We create iPhone, iPad, and iTouch reading apps for upper elementary and middle school children. These apps are especially helpful for children with reading issues such as:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Learning Differences (LD)
  • Non-Verbal Learning Issues (ND)
  • Fetal Alcohol Issues (FAS, FASD)
  • Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Slow Readers
  • Reluctant Readers
  • Visual Processing Disorders
  • Auditory Processing Disorders

Adults will also enjoy these stories as we have added Spanish, German, and French, and Chinese to some of the apps, which have proven to be a great and easy way to learn foreign languages!

Here is a list of our current iPhone, iPad & iTouch Apps:

Gulliver’s Travels, Voyage to Lilliput by Jonathan Swift

Gulliver’s Travels, Voyage to Brobdingnag by Jonathan Swift

Greek Myths: Theseus, Icarus, Daedalus, & The Minotaur

Teaching 220 Sight Words using a fun story of 4 brothers on a Quest

 

 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

 

The sci-fi story of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

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Sam, the Boy with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

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JAM EXPERIMENT

I recently came across about an interesting experiment reference the impact of more choices. They set up an experiment at a local farmer’s market. During the first time, they had a booth that would sell two different homemade jams. During the second time, they had a booth that would also sell homemade jams, but they had about twenty different choices. Guess which time they sold more jams? You figure the one with the more choices. More choices = better sales? Turns out that is not true. More choices actually reduced the total number of jam jars sold.

MORE CHOICES DOES NOT EQUAL TO BETTER

A recent fMRI study by Angelika Dimoka, director of the Center for Neural Decision Making at Temple University determined that as the information increased (= more choices), the region in the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the PFC is responsible for decision making and control of emotions) became more active. However, at some point in time, the information (= even more choices) became so much, the dorsolateral PFC shutdown. She compared it to a circuit breaker that had just popped.  This caused the people in the experiment to make stupid mistakes and make really bad choices. The “smart choices” part of the brain, had left the brain and the person was just running on impulse.

ANXIETY AND FRUSTRATION

Another side effect of more information overload was an increase in anxiety and frustration as that same brain region controls “keeping a lid” of emotions.  So, not only can you not make good decisions anymore, but you also get very anxious and frustrated and that might translate into making decisions that just don’t make any sense.

DON’T ASK WHY

Ever asked a fetal alcohol child why he did a certain thing? You get a blank stare, a shrug, or an angry glare. Maybe this is why! They really don’t know, because their dorsolateral PFC has shutdown due to too many choices.  Therefore, if we all have problems with the “circuit breaker” popping when faced with too many choices, why is this issue so prevalent with people with fetal alcohol syndrome?

STUPID DECISIONS & ANGRY EMOTIONS

Maybe fetal alcohol caused the dorsolateral PFC to be less active to begin with. Maybe the circuit breaker pops after twenty choices with your average adult, but maybe with fetal alcohol people it pops already after three choices. And maybe their circuit breaker pops and it doesn’t reset so easily. The other is not just the number of choices, but the speed at which you have to make the choice. Fetal alcohol children seem to take a lot longer to perform certain activities. Bad choices come out when they try to speed up the process. As little research has been done on fetal alcohol and it’s effects, but worthwhile to think about if you are a person who needs to interact with fetal alcohol affected children (and adults). More choices (and speedy choices) in this case, might be a big contributor to “stupid” decisions and angry and anxious emotions.

WORKING MEMORY NOT WORKING

The dorsolateral PFC also is involved with the working memory of your brain. The working memory is the “scratchpad” in the brain. It can usually hold about 7 pieces of information (such as a telephone number). However, fetal alcohol children often have impaired working memory. Therefore, when you have a deluge of choices coming at a rapid rate, those pieces of information start to “fall of” of the scratchpad. What sticks is one random, non-logical choice.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Given this information how could you as a parent, teacher, therapist, social worker, friend help a person with fetal alcohol?

Limit the number of choices in your questions:

Do not ask: Do you want these nice green socks, pretty blue socks, the checker ones are cool too, or how about these with colorful stripes down the side?

Do ask: do you want the green or the blue socks?

Do not ask: When do you want to eat dinner?

Do ask: Do you want to eat now or in 20 minutes?

Do not ask: Do you want to read a book?

Do ask: Do you want to read a book on the iPad or from the library?

Practice good decision making and sifting through choices as frequently as possible:

Do not ask: When is your room finally going to be clean?

Do ask: How can I help you with planning and cleaning up your room?

Do not ask: What were you thinking when you did not call me after the car broke down?

Do ask: Who could you have called when the car broke down and why?

Limit the number of distractions:

Do not: have the TV, computer, and iPod on while she tries to study.

Do: turn TV, computer, and iPod off when she tries to study.

Do not: give her a book and expect her to read it independently.

Do: give her an iPad and open the reading app and sit with her as she reads it 5 pages out loud and 5 pages to herself. Look at the eReading: Gulliver’s Travels app, for example. They can wear a headset which reduces distration and focus on just reading, looking at the illustrations, turning the page, and listen to the narrator.

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INTRODUCTION

It is usually the parents or teacher who realizes the child has some kind of learning disability. If you are a parent, you might notice that they are not as verbal as other children of their age, or they might not be able to identify their shapes, letters, or numbers. Teachers might be the first ones to notice that the child gets very restless and refuses to sit when being taught certain concepts at school. It is very important for a teacher or parent to identify these learning disabilities as soon as possible.

WHAT ARE LEARNING DISABILITIES (LD)?

Learning disabilities are usually permanent issues that affect a person’s ability to absorb and retain new information. Some conditions can go hand-in-hand with LD such as ADD, ADHD, OCD, or autism but are not learning disabilities as such. Also being deaf, blind, or having an arm missing are not learning disabilities.

Most often Learning Disabilities are:

  • Dyslexia – issues with reading
  • Dysgraphia – issues with writing
  • Dyscalculia – issues with numbers
  • Auditory Processing Disorder – issues not with hearing but understanding oral information
  • Visual Processing Disorder – issues not with seeing but understanding visual information
  • Nonverbal Learning Disorder – issues with communication, social skills, and motor coordination

WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN YOU SUSPECT YOUR CHILD HAS LD?

It is CRITICAL that action is taken when an issue has been identified. As a parent, do not wait by assuming they will “grow out of it.” LD children can be very successful, when there is early and intense intervention.

  1. Have your child tested, either by the school district or by a private testing facility.
  2. After the testing is complete, have a meeting and discuss the results.
    • Bring other people to the meeting who are involved in the day-to-day life’s of your child (nanny, grandmother, older brother, etc.).
    • Have somebody take notes.
    • Ensure you understand what your child is diagnosed with.
    • Ask for more information, resources, plan of action.
    • If the school district did the testing, ask for what kind of accommodations your child needs. Do not take no for an answer. Some school districts are reluctant to provide any kind of services.
    • If privately tested, have the facility provide you with a lists of appropriate schools (both private and public), tutoring services, and online programs.

Determine if your child is eligible for a 504 or IEP (Individual Education Plan). The 504 plan allows for certain accommodations (extra time, use of calculator) while an IEP will have accommodations and services such as 2 hours per week of special education in reading.

ACCOMMODATIONS @ SCHOOL

If a child has learning disabilities, there are many accommodations that can be made, depending on their age and severity of their needs. Listed below are just a sample of accommodations that are often made with LD children at school

  • Provided extra time for assignments and tests
  • Provided additional breaks
  • Preferred seating in the classroom
  • Having the assignment and tests read to them
  • Having the use of a calculator or multiplication tables
  • Having shorter assignments (instead of 30 spelling words, only 5)
  • Having a scribe that takes notes or writes down assignments
  • Use whatever pen, pencil, and paper they prefer
  • Taking tests orally versus written
  • Being able to type the answers
  • Allow for the use of a computer or iPad within the classroom
  • Shorter school days
  • Have two books: one at home and one at school
  • Teacher provide notes that the child can fill in

ACCOMMODATIONS @ HOME

When a child with Learning Disabilities comes home, they are often tired from all the effort they put out in school. You might have to adjust their activities, chores, and homework amount.

  • Let them decompress after school.
  • Buy them an iPad as this device has a lot of benefits for the child. There are literally thousands of good apps in the App Store that can help them get and stay organized, plan homework, and improve their reading such as eReading: Gulliver’s Travels.      

CONCLUSION

If your child is falling behind or not progressing as fast as you think they should, get them tested and evaluated. Early intervention is important as well as appropriate accommodations. This way your child can and will be successful.

Jolanda Witvliet

www.eReadingbook.com

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How does Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) affect your child?

Introduction

When a mother drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, her baby can be exposed to it while in utero. This can affect their physical, emotional, and mental development. There is no safe levels of alcohol while pregnant. It appears that the first three months of pregnancy is the most critical, but when a mother drinks heavily, it can negatively affect the baby during any stage of the pregnancy. The baby will more then likely be diagnosed with FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder).

FAS (fetal alcohol symptoms) and FAE (fetal alcohol effect) fall both under the FASD umbrella, in which FAE impacts the child the least of the disorders.

Symptoms of FASD

  • Flat nasal bridge
  • Smooth and thin area between lip and nose
  • Thin upper lip
  • Eyes a bit too close
  • Upturned nose
  • Webbing between fingers and toes
  • Heart murmurs
  • Very slow growth during and after birth
  • Small head circumference (microcephaly)
  • Poor coordination
  • Sleep problems
  • Learning problems
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Short attention span
  • Poor impulse control and self regulation
  • Tendency for violent thoughts and actions

IQ

Most FASD children have very lower IQ in certain areas or low IQ in all areas. The classic WISC-IV test shows the overall IQ for FASD around 65, which is considered developmentally disabled. Some children have much higher scores in some areas such as Verbal Comprehension and Perceptual Reasoning and they might have much lower scores in the Working Memory and Processing Speed which still causes major learning issues.

FASD children have a difficult time in school

FASD children are often very social and outgoing, but they miss most of the important social cues that other children learn. They cannot recognize facial expressions and react to it. They come too close to other children and invade their personal space. Because of lack of coordination, they often bump into other kids and/or perform poorly in sports. They often do not have the capacity, language, or patience to establish long-term friendships and are therefore frequently isolated. This increases their anxiety and hunger for attention.

Schoolwork will be very difficult for them. Repetition, technology aids, and novel programs will be a key to their success. Their brain has been described as “Swiss cheese.” One day they might remember how to spell a word, but the next day it is all gone. Times tables, spelling words, long division, complex ideas will likely be very difficult for a FASD child.

Consider buying an iPad. There are a lot of apps that would help a child with FASD. One of those apps is eReading: Gulliver’s Travels. It helps children improve their reading. This eReading app provides the repetition that a FASD child needs.

Grim FASD Statistics

It is estimated that over 40% of the prison inmates have some form of FASD due to their poor impulse control, lack of logically thinking, inability to withstand peer pressure, and tendency to violence. Over 60% of the adopted children with FASD end up in jail, frequently before they are even 18 years old! Often these children are close to illiterate and have trouble reading.

FASD is for Life

FASD symptoms do not go away. They might be mitigated by prescription drugs, special services at school, a special school, adjustments of the parents, improved coping skills when they get older, counseling, but the majority of FASD children will need lifelong, expensive, and intensive care.

If you plan to adopt a child and you suspect they have FASD, do some research on this condition and determine how severe their FASD is. Having a severe FASD child in your home, might not be appropriate for your situation.

Jolanda Witvliet

www.eReadingbook.com

info@eReadingbook.com

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Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver’s Travels was written in 1726 by Jonathan Swift. He actually wrote the book to be four distinct trips:

Voyage to Lilliput

Voyage to Brobdingnag

Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib,  and  Japan

Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms

The book Gulliver’s Travels was designed to read like a travel journal written by a gentleman named Lemuel Gulliver. Mr. Gulliver was trained to be a surgeon, but loved to travel.

Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) is considered a satirist. He had ties to both England and Ireland. He ended up traveling, working, and living in both countries. The original title, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver, first a surgeon, and then a captain of several ships, was later renamed Gulliver’s Travels. Many of his works were published under different names, such as Lemuel Gulliver or even anonymous.

Gulliver’s Travels has never been out of print. It has been reworked in many different forms. You can read the book in it’s entirety, you can listen to an audiobook, you can watch the movies that are made, watch cartoons, read comic strips, or even read spin off short stories. eReading: Gulliver’s Travels is an app that can be downloaded on your iPad, iPhone, or iTouch and describes the first voyage.

The most popular story from all four voyages in Gulliver’s Travels is the Voyage to Lilliput. In this first voyage, Gulliver is shipwrecked and finds himself on the island of Lilliput. He is a giant among them. He quickly learns their language and realizes that they are in a futile war within their own country and at war with the neighboring island, Blefuscu. He seems to take the infighting and differences in stride, although he appears to grow impatient with their narrow viewpoints on life. After the story was published, small things or small people were often referred to as Lilliputian.

Gulliver’s Travels second voyage becomes more interesting as he is in the land of giants (Brobdingnag). He has to watch out for every animal (as they are also very big in size). Several times he had very close calls. Gulliver explains wars, government, religions, and cannon power to the King of Brobdingnag. The king is appalled. He tells Gulliver that he feels the English are: “a pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”

In Gulliver’s third voyage in Gulliver’s Travels, he gets shipwrecked again but in this case he is saved by a flying island called the Kingdom of Laputa. Laputa has scientists, musicians, and mathematicians and at first seems a great place for Gulliver. However there is no real practical use for the scientists on the floating island and they often resort to throwing rocks at cities below them.

His last voyage in Gulliver’s Travels is darker and angrier. He gets marooned on an island inhabited by very sophisticated horses who are the rulers. The humans, called Yahoos, are their slaves.

Swift designed Gulliver’s Travels as a satire of English politics and religion.

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How To Create an App

The basics.

After I created some apps for the iPhone and iPad, many people asked me how did you create an app? First and fore most, you have to have an idea of what kind of app you want to make.

  • Do you want to create a game app or maybe a productivity app?
  • What will the app do?
  • Have you thought of who your audience is going to be?
  • What will it look like? What features will it have?
  • Will you offer a free or lite version?
  • How about advertising within the app?
  • What size will it be?
  • Will it be offered only on the iPhone? Or will you create the app for iTouch, iPad, and now the new iMac App Store?
  • What features will it have? Will you be adding more features later?

The Layout.

Once you have an idea, put it down on paper. Make drawings of what you think the screenshots would be looking like. Change things around if it doesn’t look right. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Go to the app store and look at the screenshot of various apps. When you create an app, you need a clear idea how your app is going to be laid out. You can just do this process by hand with a piece of paper, use a publishing program, drawing program, or there are even apps that help you with the layout of creating an app.

The Development.

Next is figuring out who will develop the app. You have a several choices:

  1. You can learn the SDK language yourself and create an app. There are many good books, tutorials online, video lessons, and training programs that can teach you this programming language. This will save you a lot of money. You will have to pay an annual fee to Apple in order to become a developer and to have access to the code.
  2. You can work together with somebody who knows SDK and how to create an app and learn the programming from them. Maybe your neighbor, family member, co-worker, or friend knows the SDK language and would be happy to teach and develop it with you. Be prepare to compensate them in terms of sharing revenue.
  3. There are companies that will take your good idea and create an app without any cost to you. They will share the revenue, but many are very picky on what ideas they actually bring to life as an app.
  4. Lastly, you can hire a company to develop your idea. Get the project written down and think about all the features you must have and the optional features. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting for your money. Get several quotes as they might vary wildly. Specifically, look for the items that are not included. How much will they cost? How long will tech support last? I used an outside company to built my eReading apps such as eReading: Gulliver’s Travels as I had no desire to learn SDK myself.

The Excitement.

Be prepared for the excitement when you see your idea from something that was rattling around in your brain, to creating an app, to selling the app in the App Store.

Jolanda Witvliet

www.eReadingbook.com

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Eight Ways to Help a Child with Dyslexia

This article lists 8 ways to help support a child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia.

1.       If you suspect you child is dyslexic, get him tested. Your school district might have a good testing program (although required by Federal Law, many school district are not well versed in testing for dyslexia). If you prefer to use somebody outside the school district, ensure they have experience with diagnosing dyslexia. Get very specific recommendations and ensure the school implements them.

2.       Many of the early reading programs will not be effective with a dyslexic, as a matter it will frustrate them to no end. They often use just phonics, and the kids cannot process the phoneme (word blends such as st and ing) in the words. Instead they will require special reading programs that focus on how their brain processes information. As a parent you will have to experiment around to find if any of the regular programs are suitable for your child.

3.       As a parent, you will have to be very patient with your child. Just because she is dyslexic, that doesn’t mean she is not smart. The traditional way schools teach children to read, is not conducive to good learning by a child with dyslexia. You might have to higher a tutor that specializes in teaching programs designed for dyslexic kids.

4.       The use of technology is getting more and more popular. Look on the Internet and you can find website that have text and a narrator read it. Type in dyslexia in the AppStore and you will find iPhone, iTouch, and iPad apps available that read and highlight text to help children with dyslexia and reading issues. Our eReading: Gulliver’s Travels app is specifically designed for children with reading issues. There are separate devices available that read written text. There programs on the computer available that convert written language into spoken language (iMac computers have that build in). Lastly, almost every book is nowadays available as an audiobooks.  

5.       Just because a child has dyslexia, that doesn’t mean they don’t like to be read to or read themselves. They still like the knowledge. Read to your child. A lot! Also have books that interests them in the house.

6.       Use a multiple-sensory approach to teach the letters in the alphabet. Have them write letters in the snow, sand, or in a pan with rice. Have them say and write the letters in the air. Draw the letters on their back, back of their hand, or similar body part. You can bake cookies and form letters, cut bread in the shape of letters, or have them use clay to form the letters. Use your imagination!

7.       Self-esteem is a problem with kids who have dyslexia. Stay patient and support them. Ensure they are not getting bullied at school or when playing with other kids.

8.       Children with dyslexia often have incredible talents with coming up with creative solutions and being able to visualize things. Focus on their strength and encourage these talents through play, art, music, drawing, sports, or theater.

Jolanda Witvliet

www.eReadingbook.com

info@eReadingbook.com

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People with Dyslexia Process Differently.

Dyslexia is not just a simple flipping letters around issue. Take for example, a young child with a teddybear. We show a young child that when he turns his teddybear around or upside down, it is still their teddybear. Most children grasp this concept. They even grasp the concept of when “dressing up” the teddybear, it is still their teddybear. In preschool we introduce them to shapes and when we turn a triangle around, it is still a triangle. But when we move to the concept of letters, we suddenly tell them that a d is a flipped around b and that a q is a flipped p and that the letters are not the same. Wow! Children with dyslexia have trouble with this new concept. Their brain processes differently and consequently it has a hard time with this fundamental concept of reading. Moving on to words that sound the same but are spelled differently or words that are spelled the same but mean different things, is even more confusing for those who have dyslexia.

Studies have shown that the brain actually processes the information differently when you have dyslexia.  The persons who are dyslexic, use different pathways, often bypassing the normal pathways. It is almost like there is construction on the regular highway and that the brain built a detour that is longer and more complicated.

Often with dyslexia the letters like to float of the page. When a person then looks at these floating letters in their mind and tries to “put them back” on the page, it usually goes wrong. Because the letters floated in the air, the reference is lost, therefore a p can turn into a b and a m into a w.

This makes it even harder to read. If letters like to float of the page, colored overlay paper can usually retrain the brain. Buy some fancy paper with soft colors such as soft pink, gold, silver, light green, or light blue. Make sure the letters can be seen through it when it overlays on a page of text. Have the person with dyslexia read for a couple of weeks with the overlay on top of all the text. The brain usually rewires itself and the letters stop floating of the page.

Having an iPhone, iTouch, iPad app like eReading: Gulliver’s Travels, allows people with dyslexia to review the story over and over again until they can read the paragraph themselves. The highlighting with the narration builds new pathways in the brain and allows the brain to recognize the words easier. The reader can turn the narration and the highlighting on and off to check to see if they remember the words.


With dyslexia, people often have very good visual memory and processing capabilities. Many dyslexics take advantage of that and use their creative side to visualize different outcomes and possibilities when coming up with a solution to a problem.

The brain is remarkable. When it is lacking in one area, it makes up in another area. Just think about all the many famous people who have dyslexia. For example, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, and Agatha Christie all entertained or delighted us with their abilities to look at the world differently. Politicians such as John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill used their dyslexia to come up with amazing political solutions.

Dyslexia is a gift, not necessarily a curse!

Jolanda Witvliet

www.eReadingbook.com

info@eReadingbook.com

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The Reluctant Reader

A reluctant reader is a person who can read but might read slow, only reads when they have to, and mostly reads short topics. They seldom read for fun and if they do, it tends to be magazine articles. A reluctant reader can be of any age, sex, or socio-economic background.

Can you spot a reluctant reader early on?

Yes! Many children love to look at books and learn their letters and words. However, there are also quite a few who do not. Look for the following signs:

•   Doesn’t pick up a book.

•   Picks up a book but looks at the pictures.

•   Prefers to have other people read to them.

•   The reluctant reader prefers to listen to audio books or watch TV, a lot.

•   Has no interest in doing any of the reading programs or games.

•   When going to the library or bookstore, prefers the magazine or picture book section.

Should you test a reluctant reader?

Yes. Many school districts have early testing options that are free. Or you can do a private testing, as many do take insurance.

Interesting side note that in some countries, reading is not introduced in schools until 2nd grade (about 8 years old). They feel that the visual system is not developed sufficiently and it would do more harm then good to force the child to attempt to read.

After you have them tested, you will have a better understanding of whether there is an issue (dyslexia, dysgraphia, language-based processing issues, vision problems, slow working memory, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury, etc.)  or whether they are just not ready for the mental gymnastics it takes to read.

Can I make an eager reader out of a reluctant reader?

Yes, but it will take work and effort by you and your child. Both of you have to be committed to it and your child might not be ready to realize that reading is important. Nothing will frustrate a child more then a pushy impatient parent! Find a reading program that he enjoys and that is appropriate for him. But most importantly, read to him! Read to him, frequently!  Have many books in the house.

Show him a good example of reading for fun by turning the TV off and getting a book for yourself and reading it. Encourage him to get a book and sit next you and read for awhile. Talk to him about why you read for fun. Share what you read.

Buy an iPad and use it to share the reading experience together. eReading: Gulliver’s Travels is an excellent app that can be enjoyed together or alone to improve a child’s reading.  

What if she still doesn’t want to read?

Give it a rest. Your child might not be ready to read. Have them draw and recognize lines and forms on the paper. The first step in reading is to recognize the different shapes the letters make. Maybe they haven’t mastered that yet and the letters in the words are confusing. Remember it has to be fun, otherwise children will not do it.

Jolanda Witvliet

www.eReadingbook.com

info@eReadingbook.com

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Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia – it is not just about sloppy handwriting.

Dysgraphia in general refers to sloppy handwriting, but more importantly, it is the inability to write down coherent thoughts on paper. Between what appears as careless handwriting and slow and laborious writing, the assignment often gets lost.

Dysgraphia in handwriting is characterized by:

•    Unevenly spaced letters.

•    Capital letters and small letters within the same word.

•    Different ways of writing the same letter (a mixture of small, big, uneven, slanted, straight).

•    Different spelling of the same words.

•    Leaving out consonants.

•    Uneven margins.

•    No paragraphs, just many sentences.

•    Inconsistent spacing between words.

•    People with dysgraphia often leave out entire words.

•    Errors in punctuation such as no periods or too many commas.

•    Frequently numbers are reversed such 21 for 12.

•    When writing a numbered list there might be numbers missing, skipped numbers, or the same number twice.

•    Large parts of a sentence or paragraph is missing when text is copied.


Dysgraphia in the thought process is often shown by:

•    Moving the mouth while writing.

•    Holding the pencil or pen really tight.

•    People with dysgraphia wrap their hand, arm, and even their entire body around the pencil, producing some fascinating body posture.

•    They can verbalize their thought, but they can’t get it on paper, even when they type it.

•    Because they are so focused on the writing part, they often lose track of their argument and their writing becomes incoherent.

•    Getting frustrated with any writing assignment.


Can we fix dysgraphia?

Yes and no. There are certain programs that reduce the amount of dysgraphia a person has. However, most of the reduction comes from adjusting the assignments, learning different coping skills, and using technology.

What should be put in an Individual Education Plan?

It is very important for the parents of a child who has dysgraphia to get a proper Individual Education Plan (IEP). This allows for a major reduction in stress in the child. Some of the adjustments that a parent might want to consider are:

•    Shorter assignments.

•    Deleting time constrains.

•    Allow the use of computer or iPad with word-processing and spellcheck capability.

•    Having a “scribe” that writes down the person’s thoughts.

•    Using speech-to-text technology.

•    Provide an outline with the titles, headers, and important concepts in order to allow the student to fill in the blanks and add their own highlighting, drawings, and symbols.

•    Reduce the amount of copying required and allow for them to just write the answers.

•    Give partial credit for good thoughts or concepts understood, even if the answer is wrong.

•    No grading on neatness or spelling, but grade on concepts.

•    Get help with breaking a large projects into smaller sections and making an outline. Ensure the person with dysgraphia has the ability to stay on track.

•    Getting oral tests to ensure the concepts are understood.

•    Have students being able to chose whatever pen, pencil, paper, colored paper, width line, or size paper they are most comfortable with.

With a solid IEP, each child with dysgraphia can be successful!


Jolanda Witvliet

www.eReadingbook.com

info@eReadingbook.com

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Is Your Child Dyslexic?

As a parent, you suppose to notice everything and alert your family physician to any concerns. However, how do you know if your child is dyslexic? And, is being dyslexic a big problem?

What is Dyslexia?

First of all, what is dyslexia? Take a look at this (partial) list of symptoms below. How many symptoms does your child have?

•   She had a difficult time pronouncing words.

•   He started to talk later then most kids.

•   Talked in incomplete sentences for longer then other kids.

•   Grammar is difficult concept for dyslexic people.

•   She had a hard time learning her alphabet, even with songs and aids & turns her letters, such as p,d,q, and b around.

•   Dyslexic people have a limited vocabulary.

•   He can understand more complicated words, but has a hard time using them in his own vocabulary.

•   She might have a difficult time with concepts and relationships such as the doll is left of the box, and on top of the chair.

•   He has great trouble with discriminating sounds, especially vowels.

•   Decodes a word and has to decode the same word again on the next page.

•   Misreading common words such as “of” for “from.”

•   Transposing letters and/or numbers.

•   She usually read slower, misread more often, skip words, guess at longer words, and can skip entire lines.

•   She has poor comprehension of the words she read.

•   Traditional reading methods such as phonics do not work.

•   Difficult time spelling.

•   He has trouble getting his thoughts from his head on paper.

•   Misspells the same words various ways, even in the same paragraph.

How does Dyslexia Affect Learning?

After reading this list, do you think your child might be dyslexic? If so, how does that affect your child and his learning?

•   She might have low self-esteem and be anxious or depressed.

•   Hates going to school or only goes to school to hang with other kids.

•   Her teacher thinks she might have ADHD.

•   He likes reading books, but actually mostly looks at the pictures and fills in the blank from memory or makes things up.

•   She throws a fit doing homework, especially if it involves writing.

•   It seems they are always reluctant to do schoolwork.

•   Throws temper tantrums, even at older ages.

You might want to look for ways to make reading fun. There are online website that read the books to kids or check out the eReading: Gulliver’s Travels app in the app store, specifically designed for people with reading issues.

What are the Benefits of being Dyslexic?

There are many famous people who are dyslexic. How about Jay Leno (TV comedian), Richard Branson (business,and airline entrepreneur), Charles Swab (financial entrepreneur), Thomas Edison (inventor), Whoopi Goldberg (actress)? They all overcame their learning differences and either worked around it or used it to their advantage. For example, Richard Branson surounds himself with people that help write letters, stay organized, and check all his spelling. Jay Leno makes fun of himself when he talks about misspelled words in the newspaper.

Conclusion

Many dyslexic people feel that the trade-off for being incredibly creative and look at the world quite differently, is being dyslexic. They call it a gift!

Jolanda Witvliet

info@eReadingbook.com

www.eReadingbook.com

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