Assisted Technology: Learning Ally

Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D., co-founder of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity and author of “Overcoming Dyslexia”, speaks on the powerful tools of technology, audio books, and the importance of accommodations. This woman has dedicated her life to empowering dyslexic individuals and educating parents and teachers on exactly what dyslexia is, how to help overcome dyslexia, and how to live with it. If anyone gets the opportunity to hear her speak…take it!!!

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Warning Signs of Dyslexia

Warning Signs of Dyslexia

 If a child has 3 or more of the following signs, it is highly recommended that the child’s parents and teachers learn more about dyslexia.

In Preschool

• delayed speech

• mixing up the sounds and syllables in long words

• chronic ear infections

• severe reactions to childhood illnesses

• constant confusion of left versus right

• late establishing a dominant hand

• difficulty learning to tie shoes

• trouble memorizing their address, phone

number, or the alphabet

• can’t create words that rhyme

• a close relative with dyslexia

In Elementary School 

• dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting

that is difficult to read)

• letter or number reversals continuing past the end

of first grade

• extreme difficulty learning cursive

• slow, choppy, inaccurate reading:

– guesses based on shape or context

– skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of)

– ignores suffixes

– can’t sound out unknown words

• terrible spelling

• often can’t remember sight words (they, were,

does) or homonyms (their, they’re, and there)

• difficulty telling time with a clock with hands

• trouble with math

– memorizing multiplication tables

– memorizing a sequence of steps

– directionality

• when speaking, difficulty finding the correct word

– lots of “whatyamacallits” and “thingies”

– common sayings come out slightly twisted

• extremely messy bedroom, backpack, and desk

• dreads going to school

In High School 

All of the above symptoms plus:

• limited vocabulary

• extremely poor written expression

– large discrepancy between verbal skills

and written compositions

• unable to master a foreign language

• difficulty reading printed music

• poor grades in many classes

• may drop out of high school

In Adults 

Education history similar to above, plus:

• slow reader

• may have to read a page 2 or 3 times to

understand it

• terrible speller

• difficulty putting thoughts onto paper

– dreads writing memos or letters

• still has difficulty with right versus left

• often gets lost, even in a familiar city

• sometimes confuses b and d, especially when

tired or sick


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