Spelling

Persistent trouble with spelling is the most obvious warning sign of dyslexia in adults, and it causes stress and embarrassment every day of their life.

Since dyslexia is inherited, some of their children will also struggle with spelling, as this parent shared:

I watched your video because my son is struggling in reading, spelling and writing.

I was in tears as I watched your video. I kept saying, “This is ME. Finally, someone knows why I do the things I do.”

I am 35 years old. I had reading tutors almost every year in school, yet I never understood phonics. I still cannot sound out an unknown word. When I write, I try to think of easy words that I know how to spell. As you can imagine, spell check does not work well for me.

I have a horrible time getting my thoughts onto paper. I get so nervous any time I have to write a note to my children’s teacher. Even writing just this much is hard. I have reread it 5 times – trying to catch and fix any mistakes.

My brother has similar symptoms. He was labeled LD and was in special ed classes. My mom eventually took him out because they were not helping.

I asked my mom the other day if anyone had ever used the word dyslexia to describe me or my brother. She said no.

I do not want my son or daughter to struggle like I did — and still do.

 
This 47 year old shared:

I really struggle with spelling and depend heavily on spell check. I am too embarrassed to hand write a grocery list due the number of mistakes I will make. I know I am misspelling the words, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how they should be spelled.

Oftentimes, I can’t get it close enough for the spell checker to know what I want.

 
This woman shared:

In elementary school, I was told I had a learning disability. It was not until high school that my parents had me tested outside of the school system and found out I had dyslexia.

I have had many challenges during my years in retail employment, particularly with cash registers and computers.

Trying to sign customers up for store credit cards, which is mandatory, was just impossible for me and gave me such anxiety. I simply cannot take the answers a customer tells me and get them into the computer.

Customers do not want to have to spell out every word, and to repeat their phone numbers and zip codes over and over again.

So after years of being totally stressed at different jobs, and even taking anxiety medication to try to perform my job adequately, I decided to go to college.

But the junior college will not accommodate me in any way unless I can provide current testing.

I’m a single mother with almost no income. That type of testing is incredibly expensive.

Are there any other options?

 

This man shared:

I am 56 years old, and I have tried a lot of things throughout my life to overcome dyslexia.

It started when I was in second grade. I can remember my mother crying when she tried to teach me my spelling words.

I attended summer tutoring for 4 years in a row to try to learn to read. Finally, the tutor said he would not work with me anymore because it was a waste of money.

I took phonics in college, but it did not help. In fact, I failed a speech-language class because I could not hear the sounds.

Many years later, I went to a dyslexia center. But they said they could not help me because I was too old.

Your video nailed me to a tee. When you talked about left and right confusion, that’s me.

I always use spell check, and yes, sometimes it does say “no suggestions” or I pick the wrong word from the list because I can’t read them all.

My company is trying to find something to help me. Is it too late? If not, what would you recommend?

 
And this 56 year old still stresses about spelling:

I have developed ways of hiding my dyslexia.

My spelling is pretty bad, so after I type something and put it through the spell checker, I re-read it five or six more times to make as many corrections as I can.

When I am doing creative writing, my spelling, punctuation, grammar and multiple typos show up much more than if I am writing technical material. Therefore, the more creative my writing is, the longer it takes me to re-read, proof and re-proof my work. You have stated before that dyslexics often work a lot harder than others to produce the same results (even in a simple e-mail) and it is very true.

A couple of months after I was hired as Executive Director of a nonprofit, I sent out a memo to all employees. I had some misspelled words and other minor mistakes in it. I had a couple of “word nerd” employees who immediately pointed out my mistakes (in a friendly and helpful way). But later, I walked into a room and overheard a couple of (not so friendly) employees saying something like, “Where did they get this guy? He can’t even spell right.”

I have been here four years now and have mellowed out a lot. I started sharing with people that I have dyslexia, and even poke fun at myself about it. It has been well received, and I have some great employees who will proofread things like grants and important letters before I send them.

I still obsess about correcting my writing, but not to an unhealthy level. It’s just part of the life of a dyslexic. Compensating takes a lot of extra time, but it’s just become a normal process.

Okay, I have re-read this 5 times. I assume you are rather forgiving of mistakes – so I am not going to read it again.

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