Saturday, February 22, 2014

Literacy Games for ALL Kinds of Challenged Readers

Most parents and educators know that learning to read is a process, one that involves a variety of specific skills. When these skills are effectively learned and systematically combined, a child should then be able to read with increasing success.

Unfortunately for some children, the ability to read may not always be easy. For children with additional needs, parents and educators may also know that a different approach might be needed. When the approach includes a little fun and enjoyment when learning these needed literacy skills, the result can often be much more successful.

This week, we have gathered together a good list of literacy game resources for ALL kinds of struggling readers and learners. Some links will enable you to access online, interactive reading games while a few will provide ideas for offline literacy activities. For the convenience of our good readers, we have also grouped the links in categories of specific need.

As always, we hope you will find these resources helpful in the work you do. Whether you are a parent of a challenged reader or the teacher of a student who struggles to learn, we want to help. Hopefully, these links will make your job just a little bit easier.

Happy reading---to ALL readers!

Literacy Games for ADHD

Reading Games---from PrimaryGames
Play a variety of free online literacy games for kids with a vast collection of learning games for Grades 1-8.

Reading Games---from PBS
This website provides a collection of interactive reading games for younger children (K-4).

Literacy Games for Dyslexia

Literacy Games---from Dyslexia House Association
This organization provides information and support for dyslexic people, parents, teachers and employers. The reinforcement elements of these games can be very beneficial for many dyslexic students and a very positive way of learning.

Fun & Games for Dyslexics---from the University of Michigan DyslexiaHelp Center
If you have dyslexia, there’s no need to avoid hard puzzles and word games any longer. Here is a FREE collection of literacy games for those challenged with dyslexia.

Games to support reading---from the British Dyslexia Association
There are numerous games available on this site to support reading, spelling & memory.

Literacy Games for Down Syndrome

Activities and games
The following offline activities and games may be especially suitable for children with Down Syndrome. Playing games with them is a good way to enable them to react to being touched and being moved. As a result they become more conscious of their bodies and their movements. They will then pay more attention to what they are doing and will be better able to react to their environment.

Reading Games---from JumpStart
Online reading games (and others) for children ages K-5. (Requires free online registration to access games.)

Literacy Games for Autism & Asperger's

Reading Eggs
Reading Eggs is a great program for ASD students because it's very visual, has a lot of repetition, and all activities are VERY engaging! It makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with online reading games and activities. The program has been developed by a highly experienced team of educational teachers, writers and developers. The Reading Eggs program focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and sight words using skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success. It completely supports what children learn at school and will help to improve your child’s results at school. (FREE 14-day trial available)

Reading Links---from Free Videos for Autistic Kids
An extensive list of reading & literacy links especially helpful for children with autism or Asperger's

Learn to Read with Phonics---from Starfall opened in September of 2002 as a FREE public service to teach children to read with phonics. Their systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL). Starfall is an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children.

Literacy Games for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Activities and games
A collection of offline games especially helpful for children with sensory processing disorder (SPD)

For information on customizable reading tools for ADHD & other reading challenges: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dyslexia Resources to Use Now

FREE & Low-Cost Dyslexia Resources for Parents & Teachers on a Limited Budget

Quite a few U.S. and global economists have recently stated that we are in the fourth year of an economic recovery from the Great Recession. However, for many families this recovery has been elusive at best, as they continue trying to stretch every dollar earned and watch expenditures with a careful eye.

At the same time, parents do want to meet the needs of their children at all levels---physically, emotionally and academically. They want their children to succeed both in the classroom and in life. When a child struggles to read or learn, however, the cost of helping that child can be more than a little challenging, especially when the school may not be able or willing to address the unique needs of that child. Unless a family lives in a state where there are dyslexia laws on the books, it may be particularly difficult to get the needed help when dyslexia is (or may be) the cause of a student's reading difficulties.

While we await further dyslexia legislation in the U.S., Brennan Innovators has been making a significant difference for many parents, their families and teachers of struggling readers by bridging the gap between no services for students with dyslexia and expensive methods or treatments for dyslexia often not covered by health insurance plans. Brennan Innovators designs and provides inexpensive, customizable reading tools to help challenged readers of all ages to focus and read better. These tools can be especially helpful for dyslexia, ADHD, autism and other issues that can impact reading success.

The company also provides consultation services as well as FREE printed and online resources for parents and teachers wanting to help challenged readers of any age. So for our blog readers this week, Brennan Innovators has gathered a list of FREE and low cost resources for children and teens with dyslexia. We hope that these links to specialized websites and resources will assist parents and teachers with limited or no budgets help the struggling readers they care for---at a time like this!

FREE and Low-Budget Dyslexia Resources

Resources to Support Dyslexic Pupils---from the British Dyslexia Association (BDA)
Resources and strategies are listed here to support pupils with dyslexia at primary and secondary levels. Resources, products and suppliers are also provided. This site also includes an online dyslexia test.

Desktop APP---Reading Focus Cards (Patent 8,360,779) (Price: $5.99)
This desktop app is the digital version of the low-tech, physical Reading Focus Cards tools (Patent 7,565,759), solutions for struggling readers. This app provides very practical support for children and adults with ADHD, dyslexia, low vision, stroke or brain injury issues, autism and other conditions that can affect reading success. This desktop application promotes more FOCUSED online reading of almost ALL digital media (webpages, PDF files, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets & more.) In addition, the app supports touch-screen technology (where applicable).
1. For Macs (desktops & notebooks):
Visit the Mac App Store and search for Reading Focus Cards or go directly to
2. For Windows PCs (desktops & laptops):
Visit Gumroad at OR visit the Microsoft Windows Store and search for the app called Reading Focus Cards. (No URLs are ever provided for apps in the Windows Store.)

Dyslexia Links---from 3D Learner Systems
An extensive collection of websites and other online resources to help teachers and parents of children with dyslexia

Supporting students with dyslexia: tips, tricks and tech for teachers---by David Imrie
This is an article written by a biology teacher and special educational needs coordinator at Ashcraig School in Glasgow, Scotland. With 1.2 million children in the UK with dyslexia, it's important that teachers understand how to support pupils with the this learning difference. Mr. Imrie shares his techniques and insights in this article.

Dyslexia Resources
FREE printable teaching resources to accompany the book Progress in Learning by Kim Morris

Teacher Strategies for Dyslexics
A PDF file booklet with strategies to help children challenged with dyslexia

This is a FREE "Dyslexia Help" website for people who want to beat dyslexia, not just cope with it.

For information on customizable reading tools for ADHD & other reading challenges: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at

Saturday, February 8, 2014

What Can YOU Do to Help Dyslexia Legislation Become a Reality?

In January, we published a blog article entitled New Legislation & Research-Based Tools to Help Struggling Readers. The focus of the article was on the recent efforts of Congressmen Bill Cassidy, M.D. for federal dyslexia legislation.

Dr. Cassidy is the Co-Chair of the House Dyslexia Caucus, who submitted a resolution (H.Res. 456, 113th Congress) on January 10, 2014, calling for the U.S. House of Representatives to acknowledge the impact of dyslexia and urge schools and educational agencies to address its impact on students. This resolution at the federal level has the very real potential to affect the nation, which would be a tremendous help to our nation's children challenged with dyslexia or other reading differences.

The response to our article with its news about this resolution was exceptional, with many readers asking, “What else can I do to help make dyslexia laws a reality in my state and for my child?” Although the article included basic information about contacting state legislators to express voter opinion on the topic of dyslexia legislation, readers wanted to do even more.

What YOU Can Do---Now!

In addition to contacting one’s U.S. legislators via phone or email to give your opinion on H.Res. 456, it is just as important to become and stay current with developments concerning dyslexia legislation at the state level, both passed and pending. In that way, you will be accurately informed and have much more credibility when speaking to your state representatives and senators as well as other interested individuals in your local community.

How can you access information about current developments on this topic? Keep in mind that the dyslexia laws and bills that have been introduced and passed are the direct result of parents and caring teachers who came together in a grass roots movement called Decoding Dyslexia. There is definitely strength in numbers, so if you want to change things in your state, find and become active in your state’s chapter of Decoding Dyslexia. If such a group has not yet been established in your state, seriously consider taking the needed steps to create one. Currently, 43 states have a Decoding Dyslexia group. (See link below to help you locate your state's group.)

Keeping in contact with your Decoding Dyslexia organization will allow you to be accurately informed and even more effective in your communications with legislators. Your group will help provide you with the latest information about dyslexia legislation in your state. In addition, each of the 43 states’ Decoding Dyslexia groups has a page on Facebook, the popular social media site. Locate your Decoding Dyslexia group’s Facebook page and “Like” it to stay abreast of the latest news about dyslexia---both statewide and nationally.

In these ways, you will have a hand in helping to affect the writing and submission of resolutions on behalf of citizens who struggle daily with dyslexia. Remember that 1 in 5 U.S. school-age children is estimated to have some form of dyslexia. They are counting on your help!

Dyslexia Legislation Update

At this writing, 12 states have dyslexia laws. In addition, 7 other states are working to get dyslexia laws passed (have bills/resolutions making their way through legislatures).

New Jersey
New Jersey took a unique approach in creating its legislation. Instead of a single large law, the state’s legislators divided dyslexia legislation into 6 separate bills. Two have already passed, and the third – which would require public schools to screen for dyslexia – looks like it may very well pass.

“Dyslexia Is Real” Bill Introduced in Tennessee Legislature (Jan. 22, 2014, Nashville, TN)
After years of advocacy and discussion regarding the needs of students with reading disorders, House Bill 1735 was filed by State Representative and House Majority Whip, Cameron Sexton and Senate Bill 2002 by Senator Becky Duncan Massey. Efforts to pass a bill to benefit students with dyslexia picked up steam after members of the Tennessee branch of the International Dyslexia Association joined forces with members of Decoding Dyslexia-Tennessee and other interested individuals to form the Dyslexia Legislative Alliance.

New York
New York State has pending legislation for Dyslexia in the Senate (S2496) and Assembly (A2775).

Pennsylvania has a dyslexia pilot program bill in the works, SB 873.

Illinois introduced a bill in October 2013, HB 3700, to require public schools to screen students early for dyslexia or other reading disabilities.

On January 27, 2014, MO State Representative Eric Burlison was the first to propose meaningful legislation to help Missouri families dealing with dyslexia. House Bill 1614 was heard by the MO House Elementary and Secondary Education committee on February 19, 2014. Status of the bill is pending.

Helpful Resources for Dyslexia Legislation

Decoding Dyslexia
Each Decoding Dyslexia State Movement has a FaceBook page and many have websites and other social media outlets. Currently, 43 states have a Decoding Dyslexia group. To find yours, visit

Follow progress on all dyslexia (and other) legislation across the U.S. by visiting this website.

Dyslegia: A Legislative Information Site
New US & State Laws about Dyslexia and Reading Education

State Dyslexia Laws
This webpage (from the site listed above) provides a list of laws related to dyslexia that are currently on the books (and the year of enactment).

Find Your Representative (in the U.S. House of Representatives)

Contact Elected Officials
You can call, e-mail or mail U.S. state and federal elected officials and government agencies via the information provided by this direct link.

The Constituent
Find your district and join your constituent network. Subscribe to topics and track related legislation. Monitor your representatives and tell them how to vote.

For information on customizable reading tools for ADHD & other reading challenges: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
1. Viktor Krum at
2. Brennan Innovators, LLC at