Embracing the Spiky* Profile [Premium]

Embracing the Spiky* Profile [Premium]

It can be a challenge reconciling dyslexia stories in a publication such as this because the topics may zoom from the highest highs (innovators, explorers, paradigm-shifters) to what seem to be early school frustrations – like spelling homonyms or forming letters correctly – but such is the life of the spiky profile person. That is also why if you look at what seems to be a well-organized program of remediation, and have your student signed up for it, progress may not be as orderly as hoped. A core part of the trouble trying to communicate what dyslexia may look like to those who are unfamiliar is that many existing definitions fall wide of the mark. Dyslexia is better understood as a broad learning difference – […]

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Finding Your Voice [Premium]

Finding Your Voice [Premium]

Finding one’s voice is an existential issue for many – but for dyslexic folks in particular, it can be a difficult because of the nature of their challenges early in life and, of course, the school business. From a practical perspective, dyslexia can create many obstacles in expression and people may be trapped not being able to reveal the depth of their feeling and understanding. Even when the reading issues get remediated and accommodated and writing gets easier, many will still struggle – and that may drift into the adult years. WHAT TO DO? There’s a saying, “Use it or lose it”, and the dilemma for those who may have some trouble expressing their ideas is that they are more likely to be inhibited about […]

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Auto-Correct in Foreign Languages: Installing Additional Keyboards [Premium]

Auto-Correct in Foreign Languages: Installing Additional Keyboards [Premium]

This morning, I was interviewing a dyslexic physician, Andrew Newman (we’ll share his full story in another issue) and he happened to mention when he was working through Duolingo foreign language learning app that a pop-up occurred and asked him whether he might want to install a foreign language keyboard to help with spelling in Italian. He had been racing through all the auditory and spoken parts of lessons, but was continually penalized for spelling in the written parts and not able to advance. Installing the Italian keyboard, auto-corrected his spelling and grammar in Italian, so now he’s able keep on learning without his dyslexia getting in the way. Over the years, we often found ourselves writing for or talking to schools to provide appropriate […]

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Working through Higher Math [Premium]

Working through Higher Math [Premium]

  “An algebra equation should have a physical meaning to it, and have good real world examples…” — Gary McGregor, PhD   Gary McGregor has a lot to say when it comes to math because he survived dropping out of high school, knowing only the basics of math calculation (adding and subtracting, but not fractions) before he enrolled in Junior College determined to learn all the math he would need to become a mechanical engineer. Not only did he succeed in that goal, but he also became an expert higher mathematician and now publishes papers involving complex math. So how did he get from A to Z?   MATH FROM MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES Gary was fortunate to learn from a math teacher in junior college who […]

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The Power of Ask [Premium]

The Power of Ask [Premium]

One of the benefits of being able to interview so many fascinating dyslexic people over the years is that I can learn about how they navigated challenging educational and workplace settings. Some had supportive families while others had the complete opposite of supportive families – but almost all were trailblazers at some point in their lives because so much of the world and its institutions can put obstacles in their way to success.   THE POWER OF ASK In the National Transitional Longitudinal Study-2, only 24% of students qualifying for accommodations in high school, made the decision to disclose their LD at the college or university level. So even as demands for coursework reading and writing increased, they did not disclose or ask for accommodations […]

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Better Living Through Technology with Auto-Text and Macros [Premium]

Better Living Through Technology with Auto-Text and Macros [Premium]

=Here’s how you can simplify writing and other work tasks using technology.   AUTO-TEXT If you use Gmail or Outlook for your email, you may have already see examples of automatic text. As an example, if you are typing an email with Smart Compose turned on in Gmail, typing “how” will generate a prompt for “how are you” in lighter text, so that you you hit the tab key and have the rest of the phrase written. The settings are under the Gear settings at top right. This can be very convenient, a time saver, and hack that is likely to reduce the chance of typos or other mistakes, but there is a privacy dilemma that Google may be accessing what you write (see more […]

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Remote Work Hacks [Premium]

Remote Work Hacks [Premium]

“I’ve found that a single screen feels very restrictive to me. I normally have three screens since I jump between tasks a lot. Many neurodiverse people like myself find it difficult to stay focused on one thing for very long. Having my work “scattered” around on different screens feels sort of like having papers all over a desk; I can pick up pieces in parallel without the need to stop and start what I’m doing. Basically, being able to easily move between the different things helps me find a flow. “ — John Abel, Technical Director, Google   MULTIPLE SCREENS If you spend a good deal of your time working on a computer, you may find that adding a screen (or even more than one […]

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Essential Tech: Favorites for Work/Life [Premium]

Essential Tech: Favorites for Work/Life [Premium]

Every year technology gets better and better and it’s clear that finally it’s catching up with dyslexic minds.   Major technology companies have finally responded to calls to optimize their text-to-speech, speech-to-text, and spell and grammar checkers to the dyslexic community. If you tried and then gave up on technology in the past, now is the time to check again.     VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS Phones, tablets, laptops, and smart watches all have virtual assistants.   Siri will send and read texts, set alarms and timers, make calls / start facetime, set reminders and check calendar, do translations and conversion, solve math equations, navigate on apple maps, search and create notes, play voicemails, check the weather, find files on the Mac, check stocks, even fill out […]

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