Dyslexia is a language processing disorder which can impact reading, writing, spelling, and potentially speaking. While dyslexia can impact everyone differently, there are several resources available for families and students which can help with day to day tasks and productivity for work and school.
Digital E-Books and Audiobooks
One of the most utilized resources for individuals with dyslexia is audiobooks. If text, books, and other learning materials can be delivered in audio or digital formats, research has shown that individuals with dyslexia can excel with the material. Furthermore, individuals can experience the content in a more multi-sensory and engaging way (reading while listening) which can also lead to a new appreciation for reading.
Text to Speech Technology
There are now Text to Speech (TTS) apps which can process digital text and read it aloud. This software has shown to be a critical resource, which aids in reading, promotes comprehension, and enhances literacy skills. There are several apps and add-ons such as Speechify, ReadSpeaker, Browsealoud, VoiceDream, and more.
There are a few types of innovative smart pens on the market that can help individuals with dyslexia. One type of smart pen records notes and audio from class and lectures. Students can then upload their notes into a computer and listen to notes from any point within the recording. The Smartpen also allows students to use ink in different colors which has proven to be another successful strategy for students with dyslexia.
Another type of smart pen scans text and reads it aloud for students. These devices, such as the C-Pen, work almost like a highlighter, processing and reading the text aloud as you roll the pen across the text.
Voice Recognition Software
Dictation software has become a very powerful educational tool for students with dyslexia. Students now have the option, through voice recognition software, to narrate pieces of writing into the computers. This software is especially helpful for those students who also have dysgraphia and struggle with written assignments.
Glasses and Colored Overlays
Research has shown that 20% of individuals with dyslexia can benefit from colored lenses or colored overlays. The colors or filters alter the wavelengths which cause the visual processing impairments in the brain. It is important to note, however, that different individuals might need different colors or even a different color for each eye.
Mind Mapping is a specialized form of note taking that involves using simple drawings, colorful symbols, and other graphics. Students with dyslexia often enjoy creative activities. This form of note-taking allows them to tap into those interests while also improving memory and recall by connecting important information to the drawings.
One of the best tools and resources for students with dyslexia is specialized tutoring or small-group intervention using the Orton-Gillingham or Wilson method. The OG/Wilson approach is one of the longest-standing and research backed approaches to helping individuals with dyslexia. The instructional methodology uses multisensory tools to teach phonics, reading, writing and other language skills. For more information on the Orton-Gillingham methodology and its benefits to those with learning disabilities, check out this blog.
Want to know what other parents think about dyslexia? Check out our blog, Things I Wish I'd Known: Dyslexia.