Thursday, April 03, 2014

Spelling Out Perception

Words and James have been fickle friends. For almost a year, I wasn't sure if he'd ever be able to verbally communicate. For many years after that, his words and speech were difficult to understand. James had extreme difficulty in holding a pencil, let along writing. 

This year, a lot of hard work from us all is paying off. James is expanding his expressive and social verbal skills. In a recent questionnaire, he said what he most wanted to learn in school is "vocabulary." 

Spelling homework, however, is still the bane of his homework experience. His teacher and aide do a nice switch-up throughout the week. Writing the words multiple times, sorting them alphabetically, creating sentences with them ... it's still tough to shepherd him through the practice ... and keep him in his seat!

James' wonderful aide makes him little spelling cards every week. He keys in on the colours and traces over her letters in pencil. They can sound out the components of the words together.

Spacing and control have also been issues for James. This year, we focused on getting him to start practicing spelling on binder paper. His O/T said that it was hard for him to visually keep track of the faint blue lines -- that was why his writing rolled like an oscilloscope. So I started to rule the binder paper with pencil, and when that was still not enough, black marker. And when the words get longer (and his patience shorter), I add smaller pencil lines for each letter. 

James is a visual guy. He does well on his spelling tests and has progressed from 6 words a week to 20. He loves reading signs aloud with the enthusiasm of a first grader whose world just grew another dimension: Words.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Yay James! He also enthusiastically reads ALL words visible on trucks/cars speeding by on the freeway - also all freeway signs.
He is loving words and all types of phonic blends. "Nana! That license plate has a Qu!!!! Kwuh!