spell even the simplest words. It all started when he was in 1st grade and he had trouble memorizing his spelling words. We would go over and over them aloud and he would write them over and over and finally he would get them but with much difficulty. By 2nd grade, when two syllable words were introduced his problem became even more evident. He went from making A's in spelling to D's. My son is very gifted in all other subjects except Spelling. Is there such a thing as just a spelling disability? Any ideas on how to help him. He is so embarassed that he doesn't want to take his PSAT because of the Essay part of the test or go to college because of it. Thanks for any help!

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geodob
Joined Feb 06, 2005
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Posted:Aug 16, 2007 7:59:53 AM

Hi Carol and welcome to the forum,
You wrote that you would go over and over spelling out words, out loud.
Where I wonder if he tries to recall the spelling of words; Verbally ?
As opposed to Visually recalling how to spell a word?
You could simply ask him if he 'pictures how words are written, in his mind'?
Or does he rely on the 'Sound' of the word, to work out how to spell them?
Geoff,

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anla
Joined Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 74

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Your son might be helped by understanding the difference between the written and spoken word. Many first level English words show a horrible lack of transparency between symbol and sound. (Think of the words busy, does, and machine, as a few examples). Read a paper I have written about decoding and spelling words at http://www.learntoreadnow.blogspot.com

Email me if you need more information: amlandoll@yahoo.com

Anita learntoreadnow

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Carol/Florida
Joined Apr 18, 2005
Posts: 5

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Geoff and Anita, thank you so much for your replies. We used to do his spelling list aloud, because he said he preferred it that way, I think it was just because he did not want to write them. When that didn't work, I started having him write them five times each, then I have him turn his paper over and quiz him. He usually gets them right for the moment, but then forgets them by tomorrow. We have also used the computer to see if typing the word helps, but usually have the same results. Most of the time he spells words as they sound but not as they are spelled. I might add that he loves books and is a great reader....just don't understand why he doesn't retain spelling especially since he reads so much.

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Rod Everson
Joined May 20, 2007
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Posted:Aug 16, 2007 10:11:15 PM

Hi Carol,

I'm curious. Do you know if he can segment words into sounds? If you're not sure what I mean by this, let me know and I'll explain further.

Rod

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
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Posted:Aug 17, 2007 11:14:18 PM

Carol, if your son is a good reader and just has a spelling problem, I'd suggest looking at Sequential Spelling (probably the Adult 1 & 2 version) from AVKO. It reinforces the visual spelling patterns and will probably be helpful to your son.

http://www.spelling.org/

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Carol/Florida
Joined Apr 18, 2005
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Posted:Aug 19, 2007 12:29:23 PM

Janis,

Thanks so much...I will check into this for him!

Carol/Florida

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Aly
Joined Aug 01, 2006
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Hi Carol,

There is such a thing as Written Expressive Language Disorder with spelling. I know, because I have it. When I was 16, I spelled on the 6th grade level. It is only because of my work with Mrs. Gornick, the intervention specialist in the resource room in which I spent my study halls in high school, that I spell as well as I do. How does your son do in English? I was also in special ed English, and thanks to some good teachers, I write pretty well today :-)

Perhaps you should ask to have your son tested? If he has a learning disablity, it does not take away from his gifts. One can be what is called twice exceptional. There are several articles on ldonline about people who are twice exceptional. I am actually kind of proud of my twice exceptionality :-) If your son does test as having a written expressive language disorder, they can work with accomodating in tests him and helping him learn to spell better.


"Never give up, never surrender" -Galaxy Quest

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” -Albert Einstein

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; Be afraid only of standing still” -Chinese proverb

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Carol/Florida
Joined Apr 18, 2005
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Gretchen,

Actually, my son is very good in Grammar as well as composition....it is just the spelling. I do plan on having him tested in regards to his spelling problem soon. Thanks...

Carol/Florida

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Fun2LearnHomeschoolMom
Joined Aug 31, 2007
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Posted:Sep 02, 2007 5:51:47 PM

Hi- I just want to suggest that possibly the NanciBell "Seeing Stars" program might work for your son if all else has failed. I just bought it for my spelling-challenged son, after trying many, many methods. It works by developing the student's ability to visual "word form" or symbol imagery, which is different than other types of imagery or visualization (and is located in a separate part of the brain, I've read.) It is published by Gander publishing (gyou can google them), and part of the famous, well-respected Lindamood-Bell family of learning programs. (You can just by the Teacher's guide- you don't need tohe whole kit.) It looks simple to implement. You could call them for further details. Hope this helps.

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ellenr
Joined Sep 12, 2007
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Posted:Oct 03, 2007 7:57:20 AM

Carol,
You could also try having your son trace the letters with his fingers.
Sometimes using different modalities, in this case, kinesthetic, helps.

ellen

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always_wondering
Joined Jun 12, 2003
Posts: 94

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Posted:Oct 03, 2007 8:25:14 AM

I just wanted you to know that I'm in the same boat with my daugther. She does not qualify to LD on spelling alone. Her written expression is above 98% and spelling around 25%. When you average it out, she just isn't LD in written expression. We have tried everything imagineable to remediate, but no luck.

However, when my older son was in 3rd grade, they included in the list of LDs writing mechanics. If they still had that, she would be a shoe in.

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Pat
Joined Oct 14, 2007
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Knowing that I'm not unintelligent took awhile to set in since I have a Jr. High report card to prove how difficult I found spelling. As a special ed teacher I learned from research that spelling is not related to intelligence. That freed me to become aware of what did help me. For example, when I started to write using the computer it gave me options for spelling. It helped me to remember what the correct word was. I'm now a very good speller but I still don't trust myself and either I look it up in a dictionary or on a spell cheker or I have my students check me.
For my students who are in need of large movement learning (the ones who can't sit still, are butt in the air, constantly wiggling etc.) I'm using an enlarged poster of the alphabet (letters are mixed not in ABC order) along with a ruler. I offer a choice of working standing or sitting on the ground. I give the student the word to be spelled. The student slaps the letters of the word to be spelling. They are not allowed to spell it wrong or that would set the wrong kinesethic pattern. We call this "Slap-It Practice." I'm sure it has other names since I didn't invent the method. I've also learned it is a great method touse with second langague learners. The excitment and surprise they experience when they start passing their spelling tests is also rewarding to me.
Hope this helps someone. I'm new to this form posting business and can't find a spell check. Hope there aren't too many errors.
[Modified by: Pat on October 14, 2007 12:25 PM]

Pat

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