Technology for Dyslexia

Pupils with dyslexia often feel more comfortable typing on a keyboard or touchscreen than writing with a pen, possibly because keyboards are more visual and provide more cues.

Here are some truly indispensable options available for those using this technology to read and write:

Voice Dictation

This software transforms what a person says into into written text, which can be incredibly useful for people with dyslexia, because their oral skills often better than their writing. Examples include Siri for Apple Devices, which works well, but there are others for other platforms.

Just like learning to write, it takes time to become proficient with the techniques (you need to speak clearly and fluently for best results…just like writing!) but it really pays off in the long run.

Word Processors

Word processing programs (e.g. Microsoft Word, Apple Pages for iPad/iPhone, etc) can be useful because most have a decent spellchecker and an auto-correct facility that can highlight errors in your child’s writing.

Used in combination with the speech recognition software above you have a package of supportive software that can transform the writing experience – and confidence – of people with dyslexia.

Text to Speech Software

For those struggling with reading – and for many people with dyslexia reading can be a slog – most web browsers and word processing software also have “text-to-speech” functions. This is where the computer reads the text as it appears on the screen. Just type “Text to Speech” into the search box and you’ll be invited to install an extension (e.g. SpeakIt for Chrome, Ivona, Windows Narrator, and more).

Teaching Strategies for Dyslexia

With deep gratitude to Matt Grant at TES Connect who has summarized some key instructional strategies for improving the learning and experience of pupils with dyslexic type tendencies:

General Strategies

  1. Keep instructions to one or two parts only. Chunk sequences of instructions – i.e. deliver one at a time verbally, print them one at a time on separate cards, model in numbered steps, etc.
  2. Allow 1-2 minutes ‘take up time’ when giving instructions – this will allow the student to process fully what is required of them.
  3. Continue reading “Teaching Strategies for Dyslexia”

Dyslexia Support Organisations

A list of websites from organisations working to support people with dyslexia:

Dyslexia Scotland – Scotland-centered information for dyslexic people and their relatives.

Education Scotland Dyslexia Resources – Outcome and reports of the Scottish Government’s review (2014) of education for children and young people who have dyslexia.

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Dyslexia: Part 2

How can I help my dyslexic child or pupil?

Continuing our last post about dyslexia, for both parents and teachers it can be quite a relief to have an explanation for their child or pupils’s difficulties. But what next?

One of the most important things to realise about dyslexia is that it is a very individual problem and thus each dyslexic child’s difficulties should be dealt with at an individual level.

Dyslexia is not a disease and therefore it cannot be cured or treated. However, it is possible to help a dyslexic child learn to cope and eventually overcome their difficulties.

Continue reading “Dyslexia: Part 2”

Dyslexia: Part 1

First, thanks to TES Connect for the resources reproduced here.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia causes difficulties in learning to read, write and spell. Short-term memory, mathematics, concentration, personal organisation and sequencing may also be affected.

Dyslexia usually arises from a weakness in the processing of language-based information. Biological in origin, it tends to run in families, but environmental factors also contribute.

Dyslexia can occur at any level of intellectual ability. It is not the result of poor motivation, emotional disturbance, sensory impairment or lack of opportunities, but it may occur alongside any of these.

The effects of dyslexia can be largely overcome by skilled specialist teaching and the use of compensatory strategies.

Continue reading “Dyslexia: Part 1”