Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dyslexia and iPhone & Lesson 24

Recently there has been a lot of articles on dyslexia and iPhones. A dyslexic had said that he could read easier on an iPhone and that has triggered many articles on how iPhones can help solve the problems of a dyslexic.

I spoke with my son, Hakim, on this and he said that he has been reading many story books on his iPod Touch. My son Hakim isn’t dyslexic, but he did say that he finds it easier to read on an iPhone because of the following reasons:

1. The column width is short and therefore easy to read. It is more difficult to read the normal articles on a computer as the width is very long.
2. The spacing is generous and you don’t get lost and miss lines.
3. You can set the contrast and the colours of the fonts and background.
4. Font size can be adjusted to a size suitable for the reader.
5. You will not skip pages.

The above advantages are already catered for by a program called Tofu. Tofu addresses the common problems faced by people reading from a computer screen.

Text is very wide on a computer screen. This makes going from the end of a line to the beginning of the next line very difficult. In Tofu, text is arranged in columns, much like in newspapers. These lines are narrow and easy on the eyes as they require less eye movements to read. For example, by copying this text you’re reading now into Tofu, it would be broken down into three columns.

Another advantage of Tofu is that there is no scrolling down as compared with iPhone, you only scroll to the right (for the next page), or to the left (for the previous).

The above advantages are already catered for in most magazines (Readers digest for instance) and in newspapers.

Though Tofu is only available for Macs, there is a similar program called Stanza which can be used on Windows. So dyslexic or not you can use the Tofu application or Stanza to render any articles more readable by dividing them into columns.

As for reading from books, cut out a one inch wide card and place it under the line your student is reading. He will not skip a line if he uses this card as a guide. One he is used to this you may take away the card and ask him to place the left index finger on the line he is reading and move the finger one line lower when he has reached the end of the sentence.

You can download stanza from here:

For lesson 24 click here:


Unknown said...

Luqman has mentioned several times how it is hard for dyslexics to learn and accomplished sequencing tasks. The iPhone HAS A GREAT program for kids who are struggling to learn number order and alphabet order. It is only $1.99 US money. It is called Preschool Connect the Dots. It only lets you complete the dot to dot picture if you draw to the correct number or letter. It then says the name of the letter or number (in English). I got it for my 5 year old daughter, and I wish I would have had it for my son. He had a hard time with sequencing and remembering things in order.

Another GREAT iPhone game for kids struggling with math facts of all kinds is KidCal...another inexpensive game (around 1 US dollar). It teaches math facts by showing (for example) 5 cupcakes plus 5 cupcakes, and then the child has to count the cupcakes and see that it equals 10 cupcakes. They then choose 10 from a set of 4 answers. It is so visual, and repetitious, and kids really enjoy doing it. My dyslexic son would have had so much fun with these games. Wish they would have games like this for him 7 years ago. I recommend them for anyone with kids having trouble learning to recognize numbers, letters, learning to count, and learning any type of math facts. Actually, any kid in general is totally entertained and can learn a ton from these!

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you Heidi.I did not know that iPhones would be good for maths as well. Thank you once again.