Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Reading resource for students with dyslexia :

The Electronic Library consists of 250 books which are available in six different levels of reading ability. The library is suitable for dyslexic children aged 9 to 15 and is available for PC only.

The library allows users to read a chapter of a title at the computer every day without the supervision or intervention of any adult . This is made possible by the fact that the programme will on request, voice any unfamiliar words as they are encountered. A chapter from the book can subsquently be printed out and then can be read out loud to an adult.

(Please note they are not talking books – the programme voices individual words only if the user touches any letter key and is otherwise silent. )

A Maths course is also available for younger children .

For more information go to :

A number of these electronic books are available free from the following address :

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Here in this dyslexia blog article are some tips about teaching punctuation :

Punctuation can be a boring subject for children, but correct punctuation is vital to a good a piece of writing. Dyslexic children often find it difficult to use the right punctuation and very often miss it out completely!!. One way of making the rules stick is to play the Punctuation Kung Fu game.

Ros Wilson,who is well known in the UK, advocates the use of Kung Fu punctuation, as part of the writing programme, called Big Writing or FCOP. This writing approach is used in many UK primary schools.

In addition ,Phil Beadle a well – known inspirational teacher (the winner of the Secondary Teacher of the Year UK Award 2005) highlighted the use of Kung Fu punctuation in a UK TV programme where he taught pupils who were dismissed by others as The Unteachables !!

All punctuation marks are given corresponding kung-fu-style actions, accompanied by noises.

• Full stop : . throw a short, right-handed punch at the air in front of you. Make the noise, Ha!

• Comma : , with your right arm bent so that your hand is in front of your face, make a short twisting motion at the wrist to signify the comma shape. Make the noise, Shi!

• Semi-colon: ; do the full-stop punch, then the comma shape directly underneath it. Make the noises, Ha! Shi!

• Colon: follow the full-stop punch immediately with one directly beneath it. Make the noises, Ha! Ha!

• Question mark : ? separate the curly bit into three cutting movements with the hand: one horizontal left to right, one curved around, and one vertical coming from the bottom of the curved one. Then at the bottom of the shape you have just drawn in the air, bung in a full-stop punch. Make the noises, Shi! Shi! Shi! Ha!

• Exclamation mark : !! a long vertical slash, from top to bottom, followed by a full stop. Make the noises, Shiiiiii! Ha!

• Speech marks: “ stand on one leg, extend your arms diagonally to the skies and wiggle your index and middle fingers in an approximation of speech marks. Make the noise, Haeeeee!

• Apostrophe: ‘ with your right arm fully extended to the air, wiggle your index finger. Make the noise, Blubalubaluba! (This is the best I can do to approximate the sound you can make with your tongue when you flap it up and down against the inside of your lips.)

• Ellipsis: … three punches along a horizontal line. Make the noises, Ha! Ha! Ha!

• Brackets ( ) : using your left hand first, draw a curved convex line in the air; use your right hand to do the opposite motion for the closing bracket. Make the noises, Shi! Shi!

From .'Could do Better! Help your Kid Shine at School' by Phil Beadle (Doubleday)

Ideas on how to use Kung Fu Punctuation:

You can call out three punctuation marks and then your child has to put the moves and sounds for these together, in sequence, as quickly as they can.

You can later make up some sentences or a short story and leave out all the punctuation marks. Read through the sentences together and at the appointed places in the sentence get your child to do the kung-fu punctuation move he thinks is appropriate.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Here in this dyslexia blog article is some information about some free phonics books parents can use to help their their dyslexic children.

The Specific Learning Difficulties Association of South Australia SPELD(SA) has produced a number of Phonic Books which use the sequence of sounds used in the Jolly Phonics early literacy programme.

The books are free to use. You can make a donation if you wish so that more can be published in the future.

Each book is published with suggestions on how parents, tutors and teachers can get the most out of the book.

SPELD (SA) phonic books require Adobe Flash.

The books are grouped in a developing order based on the order of sounds introduced in the Jolly Phonics early literacy programme.

The printable versions of these phonic books have been designed so that once printed, the pages can be folded in half to create an A5 book.

Monday, January 11, 2010


In this dyslexia blog article here are some hints and tips about copying from the blackboard :

Many teachers ask children especially at the secondary level to copy information from the blackboard or whiteboard. They may also ask students to copy out pages from their textbooks etc. into their exercise books.

For a child who is dyslexic or has dysgraphia this can be a nightmare.In the first place they may have a problem reading from a shiny white board. In additon your child will get tired from the physical process of writing so much. Also they will have to exert lots of energy in concentrating on following the text . A copying task involves looking up at the board ,reading and then holding the information in their head and then writing it in their exercise books. All of this can be very tiring for a dyslexic person.

Initially they may be able to keep up with the task but later they will get tired and then they can easily lose their place and make mistakes.

They may miss out words, sentences or even big chunks of the information so that as a result the piece of writing may have lost it meaning and does not make sense. Their writing may worsen and become illegible.

Most often children will complain that there weren’t given enough time to complete the task as the teacher erased the writing from the blackboard quickly..

To be honest in the days of computer technology I think copying form the blackboard is a fruitless task for all children – it just wastes time . Wouldn’t it be better to give a handout ?? Teachers could check if the students have understood and read the information by asking the children questions or getting them to make a summary of the main points. A gap filling exercise would be another alternative.

Tips for parents

After such a task dyslexic students may come home frustrated and tired so parents need to be patient with them !!.Don’t make them do a lot of homework or writing in the evening if they are already tired.

If they have to copy from a book .Make a photocopy of the page and enlarge the writing.Cover the writing with a blank piece of paper so they can find their place easily.

Get your child to write for 10 minutes and then let them have a break .

Talk to your teacher and ask them to reduce copying tasks .Ask if the teacher can provide a handout as an alternative to copying from the board. Ask them for a “copying buddy”.

Hints for teachers

Make sure that dyslexic children can see the board easily by sitting dyslexic children at the front of the class.

Remember that all the children may write at different speeds so leave the writing on the blackboard long enough so that all children can finish copying !!!

Put homework tasks on the board early in the lesson not at the end - so that students won't have to rush to copy the homework down..

Use different coloured chalks for each line.

Number the lines so children can easily find their place.

Make sure the writing is clear and well spaced.

Copying buddy :Allow another student who is better at writing to make an extra copy using carbon paper which can then be given to the student who is having difficulties.

Provide the student with a copy of the text from the board so that he or she can fill in missing parts of his own notes.

Provide a partially completed outline so the student can fill in the details under major headings. As a variety, provide the details and have student fill in headings while listening.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Many children who have dyslexia or dyscalculia struggle with the concept of fractions. Here is a fun way for parents to help their dyslexic children to learn about fractions while doing some art work….

Ed Emberley is an award winning American author who has written a number of art books including one called Picture Pie .You can find out more information about this book at He also has his own web site :

On this site, as well as in his book he shows how to make drawings using whole circles and parts of circles. Children can make great pictures of flowers, birds and other animals as well as learning about fractions in an interesting way . On his website there are ready made circle templates with instructions of how to make the different animals and flowers etc…