How frustrating would it be to see one thing and have it be something else? How trying would it be to not be able to pronounce a sound, write the correct letter, or learn phonics rules? For many dyslexic students, this is a way of life. Letters and words might was well be in code or a foreign language for these students.
According to WebMD, 5% to 10% of all school ages children in the U.S. have learning disabilities, and dyslexia is the most common disability.
Unfortunately, students who suffer from dyslexia are often misdiagnosed as lazy, non-focused, or just bad at schoolwork. Parents who are suspicious their student may have a learning disability should be aware of the common signs of dyslexia. Testing and a correct diagnosis is the first step to correct or managing any problem. (It's important to note that learning disabilities often come in multiples, so a child with dyslexia may also have ADHD, autism, or other disorders.)
Technology can help improve the educational process for dyslexic children. Here are a few examples of how:
– Online lessons with multiple delivery formats (like videos or games) can help students watch multi-sensory content, if they struggle with reading.
– Text-to-speech tools (and audio books) can read aloud passages of words so correct pronunciation can be heard.
– Fun apps for children with dyslexia reframe concepts and are designed to specifically help with certain difficulties.
– Full-time online school can even help negate peer bullying, which is a common hindrance to dyslexics learning in traditional school.
Of course, educational technology isn't a complete solution. Dyslexic students require intense teacher and parent support and instruction. Repetition, underlining, varying colors, tracing, vision exercises, and subject reframing are helpful practices. Daily practice and patience is vital to student esteem and motivation.
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. If you have or know a dyslexic student, consider trying educational technology to help. Together with adult support, students with dyslexia can learn to improve reading and writing skills, and succeed in class and in life.
What types of technology have helped your student learn?