An older child with dyslexia using Orton-Gillingham approach

It is possible to use the Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach with an older student with dyslexia. An older student has the advantage of more schooling and exposure to reading and spelling rules. The problems is that some of them have stuck and some of them have not. The OG method allows for the systematic review of the phonological process to see areas of need.

I love to help older students because it is like being a detective in a real world mystery (where no death has occurred). The OG method give me a secret treasure map of where to find the treasures needed at every turn of reading and spelling. The students come with some negative experiences related to reading and writing. I have always felt that half of my job is keeping them positive, while the other half is teaching the actual skills they need. We work together to gain mastery over the weak area. The students are always amazed at some of the things that they never learned in elementary, middle school or even high school. Sometimes it is something they have never learned, and sometimes it is looking at it from a new perspective.

If you would like me to work with your older student, contact me.

When to add an -es to word rather than just an s

Add -ed when word ends in s, ss, sh, ch, x, z

When to add -es

What is the rule about when to add an “es” to the end of a word rather than just an “s”? It may be simple when we talk, if we are native English speakers, but when writing why does the “es” happen? The reason it happens is purely for sound.

The -es is added to words that end in s, ss, sh, x, ch, or z. All of these letter sounds have a similar /s/ sound when saying it’s sound making just adding an “s” awkward to say. Therefore, orally we added another syllable when added a plural or verb change so that it is easier to say.

misses

fishes

fixes

watches

fizzes

This is an important distinction for spelling. When reading, students seem to read the ‘es’ well, but get tripped up as to when to add the ‘es’ rather than just the ‘s’.  I hope these key words will help your student remember when ‘es’ is needed.

How to choose spelling of -ce or -se at end of a word

how to spell words with "ce" or "se" ending

ce or se spelling?

When spelling words, sometimes it is difficult to know how to use two similar sounding sets of letters, such as “ce” or “se” at the end of a word. Dyslexia makes spelling difficulty, but when there are similar sounding ending happening, it can make spelling even more difficult. Lets look at two ways to choose the “ce” or the “se” ending.

The first area, that I will discuss is sound. Notice that some words that end in “se” are actually said with a /z/ sound, such as nose and surprise. When you are trying to figure out whether these words should end in “se” or “ce”, choose “se”. The reason is that “ce” ending should not have a /z/ sound, they will have a /s/ sound such as pace.

The next contemplation is for words that are similar to each other with the only different is the letter of c or s, such as advise and advice. The rule of thumb for this differentiation is that the word ending in ‘se’ is a verb, while the word ending in ‘ce’ is a noun.

Sometimes the nuance of a small letter with a similar sound can really put a wrench in the spelling. I hope this helps your student make some correct choices when needing to spell some of these advanced words.