Improve your dyslexic child’s writing accuracy with this 3-step proofreading tip.

Proofreading to writing success

“Have you checked your work?”

“Read it over carefully!”

How often have you said that to your child as he hastily shovels his homework books back into his school bag and heads out of the door?

But how does he know how to check his work?  Has anyone ever taught him what to do?

When it comes to writing, your child with dyslexia is not going to get it right first time.  When you think about it, there’s so much goes in to the writing process:

  • Thinking of what to write and choosing the right words
  • Thinking about how to spell the words
  • Thinking about the correct formation of the letters, which order they go in and getting the letters on the line
  • Thinking about punctuation

All of this can place tremendous strain on the memory skills of the dyslexic child.  Many children with dyslexia suffer from poor short and long term memory. Even if he has typed his work on to a computer, Spell Check won’t pick up every mistake.

Proofreading is a great skill to teach your dyslexic child.  Knowing how to check his work is a skill that will valuable throughout his life.  Teach it at an early stage, as soon as your child begins to write and it will become a habit.

Here’s a quick and easy 3-step check to help your child check his work.  Cut the work up into chunks and ask your child to check only a small part at a time.

Ask 3 questions:

1 Have you got all the words you need?

2 Have you got all the punctuation you need?

3 Is your spelling as good as you can make it?


1 Have you got all the words you need?

Get your child to actually point to each word with his finger or a pen and say that word out loud.  When reading back their own work, children with dyslexia often only see what they think they have written and not what is actually on the page.  Listening to the sound of his own voice as he reads will help him spot if any words have been left out and that the meaning of the sentence is clear.

2 Have you got all the punctuation you need?

Smaller children may simply be checking that they have a capital letter at the beginning of the sentence and a full stop or a question mark at the end of a sentence. For older children, it may be they will be checking for more advanced punctuation, such as commas, speech marks etc.

3 Is your spelling as good as you can make it?

This is a tricky one!  A child with dyslexia may never be the best speller in the world! But sometimes, when checking their work they are able to identify spelling mistakes.

Try getting your child to write problem words out several different ways to see which version “looks right”. This will help to improve his visual memory, so that he feels more confident in correcting his spelling.

Dyslexic children often have particular “sticky” words that always give them problems.  Of course, this is different for every child.  Your child may regularly spell the word “does” or “was” wrong.    Draw your child’s attention to the fact that this is one of his “tricky” words and so always worth checking.  Ask him to focus on words that he knows give him problems.

Print the 3-step check out and put it up on the fridge door as a reminder.  You’ll be surprised how soon the 3-step check becomes a good habit!

Does your child have difficulty with proofreading?  Have you found any tips that have helped?

Posted in Dyslexia News

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