Tuesday, January 5, 2016

BEST Dyslexia Tools, Resources & Support for Parents & Teachers-2016

Happy New Year 2016 to ALL our good readers! We're hoping that this coming year will be your BEST one yet in terms of helping the challenged readers you know and serve.

Although we provide dyslexia tools and resources to our many customers and clients throughout each year, we do make it a point to emphasize awareness of and share even more resources for dyslexia with everyone each time we begin a new year. With the incidence of dyslexia currently estimated to be 1 in 5 individuals, it is essential that parents, teachers and other adults become aware of these statistics so that they can better address the needs of the many individuals with this specific learning challenge each day of every year.

You may already know dyslexia to be a brain-based, learning difference that specifically impairs a person's ability to read. Individuals challenged with dyslexia typically read at levels significantly lower than expected even with normal or average intelligence. Although the symptoms and experiences of this learning difference can vary from one person to another, the common characteristics of dyslexia are:

-Difficulty with phonological processing (phonics understanding, phonemic awareness or manipulation of sounds)
-Challenges with spelling and/or
-Difficulty with rapid visual-verbal responding

In persons with adult-onset or acquired dyslexia, it usually occurs as a result of brain injury or in association with dementia. However, dyslexia may have been present in childhood or adolescence but was never identified until adulthood. Children who experience the symptoms listed above here should be considered candidates for dyslexia testing and evaluation by an appropriate medical professional (a behavioral or developmental optometrist, a developmental pediatrician, or other certified dyslexia specialist). Dyslexia can be inherited in some families, and recent studies have identified a number of genes that may predispose an individual to develop dyslexia.

To start off this New Year 2016, we wanted to provide our readers with current and helpful resources to assist parents, teachers and other adults as they work with individuals challenged with dyslexia. We hope you will find these resources of benefit to you or someone you know.

Dyslexia Resources & Support Organizations

The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity
The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity serves as a nexus for research on dyslexia, and is as well a leading source of advocacy and information to better the lives of people with dyslexia.

DyslexiaHelp---University of Michigan
This website offers much information about dyslexia together with research, success stories and other related resources for parents, teachers and students.

The International Dyslexia Association
This well-known organization provides general information and support for persons with dyslexia. The following link presents an online Dyslexia Self-Assessment for Adults
FAQ page: http://www.interdys.org/FAQ.htm

Decoding Dyslexia
Decoding Dyslexia is a network of parent-led grassroots movements across the country concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia within the public education system. We aim to raise dyslexia awareness, empower families to support their children and inform policy-makers on best practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia. For more information and to learn if your state has an affiliate branch of this organization (currently all 50 states do), please visit the link provided here.

National Center for Learning Disabilities (Section on Dyslexia)
The National Center for Learning Disabilities improves the lives of all people with learning difficulties and disabilities by empowering parents, enabling young adults, transforming schools, and creating policy and advocacy impact. The link to follow here provides general information, dyslexia symptoms/warning signs categorized by grade level and resources to help parents and teachers.

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy
Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.

Dyslegia: A Legislative Information Site
This website is maintained by Davis Dyslexia Association International to report and track pending legislation in the United States. This blog-based web site is a resource for sharing information about legislative initiatives, as a forum for discussion and exploration of policy issues, and as a communications tool to encourage citizen participation and involvement with their representatives in government.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
This website provides basic information about dyslexia as well as supportive resource links.

College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)
Organization of developmental (behavioral) optometrists, medical professionals who can test and evaluate as well as diagnose and treat dyslexia and other vision-related reading challenges. A "locator tool" for such diagnosticians in your area is available on the website.

Homeschooling With Dyslexia!
This excellent website and blog written by Marianne Sunderland provides resources for parents and homeschooling families of children who do not learn by traditional methods. Includes a ‘Quick Start’ Guide and FREE digital e-course about teaching children with dyslexia.

Dyslexia Resources & Support
Pinterest board with 650+ dyslexia resources---ALL in 1 place!

Helpful Dyslexia Tools & Apps

OpenDyslexic Font (FREE)
Created by Abelardo Gonzalez
OpenDyslexic is a new, open-sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles. It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users. There are no restrictions on using OpenDyslexic outside of attribution. FREE download via this link.

The Reading Focus Cards---Low-tech Reading Tools for Books & Documents
(Patent 7,565,759)
From Brennan Innovators, LLC
Sensory-appealing and customizable reading tools and solutions for challenged readers of all ages. Made in the U.S.A.

APP---Overlays! (for OS X 10.8 or later---Price: $6.99)
Created by Abbie Gonzalez
Use to help with reading or sometimes to help following large tables and lists of data. Battle the wall of text, eyestrain and distractions with this on screen overlay to help you keep your place!

APP---Reading Focus Cards (for Macs & Windows PCs---Price: $5.99)
From Brennan Innovators, LLC
This desktop app is the digital version of the physical Reading Focus Cards (Patent 7,565,759), solutions for struggling readers. This app for Windows PCs and Macs FLOATS on top AN STAYS on top of underlying applications, providing practical READING SUPPORT for children and adults with ADHD, dyslexia, autism and other conditions that can affect reading success. It promotes more FOCUS, better TRACKING and COMPREHENSION when reading digital media, whether online or offline (webpages, PDF files, Word docs, Excel spreadsheets & more.) The application can be moved on the screen over text by the fingers, mouse or arrow keys as needed. In addition, the Reading Focus Card app (Patent 8,360,779) is compatible with and supports touch-screen technology.
1. Macs (desktops & notebooks): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/read-and-focus/id920617853?mt=12
2. Windows PCs (desktops & laptops): https://gumroad.com/l/ReadingFocusCards

Best Books for Dyslexia

Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level
by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.; Vintage (2005)

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy: The Special Education Survival Guide
by Pam Wright and Pete Wright; Harbor House Law Press (2006)

The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain
by Brock and Fernette Eide M.D.; Plume (2012)

Dyslexic AND UN-Stoppable - How Dyslexia Helps Us Create The Life Of Our Dreams And How YOU Can Do It Too
by Lucie M. Curtiss, R.N. and Douglas C. Curtiss, M.D., FAAP

For information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info and support for struggling readers

Images courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com