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Helping a dyslexic write an essay

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    10-13-2013, 03:45 PM
Green Broke
What was the question to which he gave the answer louile? Context is very important.
I always got frustrated when I wasnt able to get things on paper and it was made worse when someone else did it for me.

I am a big colour person, my notes are always the most colourful and believe me it helps.
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    10-13-2013, 04:48 PM
I bypassed several posts, so if this was discussed I apologize.

What about drawing out the concepts using magazine pictures or freestyle and using the drawings to help organize the thoughts.

Your ideas of mind maps and the outline can pertain. But, instead of using words, draw out the concept. (Think Pictionary without the timer.) You and your son can arrange the drawings in a way to help with the organization. One drawing per topic.

The other option is to use 3x5 or 4x6 cards.

4x6 are my go to when I have to create a business presentation or write a paper of any kind. One short topic sentence with bibliography/reference note. I will arrange this in outline format and can move them back and forth until the flow is proper. When done with the writing, they organize the bibliography.

The drawing may be more time consuming, but perhaps less frustrating. Multiple symbols can be used to jot down a single complex thought. Using magazines and Internet images and clip art can cut the time down and provide more descriptive images.

Good luck.

My Achilles heel was math. Couldn't learn algebra in public school to save my life. In college, at the age 24 my brain was finally able to comprehend the problems. I just wish I could take back the horrible sessions at the kitchen table with my dad until he finally gave up in frustration.\
    10-13-2013, 05:00 PM
Originally Posted by faye    
Northern mama it doesn't matter if he can spell or not sod the wiggly red lines let him get his thoughts on the screen and then sort the from there!
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I would recommend turning off the spell check and the grammar check during the initial drafts.

Those wiggly lines can stare at him accusingly and cause him to lose confidence. Turn them off until the polish work is being done.

Also, let's face it. Kids are being taught today much differently than when they were taught in the 60s and early 70s. Kids are not taught to read or write phonetically these days.

Yet, there is something to e said about it in my opinion.

If you can get books on phonetic writing techniques, he may be able to spell enough of the word phonetically so when he reads it he will immediately recognize the word.

Also, does he text? I am completely against my 13 yo step son writing formally in text-ese. He doesn't have a medical reason, he is just lazy. But, if LOL and CUL8R helps your son feel more control....

Then go for it I say.

You can probably download a text dictionary to learn from. Although, I guess you won't have much use for many of them. Can't see roflmbo in too many essays.

    10-13-2013, 06:17 PM
Faye - I'm sorry I referred to you as Faydesmom in error. I wasn't paying attention. As for the mystery word, even in context we couldn't figure it out! Sometimes you just have to have a sense of humour.

AQHSam - we have tried "Pictionary" type things, but so far either we can't draw well enough or it just doesn't work. I've thought of clipping out pics from magazines, but it takes so long to find the right picture. Especially when your topic is Charles Darwin, or the theory of relativity!

Phonetic spelling does NOT work. We did find a technique that worked for spelling, but that has been set aside for now. (That technique, btw, clearly demonstrated just how many exceptions there are in the English language to phonetic spelling. It had me questioning words on highway signs as I drove in to work in the morning! It was really interesting!) Anyway, first we need to get past the planning and writing it out stage. Your idea of turning off spellcheck is good! I like that and will pass it on to him; that may well come in handy in the future.

Texting - no he doesn't text. He will when needed (for work), but he dislikes text-ese; it just confuses him more. Using real words then often results in predictive text that really throws him off. I did tell him that he might want to turn the predictive text off.

So far the colour thing is a no go. But, it's only a first try so we'll keep at it. He says he doesn't see colours or relative locations for various words, numbers or calendar units. We tried a few examples, but... nothing. I didn't try movement though. I just thought of that now as I am typing. It is very interesting how many people do use colour as an aid. Maybe he is being a bit resistive. I mean, he IS 16. What can I expect from a teenage boy, after all?

He sure is patient and in control of his emotions though. He is much better than I am, although he doesn't consider how much his emotions affect his ability to work.

Thanks again, everyone! This is great.
    10-13-2013, 07:34 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Bummer. I was really hoping that would help him out. Let me think about it for a little while to see if I can come up with another idea.

Have you read The Dyslexic Advantage? It might be a nice thing to give you both a new perspective on dyslexia. Its actually a 'promo' type thing for a course that one of my dyslexic friends is taking (and WOW it works...its very expensive though. We couldn't afford it.) but it goes deep into the process of the dyslexic mind...very interesting read, and it gives some teaching ideas as well.
    10-14-2013, 11:31 AM
I haven't read that book. I looked at Amazon for it. It sounds a lot like another book we read that extolled the advantages of the lightening quick thinking methods/processes of dyslexics. I'm going to see if my library can get it. If not, it's only $13. Worth it if we can anything new at all from it. Thanks.

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