Writing Letters Backwards Dyslexia
Writing Letters Backwards Dyslexia – When I was a “regular” classroom teacher, my knowledge of specific learning disabilities was limited at best. My teacher preparation program required a course in special education. it was too broad, too general, and I barely remembered anything I learned in it. This means that I was woefully inadequate to support the students in my room with special needs—those who arrived with a formal diagnosis and those who did not. I mean I literally knew nothing. No special strategies. There are no alternative teaching methods. My plan was to do what the IEP told me to do, which mostly involved shortening tasks for these students, giving them extra time, or occasionally reading things out loud to them. I didn’t really understand
So here’s the big problem: If my experience matches that of other teachers, and a 2019 report from the National Center on Learning Disabilities says it does, then many students spend a lot of time in classrooms with teachers who have only the faintest idea of how to support them. Yes, of course every school has special teachers, but if students with special needs are spending more and more time in regular classes, we can’t ask special teachers to be the only ones doing this job. It’s time for the rest of us to step up our game.
Writing Letters Backwards Dyslexia
The International Dyslexia Association estimates that 15 to 20 percent of the population as a whole has some symptoms of dyslexia. That’s a much higher number than I would have ever guessed, and it means that anyone who has been teaching for any length of time has probably taught at least a few students who have dyslexia, whether we knew it or not.
How American Schools Fail Kids With Dyslexia
To learn more about dyslexia, I spoke with special educator Lisa Brooks, who currently serves as the principal director of Commonwealth Learning Center’s Vocational Training Institute in Massachusetts, a nonprofit organization whose programs are designed to help teachers and experts to respond to the needs of students who require systematic and multisensory approaches to learning. In our podcast interview, Lisa dispelled some of the most common myths about dyslexia, shared some traits teachers can look for that might indicate dyslexia in our students, and talked about some things teachers can do in and outside the classroom to support these students and help them be more successful.
Although some educators, myself included, don’t think of dyslexia as a high-frequency learning difference, “it actually occurs in at least 15 percent of the population,” says Brooks. With that in mind, he says, “if you have 20 students in your class, probably three of them have indicators of dyslexia.”
Underestimating the prevalence of dyslexia can result in students not receiving the kind of early intervention that could make a big difference. Teachers may dismiss reading and writing difficulties as attention problems or that the student is not developmentally ready for certain tasks, so diagnosis is missed or delayed.
“Most kids when they’re very young write letters backwards, and that’s considered appropriate for 4, 5, 6-year-olds,” says Brooks. “But dyslexia is not writing backwards. It’s really a difficulty in the phonological component of language, and that means children struggle with the sounds of words. We don’t want to just say, oh, my 5-year-old is writing backwards
Faqs About Dyslexia, Reversing Letters, And Writing Letters Backwards
If non-specialist teachers are aware of the indicators that may indicate dyslexia in a child, we may refer them more quickly for testing. That, in turn, can get them the interventions they need, and when it comes to dyslexia interventions, sooner is definitely better: A recent study showed that interventions in first and second grade had twice the impact of in the third Degree.
If you are surprised by a student’s difficulties in reading and writing because they seem strong in other areas, this is a possible sign that the child may have dyslexia.
“So when you look at a kid who’s very verbal and good at other things, like math,” Brooks says, “and then the student has trouble remembering the letters in their name, we’re like, wow, that’s so surprising. This student talks in paragraphs, has a very high vocabulary, is interested in books, and then can’t remember a letter or letter sound. I think this is a first indication.”
Although many of us tend to associate dyslexia with simply mixing letters, Brooks says that “difficulty with phonemes or sounds in language is really an indicator that we’re at risk.”
Multisensory Strategies For B And D Reversal
This difficulty in processing sounds can manifest itself in many different ways. A few that you may see in class are problems with the following types of tasks:
This last element, which does not represent all the sounds in a word, has a closer look: Consider the way two different students misspell the word
, actually missing the “t” sound. This type of omission can be a sign of dyslexia and should cause the teacher to observe this student for other signs and possibly refer them for testing.
To learn more about possible signs of dyslexia, check out this list from the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity.
Signs And Symptoms Of Dyslexia
“In terms of reading,” says Brooks, “we’d say we need a code-based approach, which means really direct instruction in phonics. Some people don’t agree with that, but really what we see in a lot of general education classrooms (is that) the 3-cueing system is not what a dyslexic student needs. Strategies such as, look at the picture, see what sounds right, guess, see if it makes sense are all strategies that are not helpful to a student with dyslexia. So we really need to help them learn to code.”
For students with dyslexia to be successful, they need much more practice with skills that other students only need to be exposed to a few times.
“One of the challenges in general is that everything moves so badly—disjointed,” says Brooks. “Teachers will say, ‘I taught him consonants.’ Well, they did for a week. Students with dyslexia need to practice and practice and practice.
“I always say it’s like music or football practice. You have to do the scales, you have to do the drills. Teachers say, this is so boring. And I say, yes, but that’s what the student needs. They know their short vowels on Friday and come in on Monday and act like you’ve never taught them anything. that’s because they didn’t have practice over the weekend. So we have to remember that they’re not trying to be difficult, they just need a lot of practice.”
Greengate School • Randolph School
“So, for example,” says Brooks, “when the student is writing or completing a dictation, we have them repeat the word, segment it into sounds, and they can use some kind of manipulative to represent the sounds in the word, name letters, and then they write the letters while saying the letter out loud. And so in this way they use their motor kinesthetic as well as their auditory and visual at the same time. I think in classrooms we need to make sure that students are not just listening all the time, because we won’t get good results from that. But practicing touching it, you know, we have them trace the letters, sometimes they make the letters on a board with big muscles and they name the letter as they write it. These are more strategies for our younger students, but really this multi-sensory practice will help her stick.”
For older students, who may be more confident about using these strategies, Brooks recommends more subtle approaches, such as tapping the syllables of a word with their fingers.
Any games or songs that incorporate rhyming, repetition, and matching syllables to beats can give students with dyslexia extra practice with these skills.
A parent-led grassroots movement that aims to raise awareness of dyslexia, empower families to support their children and inform policymakers about best practices for identifying, remediating and supporting students with dyslexia.
Dyslexia Fact Sheet [downloadable]
Join our mailing list and receive weekly tips, tools, and inspiration to make your teaching more effective and fun. You’ll have access to our library of free, members-only downloads, including 20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half, the ebook that’s helped thousands of teachers save grading time. Over 50,000 teachers have already joined – come.
People often think that writing letters backwards is a sign of dyslexia, but this is often not the case. Learn more about letter reversals and what they might mean.
Letter reversal means that your child writes certain letters (or numbers) backwards or upside down. This is sometimes referred to as mirror writing. Of