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My third grade son has problems with spelling; even if he practices a word several times, he cannot remember it. Often, he writes the word down the way it sounds to him. How can I help him with his spelling?

Spelling can be challenging for students with learning disabilities, especially if they struggle with reading. The types of tools you might want to try with your son depend both on his difficulties with spelling and the importance of spelling to the task that he is trying to complete. For example, on a writing assignment, it may be more important for your son to get his words out on paper and express his ideas than to spell every word correctly. In those situations, your son could benefit from a writing program with word prediction(opens in a new window) or the use of a contextual spell checker. By using software to remove the need to know how to spell every word correctly, your son can focus on the act of writing as a way of demonstrating his knowledge.

If the assignment for your son is to improve his spelling, it is important to give him a number of opportunities to practice and reinforce his skills. In addition to practicing at home with flash cards and rewriting words multiple times, there are a number(opens in a new window) of online(opens in a new window) spelling(opens in a new window) games and practice sites(opens in a new window) that you could try. Some online sites let you test your spelling skills with pre-generated lists, while others allow you to enter in your own spelling words to practice. Check out a few different options until you find one your son enjoys.

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