Hello and Welcome to Dyslexics NEED Technolgy!
Where to begin when everyone is at a different section of this journey? As this is my first blog post to parents I am going to start with the basics.
First and foremost – THERE IS NO REASON a dyslexic kid should not be reading every day and loving it. Period. No excuses! Parents get your kids reading if you have to bribe them to start. After a very short time, they will fall in love and want to read! But wait, you say. How can my kid read if he or she can’t read or reads so slowly and painfully they hate it???
With your help of course!!! They will need your help on this journey, especially in the beginning. Kids MUST read to SUCCEED!! Reading increases knowledge, it strengthens your analytical thinking, expands your vocabulary, improves your focus and concentration and it makes you a better writer.
There are three types of reading, Eye Reading, Ear Reading and Finger Reading – also known as braille, and each one does the very same thing: it stimulates the mind! For most kids learning to read with their eyes is not a big deal – its obviously the way 9 out of 10 kids learn. But what about our kids? The 1 in 10 Dyslexic kids? Here is a great article from the DailyMail.com.uk about what our kids see when they eye read. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3480257/What-s-REALLY-like-read-dyslexia-Simulator-reveals-letters-words-appear-people-condition.html
Well if eye reading doesn’t work – so what. Dyslexic kids can use their ears to read! Better known as Audio Books!! Two years ago while in 4th grade my daughter read over 4 million words between Sept and May of her 4th grade school year. 4 MILLION!!! All on audio books. Most times she also read it with her eyes as well using an amazing program call Voice Dream Reader. She loves reading now.
The most important thing you can do is get your child reading the things their friends are and the things they are interested in. My daughter and I walk down the aisles of Barnes and Nobel and she picks out everything she wants to read. (A LOT of dog books and Adventure books) and we take a photo of the cover with my phone. We go home and download these books from Bookshare using Voice Dream Reader and away she goes. She is such a voracious reader now after all these years that I have had to enter her books into GoodReads.com and Amazon and just to get recommendations! Have your kids check out my For Kids section of this blog for reviews great books to read!
So how can Parents help get this reading started???? Try one or ALL of these!
Bookshare.org is an amazing website where children who are US Students can read books from 663,444 plus books FOR FREE!!! Read the requirements here https://www.bookshare.org/cms/bookshare-me/who-qualifies. The voices are synthesized but you can use many programs to make them sound incredibly human. Here is a very cool set of recommendations by people who use Voice Dream Reader: https://www.applevis.com/forum/ios-ios-app-discussion/what-are-best-high-quality-voices-voice-dream-reader about which voices sound best with specific genres of books.
My daughter’s favorite is Sharon. Your child can pick from any voice they like. A woman’s voice or a Man’s voice. A Brittish accent or one from another country like India. They can choose how fast they want it and they can even choose a child’s voice!
Another great option is Learning Ally. This a source for over 80,000 human read books. It is also an amazing source of support and information for parents. It does cost $135.00 a year but there are some school districts who will pay this for your child. If not, paying $12 a month is chump change if it gets your kid to love reading!!!!
As a treat, I pay for my daughter to use Audible.com as well. It does not have the synchronized reading (unless you pay additionally to Amazon to purchase the Kindle book for Whispersync. She loves it for large books – especially adventure books when she reads before bed or when she wants to build legos while she reads. (Yes – it is ok to let your kid just listen and play while they read! Trust me, it’s a good thing a LOT of reading happens that way!)
One note about Bookshare and Learning Ally. You can get NEARLY ALL of your child’s school textbooks downloaded into digital/ear readable format as well. That being said, you have to have a school account attached to your child’s individual account ( Bookshare will do this ) and the school is the only one who has the privileges to download a textbook. At our school either the school psychologist or the resource room teacher do this for each student with and IEP or a 504.