College, Disabilities, and Success

#80 Spelling: Remediation or Compensation?

September 07, 2022 Mickie Hayes Season 2 Episode 80
College, Disabilities, and Success
#80 Spelling: Remediation or Compensation?
Show Notes Transcript

Do you or your child struggle to spell?  Does dyslexia cause a problem in spelling?  Your child can be successful in college even if their spelling is a problem. There comes a point in your life where you need to switch from remediation to compensation with regard to spelling, and that's what we are talking about today.  You will learn how to compensate, and how your child or student can be a success even if their spelling is a problem. Catch the amazing story of Stephen J. Cannell and how he built a successful writing legacy in spite of his inability to spell!

An Adult Spelling Test

Stephen J. Cannell's video

English with Ronnie - How I Remember the Spelling of Difficult Words

Dr. Richard Chapman Episode 26

Free ebook with questions to ask at college

Mickie  0:00  
Can you spell supersede? I'm gonna give you a spelling test right now with nine words, cemetery, committed, harass, judgment, supersede maintenance, occurrence, poinsettia, vacuum. These were just a few of the words on a spelling test online that I took that I scored 80% on, I was a B student when it came to spelling. So that 80% is not really a surprise to me. supersede surprised me, and I'll talk about that in a little bit. And I know exactly where my spelling glitches are. I have trouble with the ANC, E E and C E, a n t e n t, I have some issues with some of those words, o r e r, that sort of thing. I've never been tested for a learning disability. But I know it runs in my family. And I'm pretty sure that if I were tested, I would show some spelling issues. So that's what I want to talk about today because I've kind of avoided the subject. This is episode 80. And I've sort of avoided the subject up until now, but I decided to face it head on, because spelling is one of those things that I find incredibly frustrating, incredibly challenging, and so, so difficult to correct for adults. So that's what we're going to talk about today. So welcome to Mickie Teaches -  College Disabilities and Success, Episode 80, "Spelling: Remediation or Compensation" with Mickie Hayes, the opinions in this podcast are my own, please reach out to your college physician or legal services for additional information.

Mickie  1:56  
When I was a high school teacher, high school LD teacher, I had students in my class who struggled with spelling and one of the students who was like the smartest kid in my class, and one of the top kids in the entire school in the class rankings, I think he was number three or four in the class rankings struggled with the word does do E S, D O S E. And I knew him for four years. I had him on and off in certain classes for four years depending on the courses he was taking. But I asked him as he was a graduating senior, how do you spell does and he stopped. And he stared at me. And he said D O.

Mickie  2:38  
Es. He laughed and Isaid, Congratulations, you can graduate. Now that was very tongue in cheek and a joke, of course. And he knew and he laughed. But the reality was does was never going to be straight in his head. Because the problem was spelling when you have a learning disability in particular, is that when you look at a word, and it's spelled correctly, or incorrectly, it looks okay either way, you just don't recognize that it looks like it's spelled wrong. And so that becomes a real problem for any student with a learning disability. I had another student in that high school who was signing out sick, and she went to the office and she signed out to leave and she wrote YL e LL. And the Secretary pointed out to me, and then I just looked at her and I just said, correct it, nobody needs to see that mistake. And so we just changed it on the page, I didn't bring it to the students attention, there was no need to, nor was there any need to bring it to anybody else's attention. We just made the correction. But the reality is, so many times people judge students with learning disabilities on their spelling, when I first went to work at the college, and this was after I was a high school learning disability teacher for 12 or 13 years. And one of the ways they decided to introduce me to the staff was to offer a brown bag lunch for any of the staff members who wanted to meet me and asked me questions about students with disabilities at the college and how they could best serve the students. I thought, Okay, that's a good idea. And they were trying to decide a title, a name for the brown bag lunch so they could promote it. And they decided on learning disability Fact or Fiction. And I thought, oh, boy, I think I'm in for a challenge at this meeting. But let's just see how it shakes out. So everybody was very nice. And they asked me some questions about learning disabilities. And I explained to them, how we worked and how our services worked, and so on and so forth. But the conversation with the group kind of evolved into a conversation about spelling and the consensus with the group was, well, how can they be smart enough for college if they can't spell the words that they need for college, and unfortunately, that is still a lot of an attitude that you see at the college level with professors and with other students and with parents. Spelling is not a measurement of your intellect. You could be gifted like the young man that I had in high school. Who's struggled with the word does, you can be gifted, brilliant, but you're going to come out as spell does do SE and everybody is going to assume you don't know what you're doing. So how do you combat that? How do you deal with that? If you look online and do a Google search for spelling and how to correct spelling, there's a whole lot of videos out there and I looked at a bunch of them. And pretty much every one that I looked at was somebody teaching me spelling rules, you probably realize that spelling rules are only good to a certain point, because after a while, there's so many exceptions to the rules that if the rule doesn't get you the exception will, that's not unusual. Now, in the younger grades, students with learning disabilities do a lot of remediation. And that's a good thing because if you're going to do anything to help that person's basic spelling skills, remediation is the way to go and remediation that involves some sort of a reading phonics spelling connection. Whether it's Orton Gillingham, or Wilson or some other program that uses those methods, there will be benefit to the student who is struggling to read and to write. But for adults, it becomes another thing I did find one video series online that I liked it it was called how I remember the spelling of difficult words. And it was part of a series on YouTube called English with Ronnie that's R O N N i e . Ronnie has a whole series of videos on helping students understand grammar and understand English. But I was particularly intrigued with her video that she did on spelling because she actually came up with something that I hadn't seen before that I thought would be rather helpful to you is she has a whole video where she shows a bunch of difficult words and help students see the smaller words inside of the larger words. And by making those connections. Looking for the small words inside the large words creates like a memory hook for the individual and helps them remember the bigger picture of the spelling of the word. And it really even helps with the pronunciation but she in essence creates small words inside of a big word using some sort of a hook to connect the small word to the big word is a really good video. And I recommend that you stop and take a few minutes to look at it. If you struggle with spelling, or have your teens look at it, they might find it helpful. And I liked that she uses adult words. It's not just the basic Dolch words that are on every kid's reading list, but they're adult college words. So it makes sense. But here's the thing in the elementary school remediation is the way to go. There's absolutely makes perfect sense. But once you hit high school and college remediation becomes sometimes an effort in frustration and in my opinion just takes too much time. If you are a college student to attempt to remediate your spelling would take an entire semester in and of itself. And I'm not sure once you finish the program if it would make a difference. So in college, I recommend that you look into resources that help you compensate for the spelling. Now that doesn't mean an older person shouldn't try to remediate. It just means that if you're a college student, that is not the time in your life that you should try to remediate your spelling. On top of doing the college work that you have to do everything these days is electronic. And everybody in college has a computer and uses a computer on a regular basis. So the first thing I'm going to suggest that you do is go into Microsoft Word and find their dictation link in the toolbar where you can dictate directly into the computer, or you can dictate into a separate microphone, it really doesn't matter. But you can dictate what it is you want to write. It works very smoothly and you will get a copy on your screen that you can then go back in and edit and correct however you see fit. But you won't have to worry about having your thoughts delayed because you're trying to figure out the correct way to spell a word plus it allows you to write with a more adult vocabulary. So students who struggle with spelling, when they're writing by hand on paper tend to really lower their vocabulary levels, because the big words are just so hard to spell. So when you dictate your statements into the computer, you can dictate at whatever level of expertise you want to so you don't need to hold back and use a lower vocabulary. There's a couple of people that have been very successful in spite of their learning disabilities that I want to mention here today as well. And the first one you may or may not have heard of the depending on your age. His name is Steven J canal and he was a TV writer in the 70s and in the 80s. And he's written over 3738 different series that he did, including things like The Rockford Files, the A Team, Wiseguy Hunter 21 Jump Street. There's just a ton of Stevie shows that he wrote during his lifetime and the whole detective police genre type TV shows that we see today come Out of his writing, and he was severely dyslexic and even said his mother would get frustrated with him because she'd say, well, doesn't it just look wrong to you? He'd say, No, it doesn't look wrong to me at all. And he wrote totally phonetically how it sounded, was how he wrote it. And he wrote a multimillion dollar empire with his TV series. And with his story writing. On top of that, he wrote eight tene different books, novels. Now, this is a man who couldn't spell he has an incredible legacy that he's left behind. He passed away in 2010, at the age of 69. But he left just an incredible legacy of words. And he decided early on that he loved writing. He did it five hours a day, he wrote constantly, but he didn't let the fact that he couldn't spell get in the way of becoming a success. Once again, his name was Steven J canal. So that's how you have to look at spelling these days, you have to look at spelling as a means to an end. And so if spelling is not your superpower, then use some sort of screen dictation software. I mentioned the software that comes right on your computer is built into your computer. In episode 26. I interviewed Richard Chapman, a young man who now has his doctorate, but he has cerebral palsy and a learning disability. And he used Dragon Naturally Speaking, he said it was his best friend, he used it to dictate everything that he had to write. And so it compensated for two issues for him. Because the act of physically writing was a challenge for him, as well as typing and speaking, and spelling were issues. And so Dragon Naturally Speaking was the software that he used to compensate for those issues. So when you become an adult, the issue is no longer remediation in my mind, in my opinion. And you can certainly still remediate on your own time and in your spare time, nothing wrong with that. But the reality is, when you're on a tight schedule, and living a crazy busy life compensation is the way to go at college. And so using some sort of software, whether it's the one that comes on your computer, or whether it is the software that Richard used Dragon Naturally Speaking, it really makes no difference. Whatever works in your world is convenient to you, but it's a way to circumvent and compensate for the spelling deficiency. You can also dictate brief segments on your phone so that if you do need to write something in a hurry, you've got a accurate copy to put on your paper that you dictate it into your phone first, these are things that can help you with your spelling, texting is a little bit more challenging, but the texting now also has the AutoCorrect and it has dictation as well, which as we all know, sometimes autocorrect is more creative than our spelling. So you can always blame it on AutoCorrect. But just bear that in mind that if you do struggle with spelling that there are ways to compensate for it. And there's no shame in using compensation to get around the problem of spelling.

Mickie  13:10  
I remember at the beginning that test that I scored 80% on and I asked you how to spell superseed Well, guess what kids superseed is Su p e r s e, d E. Now I was sure it was C D E and I looked it up. And a lot of times people use C D E to substitute it but supersede su p e r s e d e is the actual correct official way to spell that word. Who knew it wasn't me when you're turning in those college papers, use proofreaders you spell checkers. Use the software use the resources that are available to you. That is the one thing when you're at college, you want to give the professor's a clean, well written correctly spelled final document. And if you're going to need spelling as an accommodation, then be sure to have that conversation with Disability Services to see if that's an accommodation that can be put on your memo for the teachers. Thank you for joining me today. I hope you found value in today's podcast. And as usual, I will make sure that I have all of the links to the resources that I talked about today in the show notes check out my website, Mickey That's M I C K i e And if you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to send me an email. I met Mickey That's M I C K i e I have a handout a free ebook for those of you who are still in high school and transitioning into college life. If you have children in high school and you're not sure about disability services in college, check out my insights because I don't give you answers. I give you questions. I give you questions that you can take to the Disability Services discussion starters so that you get everything talked about when you get to those meetings? And you can cover all of those questions like What do you do if you don't spell really well? What can disability services do to accommodate that? So in the meantime, I hope you have a great rest of the day, and we will talk again soon. Bye. The information contained throughout this podcast has been gleaned from my own personal experiences, but to ensure accuracy, please contact the Disability Services at the college of your choice to have first-hand information and the most up-to-date policies and procedures followed for your particular institution of higher education. The content in any of these podcasts is not intended as a substitute for information from legal, educational or medical professionals. Always seek the advice of your attorney or qualified health care provider with any questions you may have with regards to legal educational or medical concerns.

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