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  • By: Esther G. Friedman

Who cares about errors? I do. (and what does that have to do with number memory for my dyslexic chil

Can you say these numbers after me? Now can you say them backward? These are some of my most famous questions, and the very first ones that can easily alert me to the direction I am going. What does being able to say 4, 9, 2, 8, reversing it, and remembering the placement of those numbers have to do with reading?


Let's look at some common error scenarios.and discover how errors can help

discover what's hidden.


What do these errors all have in common?

on/no, never/very, snowy/sunny, card/craig, and brother/breath, and would/allowed

If you're thinking what I'm thinking, That's right. This is an example of a child who has learned to use the look of the word, meaning the letters of the word, albeit out of order, to make a guess as to what the word could be. Phonics has gone out the window for him. He has given up on it because it has not worked for him because of some underlying difficulty which still needs to be discovered. Therefore, he uses his exceptional memory for how words look, and tries to find some common letters which remind him of a word he knows.


Now let's look at these spelling errors in a similar scenario. What does all these errors have in common?

Alexander/Alaxender, throne/thorne, farther/frather, taught/tuaght

I can only answer this question for you because I studied the whole profile of this child so I can FIT IT with the whole picture. In essence, this student has an excellent ability to remember the look of words and a very poor ability to break up the sounds of words. The end result? She uses her strength of remembering the looks of words completely without using sounds at all. The result is that she gets all the letters in there, albeit in the wrong order. Believe it or not, she has no problem with reading since she just knows each word as a whole word.


Finally, we look a this group of errors. Is there something unique that they all have in common?

offspring/offsing, peered/preed, stuck/struck, color/clear, creation/certain

After analysis including noting how this child manipulates words orally, repeats numbers, and seeing how the errors are not only based on the ordering of letters, I find that these groups of errors are connected to the ability to sequence correctly. One of the ways to remediate this type of error is through oral activities mentioned above where the child is trained to sequence numbers and little bits of sound patterns.

I could see you wondering, but what about my child's unique errors who might just add or delete s's here or there, and mix up function words like to/it, she/the, and a/and. That's actually the best discovery yet waiting to be uncovered. Next time you're about to dismiss your child's errors, come visit the DYSLEXIA DOCTOR to get them analyzed. It's your child's best weapon yet. He's trusting you.

Errors, Anyone?

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