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What Are the Best Tips for Writing with Dyslexia?

By Lee Johnson
Updated May 23, 2024
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The best tips for writing with dyslexia are to break difficult words to spell down into smaller parts, to use memory techniques for spelling, and to structure essays before writing them. Many different tips relate to handwriting for dyslexics, such as trying to write in cursive and practicing regularly. It can be more helpful for people suffering from dyslexia to use a computer to complete written work. Use of basic techniques to break down the daunting task of writing into smaller, easier tasks can help with writing with dyslexia. For example, dyslexics can use simple rules such as sentences always containing a subject and verb to help with grammar.

Spelling is amongst the most difficult elements of writing with dyslexia. Many academic essays contain long words which are frequently spelled incorrectly by both dyslexics and non-dyslexics alike. One example of a long word like this is “antidisestablishmentarianism.” This word can be remembered and spelled correctly by breaking it into smaller parts such as “anti,” “dis,” “es,” “tab,” “lish,” “ment,” “ar,” “ian,” and “ism.” It is one of the longest words in the English language, but it can be spelled easily by breaking it down into smaller parts.

Memory techniques can help spelling when writing with dyslexia, as with difficult words such as “necessary.” Dyslexics can liken the “ece” following the “n” to eyes separated by a nose to use imagery to correct the spelling. Sound, such as a snake’s hiss representing a double “s” can also be used to remember rules for words. To spell “necessary,” dyslexics can remember that the two “e” letters are separated by a “c” like two eyes around a single nose and that it contains a snake-hissing double “s.”

Essay writing with dyslexia presents more of an issue for many sufferers. This can be helped using a mind map, which starts with the topic of the essay in the center. Each concept should be surrounded by a bubble and illustrated or colored to make the image more dynamic. From the central concept, each point the essay-writer wishes to make should branch off, with arguments relating to those points branching off from them. This map can then be used as an essay plan, with each main point constituting a paragraph.

Handwriting is another difficult task for dyslexics. Writing in cursive clumps the muscle memory of making letters into fewer movements. For example, the word “slide” is made up of five different letters when printed, but one shape in cursive. This can take time to learn, but the words are easier to form if the learner practices. Using word processing programs on a computer can make this process easier and also help with grammatical or spelling errors.

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