Why for people with dyslexia writing can be difficult?
Many people I’ve worked with say they can’t write or have difficulty because of dyslexia writing, and I ask them three questions:
“Can you write your name?” If they have difficulty writing because they can not form the letters accurately or with certainty, they may have dysgraphia, which can be corrected by removing the confusion when making certain movements with the pen.
If they have poor spelling, they may be dyslexic – they are confused about what letter to use to represent the sound.
The last question I ask is… “Do you have the ideas but you find it hard to get them from your head to your hand?”
Many dyslexics have difficulty writing – why? Well, remember they are strong visual thinkers and the pictures are moving quickly. I’m going to use the example of the rainforest.
When asked to write about a rainforest, remember they can see it, hear it and feel it all as if it were real. So they start to write about…say the canopy. They might get a sentence out and all of a sudden they are ‘seeing’ a bird swoop, so they write about the bird. Then they might feel some moisture, so they write about that. Then they might see the sunlight coming through the tops of the trees, so it’s back to the canopy.
Remember, while they are writing, their pictures seem real and by the time it takes them to write a sentence down, the picture has moved on. So the sentences might get shorter and shorter. There may not be a logical sequence to it and are they thinking about their spelling? No. So their words are spelt phonetically which is the way they sound. The more they know about the topic, the faster the picture and more convoluted the writing becomes.
The little words like ‘the’ and ‘and’ and ‘it’ might be left out completely.
Of course, the child thinks they have done a good job – until someone else reads it and picks them up on their poor spelling or tells them it doesn’t make sense. Does that make them feel good – no? Do they want to write again – no. Would you feel good about your work if there were red corrections all over it and a mark that was not what you thought it should be?
So the job of writing when you are dyslexic (dyslexia writing) can be a real challenge – and the majority of adults I’ve worked with struggle in this area. If you can’t write a report or email, it will limit your job and potential promotion opportunities.
If your child has had special education at school or had a remedial tutor and continues to struggle, there is help and hope. Don’t wait for your child to struggle for another year.
Listen to Marianne on ABC Radio Here