Top Apps for Dyslexia

Once my daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia, I went on the search for educational tools that would aid my daughter in learning to read. Dyslexia is not a roadblock yet it does change the course of how you teach your child. One of my favorite new homeschool tools is the iPad. The sheer amount of educational apps can be overwhelming. So, I want to share my top picks that have helped my daughter. The apps will not only benefit a child with dyslexia but any child learning or struggling to read.
1. Dyslexia Quest- $1.99: The Yeti Master will take your child on an adventure while testing working memory, processing speed, visual memory, phonological awareness, auditory memory, and sequencing skills. The app is fun for the child and informative for the parent. You will learn your child's strengths and weaknesses as well as how to encourage improvement in those areas. Your child's progress report can easily be emailed to you directly from the app. My daughter enjoys climbing the mountain to play yeti games and the challenge of beating her scores. She will ask to play this app.
2. Montessori Crosswords-$2.99: Highly rated and based on Montessori learning methods, this app will aid in the development of reading and spelling skills through phonemic awareness. The game is divided in to three levels of varying difficulty. My favorite part is the ability to choose words that contain a specific sound. My daughter struggles with vowel sounds, so I tailored her games to improve upon her weaknesses. Keep in mind, the app is best suited for children learning basic phonics such as short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds, and blends. Â My daughter is seven years old and benefited from the app yet she felt it was too "young" for her. It is a top pick because of the improvement in her ability to spell and the quality of the app.
3. Spell Trekking-Free: Your child will learn to spell while trekking through space on the S.S. Spell Trek. The multi-sensory approach makes it a solid choice for children with dyslexia and who struggle with reading. It taps into the visual strength of dyslexic children to produce confidence in the area of spelling. Â The app is simple, visually appealing, and geared toward children ages 5 to 12. The child can chose a visual background color to make reading the text on the app comfortable. The keys on the touch keyboard are colored and the letters are in a comic sans font which helps dyslexics differentiate letters.
4. Letter Quiz-Free and Full Version-$1.99: Consists of four games to help your child learn letter recognition and writing practice. Many dyslexics have difficulty with rote memory and that includes recognizing letters or remembering the sequence of the alphabet. This app will encourage letter recognition through a series of flashcards as well as matching upper and lowercase letters. Writing practice is easy for any age since the letter takes up the full screen and dotted lines guide little fingers. The process will not only improve handwriting but solidify letter recognition. My daughter often mixes up letters such as "b" and "d". Working with this app has increased her ability to distinguish letters.
5. Dyslexic Like Me-$1.99: Â It can be troubling for a child to learn she has dyslexia. The child is often confused and possibly feels inferior to other children. The purpose of Dyslexic Like Me is to teach the child what dyslexia is and about successful people who also have dyslexia. The app focuses on a child, named Austin, who discovers what it means to be dyslexic. In addition, it also teaches known techniques to overcoming dyslexia. It was encouraging to see my daughter gain confidence and feel she simply had to learn differently rather than feel embarrassed.
6. See Read Say-$1.99: The visual nature of a dyslexic can make learning sight words difficult. This was certainly the case with my child. See Read Say contains all 220 Dolch Sight Words. The words are separated into grade level. The app is simple in design and concept yet effective for sight word memorization. Â If your child sees a word she does not recognize she can push a button to hear it. The app keeps track of performance and rewards with a star system.
7. Phonics Genius-Free: Phonetic awareness is essential to reading and this app takes it to a new level. The app contains thousands of words grouped into 225 phonic categories. You have the ability to change the font size and color. If you have Dropbox, you can import your own content. I have not found a flashcard app with more versatility. The cards are self-checking with a simple touch of the sound symbol. The app has aided my daughter in distinguishing sounds that were difficult for her.

Happy App-schooling!


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Richele McFarlin, author of Under the Golden Apple Tree, and founder of Moms of Dyslexics, enjoys a good cup of coffee as she demonstrates her ability to wrestle HTML to the ground and write from the heart.

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