Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dyslexia: Coloured Reading Rulers

If your child is having problems with reading he or she might be suffering from visual stress. The symptoms of visual stress whilst reading are: whole words or letters moving on the page, blurred text, distorted text, spinning text, seeing shapes within the text and feeling sick whilst reading, headaches and migraines.

As you can imagine, the effect of visual stress on a reader is profound. Speaking from my own experience I used to feel sick whilst reading and understandably hated reading for most of my childhood.

The symptoms of visual stress effect how a child learns to read and understand what they have read because it inhibits the ability to recognise words quickly and to read smoothly.

How can you tell if your child has visual stress?
This is a question that pops up over and over again but is fairly simple to answer. Ask you child about how they feel when they read. Do they feel sick, dizzy or do they start to get a headache?

Ask if the words stay still or move around the page or blurr. You may also notice that they turn their head or slide the book to the side as they read.

Often children with visual stress report that the text is clearer if they move the book to the side and look at the words through the corners of their eyes.

There is a useful software package to determine if you or your child is suffering from visual stress and I would recommend it for schools and colleges.

If you’re a parent there is a simple way to find out if your child’s reading problems are caused by visual stress.

Coloured Overlays
Coloured overlays are a simple and inexpensive solution to visual stress for children with reading difficulties.

They won’t cure dyslexia but they can significantly help with reading. A coloured overlay ruler is similar in size to a 6 inch school ruler and comes in a variety of colours.

By placing the right colour overlay over text reading becomes much easier because the contrast stops the words from moving or blurring.

How do you know which colour to use?
The overlays come in 10 colours and there are 5 which have proven to be the most popular. So you can order a set of 5 or 10 overlays and simply test them by placing them over the text and seeing which colour works best.

Further info and where to purchase coloured overlay reading rulers and reading overlays.

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