When a student has dyslexia, a formal diagnosis can be very helpful because it often makes obtaining accommodations less of a struggle. But how do you get a professional diagnosis?
There are several organizations that can help. You can sometimes get your school to test your child for dyslexia. If that doesn’t work, there are several lists of independant people and organizations that may be able to help you, such as the IDA.
Could learning to play an instrument improve school performance?
FluencyTutor for Google is a Chrome web app (works on Chromebook, PC, Mac) that allows teachers to share selected reading passages with their students. Students can hear the passages read aloud, and the text being read aloud is highlighted to help students follow along with the reading.
Excellent article from Emilie Peck about comic books and the various benefits they provide to people with dyslexia.
8 excellent resources for downloading free ebooks:
Remember, when you are reading eBooks, you can change several options on your device that make the book much more dyslexic-friendly.
The Kurzweil 3000-firefly is receiving about 40 updates, including support for the OpenDyslexic font.
A beautifully written blog comparing people with dyslexia to the tough, resilient flowers that grow and bloom in the harshest of conditions.
Students - what are you passionate about? How do you find time to pursue your passions? What outlets have allowed you to learn from experts and demonstrate your proficiency? Students with dyslexia, if given the opportunity, often demonstrate spectacular talent and proficiency in an area about which they are passionate. Unfortunately, the school structure often does not allow much time for such pursuits.
For example, my high school classes do not allow me to delve as deeply into computer engineering as I would prefer. I could do it on my own, but I prefer a situation in which my work is judged by professionals so that I can better gauge my progress and mastery while learning from experts in the field. Thankfully, in the case of engineering (my passion), those outlets were available. I love computer programming and developing game levels (Skyrim, etc.), but to perform those tasks I needed a more powerful computer than what I could find on the market at a reasonable price. I designed and built a high-end computer from scratch. It was fun and I learned a great deal in the process. My computer’s performance has met, and in some instances exceeded, my expectations. Tomorrow morning my computer will be reviewed and judged by engineers. I’m looking forward to hearing their comments and suggestions and learning even more from them!
~ Scott Forsythe, age 17 and founder of the Dyslexic Kids support organization for children and teens with dyslexia
Several educators are trying to bring Google’s 20% time to schools. 20% time is a program Google has for its employees that allows them to spend 20% of their time on any project they want.
Below is a great article on why having 20% time in schools is good for students, teachers and parents. What do you think?
A free Google Chrome add-on called Read&Write for Google offers support for Google Docs/web to students with learning differences like dyslexia.
Hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting, see the meaning of words explained with text and picture dictionaries, hear text translated into other languages, predicts the next word as you type, highlight interesting or relevant text and collect it for use in other documents.
It works with web pages and common file types in Google Drive, including:
- Google Docs
Part story, part game, part educational toy, Elements 4D interactive blocks offer a fun way to experience augmented reality.
Many people learn better with hands-on, interactive teaching, especially people with dyslexia. That’s why Augmented Reality has such potential! Augmented reality apps like Elements 4D are an amazing way to learn about the elements and their interactions in real time. Be sure to watch the video!
I have a new favorite audience: the children of Camp Delafield, a camp designed specifically for students who have dyslexia, operated by. I’ve had the opportunity to speak to several groups, but none compare to these bright, inquisitive young children, many of whom are newly diagnosed but optimistic and planning for an extraordinary future. All of the kids had superb questions and comments. Here are a few questions I was asked to address followed by my answers:
1. What coping mechanisms help you deal with your dyslexia while in school? Answer: I’m a big fan of high tech, so I’m always on the lookout for good assistive technology. My favorite tool by far and the one I use the most is my Livescribe pen. I have trouble keeping up when I take notes in class but this pen saves me. (I then described how the pen works, and the kids were very excited about this incredible technology).
2. Have you dealt with any bullying because of your dyslexia?
Answer: I used to get beaten up when I was younger for being different or “stupid”, but even when I was little I knew that the problems lay in the bullies, not in me. I wasn’t stupid; they were the ones who were not informed. All that bullying made me want to help other kids and raise awareness about dyslexia. I started the Dyslexic Kids support group for children and teens with dyslexia so that we could encourage each other and remind each other that there’s nothing wrong with us. In fact, we are better than just OK. I like to say that we have a learning advantage that most public schools just aren’t advanced enough to handle!
3. How or when did you learn about your dyslexia, and how did you feel?
Answer: My parents had me tested when I was young, no thanks to my school (my school refused to test me until third grade) because my parents knew there was a chance I had dyslexia. My father has it, and since it’s genetic, my parents were watching for the signs. At first it seemed to me that dyslexia was a bit negative because it caused difficulty for me in school, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve discovered the really cool gifts that come with dyslexia. For example, big picture thinking, problem solving, creativity, the ability to see things differently and my talents in engineering and technology are all gifts I wouldn’t trade for the world! My father who is also dyslexic works with NASA and a huge percentage of his coworkers have dyslexia so I’ll be in good company as an engineer. Follow-up question: When and where are you going to college? Answer: I’ll be graduating from high school in two years. There are a few colleges I’m considering.
4. How has your dyslexia made you a stronger person?
Answer: I would never have had the courage to start a global support network if dyslexia hadn’t forced me to do it. Now, I’m comfortable with public speaking, debating, teaching, advocating for myself and others, and working with new technologies.
5. How do you now spread the word for dyslexia and yourself?
Answer: I host an annual dyslexia conference in Fort Wayne via the Dyslexic Kids organization. It’s the only dyslexia conference in northeast Indiana! This year the mayor will be involved and will issue a proclamation declaring the second Saturday in October to be dyslexia awareness day so that will help increase press coverage and awareness. I also post news and information about dyslexia every weekday across most of the social networks to raise awareness and to provide support, encouragement and resources to children and teens with dyslexia. I never turn down a speaking invitation; I jump at any chance to help people understand dyslexia, or to understand the tools and resources available to help those with dyslexia.
6. Do you have any encouraging words for us to remember?
Answer: Each and every one of you has special talents or gifts. Continue to work on your assignments and tutoring of course, but make sure you take the time to recognize and nurture your own unique skills and talents. Focus on them and build on them. Those are what will make you extraordinary.
What a great #C4 conference! There were over 400 enthusiastic teachers all anxious to learn ways to improve the learning environment of their students through technology. It’s always invigorating for me to present to a group that is eager to find out about ways to help their students with dyslexia! We talked about some incredible assistive technologies and learning tools. For one of the handouts, go tohttp://dyslexickids.net and click on Assistive Tech.