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:
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 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).
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:
- 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.
- Allow 1-2 minutes ‘take up time’ when giving instructions – this will allow the student to process fully what is required of them.
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.
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.