By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 07/17/2018
apps for dyslexia
 
Dyslexia is a specific learning difference that can affect spelling and reading skills in children and adults. Students with dyslexia are not less intelligent than their peers, they just process language in a different way. Unfortunately, most school instruction is heavily dependent on reading and writing, thus from an early age, learners with dyslexia are at risk for falling behind or experiencing a mismatch between intellectual potential and performance in the classroom. This is especially true at the end of primary/elementary school when students are graduating from learning to read to reading to learn. It’s also one reason why dyslexic individuals will typically benefit from having access to strategy training and classroom accommodations that facilitate language use. These accommodations might come in the form of additional time on assessment measures or alternative approaches to assignments. Quite often they include using a laptop for note-taking, essay-writing, and homework. They may also extend to the use of smartphone and tablet apps that exercise the cognitive abilities which underpin literacy skills success. But it’s still up to teachers, tutors and parents to select the right programs and apps to ensure a dyslexic learner achieves the maximum benefit from his or her technology use. That’s why we’ve put together this list with information on the skills that learners with dyslexia should be targeting and some of the most popular apps available today.
 
By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 07/09/2018
Typing spelling words
 
There are many ways to practice a list of spelling words, from making flash cards, to using oral recitation, or just plain writing the words out by hand. Yet one of the most effective and easiest approaches is using a computer or tablet and wireless keyboard. Not only is typing convenient, but it is also a multi-sensory activity that involves kinetic elements which can aid learning and retention of letter patterns. Typing is a highly accessible solution for learners who struggle with fine-motor skills and find it painful to write by hand, such as in dyspraxia. It is also the preferred approach when dysgraphia is present or in certain cases of autism spectrum disorder, particularly for nonverbal individuals. Moreover, touch-typing a word allows muscle memory to encode the spelling as a series of key strokes. This is a great aid for students who struggle with language-based learning difficulties. Learn more in this post on touch-typing for learners with dyslexia. Also note, learners with no disabilities, difficulties, or learning differences will still benefit from this approach as multi-sensory learning is effective for everyone.
 
By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 07/03/2018
ADHD and self-esteem

Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is an umbrella term for attention difficulties with and without hyperactivity. A child who struggles with ADHD can have a hard time paying attention at home and in school. He or she may become easily distracted, struggle to follow instructions, and/or find it challenging to stay on task. Reading comprehension can be a problem and writing difficulties such as poor spelling, messy handwriting and run-on sentences may be observed. Additionally, when hyperactivity is present, a child might be fidgety or impulsive which can lead to social and behavioral problems. Because attention difficulties can affect academic performance, when they go undiagnosed children with ADHD may believe they are less capable or not as intelligent as their peers. Having a negative self-image can lead to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, which in turn may result in acting out and disciplinary action at school.
 
By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 06/26/2018
Dysgraphia in adults

Dysgraphia is a learning difficulty, also sometimes referred to as a learning disability or a learning difference that primarily affects writing skills. Adults with dysgraphia have a hard time writing by hand and may struggle with letter formation, letter, word and line spacing, staying inside the margins, neatness, capitalization/punctuation rules, spelling, word choice, and even grammar. As opposed to agraphia, in which writing loss is acquired, individuals with dysgraphia are typically born with the condition. As children they may have found school particularly challenging, given the importance of literacy skills and the emphasis on having neat handwriting at the elementary/primary level. Thankfully today technology exists that can help both children and adults with dysgraphia overcome the challenges they experience with writing and take positive steps toward achieving their full potential in the classroom or workplace.
 
By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 06/23/2018
5 Types of learning difficulties

 

A learning difficulty is a condition that can cause an individual to experience problems in a traditional classroom learning context. It may interfere with literacy skills development and math/maths and can also affect memory, ability to focus and organizational skills. A child or adult with a learning difficulty may require additional time to complete assignments at school and can often benefit from strategy instruction and classroom accommodations, such as material delivered in special fonts or the ability to use a computer to take notes. No two individuals with a learning difficulty are exactly alike and many conditions, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, exist on a wide-spectrum. There is also dyspraxia, a motor-skills difficulty that can affect a learner’s ability to write by hand, and may impact on planning skills. It’s not uncommon for learning difficulties and motor-skills difficulties to co-present. For example, dyslexia and dyspraxia, or ADD/ADHD and dyspraxia can occur together.

 

By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 06/11/2018
signs of dyslexia in adults
 
Studies suggest that 1 in 10 adults in the US and UK has dyslexia, a learning difference that can impact on working memory, reading, writing and spelling skills. In 6% of cases the dyslexia may be mild to moderate, but the remaining 4% of people can struggle with a severe form that interrupts literacy skills development when early support is not put in place. Dyslexia is still called a learning disability in some countries, but in the UK it is increasingly referred as a specific learning difference. The reason for this is dyslexia does not make you less able than your peers, it is simply a different way of processing language in the brain. It’s also not related to intelligence, but dyslexia can prevent an individual from being successful due to the central role of reading and writing in mainstream education. Moreover, having earned poor marks at school or losing a job because of literacy skills can limit career options for adults, and may affect an individual’s confidence and self-esteem for years to come. Fortunately, most problems can be overcome, even in adulthood, with the right literacy intervention, strategies and accommodations.
 
By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 06/05/2018
How to improve spelling skills
Spelling is one of those skills that a lot of people find challenging to master. This is particularly true if English isn’t your first language. One of the main reasons spelling is so hard to learn is that English is a highly irregular language. It has borrowed words from many other tongues and anglicized their spelling in an inconsistent way. Spelling rules such as “i before e except after c” do exist in English, as in the words receive and receipt. But there are also plenty of exceptions to these rules, such as in species and science. Moreover, knowing a rule doesn’t always mean you can operationalize it in an automatic fashion when you need to write words quickly and accurately, for example during interviews, sales-meetings or timed assessments.
 
By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 05/29/2018
Receptive expressive language disorder
A mixed receptive expressive language disorder is a condition that affects an individual’s ability to communicate verbally. It can be acquired as a result of a stroke or head injury, or it can be developmental in which case the cause is typically unknown. When it’s developmental, severe cases are sometimes apparent in children aged 2+, but more mild forms may not be visible until communication issues disrupt learning and social interaction at school. Children with a mixed receptive expressive language disorder can have trouble understanding what others are saying to them. It may be that the child shows signs of confusion and a lack of understanding in a classroom setting, fails to follow verbal instructions at home, has a hard time getting along with peers, or simply struggles to process speech in direct conversation. These children also commonly experience difficulties expressing themselves and may produce incoherent utterances with incorrect grammar or inappropriate vocabulary. Their speech acts can contain false starts, lack cohesiveness, or trail off, and they may rely on simplified messaging strategies that prevent them from translating more complex levels of thought and reasoning into language.
 
By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 05/22/2018
 
 
Some learners with Down syndrome attend special schools where they are taught a specific curriculum and have lesson content and delivery adapted for their needs. Others may learn at home or as part of a co-op. However, it’s increasingly common for children to enrol in their local education system where they can study alongside non-Down syndrome peers. There are a number of benefits to this, including the ability to enhance a student’s sense of independence, foster stronger ties within the community, and assist a learner in developing social skills. It may also prepare young-adults and teens for volunteer/work opportunities later on, and can generally be more convenient and financially practical for families. But when a learner with Down syndrome joins a regular class, this also means that certain teaching approaches and exercises may need to be modified in order to ensure the student gets the maximum benefit from his or her studies.
 
By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 05/15/2018
Autism and typing
 
Many children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) struggle to express themselves in speaking and writing. Communication challenges can range from mild to severe: one child with autism may speak fluently with an impressive vocabulary and another might be completely nonverbal. Some learners say the same word over and over, and others repeat a series of sounds, or the speech of others, a condition known as echolalia. But experiencing difficulties with speaking does not necessarily mean an autistic child cannot understand, process and use language to represent his or her thoughts, it may just be he or she doesn’t have the ability to express what’s inside. That’s why it can be useful to explore alternative forms of communication, such as typing. Typing can help verbal and nonverbal autistic learners as well as those who struggle to write by hand.
 

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