I have tried the android application Artwords Designer Free by I.T. Nilsson available for tablets. It claims to be the perfect tool for persons with dyslexia wanting to train reading skills.
There is certainly a need for many tools that can help training persons with dyslexia. Most tools just help them not-to-need-reading but in the long run knowing how to read is much better. Scientists have found out that it takes much longer for the dyslectic brain to learn reading so the more training one could get the better. Also there is no inner voice when reading.
Learning to read is a matter of:
- Seeing the lines shaping individual letters
- Discover letter combinations that form sounds
- Mapping sounds to form a word
- Identify the word corresponding notion of the real object
I know that dyslectics are usually very good at pattern recognition. For instance NASA employs many persons with dyslexia. They are good at detecting new stars in the huge pattern that form the universe. The No inner voice-problem and pattern recognition ability lead me to believe that AWDF might be an optimal game for dyslectics.
In AWDF you design the word maze yourself so you need someone else to help you in-case you have dyslexia. You provide the spelling of certain words that you would like your student to be able to find and spell, supply an image for the background and then the application will run the word puzzle game for you.
When my student plays my game he examines the puzzle trying to find the words. One good thing about the game is that it uses Text-to-Speech. So my student just clicks a word to hear the word read out loud. Also when he drags over letters in the maze the device will attempt to pronounce the word. Probably my dyslectic student will get lots of pronunciation training this way. At least it is my hope that he learns spelling a little faster.
The trick as I see it is to design the games interestingly enough for my student to willingly embrace the task. Will it be possible in this era of easier Shoot-Em-Up games? I as a teacher will need to find an interest in the puzzle myself and if possible make it a social game where my student can help finding the words.
Well try it out yourself. It is financed by ads but there is also another version without ads. I wish there was some way of sharing the designed games though. It would have been neat.