Blog:

Acquired Reading and Writing Difficulties

I attended a very inspiring Clinical Excellence Network study day on (18/10/18). The title was:

“Dysgraphia (writing difficulties) and Reading Comprehension”.

This fascinating day was presented by two senior lecturers from British Universities, presenting their research around reading & writing difficulties. They shared the latest ideas about assessment, treatment and measuring outcomes for intervention in these two very important key skill areas.

In this day and age, we rely so much on the internet as a way of life – and yet it nearly always calls for good literacy skills. It goes without saying then, that for somebody with reading and writing difficulties arising from brain damage, it can feel like a very lonely place.

The positive news is that although technology may demand more from us in terms of requiring literacy skills to access programmes, emails and messages, the technology is also there to support those very same skills. For example, text-to-speech apps and settings allow readers to listen to text messages on their phone or books on their e-readers. Only just this morning I noticed a “Read Aloud” key on the top tab of my emails which worked really well (highlight chosen text and click ‘Read Aloud’ to hear your emails).

Predictive text on smart phones can alleviate anxiety around spelling when writing messages & emails. Just begin typing and look at the suggested options. For example, if you write a message in iNotes, predictive text and spell check is available and the message can be sent straight to the recipient from this app via messages or emails – fantastic!

There are some specific apps available which use predictive text, spell check as well as store favourite phrases and can be used across different apps such as emails and Facebook. There are several on the market but an idea for a few include Co:Writer 6: https://cowriter.com, iReadWrite: https://readwrite.com and Predicatable: https://www.therapy-box.co.uk/predictable

Obviously, as with all systems these apps will have their own pros and cons and consideration for their use can be discussed with us here at Speakmore. Contact us for more details.

Used alongside specific and targeted therapy to improve reading and writing skills, this heralds the beginning of an exciting new era.

October 2018