Sequencing refers to our ability to perceive items in a specific order, and also to remember that sequence. In saying the days of the week, months of the year, a telephone number, the alphabet, and in counting, the order of the elements is of paramount importance.
Many dyslexics have trouble with sequencing. Naturally this will affect their ability to read and spell correctly. After all, every word consists of letters in a specific sequence. In order to read one has to perceive the letters in sequence, and also remember what word is represented by the sequence of letters in question. By simply changing the sequence of the letters in name, it can become mean or amen.
The following are a few of the dyslexia symptoms that indicate sequencing difficulties:
- When reading, the dyslexic may put letters in the wrong order, reading felt as left, act as cat, reserve as reverse, expect as except.
- They may put syllables in the wrong order, reading animal as ‘aminal’, hospital as ‘hopsital’, enemy as ‘emeny’.
- They may put words in the wrong order, reading are there for there are.
- The dyslexic may write letters in the wrong order, spelling Simon as ‘Siomn’, time as ‘tiem’, child as ‘chidl’.
- They may omit letters, i.e. reading or writing cat for cart, wet for went, sing for string.
Dyslexics may also have trouble remembering the order of the alphabet, strings of numbers, for example telephone numbers, the months of a year, the seasons, and events in the day. Younger children may also find it hard to remember the days of the week. Some are unable to repeat longer words orally without getting the syllables in the wrong order, for example words like preliminary and statistical.
Here are some other tasks that tend to be a challenge for those with dyslexia, according to the website BrightStar Learning:
- Shoe-tying: this is a skill that involves a sequence of steps as well as directionality. Lots of dyslexics cannot tie their shoes until they are in their teens.
- Forming letters: Dyslexics may begin and end letters at strange points. They can’t remember the series of pencil strokes they must make to form the letters. So, they just dig in and start writing from wherever and continue on until the letter bears some relation to its correct form.
- Long division: Long division problems entail following a sequence of five steps, in the same sequence, for each problem. The dyslexic may have a good grasp of each step but may not perform them in the proper sequence, and they may end up generating the wrong answer.