Is dyslexia causing difficulties when reading? Learn about some dyslexia tools and reading strategies to help you overcome these challenges.
Dyslexia tools for reading & dyslexia reading strategies
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. In this article, we’ll explore all you need to know about dyslexia and its impact on reading and review the best dyslexia tools for reading & dyslexia reading strategies. Let’s dive in!
Dyslexia is a condition that affects how the brain works with language. People with dyslexia might find it hard to read and understand words, but it’s not because they’re not smart or not trying hard enough. In fact, many people with dyslexia are very smart and think in creative ways.
Dyslexia happens because of the way the brain is built and how it works. It’s not because of laziness or not being smart. Some people are born with it, and it can be affected by things around them.
When scientists looked at the brains of people with dyslexia, they found some differences. These differences are in the parts of the brain that help with reading and understanding sounds in words.
This is why phonics, which is the study of sounds and their relation to letters, can be particularly challenging for them. This means they might mix up sounds like “b” and “d” or “p” and “q.” Because of this, they might find it hard to read words quickly and understand what they’re reading.
Challenges for people with dyslexia
People with dyslexia might read slower than others. They might also find it hard to focus when they read because it takes a lot of effort. Reading can be tiring for them, and sometimes they might get frustrated.
Everyone with dyslexia is different. Some might have a little trouble with reading, while others might find it very hard. But no matter how hard it is, with the right help and tools, they can get better at reading.
Even though reading can be tough for people with dyslexia, they can learn ways to read better. There are special tools and tricks that can help. And with the right support, they can do well in school and in their jobs. Everyone has their own strengths, and people with dyslexia have many talents to share.
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 stores 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.
Tips to boost reading skills
Reading is a magical activity that transports you to different worlds and offers a wealth of knowledge. For some, especially those with dyslexia, this magic might seem a bit elusive. But the good news is that with the right strategies and tools, reading can become more accessible and enjoyable.
Ways teachers can help in school
Teachers have a pivotal role in supporting students with dyslexia. By being aware of their needs, they can tailor their teaching methods to make reading more approachable.
- Use All the Senses: Engaging multiple senses can make learning more effective. For instance, using the Orton-Gillingham approach, which is multisensory, can be beneficial. Teachers can also use visual aids like pictures or diagrams while explaining concepts, making them easier to grasp.
- Give Extra Time: Recognizing that students with dyslexia might need a bit more time to read and understand is crucial. By providing them with this extra time, they can read at their own pace, reducing stress and improving comprehension.
- Use Helpful Tools: There are numerous reading tools for dyslexia available today. Software that can read aloud, known as audio textbooks for dyslexics, or tools that convert spoken words into text can be invaluable. These dyslexia tools can significantly enhance the reading and writing experience for students.
Ways parents can help at home
Parents play a vital role in their child’s reading journey. By making reading a fun and relaxed activity at home, they can boost their child’s confidence and skills.
- Read Out Loud Together: Reading aloud can be beneficial. When children hear the words as they read, it helps them understand and pronounce them better. This read aloud time can be a bonding activity, making reading more enjoyable.
- Take Turns Reading: Sharing the reading task can make it less daunting. By taking turns, children can observe how to read effectively and seek help when they stumble upon challenging words.
- Practice Every Day: Consistency is key. By dedicating a specific time for reading daily, children can steadily improve their skills. Choosing books that align with their interests can ignite a genuine passion for reading.
Lastly, it’s essential to remember that everyone’s learning journey is unique. With dedication, consistent practice, and the right support, reading can become an enjoyable activity for all, regardless of challenges.
Evaluating progress in dyslexic readers
It is important to track the progress of dyslexic readers to measure the effectiveness of interventions and strategies implemented.
- Regular Check-ins: It’s a good idea to sit down with the reader every once in a while and talk about how they feel. Are they finding reading easier than before? Which parts are still tricky? Just like asking a friend how they’re doing, these chats can tell us a lot.
- Reading Together: Spend some time reading together. This way, you can see firsthand how they’re doing and gauge their reading comprehension. Are they reading more words correctly? Can they understand the story better? It’s like watching a movie together and talking about it afterward.
- Using Reading Tools: There are special tools and apps designed to help people with dyslexia. Some of these tools can track how well someone is reading over time. It’s like having a video game that saves your high score, so you can see if you’re getting better.
- Keeping a Reading Journal: A fun idea is to have a reading journal. The reader can write or draw about the books they’ve read. Over time, looking back at the journal can show how much they’ve grown. It’s like having a photo album of all the books they’ve read!
- Feedback from Teachers: Teachers see students read in class and can notice improvements. Just like a coach in sports can tell if a player is getting better, teachers can give feedback on how the reader is doing.
Remember, everyone learns at their own speed. Some days might be better than others, and that’s okay. The most important thing is to keep going and celebrate every little success along the way!
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