Originally Posted by polarbear
Dysgraphic kids like my ds can sometimes memorize spelling words for spelling tests and do really well - my ds routinely aced all of his spelling tests, but he didn't retain memory of what he studied for spelling tests once the week was past (note - this is not the same for all dysgraphic people). Dysgraphia is basically a challenge with developing automaticity - dysgraphic people need to repeat repeat repeat and repeat again to learn skills that take neurotypical kids very little repetition to become automatic. This shows up most often in handwriting, but that challenge with needing to repeat repeat repeat because of lack of automaticity can show up in other areas like spelling. And that's what spell check and word prediction gives my ds - he sees the words spelled correctly more often and over a much longer extended period of time than with a spelling test - and as he's worked with the tools over the years, I've seen that his ability to spell is improving.
So true. Polarbear, I loved your whole post.

When my dysgraphic DD sees those angry red lines under something misspelled, she pulls up a list of options and has to think about which one looks right. From her comments, in part, she is looking at the shape of the word to figure out if it looks right. I think that this is an example of how her brain pulls from one of her strength areas to compensate for that lack of automaticity. She has about 95% accuracy picking out the correct option when she sees the list of suggestions. Sometimes she isn't close enough so none of the suggested options are correct and she knows that the right one isn't there. Spellcheck does not solve the problem of homophones -- and DD finds ones that I never dreamed of.

Used to be totally snarky about poor spelling too before I had DD. I used to think that it displayed a lack of intelligence and/or laziness. I can assure that nothing could be further from the truth with my DD (and my husband for that matter, yep it's genetic). I think that it is hard for someone who hasn't seen one of these kids to grasp how burdensome the lack of automaticity can be. For example, last year DD hand wrote a bunch of journal entries by a Mayflower passenger. She wrote her draft and I helped her correct spelling errors before she wrote her final. In her final draft, she corrected the misspelled words successfully because she was hyperfocused on them. Unfortunately, she then misspelled a whole bunch of words that she had spelled correctly in the first version even though she was working from her own draft where she herself had spelled them correctly. She is not being lazy. She is working super hard and is very hard on herself when she realizes these types of mistakes. When she types, she doesn't have this problem. If she gets it right, she can leave it alone.