What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulties in reading and decoding words, despite normal intelligence and adequate educational opportunities. It is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects an individual’s ability to process written language.
Dyslexic people have difficulty recognizing the sounds of language, and quickly recognizing and naming objects, letters, and numbers.
Are Dyslexia and ADHD Linked?
Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are distinct conditions, but they may co-occur in some individuals. Studies have estimated that between 20% and 50% of individuals with dyslexia also have ADHD.
Are Dyslexia and Dysgraphia Linked?
Dysgraphia is a condition that affects an individual’s ability to produce written language legibly and fluently. Dyslexia and dysgraphia are often linked, as individuals with dyslexia also experience difficulties with note-taking and writing skills.
How to Handle Dyslexia?
- Have a structured approach or dyslexia program that provides extensive practice using controlled decodable texts. Dyslexic students need to learn new sounds/phonograms and spelling patterns one at a time. Orton-Gillingham approach is one of the most used ones. It breaks reading and spelling down into smaller skills, and then builds on these skills over time. Additionally, Wilson Reading Program is based on Orton-Gillingham method to especially help older students.
- Use multisensory methods to explicitly teach new content. Find ways to integrate multiple senses into any activity such as color coding & highlighting, using movement, using songs and music, textured writing, and learning games.
- Work on phonemic awareness. Check the Lindamood-Bell (LiPS) Program, which encourages phonemic awareness by helping users understand how mouth movements correspond to spoken sounds.
- Teach spelling patterns and syllables. One of the most used methods is The Barton Reading & Spelling System.
- Provide a tracking aide.
- Use audiobooks to teach reading comprehension when using books above their reading level.
- Teach how to visualize to dyslexic learners.
- Other reliable resources for programs serving dyslexics are found through the Academic Language Therapy Association and the International Dyslexia Association.
What is Reading Assistance?
Reading assistance refers to tools, technologies, or services that help individuals with reading difficulties or disabilities.
Many reading programs are ineffective for dyslexic students but software-based reading programs hold many advantages over traditional programs.
Why Do Dyslexic People Use Reading Assistance?
Dyslexic individuals use reading assistance to help overcome the difficulties they experience with decoding and comprehending written language. Their reading skills and reading comprehension levels are different than other people, which causes learning disabilities in some cases.
What are the Best Reading Assistances for Dyslexic People?
Some reading assistance tools and strategies for individuals with dyslexia include:
- Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology: TTS software reads text out loud, making it easier for dyslexic individuals to understand written material by the read-aloud function.
- Audiobooks: Audiobooks provide an alternative way to access written material and are especially helpful for individuals with dyslexia who have difficulty decoding text.
- Assistive technology: Screen readers and text-to-speech software are integrated into computers and other devices to provide spoken feedback and make it easier for individuals with dyslexia to navigate digital content.
- Multi-sensory reading instruction: This type of instruction involves using a combination of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning modalities to help individuals with dyslexia learn to read.
- Phonological awareness training: This type of training focuses on helping individuals with dyslexia develop stronger phonological processing skills, which is particularly helpful in decoding words.
- Structured Literacy programs: This type of program focuses on teaching the foundational skills of reading, writing, and spelling in a systematic, explicit, and sequential manner.
How to Use TTS for Struggling Readers?
By using TTS technology in conjunction with other reading strategies and practices, struggling readers improve their reading skills and gain greater independence and confidence.
- Choose the right TTS software: Look for TTS software that offers high-quality, natural-sounding voices, and that is customized to meet your specific needs.
- Customize the settings: Adjust the settings, such as the speaking rate and volume, to make the TTS technology more comfortable and effective for the reader.
- Use TTS in conjunction with other reading strategies: TTS technology should be used as one of many tools to support reading, not as a sole solution. Consider using TTS alongside other strategies, such as a multi-sensory approach and phonological awareness training.
- Use TTS in a variety of contexts: Encourage the reader to use TTS technology in a variety of contexts, such as when reading digital content, books, or other written material.
- Encourage independent use: Encourage the reader to use TTS technology independently, so they develop the skills they need to access written information on their own.
Speaktor: Speaktor, using text-to-speech (TTS) technology, is beneficial for dyslexic people by providing an audio representation of written text. This allows them to listen to and understand text that they may not be able to read and comprehend.
Read&Write Gold: This computer program assists dyslexic students and other students with learning disabilities by reading electronic text from word processing documents, web pages, PDF documents, and ebooks. It also helps to improve writing with its predictive spelling, word prediction, thesaurus, dictionary, and word choice features.
KAZ Type: It teaches individuals how to touch type. There are several editions available including junior, adult, and dyslexia. The Dyslexia Edition specifically targets those with this difficult learning disability and helps them learn how to type.