dyslexia computers & software

Can computers help with dyslexic students?

A lot of dyslexic people say when they use a computer; ‘the written world opens up to them’. Computers are an important part of classroom teaching. Although no computer package can ever be a substitute for good teaching, the correct software packages can help and support the busy teacher. Many programs can be incorporated into a specialist-teaching scheme. They provide the essential over learning, structured and systematic teaching, immediate reinforcement and feedback and the additional motivation that students require to succeed.

The advantage of instant feedback, the possibility of echoing each letter name, each word, each sentence of any marked section of text, as well as reading through, helps the student with poor short term memory and ensures an efficient transfer to long term memory – making learning fun. Software packages can provide structured learning, continually developing skills and providing support for literacy and numeracy.

computers can help people with learning difficulties in lots of different ways:

* Learning to use databases and spreadsheets may aid sequential thinking and problem solving skills.
* Can motivate people, especially children.
* There is immediate reinforcement.
* Students have the ability to make and self-correct mistakes in private.
* Essential over leaning/reinforcement.
* Most computers can now be programmed to ‘speak to you’. This software could revolutionise foreign language learning. Programs with speech take learning truly multi-sensory computers.
* Can listen – ideas developed orally can be tried out and changed easily.
* Response is immediate.
* Students work at own pace.
* Printouts and text on a screen are often easier to read than their own writing.
* Reading and spelling are incorporated in nearly every program.
* The colours and brightness on computer screens can be adjusted.

Do I have to pay VAT on a laptop for my child?

The school will often allow students to use a laptop in class but the parent may be asked to buy one. If the student gets DLA, you should not have to pay VAT on the purchases. However, the situation with the VAT office is very complicated, so I would urge you to look at: Dyslexic.com.

Spell Checkers

Spell checkers are brilliant, many of us use them every day and wouldn’t be without them, but the following poem, shows that sometimes we should be cautious about them.

‘Spell Checker’

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It (plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter-perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

Voice Recognition Software – Dragon Naturally Speaking
This software is brilliant and can be fount at:Nuance.co.uk

The British Dyslexic Computer Committee
The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) now has a seperate technology committee.
This can be found at: the New Technologies Committee (NTC): bdatech.org