Words that don’t have a picture – or at least not a clear one – are often very tricky for dyslexics to understand.
They may be able to read these words, especially the short ones like ‘a’, ‘on’, ‘for’ – but if you asked them what these words mean, the answers will surprise you.
I had an interesting experience with a 14-year old client recently. He came to my place and the first thing he said to me was: ‘How can you afford this anyway?’ Not taking any offence, as I knew it wasn’t meant to offend or sound rude, I just said, ‘That’s an interesting question.’
Later that day, we were looking at these non-picture words, like ‘because’ or ‘him’. I casually asked if he knew what ‘anyway’ means. We looked it up in a dictionary and it said:
anyway: in any case (amongst other explanations)
We then discussed sentences where it was appropriate to use the word. He then made a model of himself with an umbrella and the sun, saying that it doesn’t rain but he’d take an umbrella anyway. I then asked him if it made sense to use ‘anyway’ after questions which he used to do almost automatically (When is lunch anyway? What’s the time anyway?). He agreed that it doesn’t make the sense he wanted. There is no reason for sarcasm – and he reached that realisation himself.
After that he never used ‘anyway’ for the rest of the program – what a clever young man!