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How does the ADHD brain work? Specifically with memorization

Posted by on Jan. 26, 2017 at 1:27 PM
  • 20 Replies

So I'm trying to help my ADHD son be a better speller.  This week with his spelling words he has written them out about 10 times.  We studied them every night orally.  He has heard me spell them over and over.  He spelled them himself over and over.  This morning on the way to school I was quizzing him on them (because the test is today) and some words he was still struggling with.  Specifically "ruler".  Even if I had just spelt it out loud for him and then asked him to spell it, he struggled.  He would forget that quick.  It's like he had a mental block against remembering how to spell it.  Another one he struggled with was "tutor".

He wrote them, he heard them, he saw them, he verbalized them.  We kind of hit all the senses for trying to learn them and he is still struggling.  Out of his 10 words he knows 4 of them for sure, 1 or 2 others are a maybe.  So I think on his test today he'll be lucky to get a 6 out 10 correct.

What can I do that can help him to memorize how to spell these words?  I myself am a visual type of person.  I could usually just kind of see if a word was misspelled.  Obviously my son doesn't work that way.  So I don't know how to help him.

by on Jan. 26, 2017 at 1:27 PM
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Replies (1-10):
AmaliaD
by Bronze Member on Jan. 26, 2017 at 1:30 PM
1 mom liked this
I've had luck when I make them chant the word/letters in a rhythm with a beat and motions.
emkirkley
by Member on Jan. 26, 2017 at 1:55 PM

Spelling city has games they can play with the words, you can make memory games with them so they see them more times, My middle is HFASD/SPD and we spell the words together while we jump on the trampoline, the rythm of jumping and saying the letters and words with each jump seems to help her retain more.  Making a little jingle to sing in their head helps some.  using play doh or sand to spell in/with is more physical and what some kids need.

RaeMarie
by Bronze Member on Jan. 26, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Try more tactile ways of studying. Pour some flour into a cookie sheet and have him write the words with his finger. Have them make the letters out of playdoh. Use pipecleaners to make the letters. Use scrabble letters to spell the words. Have him cut letters out of magazines or newspaper to spell the words. Buy a magnet set of letters and have him spell them on the fridge. 

All of these methods engage a different part of the brain and they have to think longer about each letter. When my ds and dd had spelling lists those methods proved to be extremely helpful. 

MommyTo5Boys
by Member on Jan. 26, 2017 at 5:19 PM
Things such as these are what we did with the students in the special ed class that I worked in for years.
Tactile learning works with these kids.


Quoting RaeMarie:

Try more tactile ways of studying. Pour some flour into a cookie sheet and have him write the words with his finger. Have them make the letters out of playdoh. Use pipecleaners to make the letters. Use scrabble letters to spell the words. Have him cut letters out of magazines or newspaper to spell the words. Buy a magnet set of letters and have him spell them on the fridge. 

All of these methods engage a different part of the brain and they have to think longer about each letter. When my ds and dd had spelling lists those methods proved to be extremely helpful. 

wakymom
by Ruby Member on Jan. 26, 2017 at 7:17 PM

If you have a Scrabble game, have him use the tiles to spell his words.

Rainbow spelling- have him write the word in one color, then write over it in another color or 2.

Bounce a ball back and forth, each of you saying a letter aloud as you bounce it. If spelling "ruler", he would say "r" as he bounces it to you, you'd say "u" as you bounce it back, he'd say "l", etc.

Have him do jumping jacks as he spells the words out loud. If you have a chalk board, or white erase board, you can write each letter as he says it so he can see and hear it at the same time.

http://www.spellingcity.com/  You can enter in his words and it will use them in games. My oldest has ADD and something about manipulating things on the computer screen seems to help him remember things better.









ESS81985
by Member on Jan. 26, 2017 at 8:42 PM

Have him write the words in a small sand box, as he is doign it out loud, put the words on the mirror so he is looking at them brushing his teach.  

Do you know if he is an auditory or visual learner, - ask for spellling test to be slightly modified. 


jcm3
by New Member on Jan. 26, 2017 at 8:45 PM
I use to write them 10x each every night. Made my kids do the same
coala
by on Jan. 26, 2017 at 9:59 PM

I don't think this has anything to do with his ADHD.  He is probably just a kid that sturggles with spelling.

I have an ADHD child who is a magnificent speller.  She flies through her lists and usually gets one marked wrong because her cursive letters run together and some letters look like they should be something else.

I would just keep working with him.  I would try making some flash cards.  Does he say the word, spell the word and say the word again.  I make my kids to that as well.

natb34
by Member on Jan. 26, 2017 at 10:09 PM
My DD is ADHD as well. When she first started spelling that had 3 or 4 different exercises out of 5-7 to do each week before the test on Friday... writing them, making a sentence (this can be done oral or written) and some other thing like the tiles mentioned above. Parents had to sign which ones were completed. It helped DD a lot to understand individual letter sounds and grouped together.
MamaRett
by Member on Jan. 27, 2017 at 8:42 AM

it not an ADHD thing....my ADD son is a great speller no studying just can spell everything.  My typical daughter cannot spell at all....no matter how much we practice.  She is like me though...two college degrees and I can't spell.  The dictionary and spell check are my friend.  

I like the tactile ideas....I will use them with her.  

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