As the summer holidays come to an end in the US and near the end in the UK and Europe, you will probably be turning your attention to the needs of your children both in and out of the classroom. This blog looks at the best back to school supplies for kids with dyslexia.
Recognizing the challenges they may face and providing appropriate support will greatly enhance their learning experience.
You will find my dyslexia in the classroom blogs here and this is where I focus on how to support children with dyslexia in the classroom at all grade levels. This blog however focuses on what your child will need in their bag, on their computer and in their pencil case to be the best learner they can be.
I have listed my top selection of stationary items, tech devices, organisational tools and apps.
By preparing in advance, you will ensure your child heads off to school empowered and supported.
On with the list….. (please note, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR KIDS WITH DYSLEXIA – STATIONARY
- Coloured Paper and Pens Using different colours for notes and assignments can help dyslexic students better distinguish between words and improve readability.
- Highlighters: Color-coded highlighting can help emphasize important information and make it easier to reference later.
- Graph Paper: Useful for maintaining neat and organized writing and math work.
- Large Print Books and Worksheets printed using dyslexic font: Speak with your child’s school to request appropriate reading materials in a larger font size. This dyslexic font is free to download
- Ergonomic Pens and Pencils: Comfortable writing tools can aid in maintaining focus and neat handwriting. We use the Maped left-handed pens for our daughter who has dyslexia, dysgraphia and is left handed! They are a great resource. Eraseable pens are also a good option as mistakes are easily mae.
- Notebooks with Wide Lines: Wider line spacing provides more room for legible handwriting.
BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR KIDS WITH DYSLEXIA – APPS AND TECHNOLOGY
Voice Dream has grown in popularity since being released. It offers natural sounding voices to read text, aiding in comprehension. Text to speech software is particularly important for those kids who really struggle to read even small amounts of text.
- Braina Pro (iOS, Android, Windows) – a simple to use program which is one of the most accessible. It provides almost perfect accuracy with regards to punctuation and grammar because of this, it’ great for scientific work. There is a free basic plan.
- Microsoft Dictate (Windows) – an add-on and can be used with platforms such as Outlook, Word and PowerPoint. It’s easily accessible for Microsoft users – simply click on the ‘dictation’ tab in the toolbar. It’s already preinstalled in every Microsoft 365 app.
- Dragon NaturallySpeaking is another great program for kids with dyslexia. It converts the spoken word into text – saving so much time – not to mention stress – on written tasks. There are also free apps on devices that can be used for smaller tasks.
- The Notes app on the iPhone has a speech to text function while Android phones come with a speech-to-text converter that lets you dictate text messages, emails, and other text you’d ordinarily type using the on-screen keyboard. It’s enabled by default.
- Speechnotes (Chrome) is a free web-based program which is easily accessed and offers quick simple transcriptions using the microphone.
- Notta ( Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Chromebook) – a complete speech to text app that transcribes calls, video calls, live speeches, audio files and videos. There a many different membership levels however the Basic Plan is free.
- Otter (Chrome, iOS, Android) – a popular choice among older students for lectures. It is a cloud-based software that offers a limited free plan. It can distinguish between different voices and assigns different speaker IDs.
- Digital Mind Mapping Tools – programs such as MindMeister assist in organizing thoughts visually.
- Phonetic Spell Checker – the Webster handheld device is very useful for typing the word phoneteically and finding the correct spelling
- Audiobooks – A subscription to Audible is worth every penny. It’s worth finding out which texts your child will be studying and investing in the audiobooks. Multi sensory learning is so important for dyslexic children. Audiobooks will improve engagement with the texts.
- Electronic Worksheets and Note-Taking Apps – such as Notability or OneNote allow students to organize notes electronically.
BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR KIDS WITH DYSLEXIA – ORGANISATIONAL AIDS
- Color-Coded Folders and Binders – use these to assign colours to different subjects. These will instantly help to improve organization.
- Visual planners – will help students keep track of assignments and deadlines.
- Free time management apps – there are so many available on all devices for free. Choose the one that suits yours and tyour child’s needs best. Todois, Trello and any.do are among the most popular.
- Noise-Canceling Headphones – will help to minimize distractions in a noisy classroom environment and can improve focus and productivity.
- Graphic Organizers these provideide templates for concept mapping, storyboarding, and other visual tools to aid in understanding. The ones listed below are grade for children in grades 4-8.
- Personalized Learning Plans – work together with teachers to create tailored strategies that cater to each student’s learning style.
Remember, one of the most useful things your child’s school can do is to provide a supportive and understanding environment. An Inclusive classroom is vital for your child’s success, confidence and mental well being. Regular communication between parents, teachers, and specialists is crucial to ensure that your child’s specific needs are being met effectively.
If you would like any more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m so passionate about ensuring that kids with learning difficulties have the same opportunity within the classroom as every other child. This can only be achieved through training, knowledge and understanding.