But shouldn't it have been picked up from observing that his writing skills were way behind his reading skills? So, if he wasn't using phonic knowledge to write there was something very unusual about his reading ability. Also, if he could read without using phonic knowledge presumably he had an extensive sight vocabulary. I wonder why this did not feed into good spelling of the words he had in the sight vocabulary? Sorry, now I'm beginning to sound like the Spanish Inquisition.