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"Dyslexia" by Gordon Grubbs

March 25, 2019


I have a confession to make. Throughout my career as an educational administrator I have been a participant in many parent-teacher-school meetings to discuss a student’s educational status, their progress, their strengths and weaknesses. I have listened to parents’ expressions of extreme concern for the frustration their children are experiencing; their hatred of coming to school; their lack of self-confidence, feelings of inadequacy; their embarrassment; their social immaturity; and numerous other concerns. I listened but, I didn’t really hear them nor understand the storm brewing within their families!. My compassion for these families is overflowing! I’m so sorry that I didn’t fully understand the huge hole a learning disability can cause in the heart of a family!

Four years ago our adopted, eleven year-old daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia/dysgraphia and our world was turned upside down. We know our daughter is smart. She’s very smart with an expansive vocabulary for an eleven year-old but, on homework nights our entire home goes into turmoil and I guarantee you the next morning will be a battle getting her mentally and emotionally ready for another frustrating day of school!

If our one-on-one time with her is this frustrating, what must it be like in that classroom with seventeen other students with problems of their own! I have always respected our teachers for the difficult job they do but, my respect, admiration and appreciation just keeps growing! Thank you so much and I pray you don’t give up on these students.

Enough background. My real purpose in writing this article today is to share some of the positive educational tips, tools and apps that are available for the growing number of students diagnosed with dyslexia and possibly other learning disabilities. As you now realize, these recommendations come from our experience working with our little girl. We have found the older she gets; the harder it is getting! Which means we are having to work smarter, not always harder. Using technology to help your child is part of working smarter. Hopefully, some of these tips and apps will appeal to you and you will give them a try.


● Be a role model by reading aloud to your children and showing your love of reading and books.

● Take regular trips to the library.

● Learning to Read Apps: (Should include phonics, sight words, as well as reading words and sentences.)

1. Starfall Learn to Read - starts with the alphabet in Learn to Read and continues with vowel

sounds and comprehension in two other Starfall apps: It’s Fun to Read and I’m Reading. iOS and Android 2. ABCMouse.com - With more than 450 traditional and original stories and nonfiction books,

ABCmouse.com's library opens a door to worlds of knowledge, adventure, and fun for children.

● Practice Reading Apps: (There are a lot of individual story apps, but economically it’s to your advantage to use an app with with storybooks within it. Most have audible books that read the story to your child while highlighting the words/sentences for them to follow along.)

1. MeeGenius - offers children over 700+ interactive eBooks including some familiar books with

“Sesame Street” characters. iOS and Android 2. Epic! Books for Kids - The thousands of eBooks available with Epic! Are popular titles from top

publishers such as Scaredy Squirrel, Batman vs. Catwoman, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Reading logs, personalization, and rewards are offered to support developing readers. iOS and Android 3. Reading Rainbow - your kids can use Reading Rainbow to find a huge library of interactive

digital books. Your kids will have access to thousands of titles, and they are all free for iPhone, Kindle, and Android users.

● Overdrive Libby - This app provides you access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks via local public libraries. The Graham Public Library was easily accessible with a library card.


● Graphic organizers are a great alternative for children to use when they’re having trouble clearly stating their thoughts in writing.

● Speech-to-text software like OneNote can assist in getting those thoughts down on paper, bypassing problems that may arise with handwriting or with spelling. OneNote will hear your child’s story and write it down for them.

I want you to know and understand that the tips and apps that I have shared are only a small sample of what is out there to help parents and teachers. I encourage you to look and investigate for other resources out there to help your child. Don’t be afraid of the technology! It can make all the difference in the world for struggling readers and parents! Remember, the best advice I can give you and your children - work smarter, not harder!


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