Hello Fans and readers! This week I am very excited to do this post for you about a topic I am pretty passionate about. Dyslexia and reading disabilities! Specifically, what you can do to help someone who struggles with dyslexia. Even if you don’t know anyone with dyslexia this article will be very worth the read. I decided to write this article because my main character Kirsten in Shyelle - Rise of the Dragon Kingdoms is Dyslexic.
Some of you might have a dyslexia diagnosis and be asking now what? One out of every 10 Americans is dyslexic. It’s more common than you think. There are around 40 Million Adults in the United States alone that are estimated to have dyslexia. Sadly nearly half those Adults may not know that they have dyslexia. Today, I am going to give you the BEST things you can do to help someone with dyslexia (written by a dyslexic herself). Also apologies in advance that this post will probably be fairly long.
Number One: Know what Dyslexia Is
First off dyslexia is a neurological disorder that causes people to think better in three dimensions rather than two. It’s not just a made up thing that Percy Jacson has. This is one of the most important things to know if you want to help those who deal with dyslexia on an everyday basis. Understanding that dyslexia makes it difficult for your friend or loved one to read is the best place to start. This bit of knowledge is going to help you have compassion for dyslexia.
I am a reading challenged student myself and I understand how difficult it can be to express yourself through written expression without a keyboard and spell check. However, I am also a published author that has managed to compensate and utilize my tools to my advantage. Just like Kirsten, the main character in my novel Shyelle - Rise of the Dragon Kingdoms I struggled to read and often ended up with motion sickness because of the way that words would appear to move across the page.
One of the best resources out there for learning about dyslexia and other learning disabilities is the website Understood.org. This site was just launched within the last year or so but it has given my family and I some amazing resources. You can check out the dyslexia page here:https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/understanding-dyslexia?.
Number Two: Give the Gift of Reading and Knowledge : C Pen Reader Pen Review
This almost should be number one, when you give a dyslexic the gift of reading, you also empower them to be more independent in life. My parents and I recently found one of the most amazing breakthroughs in assistive technology, the C pen Reader Pen. We were thinking about getting one for collage but I really needed it and they decided to get me one for my 18th birthday! This device is seriously a lifesaver! It can scan over any typed text and read it into my headphones. It makes reading a book a lot more interactive for me than just following along with an audio book. I don’t have to worry about losing my place with an audio book anymore either which is a plus. Best of all is the fact that I can read ANY typed text with it. I had a big problem when it came to reading textbooks and assignments because there are no audio files for these. I can also use the pen even with my colored reading overlays on top of the text. I will say that if you try to read really small text (less than 11 point fount) with it that It can read some the words funny. I found this out while reading my scriptures with it that are in fairly small print. You have to scan over small print text slower for it to pick up the words correctly but it does work for what I need.
My other favorite feature that the C Pen Reader Pen has is that I can connect it via the USB charging cable that came with it to my school MacBook Air 11” laptop and scan text into a Google Docs or Word document for taking notes up to four times faster. My High School is one of the first in the country to have an integrated one student to one laptop program. We didn’t get the laptops until our grant passed last year but having a laptop for class is EXTREMELY helpful. We paid the insurance on it so that I can take the laptop to and from school everyday which is also really helpful as most of my class work is done through Canvas now. It is really nice to be able to type assignments rather than hand write them because I have spell check at my fingertips to help me out. A Lot of parents didn’t support the laptop program at first but from what I see most students have been able to excel learning with the help of this technology and refrain from using it to just play games on. I highly recommend getting a laptop if you are a dyslexic student in high school or college. Even a tablet and a keyboard can be very helpful to you.
The C Pen Reader Pen also has a dictionary function on it so I can easily look up a word I don’t know. It has a recording feature as well so that I can record class lectures and revisit them in case I missed anything for my notes or even send the audio file to a friend who is sick. Now granted you have to make sure your teacher is ok with you recording the lesson but my teachers are receptive of it. It’s futuristic design has even made my peers a little jealous. It's small enough to fit well into my hand and it’s super light unlike competing digital reading pens. It’s something that I am not ashamed of walking around school with! That right there is HUGE for a dyslexic. So many of us dyslexics already struggle to uphold positive self esteem so walking around with bulky and dorky equipment is the last thing we want to have happen.
Number Three: Be a Friend
This probably sounds really simple but it’s true. Us dyslexics, we really need good true friends who understand us. We want to live life and be social too but sometimes we have a hard time doing that. It’s vitally important for us to hear that it is worth it to work as hard as we have to just to get through a day at work or school. It’s a huge relief to have a friend to talk to.
Number Four: Don’t Judge a Dyslexic If They get Emotional
We might get emotional a lot, it’s part of the way our brains are wired to think. Frustration is something a dyslexic will face on a daily basis. Sometimes it can lead to us becoming overstimulated and therefore emotional. We are doing the best we can every day to live life so, don’t judge a dyslexic if they get emotional. I can tell you that yes, I have been emotional in front of my pears before. It’s pretty embarrassing. It can hurt when your peers are mean to you because of dyslexia. However, know that there are good things to come. Dyslexia does not have to define someone.
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