This is part of our ‘Raising Readers’ series, a Kidskintha initiative meant to encourage parents and children to explore imaginative worlds through the written word. 

Our awareness of dyslexia—and other learning difficulties—is growing. There are still many myths and misconceptions about these difficulties. By gaining a better understanding of how learners can be supported, we can harness skills and abilities that are valuable to our economy and our society. With the advancement of assistive technology, we now know that there is so much more that can be done to support productivity and independence in the classroom, at home and in the workplace. 

The part of the brain affected by dyslexia difficulties can also provide other helpful skills that are very valuable to businesses. 

Being unable to see beyond difficulties with reading, writing, and spelling, creates problems. There is a need to understand the reasons for these difficulties and embrace the realisation that we should not overlook the individual’s academic potential and skills. 

The deficit viewpoint is unhelpful for everyone. 

It is good to know that the part of the brain affected by dyslexia difficulties can also provide other helpful skills that are very valuable to businesses. 

Dyslexia and IQ are unrelated. 

Government Communications Headquarters(GCHQ) and Google have recognised this. They actively seek to employ gifted dyslexic individuals who can contribute to the skills needed in their workforce. As a result, we are starting to understand and appreciate the seven big ‘dyslexia superpowers’ that are considered valuable to these important and visionary businesses. 

Dyslexia affects at least 10% of the population, which makes it millions of people left misunderstood and undertapped for their potential.

Here are the seven big ‘Dyslexia Superpowers’:

It can be easily understood why these dyslexia skills would be considered desirable:

1.The ability to see the bigger picture,

2. The ability to synthesise and understand complex patterns

3. Innate creativity

4. The ability to solve problems by thinking outside the box

5. Enhanced spatial awareness

6. Visual thinking. 

7. Entrepreneurship

It’s not surprising that a significant percentage of successful entrepreneurs have dyslexia (more than double the average population).

In these high-profile businesses, the individuals who may have been overshadowed by dyslexia are flourishing and making excellent contributions. This is because they are using assistive technology. By understanding and supporting with new tools and ways of teaching, economic prospects, wellbeing, and productivity are improving and everyone benefits. 

Assistive Technology can be software, hardware, or devices that ensure independence and productivity for the day-to-day life of the user. It includes apps and software that support the need for text to be converted to speech and vice versa. It can help with organisation and time management. There are many helpful tools that are readily available. 

Emotional Issues And Dyslexia:

In order to provide more effective support, here are five key issues around dyslexia and mental health that we should try to understand better:

    • Generalised anxiety
    • Poor self-image and self-confidence
    • Weak self-esteem
    • Challenging, self-defeating or self-destructive behaviours
    • Not feeling a sense of belonging

Each of these issues creates an obstacle in learning that contributes to negative outcomes and further negative thoughts. Often internal dialogue that is taking place is cluttered with negative self-talk, frustration and anxiety.

Also Read: Overcoming Reading Disabilities: The Handy Guide To Helping The Dyslexic Learner

Depending on the difficulties presented in tasks like reading, writing, and organisation, you may also see the following signs: 

    • Poor concentration
    • Memory lapses  
    • Emotional dysregulation       
    • Sensitivity to light noise or textures 
    • Losing trains-of-thoughts
    • Forgetting starting points     

There’s no cure-all out there for these problems as each must be carefully approached, but there are tools that can certainly help.

Dyslexic individuals have great skills to offer us, and assistive technology tools can  leapfrog their progress with learning and overcoming literacy challenges. 

Assistive Technology Made Simple

Tools for Reading

ReaderPen, is a popular solution- a portable device that scans over printed text and reads the words out loud or through headphones. 

The ReaderPen is a device that works without the internet and can be used to study at home, in the library and in the classroom, and provides exceptional opportunities to learn independently. 

This de-coding is the first step to learning independence and improved understanding. 

Tools as Examination Support

The ExamReader is also being used to support learners in their examinations as a fair adjustment for the learner who struggles to read.

By investigating assistive technology and recognising its value to facilitate improved educational outcomes, we can change the shape of our economic future. Dyslexic individuals have great skills to offer us, and assistive technology tools can  leapfrog their progress with learning and overcoming literacy challenges. 

How students can benefit from the ReaderPen

Early Intervention Assistance

Early intervention is one of the most widely accepted strategies for supporting dyslexia and other reading difficulties. Finding the right approach to a student’s individual learning is vital to building their reading confidence and instilling a love for literacy.
Scanning Pens assists early intervention for students through the ReaderPen innovation. 

Assistive Technology In The Classroom

Scanning Pens’ ReaderPen gives developing students the chance to build their vocabulary using its built-in dictionaries. Students no longer feel like they stand out in class thanks to its discreet design. Teachers are also able to assign individual learning objectives using the voice recorder function. They can even record student progress checks and transfer the files to their computer. 

There are countless ways educators can use the ReaderPen to support their teaching, even when distance learning.

Assistive Technology for Exams

Our technology supports thousands of students every day. But scanning pens aren’t just for classroom aid; users can find independence during exams with the ExamReader. It’s a great alternative to the assistance of a human reader.

Assistive Technology in Higher Education 

We’re proud to be considered a leading support in this critical stage of student learning. Students are reaching their potential and achieving higher than they ever expected, with the help of our assistive technology.

Also Read: 6 Tried and Tested Strategies to Motivate Your Reluctant Reader.

Being included in their own learning experience is an integral part of these young learners’ lives. Our discreet and portable technology ensures users receive reading support without disrupting the class or needing to ask for help from their teaching assistants. 

Maintaining Learning Goals in the Classroom

It can be difficult for teachers to deliver consistent learning strategies to individual students in a busy classroom, especially when reaching the higher standard of learning that comes from further education. 

ReaderPens and ExamReaders lighten the load for Teachers, allowing them to focus their attention on expanding the knowledge of those with reading difficulties instead of spending their time helping with reading. 

Examination Support For Students 

Exams are a regular concern for those with reading difficulties like dyslexia, but they can be made easier with good support. 

Users can find independence and even confidence when using the ExamReader.

Education institutions are earning huge savings every semester with the help of the ExamReader. A great alternative to the human reader, the ExamReader allows educators to provide support to students in their exams without separating them from their peers. This text-to-speech scanner grants students independence when taking their exams, and their exam anxiety is significantly reduced which often improves their results.

Access to Additional Resources

After working with several educational professionals around the world, Scanning Pens has developed some fantastic lesson plans and engaging learning activities to aid the development of struggling readers. Alongside these education resources, they have also  tailored their text-to-speech technology to meet the needs of younger users, in order to maximize the impact of their reader tools.

Assistive Technology As A Catalyst 

Identifying the problems faced by dyslexic learners and striking at the root is a never-ending battle. As parents and teachers, we  always want the best for our children and their future, but it’s crucial to recognize that building their independence is integral to their success. Assistive technology is a boon to both parents and teachers through their journey to independence. 

With the right tools, we can provide struggling readers the chance to take control of their own learning journey. 

Also Read: Reading To Your Baby: 8 Tried-and-Tested Tips To Raising Readers Early On

Further Details:

You can find out more about the ReaderPen and ExamReader on this website, www.scanningpens.co.uk

Scanning Pens is currently offering a one-month FREE trail to schools.

 

 

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Devishobha Chandramouli

Devishobha is the founder of Kidskintha- a global parenting and education collective, and the host of the global virtual conferences hosted on the platform. You can also find her voice on the Huffington Post, Mother.ly, Entrepreneur, Lifehack, TinyBuddha, Thought Catalog and many other publications.

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