b/d Reversal

The tendency to reverse b and d is a huge embarrassment for older students who struggle to get the mirror image letters straight. On dyslexia discussion boards, the question keeps coming up, “How do we help our dyslexic students stop reversing b and d?” Letter and number reversal is something that tripped me up for years and I have evidence still in a scrapbook which I started at the age of 6 or 7. (Apologies to middle aged Canadians who … Read More

Reading & Spelling with a Visual Learner

Dusted off and polished up – because the myth of learning styles never goes away. Not all That Reading Thing students are disaffected and disengaged. Pete is in his twenties and formally diagnosed as severely dyslexic. He reads well but his spelling is a huge embarrassment to him. He’s accomplished in many other areas and can clearly explain his strategies for reading and writing. Reading: “I know all the words by sight”. (and he does – sort of) Spelling: “I … Read More

Greg Brooks’ What Works 5th edition – 2016

posted in: Dyslexia, Evidence | 0

What Works for Children and Young People with Literacy Difficulties? The latest edition of Greg Brooks’s review of intervention schemes for children and young people with literacy difficulties is out. (See Greg’s assessment of That Reading Thing here.) That Reading Thing is now included in the Key Stage 3 section with a note that it’s still very appropriate for young people 14 plus and outside the system. I’d like to add that it’s still very much aimed at that older … Read More

four floor flour – Sight or Sound?

Working with an adult who didn’t learn how to decode: “Which musical did the Daily Express hail: A fine, four-fendered, fabulous night?” The word that stumped Pete here was four, not because he didn’t recognize it but because it had been filed in his memory in the same slot as flour and floor and those 3 words always tripped him up. Always. four flour floor. We can all see the connection but most of us will see the differences instantly. … Read More

Ghoti = Fish (no it doesn’t)

Ghoti spells Fish. This thing still shows up on social media and still makes me sigh heavily. It also still gets used by literacy professionals as “proof” that the English language is “not phonetic”. More heavy sighing. If we’re being honest about the English language, we have to admit that it comes with a complex written code. There are a lot of ways to represent the sounds that we say. However – and this is a big big deal in … Read More

Literacy for Young People who May or May Not Have Offended

Here’s something I wrote last year that came back into my mind as I attended the Dyslexia & Youth Offending conference last week. I wrote it in response to a post on the RRF boards about using sound-based reading methods with teenagers. I’m sure you all know this but I’m going to say it anyway: reading deficits in young offenders exist for many reasons – not just a lack of good instruction in primary school. They are very complex packages … Read More

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