Dyslexia is a learning disorder that negatively impacts a person’s reading skills. People with dyslexia have issues decoding words since they can’t identify the letter-sound relationship. Matching letters to sounds is the first step in learning how to read. This, in turn, means dyslexic learners will face significant challenges in conquering other steps toward reading fluency.
Useful tools for reading with dyslexia
Since literacy skills are integral to everyday life, the negative impact of learning disabilities like dyslexia can’t be denied. Unfortunately, dyslexia can’t be cured or treated. However, this disorder can be managed with the appropriate tools, allowing struggling readers to successfully tackle all the challenges this disorder poses.
Text to speech software
As the name suggests, text to speech (TTS) software reads aloud digital text from computers, smartphones, or tablets. These TTS programs are typically available across all platforms as browser extensions or apps.
TTS programs are one of the most helpful assistive technology tools for struggling readers. They allow users to listen to spoken words instead of reading them, thus improving their understanding and retention.
People of all ages can benefit from the multisensory approach of TTS apps. For a dyslexic child they represent a great way to improve word recognition and phonemic awareness and learn new words.
Dyslexic students can use these apps to overcome reading difficulties that come with extensive study materials. Students can turn their documents and notes into portable audio files and listen to them on the go.
Eye lighter is a dyslexia tool well-suited for casual reading and difficult schoolwork alike. This simple tool resembles a ruler in shape and transparency. However, eye lighters come in vivid colors.
These handy tools are used to highlight specific portions of the text and underline important sentences. By focusing only on a few sentences at once, this tool helps learners avoid eye tracking, thus improving their reading fluency and comprehension.
Toobaloo is an educational tool designed to provide auditory feedback to the dyslexic learner. Since learners can immediately hear themselves through this tool, it helps them adjust their pronunciation skills and reading fluency.
Besides teaching reading, this tool is beneficial for special education teachers working with autistic students.
Smart reading strategies for dyslexic readers
Besides dyslexic tools, several reading strategies can significantly impact the outcome of a reading session.
Look for decodable books
Decodable books are reading materials that are full of familiar words, thus making the decoding process easier. These books primarily contain frequently used sight words with several more challenging words sprinkled around.
Since decodable books apply just the right amount of material to dyslexic brains, they should be included in most teaching strategies for dyslexic students.
Visualize text as you read
Visualization is a powerful reading strategy that people with dyslexia can use to facilitate comprehension. The concept is simple. While reading, try to visualize every detail from the text, including people and their clothes, distinctive smells and colors.
By conjuring up these images in your mind, you’ll understand the text better, memorize essential details, and make reading more pleasurable.
Re-read stories to improve memorization
This strategy is especially useful for children of a lower reading level and should be primarily used at home. By allowing them to re-read their favorite stories many times, parents help students experience a feeling of literacy success in a welcoming environment.
Besides improving memorization, this technique helps build confidence, accuracy, and reading speed.
Minimizing distraction is crucial to a successful reading session. For older people, this means reading in a quiet environment with no disturbances from social media apps.
For children in lower grade levels, minimizing distraction entails:
- Working in small groups
- Removing unnecessary and distracting parts from workbooks and worksheets
- Giving explicit instructions
- Break down text into smaller chunks
Dyslexic learners with a shorter attention span can quickly give up if the reading tasks seem too challenging or extensive. For this reason, breaking the designated text into smaller chunks is essential. This way, students will experience a sense of accomplishment instead of frustration.
Speechify – the assistive technology designed for dyslexic readers
Speechify is a powerful TTS tool that can be a lifesaver for dyslexic readers. It allows them to turn any digital text into speech read in a natural-sounding voice.
Listening can be highly beneficial for people with dyslexia, regardless of their age.
- Introduce smaller children to reading
- Aid school-age children in dealing with their study materials
- Help college students memorize notes and course materials faster
- Allow adults to enjoy reading for prolonged periods
Speechify also offers plenty of options to make the reading content more accessible.
- Change the voice, pitch, and the reading speed
- Modify the font size and color
- Invert colors for easier readability
- Highlight sentences you’ve read
If you’re ready to fight back against the challenges dyslexia poses, give Speechify a try. Download the app for free today and take the first step to better reading fluency.
How can I improve my dyslexia reading?
Dyslexia is undoubtedly a significant hurdle on the way to reading fluency. However, each person can improve their reading skills with the appropriate tools and reading strategies.
The key here is practice. According to Yale Center for Dyslexia, adult learners can increase their reading by one grade level for every 100 hours of reading instruction.
What is the most effective way to help students with dyslexia?
Teachers can support students with dyslexia by:
- Creating a collaborative classroom culture
- Using multisensory activities
- Presenting new language in manageable chunks
Can dyslexic people read?
Dyslexic people can learn to read, although it typically requires significantly more effort.
What are the signs of dyslexia?
Some of the most common signs of dyslexia in English speakers include difficulties in:
- Reading fluently
- Spelling and pronouncing words correctly
- Completing tasks that involve reading