Yesterday marked the first day of our official school year even though we truly never stop schooling around here. Drama King has dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. We’ve searched far and wide for resources that will help our son succeed throughout his life and we’re sharing them with you.
Dyslexia Resources For Reading
Drama King does not like reading. He struggles with it. He hates it. He… well, you get the picture. It’s not that he can’t learn to do it; it’s just simply the hardest thing he’ll have to learn at this age and something that he’ll learn to compensate for as he grows up and immerses into whatever educational path he chooses. What does one do when they cannot read? Thankfully, in this day and age, we have a variety of options from the simple to the technological.
After doing a lot of research on audio books, I was thrilled to learn that The Library of Congress has a free library program of Braille and audio materials for eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail. This basically means that any audio book in their library can be checked out and mailed directly to us to use on a loaner device; all for free. Of course, the catch is that you must be eligible for the program but that simply meant having the right doctor fill out a simple form which you mail to the library; again all for free. Now, Drama King has his own reading machine, and he can use it to read books that are out of his reading ability. Yay, no more baby books for him.
Also check out these other options for audio books. Books Should Be Free (Free, Limited to public domain books), Librivox (Free, Limited to public domain books), BookShare (Free for some, membership fee for others, Wide selection of books), Learning Ally (Membership Fee, Wide selection of books).
Dyslexia Resources For Writing
A lot of dyslexics also suffer for illegible handwriting. While we haven’t focused on handwriting, we have used the Handwriting Without Tears method with great success. The teacher/parent writes a letter on a small chalk board using the correct formation, and the child uses a small damp sponge to trace the letter followed by a small piece of paper towel before the child writes the letter with a small piece of chalk. This repetitive motion partnered with different textures triggers different parts of the brain leading to a higher retention rate. Or at least that’s what we’ve experienced with the method.
Drama King also had trouble drawing a straight line or cutting along a straight line so his occupational therapist showed him a simple technique; instead of focusing on the end of the pencil or scissors, focus on the end of the line. This helps focus the mind on the end result and not the path getting there.
Dyslexia Resources For Arithmetic
Math comes pretty easy to Drama King when it doesn’t involve numbers on a piece of paper so we love using base ten blocks for teaching math concepts. Base blocks consist of individual units, longs (containing 10 units), flats (containing 10 longs), and blocks (containing 10 flats). Instead of writing 1+3, you would put 1 unit and add 3 units to it, count the units to get the answer. You can use the blocks to add, subtract, multiply and divide through touching the units instead of seeing numbers on a page. Utah State University created a variety of web based applications utilizing the base ten blocks.
Also check out Math Drills for their base ten blocks worksheets.
Technology Dyslexia Resources
There are so many programs and apps available to help children with dyslexia, but we’ve narrowed it down to the few that we use regularly. Grammarly is the most accurate spelling and grammar check program I’ve ever used. Merriam Webster has an amazing visual dictionary. Free Reading offers a high quality, open source, free reading intervention program for pre-K through 6th grade.
Also check out all of these voice recognition programs to help your child get the ideas out of their head and onto paper in the simplest way for them.
Disclosure: This post brought to you by Grammarly. This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine.