C-Pen Reader Scanning Pen Dyslexic.com Review

cpenthumb

Scanning pens, such as the C-Pen Reader, are a popular form of assistive technology which help those with literacy difficulties access printed text. They are especially handy for those with dyslexia as they can read aloud text from books, labels and documents. This tackles literacy difficulties surrounding reading that many dyslexic children and adults face on a day to day basis.

There are many scanner pens which are also approved by The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) for use in exams. This means that students with literacy difficulties can independently take their exam knowing that they can read and understand each question. Other portable scanner pens include the Exam Pen Reader from C-PenIRIS Pen and the Wizcom Reading Pens. To find out more about any of these assistive technology products, please visit the Scanning Pens page on Dyslexic.com.

Image of the C-Pen Reader Scanning Pen

How does the C-Pen Reader work?

The C-Pen Reader is the latest scanner pen which was released by C-Pen in November 2015. C-Pen also created the 3.5 Bluetooth Portable Scanning Pen and the TS1 Digital Highlighter Pen. These products have now been discontinued, but the new C-Pen Reader is a great replacement.

It uses impressive optical character recognition (OCR)technology to read aloud printed text. With the integrated Collins 10th Edition English Dictionary, individual words can be highlighted and the definition read aloud. This is particularly helpful for dyslexic children and adults who struggle understanding complex words but prefer to hear words read aloud to them. The C-Pen Reader comes complete with a headphone jack so the handy tool can be made more discrete if you are listening to text in public places.

How does it differ from other scanning pens and digital highlighters on the market?

There are lots of different digital highlighters and scanner pens on the market, so what makes the C-Pen Reader any different? Well, it features a much clearer and more natural text-to-speech voice than most reading pens. This makes it a lot easier to understand the words and hear pronunciations. It is also much more accurate when scanning over a line of text. Some pens that read can struggle when moving at a faster pace; however the C-Pen Reader worked quite well.

The size of the C-Pen Reader scanning pen is fantastic. It is half the size of other reading pens and weighs just 50g. Measuring just 13.5cm long, it can be used by younger children from aged 6+ as well as younger children. Plus, its ergonomic design means that it’s very easy to hold and move along a page of text.

The C-Pen Reader is the first portable line scanner on the market that is both Mac and PC compatible. With no software needed, you simply need to connect the pen to your computer via the USB cable and it will appearas an external hard drive. You can scan pieces of text, store to the pens memory and transfer to your computer. This is an extremely useful feature if you are a university student or researcher. The C-Pen Reader also doubles up as a USB drive with 3GB of data space available.

A feature that is very useful is the Voice memo tool. The reading pen doubles up as a dictaphone and allows you to record audio and voice memos. These files are saved to the device and can be listened to or uploaded to your computer at any time.

How can I buy the C-Pen Reader Scanning Pen?

Simply follow this link to purchase the C-Pen Reader on Dyslexic.com >> http://ian.lt/1SVqn4l

World Autism Awareness Week: What is Autism?

Autism Awareness Week

As part of World Autism Awareness Week, we here at Dyslexic.com wanted to delve into some of the questions surrounding autism.

World Autism Awareness Week

What is autism?

Autism is a developmental condition which affects the way an individual interacts, communicates and behaves. Approximately 1 in every 100 people in the UK has Autism, with more boys being diagnosed with the condition than girls. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, however it is though that complex genetic and environmental factors are involved.

Those with autism may have difficulties understanding non-verbal communication such as facial expressions or gestures, understanding emotions in others and starting conversations. They are often very literal and can sometimes have problems understanding jokes or sarcasm. People with autism like sticking to the same routine and changes in their routine can trigger outbursts. Children with autism may also lack interest in other children and will tend to play alone. Autistic people may experience some form of sensory sensitivity which is where a person’s senses are either intensified or under-sensitive. For example, they may find certain sounds very loud or distracting. More signs of the condition can be found on The National Autistic Society website.

Autistic people often have different levels of learning disabilities and can affect all aspects of life. Some will be able to live a fairly independent life, whilst others may require lifelong support. Associated conditions with autism include dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

What is Asperger syndrome?

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism and affects social communication, social interaction and social imagination. People with Asperger syndrome usually experience fewer problems with speaking and are of average or above average intelligence. They may also have specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia or other conditions including ADHD. You can find out more about Asperger syndrome on The National Autistic Society website.

How is autism diagnosed?

Autism is diagnosed by health professionals such as a paediatrician or psychiatrist. A GP can refer you to a specialist to make a diagnosis.

Usually, people with autism are diagnosed as children. This is helpful as it allows them to access services and support.

What’s new in Clicker 7?

clicker-7

Clicker is a popular literacy support software which helps users of all ages and abilities to develop their reading and writing skills. This week, Dyslexic.com released Clicker 7 for sale online and we wanted to let you know what’s new in the latest version!

Using the Clicker Board, students can organise their ideas to help them prepare for writing. This tool allows them to manipulate and link any combination of words, pictures and sounds to get started on their writing. Users can now record voice notes on the software, enabling them to vocally rehearse their sentence before they write. They can hear this read back to them with the new children voices. Sentences and words are read back in a friendly, age appropriate voice that younger students can identify with, encouraging them to actively review and self-correct their work. Clicker 7 also features enhanced word prediction and an even bigger library of over 3500 curriculum pictures.

Clicker 7 supports teachers by making it even easier to customise activities for different ability levels in the classroom. It also gives instant access to the software’s training materials – this helps teachers to get started quickly and become a confident user in no time. With Word Pool, teachers can add in unusual words or names to Clicker’s knowledge base to ensure it is pronounced properly, suggested by the predictor and accepted by the spellchecker.

Clicker 7 offers more access support than ever before to enable every student to access the curriculum and achieve success. In the latest version, the software offers eye gaze support and SuperKeys – the unique access method for learners who need bigger target areas.

Clicker 7 is available to purchase from Dyslexic.com by following this link >> http://ian.lt/1ZbHKox

​Dyslexia Awareness Week: Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is an established learning and organisational tool. It allows users to create maps and diagrams and can be used in a variety of subject areas and a wide range of tasks, including brainstorming, note-taking, revision, illustrating concepts, problem solving and outlining of essays, projects and presentations.

Those with dyslexia can benefit from mind mapping software if they struggle to get their thoughts and ideas down in a structured way. It is also helpful software for those who prefer visual working as opposed to linear lists.

Mind mapping software can offer those with dyslexia greater confidence and independence, allowing them to map out their ideas and reducing the need for a helper.

What software is available?

There is a variety of mind mapping software that is suited for different people:

Inspiration is a powerful learning tool used to help with visual thinking and learning strategies. Those with dyslexia can use the software for visual mapping, outlining, writing and making presentations, using text, symbols and pictures to represent their ideas. It allows them to brainstorm their ideas, structure their thoughts and visually communicate concepts. Inspiration features a built-in text-to-speech function, one-button transfer to a word processor, notes functions, templates, and various export features including export as .jpg, .png and more. Inspiration is available as a box copy or digital download, and for Windows and Mac. Find out more about Inspiration 9 and our inspiration 9 download by following this  link.

Inspiration also produce a version suited for young children

Kidspiration combines pictures, text, numbers and spoken words to develop vocabulary, word recognition, reading for comprehension, writing and critical thinking skills. It is available as a box copy and digital download, for Windows and Mac. To find out more about Kidspiration, please call us on +44 (0) 1223 420101.

MindView enhances an individual’s ability to visualise, organise and present information. It allows those with dyslexia to plan, organise and develop their ideas quickly. It features a simplified interface for easier navigation and is integrated with Dragon so students can dictate their ideas. MindView also has predictive text suggestions powered by Texthelp and a high contrast mode for those who experience visual stress. The software also features assistive technology templates which helps individuals structure their ideas in a logical way. MindView is available as a box copy for Windows and Mac. To find out more about MindView, please call us on +44 (0) 1223 420101.

MindGenius is mind mapping software that contains specific resources created by and with those in the education field. The software helps those with dyslexia to get their ideas down on paper and gain a clear understanding of what needs to be done and action it successfully. Mind maps can be exported to a variety of different formats including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Project. MindGenius is the only product to provide a ‘map explorer’ that enables the user to move quickly between high level and detailed views of information. It is available as a digital download for Windows. Find out more about MindGenius by following this link >> http://ian.lt/1OXD7Zd

MindMeister is an award-winning online mind mapping software that allows users to create mind maps at school, at home, at the office and even on the go. It is very simple and easy to use, so is suitable from KS1 up to business level. It allows dyslexic users to collaborate and brainstorm online, plan projects and develop business strategies, create presentations and utilise mind maps to aid learning. To find out more about MindMeister, please call us on +44 (0) 1223 420101.

Dyslexia Awareness Week: Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is an established learning and organisational tool. It allows users to create maps and diagrams and can be used in a variety of subject areas and a wide range of tasks, including brainstorming, note-taking, revision, illustrating concepts, problem solving and outlining of essays, projects and presentations.

Those with dyslexia can benefit from mind mapping software if they struggle to get their thoughts and ideas down in a structured way. It is also helpful software for those who prefer visual working as opposed to linear lists.

Mind mapping software can offer those with dyslexia greater confidence and independence, allowing them to map out their ideas and reducing the need for a helper.

What software is available?

There is a variety of mind mapping software that is suited for different people:

Inspiration is a powerful learning tool used to help with visual thinking and learning strategies. Those with dyslexia can use the software for visual mapping, outlining, writing and making presentations, using text, symbols and pictures to represent their ideas. It allows them to brainstorm their ideas, structure their thoughts and visually communicate concepts. Inspiration features a built-in text-to-speech function, one-button transfer to a word processor, notes functions, templates, and various export features including export as .jpg, .png and more. Inspiration is available as a box copy or digital download, and for Windows and Mac. Find out more about Inspiration 9 and our inspiration 9 download by following this  link.

Inspiration also produce a version suited for young children

Kidspiration combines pictures, text, numbers and spoken words to develop vocabulary, word recognition, reading for comprehension, writing and critical thinking skills. It is available as a box copy and digital download, for Windows and Mac. To find out more about Kidspiration, please call us on +44 (0) 1223 420101.

MindView enhances an individual’s ability to visualise, organise and present information. It allows those with dyslexia to plan, organise and develop their ideas quickly. It features a simplified interface for easier navigation and is integrated with Dragon so students can dictate their ideas. MindView also has predictive text suggestions powered by Texthelp and a high contrast mode for those who experience visual stress. The software also features assistive technology templates which helps individuals structure their ideas in a logical way. MindView is available as a box copy for Windows and Mac. To find out more about MindView, please call us on +44 (0) 1223 420101.

MindGenius is mind mapping software that contains specific resources created by and with those in the education field. The software helps those with dyslexia to get their ideas down on paper and gain a clear understanding of what needs to be done and action it successfully. Mind maps can be exported to a variety of different formats including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Project. MindGenius is the only product to provide a ‘map explorer’ that enables the user to move quickly between high level and detailed views of information. It is available as a digital download for Windows. Find out more about MindGenius by following this link >> http://ian.lt/1OXD7Zd

MindMeister is an award-winning online mind mapping software that allows users to create mind maps at school, at home, at the office and even on the go. It is very simple and easy to use, so is suitable from KS1 up to business level. It allows dyslexic users to collaborate and brainstorm online, plan projects and develop business strategies, create presentations and utilise mind maps to aid learning. To find out more about MindMeister, please call us on +44 (0) 1223 420101.

Can brain scans predict dyslexia?

Brain scans performed on young children could predict their reading ability in later life.

Performing brain scans on young children could detect signs of early reading difficulties, such as dyslexia, new research has suggested.

Dyslexia is one of the most common learning difficulties, whereby the affected individual typically experiences problems with factors like verbal memory, the speed of verbal processing and phonological awareness. According to the NHS, an estimated one in every ten people in the UK has dyslexia to some degree.

Boy having mire scan
Boy having mire scan

Diagnosing the condition in young children can be tricky, as the signs are not always clear. But research has shown that the earlier it is identified, the sooner appropriate interventions for treatment can be put in place – subsequently helping the child to improve their reading and writing at the earliest stage possible.

The latest study of dyslexia comes from researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). They set out to investigate whether the white matter in children’s brains – which is crucial in helping us to think, learn and perceive – could predict their reading abilities in later childhood.

In order to examine this section in detail, the scientists conducted brain scans on 38 nursery school pupils and monitored the development of their white matter until they reached the third year of primary school.

The study found that the development of the children’s white matter was a significant indicator of their reading abilities. In particular, differences in areas of left dorsal white matter – associated with phonological processes – predicted 56 per cent of the variance in reading outcomes. The ability to process words phonologically is a key requirement of reading and detecting problems at an early stage serves as a biomarker for reading difficulties.

Dr Fumiko Hoeft, lead researcher at the university, said: “Early identification and interventions are extremely important in children with dyslexia as well as most neurodevelopmental disorders.

“Accumulation of research evidence such as ours may one day help us identify kids who might be at risk for dyslexia, rather than waiting for children to become poor readers and experience failure.”

Other common ways to assess a child’s reading abilities include looking at IQ levels, socioeconomic factors, early language skills and a family history of reading difficulties. However, the recent study revealed that performing brain scans improved the accuracy of reading ability predictions by 60 per cent.

Dr Hoeft added that by examining white brain matter at a critical milestone in a child’s life – when they begin school and learn how to read – contributed towards the effectiveness of predicting their reading ability.

Following the study, Chelsea Myers – lab manager in UCSF’s Laboratory for Educational Neuroscience – said it is hoped that the findings will raise awareness and understanding of children’s neurocognitive profiles among teachers, parents and carers, so they can provide the appropriate treatment and facilities – especially for children with dyslexia.

One effective treatment is the use of assistive technologies. These are digital software tools that can be executed in the classroom or at home and are an interactive way of teaching children with learning difficulties. Through a series of fun-filled, educational games and activities, the child can work through each one at their own pace, all the while enhancing their literacy and numeracy skills.
For example, the Lucid Comprehension Booster programme allows children to work with texts that vary in content and complexity, helping to improve their level of reading and comprehension. It also has a function to specially tailor the tasks to the child’s individual rate of learning and requires minimal supervision.

(Credit image: Thinkstock/iStock)

How to help your dyslexic child build self-esteem

Little Boys Assembling Toys Pieces

A guide to helping your dyslexic child boost their levels of self-esteem.

As a parent of a dyslexic child, coming to terms with and gaining a full understanding of the condition is crucial in order to successfully support your child’s development – both socially and academically.

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that primarily affects the way in which an individual reads and spells words. The degree of dyslexia can vary from mild to severe. However, the condition only affects some abilities and skills, and is not related to a person’s general level of intelligence.

According to the NHS, one in every ten people in the UK have dyslexia to some degree, with symptoms including particular difficulty with verbal memory and processing speed, phonological awareness, and rapid serial naming.

When you enrol your youngster in school, be it a mainstream or special institution, you may begin to notice differences in their behaviour, mood and attitude. If your child attends an inclusive school, it’s likely they will start to become more aware of their typically-developing peers, which will make their dyslexia appear more apparent.

As a result, they may start to feel self-conscious, which will create a knock-on effect on their levels of self-esteem. Because you can’t accompany your child in the classroom or playground, it is your role as a parent to look out for any unusual behaviour at home. For example, your child might become less talkative, seem unhappy or be less willing to partake in activities that they previously enjoyed.

You may consider taking your offspring to see a therapist and although that could be the best option, there are a number of ways in which you too can contribute towards improving their levels of self-esteem.

Why not follow some of these tips?

Firstly, make sure you have a solid relationship with your child’s teachers and other members of staff who they interact with. It may not always be obvious at home if your youngster is struggling socially, but speaking to their school may bring any issues to light.

For example, your child’s teacher could inform you that they are shying away from group discussions or have a tendency to sit alone in the playground or dining room. Having an awareness of this will set you off on the right foot to take appropriate intervention.

It may also be a good idea to speak to other parents of children in your child’s class and organise a play-date. Knowing how to initiate and maintain relationships with peers is crucial in child development, with or without a learning difficulty. Regular play-dates or enrolling your youngster in an after-school club will help them to gain confidence, which in turn will boost their self-esteem.

Give your child a chance to contribute to family discussions, chores or planning an activity. With this given sense of responsibility, it’s likely they won’t want to disappoint you and so will strive to carry out any task to the best of their ability. It is your role to acknowledge what they have achieved – no matter how big or small – and provide praise.

But a child’s ego isn’t only affected socially – academic skills can play a part too.

Some dyslexics have a short attention span, which can cause them to fall behind in particular subjects in school. Having difficulty with homework could create frustration and feelings of failure, which can be harmful to a child’s ego.

When your young one receives homework, take some time to sit and work through it with them. If they struggle to read or spell a word, explain it and provide positive reinforcement when they get something right. This will contribute towards increasing their self-esteem and will give them the encouragement to work independently or a willingness to approach more challenging tasks.

Using assistive technologies that are specially designed for children with dyslexia can prove useful as an additional support tool. These work to boost a child’s academic skills in a range of subjects, including maths and English.

A child’s self-esteem will be a strong determiner of their success and happiness throughout life, with children with dyslexia more vulnerable than those without the condition. Creating an effective and meaningful support system together with other family members, teachers, friends and caregivers, will contribute to your child’s long-term wellbeing.

(Credit image: Thinkstock/IPGGutenbergUKLtd)

How to help your dyslexic child build self-esteem

A guide to helping your dyslexic child boost their levels of self-esteem.

As a parent of a dyslexic child, coming to terms with and gaining a full understanding of the condition is crucial in order to successfully support your child’s development – both socially and academically.

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that primarily affects the way in which an individual reads and spells words. The degree of dyslexia can vary from mild to severe. However, the condition only affects some abilities and skills, and is not related to a person’s general level of intelligence.

Little Boys Assembling Toys Pieces

According to the NHS, one in every ten people in the UK have dyslexia to some degree, with symptoms including particular difficulty with verbal memory and processing speed, phonological awareness, and rapid serial naming.

When you enrol your youngster in school, be it a mainstream or special institution, you may begin to notice differences in their behaviour, mood and attitude. If your child attends an inclusive school, it’s likely they will start to become more aware of their typically-developing peers, which will make their dyslexia appear more apparent.

As a result, they may start to feel self-conscious, which will create a knock-on effect on their levels of self-esteem. Because you can’t accompany your child in the classroom or playground, it is your role as a parent to look out for any unusual behaviour at home. For example, your child might become less talkative, seem unhappy or be less willing to partake in activities that they previously enjoyed.

You may consider taking your offspring to see a therapist and although that could be the best option, there are a number of ways in which you too can contribute towards improving their levels of self-esteem.

Why not follow some of these tips?

Firstly, make sure you have a solid relationship with your child’s teachers and other members of staff who they interact with. It may not always be obvious at home if your youngster is struggling socially, but speaking to their school may bring any issues to light.

For example, your child’s teacher could inform you that they are shying away from group discussions or have a tendency to sit alone in the playground or dining room. Having an awareness of this will set you off on the right foot to take appropriate intervention.

It may also be a good idea to speak to other parents of children in your child’s class and organise a play-date. Knowing how to initiate and maintain relationships with peers is crucial in child development, with or without a learning difficulty. Regular play-dates or enrolling your youngster in an after-school club will help them to gain confidence, which in turn will boost their self-esteem.

Give your child a chance to contribute to family discussions, chores or planning an activity. With this given sense of responsibility, it’s likely they won’t want to disappoint you and so will strive to carry out any task to the best of their ability. It is your role to acknowledge what they have achieved – no matter how big or small – and provide praise.

But a child’s ego isn’t only affected socially – academic skills can play a part too.

Some dyslexics have a short attention span, which can cause them to fall behind in particular subjects in school. Having difficulty with homework could create frustration and feelings of failure, which can be harmful to a child’s ego.

When your young one receives homework, take some time to sit and work through it with them. If they struggle to read or spell a word, explain it and provide positive reinforcement when they get something right. This will contribute towards increasing their self-esteem and will give them the encouragement to work independently or a willingness to approach more challenging tasks.

Using assistive technologies that are specially designed for children with dyslexia can prove useful as an additional support tool. These work to boost a child’s academic skills in a range of subjects, including maths and English.

A child’s self-esteem will be a strong determiner of their success and happiness throughout life, with children with dyslexia more vulnerable than those without the condition. Creating an effective and meaningful support system together with other family members, teachers, friends and caregivers, will contribute to your child’s long-term wellbeing.

(Credit image: Thinkstock/IPGGutenbergUKLtd)

Dyslexic children at school ‘struggle on multiple fronts’

When children with disabilities and learning difficulties such as dyslexia begin school, their behaviour tends to get worse, a new study has suggested.

The latest data comes from the Millennium Cohort Study, in which researchers from the Institute of Education, the London School of Economics (LSE) and the National Children’s Bureau analysed information on around 6,371 children born in 2000 and 2001 in the UK.

This study records information provided by parents on their child’s relationship, behavioural and emotional issues at the ages of three, five and seven.

teacher helping young primary school student
teacher helping young primary school student

The researchers set out to compare such factors between children without disabilities and those who have a variety of learning, developmental and health problems, including special educational needs.

By comparing the records, differences between the two groups could be identified. It was found that children with long-term illnesses and learning difficulties like dyslexia were more likely to have emotional problems, struggle to form relationships with other children and display hyperactive behaviour.

It was noted that these issues were most severe between the ages of three and seven.

Lucinda Platt, professor at the LSE department of social policy, said: “If schools could be more aware that those with disabilities are likely to be struggling in multiple ways then they might be able to intervene earlier on.”

Speaking about the findings, Philippa Stobbs – assistant director of the Council for Disabled Children – said it should be “imperative that we focus on improving the learning environment for our youngest and most vulnerable children”.

One way for teachers, parents and carers to enhance the skills of children with learning disabilities is to make use of assistive technologies. These are digital software tools specially designed to help those struggling with subjects such as maths and English. By working through each fun-filled activity, the child can increase their numeracy and literacy knowledge, and boost their level of self-esteem.

This could contribute towards significantly improving their behaviour in the school environment, as they will feel less frustrated, more confident and at ease around their peers who don’t have learning difficulties.

(Credit image: Thinkstock/iStock)

Language development could be hereditary, according to study

The development of language during infancy could be determined by genetic factors, new research has suggested.

At around ten to 15 months of age, infants begin to produce words, with their range of vocabulary increasing as they grow older. Typically, a child will have a vocabulary of 50,000 words by the time they finish secondary school.

Researchers at the University of Bristol along with colleagues from around the world set out to investigate whether there is a link between genetic changes near the ROBO2 gene – which may be responsible for helping infants to produce sounds and develop language – and the number of words spoken by children in the first stages of language development.

They analysed data from over 10,000 children, assessing their level of expressive vocabulary at 15 to 18 months of age and at 24 to 30 months of age.

A genetic link was found in the early phase of language acquisition at 15 to 18 months, when infants typically communicate with single words.

The ROBO2 gene is responsible for producing the ROBO2 protein, which is associated with language development. This protein also interacts with other ROBO proteins that have been linked to problems with reading and storing speech sounds.

The results provided further insight into a specific genetic region on chromosome three – implicated in learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Dr Beate St Pourcin, lead researcher at the university, said: “This research helps us to better understand the genetic factors which may be involved in the early language development in healthy children, particularly at a time when children speak with single words only, and strengthens the link between ROBO proteins and a variety of linguistic skills in humans.”

With the study revealing that genetics play a significant part in language development, steps can therefore be taken at an early stage to help those who have dyslexia. One effective method involves using interactive assistive technologies, which can contribute towards improving the reading, speech and writing skills of children with this learning difficulty.

Happy  mother talking with  baby boy
Happy mother talking with baby boy

Image credit: Thinkstock/iStock