I'm an adult of about 30 years who has never learned to spell properly. During my early education, I was given remedial spelling tests because I had fallen behind the other students (my spelling issues were not identified early). I could memorize the spelling words for the tests but could not retain it. I still cannot retain the information. I vaguely remember learning phonics in second grade, but it didn't stick. By high school teachers had given up on teaching me spelling. After all, with spell check it was not a huge issue. On some level this is true--most of my writing for work, graduate school, and entertainment is done on the computer. It doesn't help with homonyms, of course. However, my profession requires that I write extensively away from electronics, and I am very anxious and embarrassed when coworkers attempt to read my field notes. I know that people judge your intelligence by your spelling (think of all the undereducated posting on forms like this) and I don't want to be thought of as uneducated or stupid. My spelling really upsets me.
Lately, I have had to focus on my spelling more than usual. My new phone has spell check for text messages; however, it is not as expert as Word or my iPad. It can't figure out what I am trying to spell much of the time. This has made me use a dictionary app on my phone more often (I refuse to send misspelled texts). Consequently, I have noticed some patterns. Vowels appear to be my main difficulty. For example, I needed to spell menace (as in Denis the Menace) and the phone could not figure out any of the following spellings: minice, minace, minuce, menise, minins, etc. When I thought about it more, I realized that all those spellings of menace sounded the same to me. I am not sure I have the ability to hear the difference between certain sounds, especially vowels. Decide, dicide, ducide, and dacide all sound the same to me.
Is there a diagnosis for this problem? I am very curious if anyone else has been tested or knows anything about such a spelling issue.
To my knowledge I have no other language issues. I never had trouble reading or writing in school. Math was a complete different issue. I have both conceptual and arithmetic issues, such as I can't hold a number in my head to preform calculations.
Their is something called Auditory Processing Disorder, APD, which you could look into?
This is different from a hearing difficulty, as it's a difficulty with processing sound. Where their a number of different processes involved, so their can be a difficulty with any of the processes.
Where you seem to have identified that vowel sounds appear to be a problem?
You can get tested for APD by an Audiologist, though not all Audiologists can test for it. So you will need to find one that can. As this is different from a normal hearing test.
But spelling difficulties have nothing to do with intelligence, as very often people with spelling difficulties have a high IQ.
Getting a diagnosis and understanding your difficulty, will very likely help with your anxiety and embarrassment, as you will have an explanation.