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.