The best assistive technology for dyslexics


“I always recommend two different tools for children: text-to-speech and word prediction,” says Martin. “Fortunately, technology has come a long way and is no longer expensive. Built-in dictation tools for devices like phones, iPad and Google Docs work incredibly well. “

The problem is that children may not want to use text speech in the classroom because it prevents other students or makes them uncomfortable going out. They can use headphones, but teachers are not always interested in this option during class. Programs that help with word prediction, spelling, and grammatical formatting like these will help with digital writing.

Co: Writer

Web,, IC, Chrome extension

From Facebook groups to experts, Co: Writer has repeatedly appeared as the best writing tool for people with dyslexia and others struggling with handwriting or expression.

Janowski loves Co: Writer because you can create word libraries based on what you write about, or you can choose from those already available. For example, you can select the Harry Potter library and when you start typing Hog, Hogwarts will appear. The app also does a great job of recognizing phonetic spelling mistakes, such as blk for black or lfnt for elephant.

At $ 4.99 / month for students, parents or teachers, the cost is low. School districts can also purchase a license for a large number of students and can offer it for free while your child is in school. Once you install the app or extension, it automatically syncs with Gmail, Google Docs, and more.

Read and write for Google Chrome

Chrome extension

My daughter’s special education coordinator set up Reading and Writing for Google Chrome in her school account, so I was able to see how it works in action. The extension uses tools such as a screen mask (only the line is visible), simplifies (summarizes complex language), and speaking and typing for a speech-to-text option. My ten-year-old handles it as a professional, and the fact that the school gave it to her is a big plus.

The basic extension is free, but the premium version includes support for Google Docs, in particular multiple highlighting options for active reading, accent retrieval, dictionary vocabulary, plain and picture dictionary, and word prediction. According to Google, the premium version is free for teachers and costs $ 99 for an annual subscription to student accounts.

Grammatically

Web

Martin says Grammarly is a little more than most kids need, and is aimed at 13 years old, so keep that in mind. This is a cloud program that integrates with Google Docs and has a Microsoft Word plug-in. What’s great about Grammarly is that it considers the context around a word and can offer to change something like yours to you when needed.

The app also offers suggestions for rewording long sentences and adding transitional phrases that can improve your writing. However, the full set of features is not available in the free version. You will need to upgrade to a premium for $ 29.95 / month or $ 139.95 / year.

Mathematics

Photo: Getty images

Not everyone with dyslexia struggles with math, so the options are not as great as language applications. If your child is struggling like mine, Martin and Janowski recommend the following.

Microsoft Math Solver

IOS,, Android

This free app allows users to write a math problem on the screen or use their camera to take a picture of the problem. The application then provides the answer and step-by-step instructions on how to reach the solution. Students can use the example as a guide to solve other problems.



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