Literacy exercises for children with dysorthography

The most well-known writing disorder today is dyslexia. However, there are other alterations that can appear in the area of ​​reading and writing. Among them, we find disortography.

Dysorthography is the difficulty in mastering the principles of spelling. Difficulties appear when associating the written code, the spelling rules and the writing of the words, and is characterized by the repetition of the same errors, without being able to correct them or assimilate the spelling rules.

There are different factors that can be the cause of this disorder and they can be classified into different groups:

- Intellectual causes: they cause difficulty in acquiring basic spelling. It is not the most relevant cause, but it may be associated with other types of difficulties that are important.

- Linguistic causes: These refer to a difficulty in acquiring language, in any of its areas (vocabulary, articulation ...)

- Causes of a pedagogical nature: These are related to the educational method used when teaching the spelling rules to children.

- Perceptual causes: they refer to visual and auditory processing, which is decisive for the development of spelling. This group includes aspects such as visual and auditory memory, and spatio-temporal orientation.

- Emotional causes: they are related to a low level of motivation.

In the writing of children with this disorder, different errors can appear. Some of them are the following:

- Linguistic-perceptual errors: some of them are, substitutions of phonemes for other similar ones by the point or mode of articulation, omissions, additions or inversions of phonemes, syllables or words.

- Visuospatial errors: among them we find substitutions of similar letters, mirror writing, confusion of phonemes that have double spelling, omission of the / h / ...

- Visual auditory errors: They consist of the difficulty of associating the grapheme and the phoneme. These children change one letter to another in a random way.

- Content errors: these children may make inappropriate fragmentation and joining when writing.

- Errors related to spelling rules: consist of not complying with the fundamental spelling rules. Example: do not put m before p and b.

Before beginning to work with children with dysorthography, it is very important make a record of the spelling errors they make in order to individualize the treatment.

To diagnose it, the most used techniques are dictation, copying a text, copying a text with another font (for example, italics) and free writing. In addition, there are specific evaluation tests for this purpose. It is important to detect the origin of the existing difficulties in order to correctly guide the child and his family.

Some examples of activities that can be done with these children are:

- Work on the rhythm of literacy. This consists of tapping or tapping on the table the rhythm that the child should follow while reading.

- Detect intrusive letter. We provide the child with a list of words that share a phoneme, except for one. Example: pan-mal-par-paz. The child must be able to recognize that the word that is left over is wrong because it does not contain the phoneme / m /.

- Make rhymes in writing. Example: write words that rhyme with lion.

- The self-taught technique. Before writing a sentence, the child must analyze it fragment by fragment and then reproduce it without making mistakes.

- Cacographic list: It consists of making an inventory with the mistakes that the student makes. He must copy in a notebook all the spelling errors that he makes in his writings. With this list there will be memorization, dictation, sentence construction activities using these words, classifications, lexical families ...

- Figure-ground perception. This activity consists of working on visual discrimination through exercises in which the figure and the background must be perceived in an image.

- When there are errors in the spelling rules, they can be made activities like memorization, complete words where the letter being worked on is missing, form words that contain the spelling rule.

- Generalization: Exercises should be done to make it easier for the child, once he has learned the word, to integrate it into his active vocabulary and make use of it.

If you suspect that your child may have this pathology, contact your tutor at school, and consult your speech therapist. They will know what to do!

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