Last Updated on October 7, 2022 by Editorial Team
It is so unfortunate that even after being discovered for so long, Learning disabilities (LDs), such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, are still misconstrued in individuals. People’s awareness about dyslexia is very much required as if ignored, can seriously impact the confidence of the individuals suffering from it. This is generally observed in a dyslexic person hesitant to speak freely and confidently.
Language fluency has been observed as relatively low in dyslexics, especially in those having English as a second language. So, one thing that can be inferred from this is that students with dyslexia do find it difficult to construct coherent sentences, retain an expansive vocabulary and spell words correctly along with the contextual application of new words.
Imagine the frustration and despair a child would have to see a notebook filled with red ink blatantly highlighting their spelling mistakes! More often than not, dyslexic children would falter over seemingly ‘simple’ words that other kids in her/his peer group master in a breeze.
Need for online spelling programs
Children with learning disabilities need to be incorporated into the formal teaching-learning process with sensitivity and a unique method adapted to their strengths and weaknesses. You may want to choose an appropriate spelling program, whether your child/student attends a good school or is home-tutored. In either case, the spelling program should encompass the following attributes:
- The program should be based on the Orton-Gillingham approach.
- It should teach spelling concepts logically and sequentially, enabling students to decompose words into meaningful units.
- It should strengthen phonological awareness for a student. The basis of all spelling is the way each letter or syllable in the word is pronounced.
- It should train the student to identify word patterns.
Rather than making a dyslexic child memorize lists of words (which may bring a highly undesirable mechanical, rote learning approach in students), the right way is to expose her/him to similar word patterns, and predictable spelling rules that s/he can apply in all situations.
- The curriculum should be mastery-based with a provision for inbuilt review. An effective program is flexibly paced to allow a student to master a previous learning unit fully.
- It should stimulate multiple sensory pathways to enable holistic learning by a student. The use of magnetic tiles, keyboards with sounds, colored blocks, highlighted segments, etc., helps a child to interact with words and focus on spelling better.
- An excellent approach to teaching new words is to introduce word origins. Loanwords and spellings borrowed from Latin or Greek, for example, could be taught through exciting stories from the mythologies, allowing more significant interaction.
Engaging online spelling programs for kids with dyslexia
1. All About Learning Press
The program is a building-block-based program with seven mastery levels. The Orton-Gillingham approach is used for a complete, comprehensive spelling curriculum. Each tier reinforces the previous one. Typically, Most students start with foundational Level 1. A placement test helps to determine which level(s) is/are suitable for your student.
The program toolkit contains an interactive spelling kit used for training at all levels of the program. Interactive, multisensory items like Letter Tiles, Magnets, Phonogram Sounds App, and Divider Cards provide a fun approach for easy learning.
2. Barton Reading & Spelling System
Highly influenced by the Orton-Gillingham approach, it’s a highly versatile method to teach a dyslexic student. It consists of 10 levels, which help your ward to master various aspects of spelling, root words, phonemics, and spelling rules block by block.
One USP of this program is that each level comes with an instructional DVD that demonstrates how to teach spelling with the Barton System. The material for each level comes with a comprehensive Tutor Manual with Complete Lesson Plans. The kit also comes with Color-coded Letter Tiles that demarcate syllable types and simplify syllable division.
3. Expanding Expression
This program uses a multisensory teaching approach to enable your ward to express her/himself freely and with confidence. The Expanding Expression Tool (EET) helps a student write long-form articles, with mastery in language skills such as Oral & written expression, Vocabulary building, Defining, describing, and categorizing objects, Making associations, and noting similarities and differences. The toolkit consists of a training manual, object cards for descriptions, stickers for writing, a dice game, and prompt cards for descriptive writing.
4. Nessy Reading and Spelling
Nessy is a vast resource for assisting the literacy development of dyslexic children. While it has been designed for 6-11 years old children, the toolkit has proven to be useful for older students as well. The Nessy products focus on “Structured Literacy based upon the Science of Reading”.
For early readers, the program trains them in systematic phonics as a foundational skill. At advanced levels, they are taught spelling, morphology, vocabulary, and comprehension. The program follows a mastery-based, multisensory methodology suitable for all children, especially those with dyslexia.
The most significant advantage of the Nessy programs is that you can directly stream the instructional material over a stable Internet connection. Thus you always have access to the latest, improved teaching aids at all times and on all devices of your choosing. For spelling curriculum, these products may be suitable:
This program aims to better a child’s reading & writing by keeping spoken language to develop these additional skills. Its trademarked formula employs a speech-to-print approach, helping a child stimulate her/his brain’s neurological circuitry adapted for oral language. It focuses on systematic word study tailor-made for students with LDs like dyslexia.
The main aim of this app is to enhance the encoding and decoding capabilities of learners. It helps the learners improve their reading, writing, and speaking skills. Oral communication skills have also been improved significantly among the users.
REWARDS is a teacher support material designed for kids at the intermediate (grades 4-6) and secondary (grades 6-12) levels. It aims to help students break down new multisyllabic words into identifiable chunks, recognizing common prefixes and suffixes so that they can master word and long-form text comprehension rapidly. It is rapid-paced, engaging, and systematic, and the way it is designed, you can expect your child to engage actively rather than passively memorizing words and glossing over difficult words.
7. Touch-Type Read & Spell
This research-based spelling and typing program uses touch, auditory and visual feedback to strengthen sound-letter correspondence. This modular program has 24 levels with 31 modules per level. Rapid learning and advancement are guaranteed through a positive reinforcement mechanism that rewards kids based on their completion rate and accuracy rather than speed or duration for completing each module.
These programs help build skill, accuracy, and the mental coordination required to read and spell new words. We hope this comprehensive list can guide you to choose a program suited to your child’s specific and unique needs!
8. Family Fun with Fluency
This product, developed by Neuhaus Education Center, recognizes the need for parents to be a part of their children’s learning process. The kit comprises a manual, a student reader, charts for sharpening word recognition, and a CD with video lessons.
It is the perfect product for parents to lead their kids to fluent spelling and reading through Reading, seeing and observing, and auditory cues. This kit helps parents increase their child’s accuracy and fluency.
9. Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes
This program focuses on an empathetic instruction medium for bridging the gap that dyslexic kids incur in ordinary school courses.
The online, individualized, one-to-one learning program strengthens the phonemic foundation of spelling. It uses feedback from the ear, eye, and mouth to help learners judge the sequencing of phonemes in syllables and words, which builds on the concepts learned earlier.
These programs are designed to be easily absorbed into any learning program, whether traditional schools or home-schooling. They are flexible and intersperse both plays and learn excitingly. There are many other programs available solely for immersion in school curricula, but the above programs are worth trying once considering even parents can be involved in the development of their kids. But what you need to remember is that you are not alone. There have been several notable people who have had dyslexia. Moreover, technology has advanced so much that there are several apps available online that can make dyslexia much more hassle-free than it was a decade ago!
- Nadelson, Louis & Beavers, April & Eppes, Brittany & Rogers, Aubree & Sergeant, Kanechia & Turner, Susan & Winkle, Alexis. (2019). A Comparison of Teachers Perceptions, Misconceptions, and Teaching of Students with Dyslexia. World Journal of Educational Research. 6. p442. 10.22158/wjer.v6n4p442.
- Vijayaletchumy Subramaniam, Kavenia Kunasegran. (2020). Dyslexia: Communication Problems in Interaction. International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology, 29(4s), 3480-3485. Retrieved from http://sersc.org/journals/index.php/IJAST/article/view/23490
- Helland, Turid & Kaasa, Randi. (2005). Dyslexia in English as a second language. Dyslexia (Chichester, England). 11. 41-60. 10.1002/dys.286.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,