High Tech and Low Tech Supports
This link provides access to a PowerPoint presentation from the 2020 Washington Alternative Learning Association Conference full of useful supports for children who struggle.
Here are some handy app recommendations from Homeschooling with Dyslexia. More can be found through a great search engine at Dyslexia Help
The Paul V. Sherlock Center "provides adapted literature through their Resource Library. These resources are provided for teachers to help students with disabilities participate in the general curriculum." Scroll down for a wide list of texts from the classroom adapted for students who struggle with typical texts.
Social Skills: "Stories in Motion"
Centervention® provides "Games in Motion"...a series of online games to help students in grades K-8 improve social and emotional skills. These games are fun for students, automatically gather data so educators/parents can monitor progress, and include supplemental lessons to reinforce learning. Once they’ve learned these skills in the games, they can be applied to their real lives. (From the website)
Emotional Regulation with Zoo-U
Zoo-U is an affordable ($7) online set of games to help students develop emotional regulation and social skills. By "Helping classmates and educators care for a variety of animals nurtures compassion, encourages friendship, and builds confidence. Players make a tonic to help re-grow an owl’s feathers, train a lion to do tricks, and catch a mischievous toucan flying loose in the classroom, among other challenges. Six short scenes at the beginning of the game provide a baseline for how students are doing with social and emotional skills: communication, cooperation, emotion regulation, empathy, impulse control, and social initiation. Students then have an opportunity to play up to 30 scenarios to improve and reinforce learning for each of these skills. Check it out!
Bookshare is a free audio-book and ebook resource for students with a documented print disability. They have the greatest list online of both books and textbooks. Learn more about them in the video below.
The Therapy Shoppe
The Therapy Shoppe is an.... extraordinary little specialty shoppe for (homeschoolers) school and pediatric therapists, teachers, and parents too!...raised line paper, weighted blankets, all kinds of things to make learning a more successful experience. Check them out!
Pen Again and Rockyt Writer
"PenAgain’s Rockyt Writer pencil takes advantage of the natural weight of the hand rather than rely on the child’s ability to grip the pencil. This simplifies the writing process by allowing kids to focus on guiding the pencil instead of forcefully gripping it. This is especially helpful for children with fine motor skill issues as well as kids with special needs such as children on the Autism spectrum or those with ADD, ADHD, ASD etc…The harder it is is for such children to write with a stick shaped pencil (due to lack of grip strength development) the greater a tool the Rockyt Writer will be for them....Never underestimate the cognitive importance of writing. It remains a central form of expression and a gateway to most forms of education."(From the website) Available at amazon.com
Early Signs of Dyslexia
Blog writer Lenka Vodicka, mother, teacher, writer, and photographer wrote a beautiful piece on recognizing symptoms of dyslexia, over at Imagination Soup. She says, "How do we know if a child learns differently and needs extra help and time? The following list shares the traits I saw in my daughter during her preschool and kindergarten years. I am also a classroom teacher.... I share this list, not to alarm anyone, but to encourage support for different learners. Directions to try harderand focus rarely work. Instead, do research, talk to teachers, and try lots of learning games. All children can learn."
Bee Line Reader can be used on websites,
e-books, email, and PDFs to help readers
track more easily. They have both free and
premium versions. A sample of their text is inserted below:
LiveInk: Faster deeper reading
Live Ink illuminates the structure and meaning of language that is masked by block text. Live Ink algorithms realign the words of a sentence into a powerful, compact, well-organized visual zone of information. Students both with and without learning disabilities can read text more quickly and with greater comprehension when using their format. Look at the video below.
Dictation and text-to-speech for students with learning challenges.
"wordQ+speakQ brilliantly and seamlessly integrates word prediction, text to speech, and voice recognition, providing a complete writing solution. wordQ will read aloud highlighted text in virtually any program. wordQ+speakQ can be trained to recognize the way students to say particular words so students can edit and proofread with confidence." (from the website) This program is pricey, but worth every penny for the student who needs it.
All helpful tools -- from pencils with a funny shape to dictation programs for composition---are considered assistive technologies. These high-tech and low-tech products can empower students and help them learn and grow in independence. For a vast overview of these resources, check out the resources at Edutopia: Assistive Technology
Directory of Apps
" APPitic is a directory of apps for education by Apple Distinguished Educators to help you transform teaching and learning using an iPad. These apps have been tested in a variety of different grade levels, instructional strategies and classroom settings." (from the website)
50 iPad apps
"Whether you’re the parent of a child with a reading disability or an educator that works with learning disabled students on a daily basis, you’re undoubtedly always looking for new tools to help these bright young kids meet their potential and work through their disability. While there are numerous technologies out there that can help, perhaps one of the richest is the iPad, which offers dozens of applications designed to meet the needs of learning disabled kids and beginning readers alike. Here, we highlight just a few of the amazing apps out there that can help students with a reading disability improve their skills not only in reading, writing, and spelling, but also get a boost in confidence and learn to see school as a fun, engaging activity, not a struggle." (from www.teachthought.com )