Local News 

Assistive Technology for the Child in the

 Anne Rees  talked about apps which could help children, who had difficulty reading or writing, keep up with their classmates.

At exam time, candidates who have severe reading problems, may be allowed to have the questions read to them.  But this is expensive and the children need to become used to this method.  They may be self-conscious about writing the answers when there is an adult sitting by them and they will need to be in a separate room from the other candidates.  However modern computer applications allow scripts to be read out from the screen and the student has control over how this is done.  Anne argued that this was altogether a better arrangement and that if this method was going to be used it should be introduced early on in the child's education.  Similarly a child who has difficulty writing for whatever reason may be better helped by the use of speech to text software than by having an amanuensis to write their exam papers.

If the school introduces children, who are having difficulties in reading, to these applications early on they will be able to read the same textbooks of their classmates and so develop understanding and vocabulary.  If the app underlines each word as it is read  this will reinforce reading.  Class work can be scanned in and many textbooks are available in electronic form.  One source is Load2learn, https://load2learn.org.uk/

Children have difficulty writing, perhaps because of dyspraxia or poor spelling, can benefit from speech to text software which would free them to write full answers to questions and essays.

We discussed how using these apps might affect reading and writing development.  Reading could be reinforced by seeing the words on screen as read, widening the vocabulary, hearing the word correctly pronounced, and nurturing the enjoyment of books.  Text reading is a valuable way of proof reading documents as we may hear mistakes more readily than see them.  Some handwriting is still necessary but nowadays typed work is very acceptable.

So introducing children, perhaps all children, to this method of working will benefit their school education and provide them with a skill which will be valuable for the rest of their lives.  Students at university often work this way and dictating notes is common in hospitals and businesses.

There are many applications which will turn text into speech and speech into text and many can be used on a tablet or smart phone.  Examples are ClaroRead, http://www.clarosoftware.com/
Read&Write http://www.texthelp.com/UK/our-products/readwrite
ireadwrite for ipad  http://www.texthelp.com/north-america/ireadwrite/
Dragon Dictate http://dragondictation.co.uk/

Available on loan 

We have a number of audio tapes and video tapes on dyslexia which will be of interest to teachers and parents and also a CD available on loan. These may be borrowed for 2 weeks by members on the receipt of a deposit of £15.00, refundable on return.

We have a few ipads which are available on loan, for a deposit , to teachers or parents wanting to explore some of the apps.

If you are interested please e-mail westwalesdyslwxia@gmail.com
Tuition and Courses

 We also have a brief list of qualified tutors working locally and of approved courses in dyslexia.