Words that Are Hard for Dyslexics to Read and Spell

Dyslexic children struggle to read, write and spell new words. Yet some words can be more challenging than others. A dyslexic child may struggle to spell the same words, no matter how many times they learn them.

Some days they may be able to spell a word and the next day not be able to spell it. A common trait is for a dyslexic child to spell the same words wrong in many different ways. This can be one of the reasons why dyslexic children can wrongly be labelled lazy or that they are not trying.

Hard words for dyslexics to read

Learning new words, is a challenge for dyslexic children. It is suggested that dyslexic children are unable to sound out words when reading them. Unable to use phonics to break down words into sounds and letters. So instead they learn to recognise words by the shape of the word, not by actually reading letters in the words. This can mean it takes longer to learn how to read and write words.

Another theory is that dyslexic children struggle with memory and sequence. This means they may struggle to remember what letters are in a word and in which order the words should go. Unable to sound out the words, they are relying on memory alone, a skill which they may lack.  

Difficult Words for Dyslexics

All children with dyslexia are different. It is impossible to write a list of words that are hard for dyslexics to read and spell. Then expect every dyslexic child to struggle to read, write and spell every word on the list.

Yet difficult words for dyslexics, may include:

  • Difficulties writing long words, with more than one syllable.
  • Words with irregular spellings, sometimes called tricky words.
  • Homophones, words that sound different to how they are said. This includes words that sound the same and have different meanings. Such as their and there, witch and which.

Hard words to spell for dyslexics

Words that are hard for dyslexics to spell. Are often longer words, with spellings that a child may struggle to understand. Below is a list of the most commonly misspelt words. These maybe hard words to spell for dyslexics.

Commonly Misspelt words

  • Accommodate
  • Colonel
  • Conscience
  • Diarrhoea
  • Embarrass
  • Entrepreneur
  • Guarantee
  • Handkerchief
  • Miscellaneous
  • Nauseous
  • Occurrence
  • Parallel
  • Rhythm
  • Thermometer
  • Vacuum

Words that are hard for dyslexics to spell

If your dyslexic child is struggling to write and spell hard words. Take them back to basics, before attempting to learn the common misspelt words above.

Start by relearning basic 2, 3, 4 letter words, using the word lists below. Ticking off the words the child already knows can be a great confidence boost. Once they have the basics move to learning the 100 common words. If the child can read all these words they will be able to read 50% of most books.

Finally help them learn the list of tricky words below. These are usually words that are hard for dyslexics to spell. Use the activities in the "Teaching Tool" box, to help them learn the words in dyslexic friendly way.

Hardest Words for Dyslexics to Spell

The list below is a list of some of the hardest words for dyslexics to spell. These's words would be hard for anybody to read, write and spell. Remember to focus on getting the basics right first. It is more important that a dyslexic child has good foundation in reading, writing and spelling. That they are able to read, write and spell. Basic 3, 4, 5 letter words. To ensure the child knows enough to read most book and get their ideas down on paper. For spelling longer words, use assistive technology instead.

  • Accommodation
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Appraisal
  • Archaeology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Exaggeration
  • Hyperventilation
  • Paradoxical
  • Precipitous
  • Pseudonym
  • Orthography
  • Psychosomatic

Hard things for dyslexics to Read

Children with dyslexia often struggle to read. Below is a list of hard things for dyslexics to read. This includes examples of hard sentences for dyslexics to read.

  • Long and complicated sentences.
  • Words made up of many syllables, with irregular spellings
  • Sentences using complicated words or tense they are not familiar with. Such as speaking in the past or future.
  • Certain fonts or fonts with unusual spacing that can be hard to read.
  • Poorly written sentences, with large chunks of text. Long paragraphs without breaks or headings.
  • Writing on top of images, or clutters writing can be hard to read. For example a poster printed with lots of different coloured and sized writing.
  • Flashing, scrolling writing can be harder to read quickly.
  • Sentences with homophones or homonyms. Words that spelt differently to how they sound. Such as "their" and "there".
  • Large chunks of text without images and diagrams to help explain context.
  • Information that is disorganised, jumps from one topic to the next without explanation.

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