Reading With Dyslexia
The reading errors of a person with dyslexia are anything but random. Their errors tend to be quite specific and are mirrored by their spelling mistakes. Here are some common errors in reading among those with dyslexia:
* Reads the word on one page, but doesn’t recognize it on the next.
* Grasps phonics but is unable to sound out an unfamiliar word.
* Finds it slow-going and difficult to pick out and read single words on a page where there are no pictures or a story line for context.
* May substitute a word with identical first and last letters or a word with a similar shape, for instance from/form, trail/trial.
* May add or subtract letters to words, for instance cold/could, stair/star.
* May substitute a word with identical letters in a different sequence, for instance how/who, lost/lots, was/saw, blow/bowl.
* When reading aloud, the cadence is slow and phrases are choppy rather than smooth. They ignore, or seem to ignore punctuation.
* They tire after only a short period of reading.
* They expend so much energy on figuring out the words that reading comprehension falls by the wayside. They understands a great deal more when someone reads to him.
* They confuse letter directionality when reading and writing. The letters b and d are good examples. One letter faces right, the other left. They may substitute one for the other on a regular basis. The same is true of up/down letters such as b and p, n and u, and m and w. When these letters are often substituted for each other, this is a sign of directionality confusion.
* Substitutes words that look similar, though the substitution changes the meaning of the text. For example, he may substitute horse for house, walking for wanting, white for while.
* As they read, they may substitute a word with the same meaning that doesn’t resemble the original, for instance fast for quick, cry for sob, or travel for journey.
* Leaves out, misreads, or adds short function words like from, were, are, the, of, to, a, an.
* May leave off or substitute word endings, for instance talk for talked, needing for needed, late for later.
The dyslexic’s spelling tends to be much worse than his reading. Here are some examples of the spelling errors typical in dyslexia:
* Vowel sounds are hard for them to visualize. Rather than use an incorrect vowel, the dyslexic may just leave vowels out altogether as they write, making it impossible for anyone to read what has been written.
* With a great deal of effort, the dyslexic student may be able to retain a list of spelling words memorized on Monday for a Friday spelling bee, but won’t be able to recall the spelling of those same words two hours later when they need to use those words in a sentence.
* Misspells common sight words (common, non-phonetic words) on a regular basis, for instance where, what, because, they. Frequent practice doesn’t correct the situation.
* Misspells words while copying from a book or from the blackboard.
* Their writing displays signs of uncertainty—there are lots of crossed-out words and words that have been erased.