Topic | Calling Sonya and/or others with special needs kiddos… Spelling/Dictation Ques

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  • 2Corin57
    Participant

    Our daughter is 8, with ASD (high functioning). She loves to write and do copywork .We are noticing that when she is free writing and doesn’t know how to spell a word, instead of trying to sound it out, she is trying to picture it in her mind. She is essentially spelling by shape. So, for example:

    The other day in her Santa letter, she spelled Rudolph, as hudoleh.

    Is this a concern? Or is this a budding CMers dream? Is there anything we should be doing? Or just leave it?

    Sonya Shafer
    Moderator

    That makes total sense to me. Our ASD children are so visual and often think in pictures. For an 8yo, she did great: only 2 out of 7 letters off! My daughter still has difficulty “sounding out” as she is reading, but she just finished New Friends (3rd grade reader) and is eager to move on to More New Friends. Her spelling is very much by sight as well. And practically speaking, I’m not sure I want her to spell phonetically. If your daughter spelled the reindeer’s name phonetically (as it sounds), she could have written Ruedollf or Rudollf or Rudolff or any other variation.

    Now, that being said, I continue to do word building a couple of times a week with my daughter to try to strengthen her phonetic awareness, but I’m not depending on “sounding out” skills for her to progress in reading or in spelling. I usually just pick a word that she might have stumbled over in her reading, and we look at it carefully and I might point out why it’s spelled the way it is. Then we either build more words with the same letter combination or we make it past tense or add -ing or something. Nothing elaborate or long; just a little touch.

    Probably the main thing you should do is continue to encourage your daughter to look closely and carefully at words. She might be at the stage where you could move her into transcription, which would offer that opportunity to get the mental snapshot of the word, then look away and write it. But if that causes anxiety, stick with copywork for now.

    psreitmom
    Participant

    I hope you don’t mind me using this thread to ask Sonya a question on the same topic.

     

    Sonya,

    My 15yo, whom I have referred to many times, LOVES to write. She has dyslexia and PDD-NOS, along with mild CP. Her spelling has improved a little, but still needs to make many corrections when writing for ‘school’. The problem is that she is always writing on her own, especially in journals. So, I’m afraid she is not helping herself in her spelling, because I can’t be helping her make corrections every time she writes. We have not been doing a formal spelling program for a while. I have just been helping her make corrections in what she writes for school and will mention a rule now and then. She doesn’t remember rules or really even think about them. She just writes. For example, she will not think to double the consonant to make a short vowel. (ex. droping/dropping) I remind her when she corrects the word, but I can tell she doesn’t even think of the rules when writing. Is there anything in particular you would do in this situation? Sometimes she will use her tablet to find spellings, but most of the time I give her the correct spelling. I just feel like I can’t keep up with her in this area.

    Sonya Shafer
    Moderator

    With the PDD-NOS challenges, at about what developmental age would you say she is in her reading and writing?

    2Corin57
    Participant

    @Sonya… do you think there would be benefit then perhaps to getting Delightful Reading or Hymns in Prose? Overall, she reads quite well – she is reading Mr. Penguins Poppers currently, though she does skip words here and there when she doesn’t know them. Though I would say she’s down to only skipping a few words per page, and she is getting much better at asking us what the word is (she used to refuse help of any kind).

     

    psreitmom
    Participant

    I would say she is probably 4th to 5th grade. Her reading has improved over the past couple of years, but comprehension varies so much. In her writing, she is getting better at putting thoughts in order, but sometimes the way she expresses herself doesn’t make sense, whether it is sentence structure or even her choice of words. She will use words out of context or order and sometimes say nonsensical things. Sometimes I know what she means, so I will say the correct words or order of words so she can hear them in proper order or context. I have her using Adventures in Writing by Joyce Herzog. She can write stories. She likes this since each story has a picture. There are also a list of words to choose from to use in her story. She hasn’t been doing it long, but so far I think she has done a good job telling stories about the pictures. I will help her make spelling corrections in those stories, as well as making sure she has complete sentences or making sure she doesn’t have run-on sentences, which she will do at times.

    I am also reading Grammarland to her, hoping it will help her a little to understand the basic parts of speech. I just don’t know what areas are most important to focus on at this age. She wants to feel grown-up, but when she is working at such a low level for her age, it’s hard to know how to give her work sometimes that will not feel too ‘babyish’ to her. If it were up to her, she would skip bookwork and just do life skills. But, I would like her to get some sort of diploma. I know she can still learn some things in the books, but sometimes I feel like giving up, because I know I lose her.

    On a positive note, she has definitely been engaged in our Bible studies. She will write things down in a notebook, like points given or Scripture references. She is growing spiritually, but the academics………minimal gains.

    Becky
    Participant

    psreitmom,  I just wanted to mention another grammar book.  I have Grammar-Land, but I also bought the book Mary’s Grammar because they both looked good and I couldn’t decided on just one.  I haven’t tried out either one on my children but I have enjoyed reading Mary’s Grammar for myself.  Here is the description from the back of  the book, “An engaging introduction to grammar through the conversations Mary shares with her mother. Stories are interspersed periodically to enliven the short lessons on grammar”  Here is an excerpt from the chapter on Verbs – “Her Mother then thought it time to go on to the Verbs. Mary accordingly fetched her grammar, and her mother read as follows: – ‘A verb is a word which signifies to be, to do, or to suffer.’     ‘I cannot understand that at all,’ said Mary, looking very grave.  ‘You will like the verbs that do something best,’ said her mother, ‘so we will begin with them, Come here, Mary;’ and, as Mary approached, she added, ‘Well, what are you doing now?’    ‘I mean to come to you, mamma, as you desired me.’     ‘Then *come* is a verb; and how do you come?’   “You see, mamma,’ said Mary, smiling – ‘I *walk*;  and is *walk* a verb too?’     ‘Yes, certainly.’

    I realize all this has nothing to do with your question but I just wanted to share.  🙂

     

    psreitmom
    Participant

    Becky, thanks. I will keep that in mind. We just started Grammarland, so we’ve only covered nouns and articles. In the past, I taught her some about verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, but I know she hasn’t retained much of it. These are the types of books that may help her learn a little more:)

    Sonya Shafer
    Moderator

    @2Corin57, if she’s already reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins, I don’t think she needs Delightful Reading lessons. The Hymns in Prose for Children reader does contain some challenging words, so you might use that after she finishes Mr. Popper, just for something different.

    I’ve been giving my daughter a variety of readers, because she needs more practice on each level than one Pathway can provide. Right now, she’s reading More New Friends and using the Hymns in Prose copybook on alternate days. I have her read aloud the HIP sentence before she copies a phrase from it, so we’re working on both her reading and her handwriting.

    Yesterday, after she finished copying a phrase, I closed the book and gave her a small white board and asked her if she could write two words from the phrase from memory. The first word I gave her was an easier one that I was pretty sure she knew how to spell. The second word I thought was an unusual one that she probably didn’t know how to spell (“tongue”), so I opened the book back up first and pointed to the word and told her to look carefully at it. I mentioned just casually while she was looking, “It’s kind of an unusual word. You don’t say the ue at the end”— in order to draw her attention to the part that isn’t pronounced. (She likes to make those observations about other words, so I figured she would relate to that aspect of this word too.) Then we closed the book and had her write it from memory.

    So if you wanted to, you might do something similar with whatever book your daughter is reading or copying from, instead of full-blown Delightful Reading lessons, just to encourage a habit of looking at words carefully.

    Sonya Shafer
    Moderator

    @psreitmom, that’s difficult to say. In my mind, a person needs to have a solid grasp of reading and comprehension before she starts being required to analyze how the words relate to each other and what role each one is playing in varying situations. Just judging from the information you’ve given here, I would probably be inclined to set grammar aside for now and focus on reading comprehension.

    I love that she is writing stories! If she is still struggling with word order and choice, it seems like she would benefit from more time to experiment with words and secure the ground under her feet with using them comfortably to express her ideas before introducing the addition of analyzing words and sentences too. Just my initial thoughts without knowing all the details. Trust your Mommy gut.

    Your comment on her spiritual growth is like a balm to my soul. Thank you for including it. Such an encouragement!

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