Dyslexia, Moving Letters, and a Local Chip Shop!

Image of a local chip shop demonstrating dyslexia and moving letters

Thank you to Martin who sent this photo in to dyslexic.com of his local ‘chippy’ – he begged the question as to whether this is a dyslexics worst nightmare or a dream come true. Would a simple play on words like changing ‘Fish and Chips’ to ‘Chish and Fips’ help someone with dyslexia tackle the problems of moving letters?

Image of a local chip shop demonstrating dyslexia and moving letters

Symptoms of Dyslexia

It is estimated that 1 in 10 people of all ages, races, backgrounds and abilities are dyslexic. Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which tends to affect reading and writing, spelling, expressing ideas, organisation, time management and more. You can find out more about dyslexia in a previous blog post on dyslexic.com as part of Dyslexia Awareness Week: What is Dyslexia and where can I find support?

 

Moving Letters

As part of the reading difficulties associated with dyslexia, many people may experience visual stress. This can include seeing letters which move or look like they are back to front, causing issues with letters such as ‘d’, ‘p’ or ‘q. In some cases, visual stress can cause significant problems with reading.

Earlier this year, Victor Widell developed an online simulation using code to demonstrate what a dyslexic reader may experience. Take a look by following this link to see what it may be like to read with dyslexia. It’s important to note that not every person with dyslexia will experience this difficulty and some people may not find that letters move at all when they read.

 

What Assistive Technology Can Help With Moving Letters?

Colour plays a major part when looking to reduce the effects of visual stress. Using coloured paper such as Irlen Pukka Pads or applying Irlen Coloured Overlays over printed text often help dyslexics with visual stress. The choice of text colour used on a white background can also affect visual stress. On Dyslexic.com, we have advanced accessibility options which allow you to change both the text and background colour on our website to one that helps you with reading. (To access this, please follow the ‘Accessibility’ link at the top of the page)

 

Do you think the name of this chip shop would help you read the shop sign? Or would it make it more difficult. It’s all down to your individual preferences so there is no right or wrong answer – please comment below to let us know what you think.

Reading overlays for dyslexia and Irlen® Syndrome

Irlen

Reading overlays for dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome are a cost-effective tool to help with reading difficulties. In this blog post, we look at what dyslexia and Irlen® Syndrome is and how assistive technology such as Irlen Institute Overlays or reading software can help.

 

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that affects approximately 1 in 10 people of all ages and abilities. Dyslexic children and adults will often experience difficulties in their reading and writing. You can find out more about dyslexia by following this link to our previous blog post: What is dyslexia and where can I find support?

 

What is Irlen® Syndrome?

Irlen logoIrlen® Syndrome is a perceptual dysfunction which affects both children and adults of all ages and abilities. 12% of the general population are affected by Irlen® Syndrome, and up to 47% of these also have disabilities such as dyslexia, autism, dyspraxia and much more. Symptoms can include:

  • Light sensitivity – may experience discomfort in fluorescent light, sunlight and lights at night.
  • Difficulty judging distance – problems with special awareness and may find it difficult to cope with stairs, sport and driving.
  • Eye strain and headaches – may experience headaches and fatigue.
  • Contrast and colour sensitivity – problems with black print on a white background, bright colours and using a computer or tablet.
  • Inefficient reading – inability to develop reading skills due to skipping words and lines, slow reading rate and problems with tracking.
  • Distortions of print – problems with printed text moving, fading or blur.

More symptoms can be found by following this link to the Irlen East website. It is important to remember that Irlen® Syndrome is not caused by a problem with the eyes, but by the way the brain interprets the visual information sent from the eyes.

 

What assistive technology can help with reading for people with dyslexia or Irlen® Syndrome?

There is a variety of assistive technology software and hardware available which can support reading difficulties experienced by dyslexic people or those with Irlen® Syndrome. Many websites, including dyslexic.com, also have built in accessibility features on their website. This means that you can easily adjust font size and background colours to view the website in a way that suits you. (To change the accessibility settings on dyslexic.com, please follow the ‘Accessibility’ button in the main navigation bar).

ClaroView and ScreenRuler Suite software allows you to add a digital coloured overlay to your screen. This means that you can quickly adjust the coloured tint on all of your applications on your computer, which can help those who experience contrast and colour sensitivity. ClaroView also has the ability to add in a ruler across the screen which can have the contrast changed and the background coloured or greyed out. This helps if the individual struggles to track lines when reading.

Image of Irlen OverlaysChanging the paper colour or using reading overlays for dyslexia and those with Irlen® Syndrome can be a great help. The colour that works for you is on an individual basis – at dyslexic.com we stock a wide range of colours and brands, including Irlen® Institute Overlays and Pukka Pads. To find out which colour you need you can be screened at an Irlen Centre which will determine the severity of your situation. To find your nearest centre, please take a look at the Irlen® Centre website. Alternatively, you can purchase a pack of 10 Irlen® Institute Overlays for our sale price of just £19.99 (RRP: £29.99). This is a low-cost option and lets you try out all 10 colours from the Irlen® Institute.

 

Do you have dyslexia or Irlen® Syndrome? Comment below to let us know if changing colours has helped you!

Dyslexia and Visual Stress: What assistive technology can help?

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Visual stress can range from blurred letters or words, letters which move, headaches or difficulty with tracking across the page. It is a common difficulty amongst those with dyslexia. Thankfully, there are tools that can help reduce this difficulty and in turn can help with reading, and a lot of these are extremely low cost!

Many people with dyslexia can be sensitive when it comes to reading off of a white background. Simply changing the background colour can make such a difference. Pukka Pads have released a range of lined notebooks (available to purchase in a single pack or 6 pack) which are specifically designed for people who struggle writing on bright white paper. They come in a range of six Irlen Institute colours: Gold, Green, Lavender, Parrot, Rose and Turquoise. Buy online from Dyslexic.com by following this link >> http://ian.lt/1lIqDZQ

Other tools that help with reading off of a white background include coloured overlays. These are tinted plastic pages or rulers (available in a range of colours and sizes) which are placed over text to help reduce the glare and make the text easier to read. Some people can benefit from these greatly and our value multi-packs are a great way to find the right colour to help you. These include 10 Irlen Coloured Overlays and can be purchased by following this link >> http://ian.lt/1RNpnR1

We also stock Eye Lighter Reading Rulers in 4 colours which are a great alternative to full A4 coloured overlays. These reading rulers are small, discrete and will fit inside a child’s pencil case for use in the classroom. Like overlays, these can be placed over text to help make it easier to read. However, these can also be used to help with tracking across the page – due to the small size, it prevents readers losing their place. The Eye Lighter Reading Rulers can be purchased by following this link >> http://ian.lt/1As3AnL

For more advice on visual stress and dyslexia, please visit the British Dyslexia Association’s Eyes and Dyslexia page >> http://ian.lt/1NszSE9

​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.