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best font for dyslexia
Read and Spell blog
What’s the best font for dyslexia?

What’s the best font for dyslexia?

A font is a formal set of text characters, including letters, numbers and punctuation, which has been created by a graphic designer in a particular style. Not all fonts are created equal and some typefaces may be more or less accessible for readers with visual impairments, visual processing disorders and dyslexia. For example, Dyslexie font is a font designed specifically for dyslexic readers. OpenDyslexic was also designed for people with dyslexia. Additional factors such as letter spacing, the spacing between words and lines on a page, font size, text colour and background can all impact on readability and reading speed.

9 Quotes about dyslexia to encourage students
Read and Spell blog
9 Quotes about dyslexia

9 Quotes about dyslexia

A good quote can work in the same way as a supportive teacher or coach, providing us with the encouragement we need to strengthen our self-resolve. Quotes can make us feel better about what’s going in our lives.

They often teach important life-lessons and are a great way for an individual to share his or her wisdom about an experience. When it comes to quotes about dyslexia, you’ll find a mix of anecdotes, advice and words of wisdom.

You will also encounter dyslexic individuals discussing their experience at school pre-diagnosis or in cases where they didn’t receive the help they needed. That’s why one of the most important steps in addressing dyslexia is ensuring that everyone in the child’s life, from family to educators, is informed so the right accommodations can be put in place.

Writing in all caps
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Writing in all caps

Writing in all caps

Capital and lower-case letters can look similar, like 'O' and ‘o,’ or they can look very different, like ‘A’ and ‘a.’ Nonetheless we still recognize that they are the same letter. This is because when children first start reading and writing they learn to associate two forms with the same sound. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that upper and lower-case letters are processed by the brain in the same way for everyone and incongruent capital/lowercase forms may be problematic for unskilled readers.

3 Dyslexia Strengths
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3 Dyslexia strengths you should know about

3 Dyslexia strengths you should know about

People with dyslexia possess many strengths thanks to the unique way in which their brains process stimuli, including language.

Many individuals with dyslexia are right-brain dominant. 

The right and left hemispheres of the brain are organized in a slightly different way. On the right, cells are more evenly distributed (vs. in clusters).

This means connections have to cross larger distances, which helps dyslexics with big-picture thinking, spotting patterns, and taking a more open and creative approach to problem-solving.

Dyslexics are often holistic rather than linear thinkers.

While memorizing facts may not be their strong suit, children and adults with dyslexia often have the ability to integrate personal experiences with acquired knowledge to generate new ideas.

They can make great team players and be extremely creative students who are artistically gifted and have an intuitive sense of spatial organization.

That's because visual thinking and spatial reasoning are both associated with right-brain thinking.

10 Fluency strategies for struggling readers
Read and Spell blog
10 Fluency strategies for struggling readers

10 Fluency strategies for struggling readers

Literacy skills are one of the most important areas of ability children develop in their first few years at school. They begin by sounding out words and learning to recognize common vocabulary from books and classroom materials. With sight reading and spelling practice comes greater fluency.

Reading speeds up and comprehension of more complex texts becomes possible as vocabulary knowledge grows exponentially. However, not all students find learning to read such an easy process. Struggling readers can quickly fall behind their peers and may develop low self-esteem and a lack of confidence as a result.

Because reading ability impacts performance across all areas of the curriculum, including writing skills, it’s important to provide adequate strategy training as early as possible. Ideally remediation is tailored to the individual student’s needs, particularly when a learning difficulty is involved.

Dyspraxia vs. apraxia of speech
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Dyspraxia vs. apraxia of speech

Dyspraxia vs. apraxia of speech

Dyspraxia is a fine and/or gross motor skills difficulty that may also impact on learning. Symptoms range in severity and can make it difficult for a child to dress him or herself, hold a pen or pencil and perform other daily activities. Estimates in the UK suggest that 1 child in every 10 struggles with some form of dyspraxia.

While apraxia is a related neurological condition, it represents a complete loss of motor skills impairing a person in a particular capacity. There are many kinds of apraxia but in the case of apraxia of speech, the muscles of the mouth including the tongue, jaw, cheeks, palate and lips cannot be coordinated to produce intelligible spoken language.

Tips for adult learners
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9 Tips for adult learners

9 Tips for adult learners

Adult learners approach education in a very different way than younger students. Many will be studying part-time as they continue to work and support their families. They tend to know more about their individual strengths and weaknesses as students, have set attitudes toward school, and be more intrinsically motivated.

An adult can bring real world experience into the classroom, which often enriches lessons. Older learners may also carry negative emotions, including reservations about entering college later in life and some fear and anxiety about being students again. However, with the right approach to study, every learner, no matter what their age or situation, can reach their full potential in the classroom.

Touch typing for dyslexics
Read and Spell blog
Touch typing for dyslexics

Touch typing for dyslexics

For a significant number of children and adults, developing strong literacy skills requires overcoming the challenges posed by specific learning differences, such as dyslexia. Dyslexia impacts on reading, writing and spelling abilities but can also cause individuals to suffer from low self-esteem and lack confidence in the classroom.

While it is something people have for life, technology and strategy use can make language-based activities easier. For example, typing on a computer gives children and adults access to spell-checkers and helpful text-to-speech tools.

Mnemonic devices aid with learning the spelling of hard words. Memorizing high frequency vocabulary reduces the cognitive load involved in reading. Additionally, dyslexics who have had training in touch typing can reinforce phonics knowledge, use muscle memory to learn word spellings, and facilitate the translation of ideas into written language.

This renders the writing process less frustrating and makes composing written work more fluid and effective.

volunteering to teach adults to read
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Volunteering to teach adults to read

Volunteering to teach adults to read

Not everyone becomes a strong reader during childhood. Poor literacy skills can be the result of a dysfunctional home situation, a physical impairment or an undiagnosed learning difficulty. 

Unfortunately, without functional literacy, it is difficult for adults to access further education, provide for their families and navigate daily life in an urban society. Lacking reading and spelling skills also cause embarrassment, shame and low self-esteem for affected individuals who may believe they are less intelligent than others and/or simply “not good” at reading and writing.

In many cases, all that’s needed is an intervention and a sustained programme of skills development. This might entail finding a tutor who is willing to volunteer on a regular basis and dedicate time to helping the adult regain their confidence and learn to read.

strategies for dysgraphia
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9 Strategies for dysgraphia

9 Strategies for dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is a specific learning difficulty that impacts on writing skills. While no two individuals will experience the same set of symptoms, it is a brain-based disorder that can cause difficulty with forming letters, spacing words and even organizing text into complete sentences. Students with dysgraphia may struggle with taking notes in class, completing homework and long-term assignments, and performing well on traditional assessment measures.

For these individuals writing is often both difficult and painful, causing everything from cramping in the muscles of the hand to excessive sweating and high anxiety. Over time, this can lead to poor performance and falling behind in lessons due to an inability to take notes. It may also result in avoidance of school and extra-curricular activities that involve producing written work.

Fortunately, there are strategies and classroom accommodations for dysgraphia that can help, including allowing the use of audio-recorders and learning touch-typing so computers are used as an alternative to handwriting.

Encouraging children with learning difficulties to succeed at school
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Encouraging children with learning difficulties

Encouraging children with learning difficulties

Specific learning difficulties like dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia can make it difficult and sometimes impossible for a child to achieve the same results as his or her peers in a traditional classroom setting. Some children face a constant struggle with reading and writing and many are at risk for developing low self-esteem, particularly when their condition goes undiagnosed and/or untreated.

The thing to remember is that there are alternative learning approaches, strategies, and tools that can help students with learning difficulties achieve their full potential at school. Moreover, a positive attitude and plenty of encouragement from parents and teachers can do wonders when it comes to inspiring these children to stay motivated and persevere.