There are so many apps that are useful to students with dyslexia! There are text-to-speech apps like Dragon that will read text to you, in addition to built-in text-to-speech functionality on Windows, Android and Apple devices. Voxdox, for example, will allow you to snap a photo of any document in almost any language, and that document will be read to you. There are productivity apps like Evernote and Soundnote that help you take notes, especially when connected to your Livescribe pen or iPad. Several apps help you stay organized and on schedule.There are specially formatted dictionary apps like American Wordspeller, a phonetic dictionary that allows you to type in the word the way it sounds. Type in “fone” and it will pull up the word “phone” for you. There are study aids like flashcard generators that allow you to created your own flashcards, and there are countless interactive books.Below are links that discuss the multitude of apps that are helpful to students who have dyslexia. No matter what the need, there’s an app for that!Apps for Kids with Special Needs and Learning Differences -http://www.commonsensemedia.org/guide/special-needsBest Dyslexia Apps – Middle School, High School and Beyond -http://www.mariannesunderland.com/2013/01/best-dyslexia-apps-middle-school-high-school-and-beyond/Back to School: Best Apps for Students -http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2422483,00.aspThe 70 Best Apps For Teachers And Students -http://www.edudemic.com/70-best-apps-teachers-students/21 best apps for college students -http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/08/bet-apps-college-students/index.htm50 Best iPad Apps for Users with Reading Disabilities -http://www.teleread.com/education/50-best-ipad-apps-for-users-with-reading-disabilities/40 Amazing iPad Apps for the Learning Disabled -http://disabilitynetwork.org/technology/40-amazing-ipad-apps-for-the-learning-disabled/#.UmerEvlthtAApps to Help Students With Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties -http://www.ncld.org/students-disabilities/assistive-technology-education/apps-students-ld-dyslexia-reading-difficultiesTop 200 (Free) in Education for iPad -http://appshopper.com/bestsellers/education/free/?device=ipadOyster: Offering Unlimited Books for $9.95 a Month -http://www.wired.com/design/2013/09/is-this-netflix-of-books-the-next-big-thing-in-publishing/?mbid=social11571274Me Books Brings Children’s Favorite Books To iPad, Lets You Be The Narrator - http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/14/me-books-brings-childrens-favorite-books-to-ipad-lets-you-be-the-narrator/Evernote and 3M Digitize the Post-It Note -http://mashable.com/2013/09/26/evernote-post-it/The Beginner’s Guide to Evernote -http://mashable.com/2013/07/03/evernote-beginners/

There are so many apps that are useful to students with dyslexia! There are text-to-speech apps like Dragon that will read text to you, in addition to built-in text-to-speech functionality on Windows, Android and Apple devices. Voxdox, for example, will allow you to snap a photo of any document in almost any language, and that document will be read to you. 

There are productivity apps like Evernote and Soundnote that help you take notes, especially when connected to your Livescribe pen or iPad. Several apps help you stay organized and on schedule.

There are specially formatted dictionary apps like American Wordspeller, a phonetic dictionary that allows you to type in the word the way it sounds. Type in “fone” and it will pull up the word “phone” for you. 

There are study aids like flashcard generators that allow you to created your own flashcards, and there are countless interactive books.

Below are links that discuss the multitude of apps that are helpful to students who have dyslexia. No matter what the need, there’s an app for that!

Apps for Kids with Special Needs and Learning Differences -http://www.commonsensemedia.org/guide/special-needs

Best Dyslexia Apps – Middle School, High School and Beyond -http://www.mariannesunderland.com/2013/01/best-dyslexia-apps-middle-school-high-school-and-beyond/

Back to School: Best Apps for Students -http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2422483,00.asp

The 70 Best Apps For Teachers And Students -http://www.edudemic.com/70-best-apps-teachers-students/

21 best apps for college students -http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/08/bet-apps-college-students/index.htm

50 Best iPad Apps for Users with Reading Disabilities -http://www.teleread.com/education/50-best-ipad-apps-for-users-with-reading-disabilities/

40 Amazing iPad Apps for the Learning Disabled -http://disabilitynetwork.org/technology/40-amazing-ipad-apps-for-the-learning-disabled/#.UmerEvlthtA

Apps to Help Students With Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties -http://www.ncld.org/students-disabilities/assistive-technology-education/apps-students-ld-dyslexia-reading-difficulties

Top 200 (Free) in Education for iPad -http://appshopper.com/bestsellers/education/free/?device=ipad

Oyster: Offering Unlimited Books for $9.95 a Month -http://www.wired.com/design/2013/09/is-this-netflix-of-books-the-next-big-thing-in-publishing/?mbid=social11571274

Me Books Brings Children’s Favorite Books To iPad, Lets You Be The Narrator - http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/14/me-books-brings-childrens-favorite-books-to-ipad-lets-you-be-the-narrator/

Evernote and 3M Digitize the Post-It Note -http://mashable.com/2013/09/26/evernote-post-it/

The Beginner’s Guide to Evernote -http://mashable.com/2013/07/03/evernote-beginners/

It’s tools and tech week! We’ll be talking about the ways in which tools and tech can make our lives easier, from specially formatted books to reading rulers to apps to futuristic gadgets. Each day will have a different focus. I’ll try to cover as many of these wonderful products as I can without overloading your inbox. Scott

It’s tools and tech week! We’ll be talking about the ways in which tools and tech can make our lives easier, from specially formatted books to reading rulers to apps to futuristic gadgets. Each day will have a different focus. I’ll try to cover as many of these wonderful products as I can without overloading your inbox. 
Scott

Today’s topic is stress. Here are some quotes from the articles below that I want to highlight:Stress “can create deficits in a child’s intellectual abilities, crippling the capacity to learn.”"Research has found that neurons in the brain of a chronically stressed individual may have fewer and shorter dendrites (pathways for sending information). This deficiency impairs communication with other dendrites, reducing the brain’s ability to process information effectively.”"Frequent symptoms of stress such as low impulse control, difficulty concentrating and irritating behaviors often match the definition of A.D.D./A.D.H.D."Most children with dyslexia are under a constant state of stress in school. We are struggling with almost every subject because almost every subject requires us to read. After dealing with that stress for so many hours each day, we want to go home to a place that makes us feel at ease.Unfortunately, those who care the most about us and our futures are sometimes the ones who cause us to feel the most stress: family, friends and tutors. They worry about us, and they want the best for us. However, especially as young children, we can feel the weight in the room every time the topic of dyslexia comes up. We know the people who care about us are stressed and we know that we are the cause of their anxiety. That leads us to feel more stressed (and guilty), we have more trouble concentrating on learning, and we all end up in a vicious cycle.It may seem impossible, but loved ones need to find ways to lower their stress levels if they want to help students lower their stress levels. If your child sees that you are not at all concerned, the extreme pressure to perform will be lessened, providing the child with the ability to remain calm and allow their brain focus on learning. By the way, the attitude that everything will be fine should not be an act; you should believe that everything will, in fact, be fine because it will be. Your child has tremendous advantages over his or her peers that may not be immediately apparent due to the limitations of the traditional systems.Never view dyslexia as a learning disability. Instead, view it as a learning advantage that the schools are not capable of handling at the moment. Make sure your child sees you adopt that approach in all of your dealings and communications with others. Let your child know that there’s no doubt he or she will be able to overcome the difficult aspects of dyslexia - it’s just a matter of when and how, and whether he or she will get to use some fun gadgets (assistive technology) along the way. Everything will be fine. No worries.Scotthttp://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/strategies/topics/Keeping%20Fit%20for%20Learning/stress.htmlhttp://www.trainingplace.com/source/stress.html

Today’s topic is stress. Here are some quotes from the articles below that I want to highlight:

Stress “can create deficits in a child’s intellectual abilities, crippling the capacity to learn.”

"Research has found that neurons in the brain of a chronically stressed individual may have fewer and shorter dendrites (pathways for sending information). This deficiency impairs communication with other dendrites, reducing the brain’s ability to process information effectively.”

"Frequent symptoms of stress such as low impulse control, difficulty concentrating and irritating behaviors often match the definition of A.D.D./A.D.H.D."

Most children with dyslexia are under a constant state of stress in school. We are struggling with almost every subject because almost every subject requires us to read. After dealing with that stress for so many hours each day, we want to go home to a place that makes us feel at ease.

Unfortunately, those who care the most about us and our futures are sometimes the ones who cause us to feel the most stress: family, friends and tutors. They worry about us, and they want the best for us. However, especially as young children, we can feel the weight in the room every time the topic of dyslexia comes up. We know the people who care about us are stressed and we know that we are the cause of their anxiety. That leads us to feel more stressed (and guilty), we have more trouble concentrating on learning, and we all end up in a vicious cycle.

It may seem impossible, but loved ones need to find ways to lower their stress levels if they want to help students lower their stress levels. If your child sees that you are not at all concerned, the extreme pressure to perform will be lessened, providing the child with the ability to remain calm and allow their brain focus on learning. 

By the way, the attitude that everything will be fine should not be an act; you should believe that everything will, in fact, be fine because it will be. Your child has tremendous advantages over his or her peers that may not be immediately apparent due to the limitations of the traditional systems.

Never view dyslexia as a learning disability. Instead, view it as a learning advantage that the schools are not capable of handling at the moment. Make sure your child sees you adopt that approach in all of your dealings and communications with others. Let your child know that there’s no doubt he or she will be able to overcome the difficult aspects of dyslexia - it’s just a matter of when and how, and whether he or she will get to use some fun gadgets (assistive technology) along the way. 

Everything will be fine. No worries.

Scott

http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/strategies/topics/Keeping%20Fit%20for%20Learning/stress.html

http://www.trainingplace.com/source/stress.html

We’re continuing on the topic of self-esteem today. As many of you pointed out yesterday, it is imperative that a child be given adequate time and opportunities to discover his or her talents and passions. As students who are struggling to read, we need something that makes us feel successful and special. We need something that makes us feel proud. When I was young, my passion was Legos. I could spend hours building elaborate designs. My parents kept me well-supplied in those building blocks, and they even took me to Brickworld and other Lego conventions. Today, my passion is computers and other tech devices. I even built my own computer from scratch, and I design games for the XBox.For my sister, also dyslexic, the passion was birds. It still is. At just 14 years old, she is an incredibly talented ornithologist who is well-known in the field and in high demand. She travels across the state teaching classes and giving presentations on behalf of several organizations, including the Audubon Society, Department of Natural Resources, Raptor Rehabilitation Centers and other organizations. She writes books, helps design apps, and so much more.While we were pursuing our passions, we discovered that in order to learn more about them, we would have to learn to read, no matter how difficult that would be. Magazine articles, books and websites about our passions required us to go through the excruciating effort of reading, which gave us the necessary motivation to try to read better.Yes, we could have spent more time on the reading assignments rather than spending time on what some would consider trivial pursuits. However, if your self-esteem is low, it is difficult to concentrate on your work, especially something as painful as reading. I would argue that pursuing a passion, developing talents, and building self-esteem are as important to a child with dyslexia as the reading exercises.I would like to hear your thoughts. Have you, as a child or teen with dyslexia, discovered your talents and found your passions? Has it made a difference? Do you have enough time to pursue them? Or are the homework and tutoring assignments taking up all of your time?

We’re continuing on the topic of self-esteem today. As many of you pointed out yesterday, it is imperative that a child be given adequate time and opportunities to discover his or her talents and passions. As students who are struggling to read, we need something that makes us feel successful and special. We need something that makes us feel proud. 

When I was young, my passion was Legos. I could spend hours building elaborate designs. My parents kept me well-supplied in those building blocks, and they even took me to Brickworld and other Lego conventions. Today, my passion is computers and other tech devices. I even built my own computer from scratch, and I design games for the XBox.

For my sister, also dyslexic, the passion was birds. It still is. At just 14 years old, she is an incredibly talented ornithologist who is well-known in the field and in high demand. She travels across the state teaching classes and giving presentations on behalf of several organizations, including the Audubon Society, Department of Natural Resources, Raptor Rehabilitation Centers and other organizations. She writes books, helps design apps, and so much more.

While we were pursuing our passions, we discovered that in order to learn more about them, we would have to learn to read, no matter how difficult that would be. Magazine articles, books and websites about our passions required us to go through the excruciating effort of reading, which gave us the necessary motivation to try to read better.

Yes, we could have spent more time on the reading assignments rather than spending time on what some would consider trivial pursuits. However, if your self-esteem is low, it is difficult to concentrate on your work, especially something as painful as reading. I would argue that pursuing a passion, developing talents, and building self-esteem are as important to a child with dyslexia as the reading exercises.

I would like to hear your thoughts. Have you, as a child or teen with dyslexia, discovered your talents and found your passions? Has it made a difference? Do you have enough time to pursue them? Or are the homework and tutoring assignments taking up all of your time?

The Symposium was a huge success! The crowd was even larger than expected, and the speakers (Ms. Baxter, Ms. Gray and Ms. Lill) are without question the best in their fields. They are knowledgeable and engaging, and I left the symposium feeling empowered.

Ms. Kristin Baxter from Dyslexia Institute of Indiana gave a wonderful overview about dyslexia, its symptoms and its gifts, and she shared the numerous services DII provides (http://www.diin.org/). 

Ms. Laurie Gray, well-known attorney and author, delivered a powerful presentation about bullying and the laws in Indiana (http://www.socraticparenting.com/). 

Ms. Kris Lill shared all of the remarkable resources the Allen County Public Library is providing to assist children who have dyslexia (http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/). 

I spoke about my experiences, why I created the Dyslexic Kids support organization for children and teens with dyslexia, and the resources I provide (http://dyslexickids.net/Welcome.html). 

Ms. Tina Bailey, a local tutor who specializes in helping children with dyslexia, was on hand to answer questions (ABetterChance2Learn@yahoo.com), as was Specialty Tutoring (http://specialtytutoring.com/) and Mr. Kenny Baxter (kenny@chromagenvisionllc.com).

It was a fantastic symposium and I am so grateful to each of these wonderful people for donating their time! I videotaped a portion of the symposium and will share that with you later today.

Scott Forsythe, Dyslexic Kids

The “b and d rap song”

The “b and d rap song”

My students really enjoy using whiteboards and sandboxes. When they make mistakes, they want something that is quick and easy to erase; none of us want a lasting reminder of our mistakes!

My students really enjoy using whiteboards and sandboxes. When they make mistakes, they want something that is quick and easy to erase; none of us want a lasting reminder of our mistakes!

Learning to read from left to right can be very difficult for students with dyslexia. This sometimes helps.

Learning to read from left to right can be very difficult for students with dyslexia. This sometimes helps.

This TED talk about the ability to teach without words is thought-provoking, particularly the pie chart in the beginning which identifies the tiny percentage of students who can excel under the traditional methods of teaching. Why not adopt a teaching method that will allow all students to excel? The computer program in the video is one idea, but there are so many simple changes that can be made! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VLje8QRrwg

Several of you asked that I talk about tips for teachers, and several of you asked to see certain posters again, so I’ll spread this out over a couple of days lest I inundate your inbox today. :-)
Here are some articles I hope you find helpful. :-)
From One (Dyslexic) Teacher to Another: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/1Teacher2Another.html
What Are Classrooms Like for Students with Learning Disabilities?: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/39151/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Hootsuite&utm_campaign=RRSocialMedia
Teaching Children With Dyslexia: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alex-dyer/teaching-children-with-dyslexia_b_2477883.html
Supporting High School Students with Dyslexia: http://specialed.about.com/od/readingliteracy/a/High-school-students-in-inclusive-settings-strategies.htm
Dyslexia and High School: http://www.ldonline.org/article/25150/

Several of you asked that I talk about tips for teachers, and several of you asked to see certain posters again, so I’ll spread this out over a couple of days lest I inundate your inbox today. :-)

Here are some articles I hope you find helpful. :-)

From One (Dyslexic) Teacher to Another: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/1Teacher2Another.html

What Are Classrooms Like for Students with Learning Disabilities?: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/39151/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Hootsuite&utm_campaign=RRSocialMedia

Teaching Children With Dyslexia: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alex-dyer/teaching-children-with-dyslexia_b_2477883.html

Supporting High School Students with Dyslexia: http://specialed.about.com/od/readingliteracy/a/High-school-students-in-inclusive-settings-strategies.htm

Dyslexia and High School: http://www.ldonline.org/article/25150/

Another requested favorite from the past

Another requested favorite from the past

Continuing with your questions and suggestions, today we’ll talk about foreign languages. Is it easier or more difficult for someone with dyslexia to learn a foreign language? Does it depend on the language? Does it depend on the person?Below are some articles that deal with dyslexia and foreign languages. However, I would prefer to hear about your experiences. Have you learned a foreign language? Which language? Did you find it easier or more difficult? International Dyslexia Association -http://www.interdys.org/DC_Succeeding%20in%20a%20foreign%20language.htmBritish Dyslexia Association -http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/schools-colleges-and-universities/modern-foreign-languages-and-dyslexia.htmlDyslexia Association of Ireland -http://www.dyslexia.ie/information/information-for-students/language-learning/TEFL - http://www.tefl.net/esl-articles/dyslexia.htm

Continuing with your questions and suggestions, today we’ll talk about foreign languages. Is it easier or more difficult for someone with dyslexia to learn a foreign language? Does it depend on the language? Does it depend on the person?

Below are some articles that deal with dyslexia and foreign languages. However, I would prefer to hear about your experiences. Have you learned a foreign language? Which language? Did you find it easier or more difficult? 

International Dyslexia Association -http://www.interdys.org/DC_Succeeding%20in%20a%20foreign%20language.htm

British Dyslexia Association -http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/schools-colleges-and-universities/modern-foreign-languages-and-dyslexia.html

Dyslexia Association of Ireland -http://www.dyslexia.ie/information/information-for-students/language-learning/

TEFL - http://www.tefl.net/esl-articles/dyslexia.htm

Transitioning from elementary to middle school, middle to high school and high school to college when you have dyslexia

Continuing with the suggestions you submitted, today we’re going to talk about transitions. Change is difficult, especially for students and their parents who are dealing with changes in personnel and policies at school. It seems that by the time you have developed the right working relationship with the teachers and administration, and the student has grown comfortable with the materials and procedures, it’s time to move to a new school (elementary school to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to college). How do you cope with these changes? 

Below are some articles that address this issue, but I’d prefer to hear from you. What strategies have you employed to help your child transition from one level of school to another? How did the policies, procedures and accommodations compare?

Elementary to Middle School: 
http://www.interdys.org/DC_CrossingtheDivide.htm
http://www.texasprojectfirst.org/TransMidSchool.html

Middle School to High School:
http://school.familyeducation.com/learning-disabilities/reading/37594.html
http://www.greatschools.org/special-education/support/982-transition-to-high-school.gs

High School to College:
http://www.ncld.org/learning-disability-resources/checklists-worksheets/checklist-for-transitioning-from-high-school-college
http://www.grossmont.edu/dsps/docs/Catching_the_Wave.pdf