Resources for Children with Special Needs

Different special needs present different sets of reading challenges. If your child has been recently diagnosed with a learning disability or spectrum disorder, or exhibits signs and symptoms, rest assured, we can help. VocabularySpellingCity caters to your child’s specific needs and helps develop spelling, vocabulary, writing, and reading comprehension skills.


Create a List
Type four words in the spaces below


an Activity


Play and Learn
Play the game using your words

What is ADD/ADHD and How Does it Affect Spelling?

ADHD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a medical condition that affects children’s ability to stay focused. ADHD does not present itself the same way in every child. In fact, there are three subtypes of ADHD: ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive; ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive (formerly known as attention-deficit disorder, ADD); and ADHD, combined.

The biggest difference between ADD and ADHD is that children with ADHD are hyperactive, so they demonstrate restless behavior. While children with ADD may often seem to be in their own world.

Symptoms of ADHD Hyperactive/Impulsive include:

  • Fidgeting and squirming
  • Difficulty waiting their turn
  • Interrupting others
  • Talking excessively

Symptoms of ADHD Inattentive (Formerly known as ADD) include:

  • Distraction
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities
  • Failure to finish tasks
  • Difficulty organizing tasks

What is Autism and How Does it Affect Spelling?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties in language development, social communication, and social interaction. Autism is a spectrum disorder and affects each child differently. Other disorders that fall under the autism spectrum are Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

Autism symptoms generally appear before the age of three. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Behaviors associated with autism include:

  • Lack or delay of language
  • Difficulty communicating wants and needs
  • Repetitive language
  • Repetitive motor mannerisms, such as hand flapping
  • Little or no eye contact

Children with autism process information differently. For example, children with autism think in pictures rather than words and have trouble committing sequences into memory. Due to these differences, learning how to spell may be difficult.

What is Dyslexia and How Does it Affect Spelling?

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that causes problems identifying speech sounds and learning how sounds relate to letters and words.

It is the most common learning disability; however, there are many misconceptions about dyslexia. Contrary to popular belief, dyslexia is not simply categorized by reversing letters when reading or writing. The severity of dyslexia can vary from child to child and can impact reading comprehension, writing, and spelling.

Some of the signs and symptoms of dyslexia include:

  • Difficulty sounding out unknown words
  • Incorrect use of vocabulary words
  • Delayed speech development
  • Struggle with rhyming

Dyslexia makes it difficult to isolate sounds in words and matching them to their corresponding letters. So for children with dyslexia, learning how to spell may be more challenging than learning how to read. Children with dyslexia may confuse letters that sound the same, mix up the order of letters in words, and misspell common sight words.

What are Language-Based Learning Disabilities and How do They Affect Spelling?

Language-Based Learning Disabilities (LBLDs) refer to a range of difficulties in processing or understanding spoken and written language. Dyslexia and dysgraphia are two forms of LBLDs. The severity of an LBLD can vary from child to child.

Children with language-based learning disabilities can have difficulties with:

  • Understanding questions and following directions
  • Remembering or retelling stories
  • Creating sentences
  • Learning new vocabulary that is heard or read
  • Reading and comprehending ideas

Decoding (reading) and encoding (writing and spelling) can be particularly challenging to children with LBLDs because they may have difficulty identifying sounds that correspond to letters or they may mix up the letters in words.

How We Help Children with Special Needs

Help your child succeed with VocabularySpellingCity, a research-proven tool that boosts vocabulary retention and reading comprehension.

With a Premium Membership, your child gains access to over 40 online learning games and activities that:

  • Appeal to different types of learners, as children can see, hear, break down, and play with words
  • Provide audio cues and visual aids
  • Include printable worksheets to supplement spelling and phonics concepts
  • Allow them to work at their own pace
  • Offer choice over their learning

In addition, VocabularySpellingCity Premium allows you to easily create assignments to provide structured, independent practice. Once your child completes their assignments, you can track and monitor his or her progress.

What Parents are Saying

“My son, who is on the autism spectrum, loves VocabularySpellingCity. He has trouble with letter and number size and formation, so I gave him the printout in which you can trace the word. He’s so happy and has a renewed hope that ‘I can’t write’ will become ‘I can write.’ We are also using VocabularySpellingCity with our nonverbal 5-year-old. We take words we want her to learn to say and make a spelling list with them. When the game spells and reads it to her, she is starting to repeat the word. How cool is that?!”

– Dana D.