Modern Technology And Adult Dyslexia

Modern technology has wonderfully developed through the years of intensive research and testing. The efforts of these researches have not come to waste since now the products are used to help people cope up with their disabilities and difficulties, whether acquired or natural.

Nowadays, you use a number of accessible devices that could practically help you with your difficulties. However, which specific device to use would highly depend on your conditionís nature and severity.

Devices For Spelling And Grammar

If spelling and grammar are your major problem areas, modern technology has something to offer you. There are now devices that have spell-checkers to correct your spelling, and grammar checkers for your grammar correction.

Additionally, most of the modern computers now also have these kinds of features, which can be invaluable to you. Such features work by showing you your spelling and grammar mistakes and by providing you with the correct form while giving you the option to change what you have already written.

Electronic Dictionaries

Electronic dictionaries are similar to conventional ones, only that they are somewhat easier to use and faster. This kind of device gives you word definitions, synonyms antonyms, and pronunciation.

This can also be helpful if you are learning a new language, since some can provide you translations too. Using one is pretty easy since all you have to do is type in the word and you can instantly see the vital information about the word.

Audio Machines

You can also use dictating machines to aid you with understanding what you are reading. Tape recorders are also useful, especially if you are studying and youíre finding it hard to follow what your teacher is saying. In this way you can listen to what you have recorded, even after class hours.

Audio-typing programs are also available. All you have to do is dictate the data that you want to be encoded, and your computer would automatically do the encoding.

Text to speech programs are somewhat similar, only that they work the other way around. Here you can hear the encoded data on your computer by clicking on a button that would let the computer speak out the data.

Calculators

Even normal people benefit from this machine; for dyslexia that has numbers as the waterloo, a calculator is obviously of great help.

Memory telephones

Since short-term memory is a big problem for dyslexics, remembering phone numbers can already be a tedious task for you. So to save you from this endeavor, you can make us of memory telephones that have the feature of storing phone numbers and automatically dialing them.

Electronic Organizers

Time management, scheduling and organizing are some of the other problem areas that dyslexics face. That is why you can try using electronic organizers to help you with your schedule. These can be useful by reminding you about your appointments, deadlines and meetings. You can also use it to list down some tasks that you have to complete for the day.

Voice-activated Computers

Another great tool would be voice activated computers. Here thereís no need for typing of any sort of data. You can control the whole computer just by dictating your commands. You can also dictate any information that you want to be encoded in your computerís word processing program. However, this kind of gadget can cost you a lot.

Programs For Adult Dyslexia: Audioblox 2000

The Audioblox 2000 is a program that is based on the premise that the main problem is not the physical disability of the learner. The main problem is said to be the method on how the message is delivered and the learnerís preparation for it. This is just another one of the many methods how you can cope with your dyslexia.

How It Works

This method concentrates by working on the learning processí basic tasks. It is believed that in able for a person to learn effectively, the educator should observe a sequence in teaching.

Similar to scaffolding, one simple skill should be taught first, before teaching a more complicated one. Certain things should be known by the learner first, before he or she can learn other information. This ìprerequisiteî kind of system makes learning an organized system.

The main objective of this program is to put into practice and automate your needed skills that lie beneath reading, writing, spelling, math and the whole process of acquiring more knowledge on different subject matters.

Basically, Audiblox is comprised of a system of different cognitive exercises. These exercises are generally aimed for the development of your foundational learning skills. When you are trained in this kind of program, your foundational skills are developed. Additionally, they are automated.

Concentration

One fundamental skill that you need in able to learn is the ability to concentrate. Concentration is one important key in learning, because without it, you can not really achieve anything. You cannot grasp ideas or concepts if you are easily distracted. Optimal learning requires full concentration, or else, nothing is learned.

Perception

Another needed skill is perception. This may be auditory, visual, and haptic. The way you perceive things would highly affect how you understand them and how you can use them appropriately with your everyday life.

Proprioception

Proprioception is yet another skill that you need. Discriminating, synthesizing, and analyzing by the use of foreground, background, size, form, color and position in space or time, is a skill that can be useful with your everyday life.

Memory

Memory should also be developed. Just think how can you remember what you are learning if you do not have any kind of memory. That is why all kinds of memory such as short term, long term, auditory and visual are considered to be invaluable. Most dyslexics have problems with short term memory. However, when they associate some words with other things such as colors, remembering becomes easier for them.

Decoding And Integration

Next is your ability to decode information. Additionally, you should be able to integrate this decoded information, so that you can synthesize your learning process. If you cannot decode information that is given to you, then acquisition of new information is hampered.

The ability to understand the concept of numbers is also important. Todayís world revolves around math. Understanding simple number concepts is your first stepping stone in using numbers for daily application such as the use of money.

Motor Skills

Lastly, you also need your fine and gross motor skills. Body coordination is needed to perform simple tasks such as walking and difficult tasks such as writing. Flipping a page of a book already requires you good fine motor skills. Just think how you can learn without being able to simply turn a bookís page!

Special Educational And Training For Adult Dyslexics

Adult dyslexics can face a lot of educational and training issues due to their condition. However, such learning problems are addressed through special education and training.

Special Schooling For Dyslexics

One common issue is whether there is special schooling that is available for dyslexics. Yes, there is special schooling, and often the remedial provision that you can receive would highly depend on the severity of the difficulties you are experiencing.

Some adult dyslexics may already have their own well acquired strategies to be able to read and cope up with their problems. However, these strategies are often temporary, which is why learning techniques from professionals is still very much recommended and needed.

Getting special instruction can improve your reading speed and confidence. Additionally, you can learn to make greater use of illustrations and diagrams. Problems like spelling and writing difficulties may entail a persistent period of special education. However, most of the cases are not impossible.

In fact, a lot of adults easily learn the special techniques that they are taught, and because of this, they quickly gain self-confidence, and overcome personality and social issues. With the help that they are receiving, they can also feel that they do matter and there are people who understand what they are going through.

Getting a special education for your condition is not a sign of weakness, as a lot of people may think so. Dyslexia is a special condition that needs special and appropriate attention. Thus, getting into special schooling is just the right thing to do, and is not something you should be ashamed of.

Essential Components Of Training Programs

The training programs for adult dyslexics have a couple of general essential components. These components should be present in any kind of learning program for dyslexic people. So if you are considering on getting into a program, try to observe if the program has these components or not.

Targeting Short-term Memory

First is to accommodate the dyslexicís weaknesses, particularly with regards to short-term memory. Additionally, the materials used in such programs should be specialized in a way that it is more manageable to be used by a person with dyslexia.

Short-term memory is one if the waterloos, which dyslexics have. That is why in any kind of learning program for dyslexics, this is one aspect that should be targeted. Whether the problem be with words or with numbers.

Optimal Results From Education

Programs are also used to compensate for your perceptual weakness. In able to do this, most educators use a method of teaching that has a multi sensory approach. This kind of learning is very effective and efficient since it can stimulate your learning by using all your senses.

Through the use of your visual, auditory and sometimes even your tactile and olfactory senses, your learning experience is heightened. This is because studies show that it easier for people to remember what is being taught to them if all their senses are active.

The Use Of Other Specialized Methods

A program should also make use of other specialized methods to enhance your learning experience. Other than the multi-sensory approach, other means of making your learning easier should be present.

Some of the other ways to easily grasp what is being taught to you is through the use of mnemonics, mind maps, visual images, speed reading and the likes.

The Breakthrough Of Childhood To Adult Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning disability that can affect children greatly during their school years. However, this condition doesnít only have its effects on childhood but on adulthood too, especially in the workplace. The thing is, unlike in childhood where dyslexia has a great negative effect; in adulthood, the effect can vary from positive to negative.

A Look Back At Childhood Education

The educational methods used today are somewhat limited in regards to teaching students with reading, math and writing problems, the basic literacy skills that a child needs to know. Although most wouldnít observe this problem, a lot of people with dyslexia are greatly affected by this limitation.

From the very start, the school system is observed to be stacked against dyslexics. This is because a person with dyslexia is “real world” thinker, which means the use of concepts and pictures is the main method to learn, instead of using mental sentences.

Thus, special training is required for them in able to master written languageís basics easily.

A Disability With A Twist

Even though dyslexics have lots of problems with learning, this is not an indicator that they are stupid, unlike what most people think. Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Churchill, Edison, Whoopi Goldberg, Greg Louganis and Walt Disney, were well thought-out to be “dummies” by their classmates, teachers, family and friends, during their first few years of school.

However, one way to look at the situation they were in is that they werenít really suffering from a learning disability, but instead a teaching disability.

A lot of teachers just do not know the correct and appropriate methods for teaching and presenting information in the way that a dyslexic child can understand. As a consequence, these children are sometimes warehoused into “special ed” classes.

But sometimes, getting into a special ed class can cause the loss of self-esteem. This then becomes the trigger to the syndrome, which makes dyslexia even worse.
Sadly, this kind of attitude is sometimes carried over into adulthood.

Additional confusion, stress, coupled with heavy concentration, can only increase the attention and perceptual problems that the child is already having. The more struggle a dyslexic has, the more hard reading becomes.

Out Of The Cage: Welcome To Adulthood

As a dyslexic, once you get to finish school and start adulthood, life may seem easier for you. In fact, a lot of “learning disabled” people turn out to be highly successful once they are free from the boundaries of school.

With this condition, you may think that you simply have a knack for an activity. What you donít realize is that this knack actually stems out from the same root as dyslexia — your ability to mentally combine real world and imaginary images in an intuitive or creative way.

This talent can cause tremendous turmoil with your reading and writing. But when it is used for fields like the arts, sports, engineering, invention, salesmanship, and strategy, it can actually produce wonders!

This breakthrough from childhood to adulthood is really a notable event in the life of a person with dyslexia. More often, they can get their lost self-esteem back since they have found something where they are successful in.

Sadly, not all cases of dyslexia have this kind of pattern. There are times when adulthood comes, the worse the condition gets. However, this mainly depends on the personal outlook of the person. That is why a positive outlook should be promoted.

The Essentials On Adult Dyslexia

Dyslexia can be a very problematic condition that particularly affects a personís daily living activities. However, it is not one of those well known conditions like cancer, AIDS, and the likes. To understand how dyslexia affects people, specifically adults, you must first understand what dyslexia is, its causes, severity, and prevalence.

What Is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is basically a condition that presents a personís difficulty in processing information that is usually related to short-term memory deficiency and visual coordination. If you have this condition, your short-term memory would be particularly weak. It can be either your auditory or visual memory that is affected or both. Due to this, being a dyslexic person, it would be difficult for you to learn the connection between the spoken sound and the written symbol.

It is mainly categorized to be as a learning disability, since it mainly affects the vital areas in which learning is related to. Since auditory and visual skills are needed in learning, dyslexia can make one disabled in this field.

How Severe Can One Be?

The severity and range of the condition can vary widely for dyslexic people. The main problem areas of difficulty would be reading, spelling, numeration, writing, time-keeping and personal organization. The degree of the effect on an individual can be observed from mild spelling and reading difficulties to severe problems on organization or even complete illiteracy. There are no typical cases for dyslexia, since each case can be unique from one another.

Diagnosis

Some people do not even know that they are dyslexic; while there are a huge number of people, who are only diagnosed when they have reached adulthood already. This may be due to the unpopularity of the condition. Sometimes, it can be misdiagnosed too to be as a different condition that may present similar symptoms.

What Are The Causes?

There is no pinpointed cause of dyslexia, even though much research has been conducted to be able to explain its main cause. However, there are some researches that have gathered some relevant findings on the condition. Some neurological research suggests that a person who has this condition may have some abnormality on how his or her brainís left hemisphere functions. This is relevant since the left hemisphere is the one that controls your lexical system.

Cognitive research, however, in the past years has mainly focused on the possibility that the cause is related to having problems with phonological awareness, which is oneís awareness of specific speech sounds in words. Additionally, there is a speculation that such problems are somewhat related to a specific portion of the brain.

Whatever the cause may be, there appears little doubt that a lot of people having literacy problems really do experience sound insensitivity in different ways. Due to this deficit, reading problems often occurs. What is also obvious is that even though the cause of the problems can be multi-causal and can be different from one person to another, they can still be the main source of intense frustration and depression for any dyslexic person.

Incidence And Prevalence

The estimated incidences of dyslexia can vary greatly every year. It is estimated that it occurs from about to 4-10% of the population. It is also believed that prevalence in males is four times greater than with females.

General Effects In Adulthood

Dyslexia is a condition that is quite hard to recognize. It is also one condition that most people who have it try to hide. Simple tasks like filling in forms, taking phone messages, or even completing timesheets can already be major problems when you have this condition.

Assessment Choices For Adult Dyslexia

If you are planning to get an assessment for your suspected dyslexia, there are some choices that you must consider. Basically, you can get a formal dyslexia screening or assessment from a couple of professionals that are allowed to do so.

Assessment From An Educational Psychologist (EP)

Your first choice and probably the best would be to get an assessment from an educational psychologist. This kind of assessment is considered to be the most comprehensive. The thing is they cost more.

This kind of assessment, however, are the ones frequently required as standard of proof by Tribunals, Examination Boards, Local Education Authorities, Colleges and Universities; which is why getting one can be really worth it, even if it can cost you much.

Usually, you have to answer a questionnaire for important background information. This is then sent to the Educational Psychologist. Next, you have a vital talk with the EP. You would have to undergo some activities that would usually take 2-2 Ω hours. Then, the EP would give a brief discussion about your results.

Lastly, you will get a confidential full written report, coupled with recommendations. You can get the report more or less in 3 weeks time from your assessment date.

Specialist Teacher Assessment

This kind of assessment is also comprehensive but is not that widely accepted as proof of the condition than the psychologist assessment. The same procedure is usually conducted, as with getting an assessment from an EP.

They also conduct brief assessments, where you have to do some activities for about an hour or so. After you have completed the activities, the specialist teacher will briefly discuss the results with you. He or she would also make some recommendations.

Occupational Therapists (OT)

You can also get an initial assessment of dyslexia from an independent occupational therapist. The yielded results are usually written into an intervention program that is specially tailored for you. You can then arrange follow up treatments, if you have to do so.

Undergoing occupational therapy would address particular difficulties related to balance and co-ordination. Such difficulties can vary from large or gross movements like riding bicycles to small or fine movements such as penmanship. However, occupational therapy is sometimes considered to be more helpful in addressing dyspraxia, which is a related condition to dyslexia.

Speech and Language Therapy (SLT)

Lastly, you can choose to get an assessment from a Speech and Language Therapist. The therapist can also give you an initial assessment of your condition. Just as with getting an Occupational Therapy assessment, your yielded results will be written into an intervention program that is tailored for you. Then you can arrange for therapy and treatment sessions to start your intervention.

Speech and language therapy is considered to be one of the major intervention programs that people with dyslexia can have. The therapy mainly focuses on language problems, which is the main concern of the condition.

Here, the assessment results already identify what your weaknesses are. The therapist then, automatically devices an intervention program for you to cope up with these specific problems.

Usually, after you get an assessment from an EP or Specialist Teacher, they would recommend you to see a speech and language pathologist to undergo intervention. If they observe that you also have problems with movement, then they would also require you to see an Occupational Therapist.

Types Of Test For Adult Dyslexics

An adult that is suspected to have dyslexia can take tests to know whether he or she is positive for the condition. If you think that you have dyslexia, then it is recommended that you take a test. There are basically two types of tests that you can get, namely screening and comprehensive.

Screening Tests

Screening tests are specially designed to narrow down the number of candidates for the condition. These are typically used in schools, in which a number of students take it and those who yield a positive result are identified to take a more thorough testing procedure.

These are not really specific tests for dyslexia. However, they are simply designed to help out researchers to identify and focus on students or individuals who appear to have difficulties in regards to their studies, and who may have a possible case of dyslexia.

Such kind of test can be taken both by adults and children. Some companies can give out a test like this to identify who among their employees are somewhat challenged, specifically in reading, writing and math.

Usually, a screening test is consisted of a small number of short questions, like: ìDo you have difficulty with spelling?î, ìWere you unenthusiastic to go to school?î, ìDo you find following directions difficult or confusing?î, ìDo you have troubles with math?î, and the likes.

A person that yields a positive through this test may be having problems due to a number of causes. Some of the possible reasons are: Attention Deficit (ADHD), emotional problems, dyspraxia, autism, delayed learning, and possibly dyslexia. Screening tests are not really considered as a valid test for dyslexia, but these can be very useful for researchers.

Comprehensive Tests

The second type of test is comprehensive tests. This kind of test for dyslexia takes a look at the person as a whole. It also examines and tries to find out the root cause of any kind of learning difficulty that you may be experiencing.

Taking a comprehensive test simply means that you would have to undergo thorough testing. ëThoroughí in the sense that you would have to go to the extent of having your brain tested. Here your brain is examined to know which of its parts are functioning, which ones are not, and which are interfering with your acquisition of normal learning.

Not only do you have to get your brain checked, but also have to take a number of aptitude tests. Initially, your reading, comprehension, and spelling skills are to be tested. They also get your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) by giving you intelligence tests. Additionally, you would also have to take visual tests, visual scanning tests, laterality tests, sequencing tests, reversal test and the likes.

These are just some of the general tests that are given when you get a comprehensive kind of testing. However, the number of tests given can still vary, depending on the institute or professional that is giving you a comprehensive assessment. So this means, some may give you more or less, than those tests mentioned above.

Usually, a psychologist is the one that administers a comprehensive test. After all the data are analyzed, all of the test results are compiled into one complete report. In the report, you can see the conclusions about your condition along with the evidences for them.

Adult Dyslexia Treatment: Using Color

A lot of adults that have dyslexia have learned to device ways on how to manage their condition. One of the methods commonly done is the use of colors.

A Fight With White

According to research, disorders like dyslexia are occasionally affected by color. It is believed that the ‘glare’ of white paper is the culprit on why children and adults with this condition have a hard time reading the page.

People that have this kind of dyslexia are not able to focus on the information they are reading on plain white paper. Thus, they have a hard time memorizing or learning the information that is written on the paper.

White paper is considered to be very aversive, which is the same reason why learning has become aversive as well.

Putting Some Color Into Your World

Due to this aversion that the color white brings upon, the use of color has been practiced in able to make reading somewhat more pleasant, especially to a dyslexic reader. So here are some ways on how putting color into your life can change your reading and organizational skills dramatically!

Color Coding

This method has been proven effective by a lot of dyslexics. This can have a great effect on your organizational skills. For example, color coding your computer disks by class can be helpful. You can also try making specific colored labels to stick to your disks, or CDís so that you know which one is for which use.

Buying color coded notebooks can be done too. In this way, you know which notebook is for what class by simply looking at the color. Color coding saves you a lot of time, since you donít have to waste your time looking through unorganized material.

Highlighters

Since most printed material in the market are usually on white paper, highlighters can become your best friend, if you want to read the page with some color. You can have several highlighters close by when reading books. This can also be helpful when you often lose track of the meaning of what you are reading and what part of the book are you already.

This may seem messy for some people, but it can be very helpful for dyslexics. However, be sure that whatever it is that you are highlighting is yours. Avoid highlighting library books since this can cause you to pay fines or even replace the book.

Colored Paper

If you donít like highlighting data that you have written, then writing it down or printing it on colored paper would be useful. This can help you read more effectively, since there is no glare from white colored paper. You can do this if you have to print out some data on the computer.

Contrasting Colors

If you have problems with differentiating right from left, then you can try using colors to help you discriminate so. The use of contrasting colors, such as red and blue, would be best. For example, wearing a blue sock on your right foot and a red sock on your left can help you remember which is which.

This can be useful if direction is important with what you do, like in sports. When in training, instead of directing you with right and left, your coach can simply say the color, since it can be one way of associating direction for you.

Adult Dyslexia On Numbers And Codes

People with dyslexia can have problems on remembering numbers and codes. In the adult world, having this ability is important, since this is related in managing bank accounts and dealing with monetary issues.

Here are some techniques that most dyslexics use in order to cope up with their number problems.

Whole Number Method

Some people with dyslexia use the whole number method when they are trying to remember phone numbers. Here, you basically group the first three digits and consider it as a whole number. Then you divide the last four digits, into two groups, and consider them as two whole numbers.

For example, the phone number is 806-6757; this can be read as Eight hundred six, sixty seven, and fifty seven. By doing this method you are allowed to visualize the sounds of words, which make it harder for you to forget them.

Dates

Some dyslexics use the date method when remembering codes. For example you can use the year you were born as your door code number or pin number.

Pattern Method

Another method used in remembering numbers is through the use of patterns. By creating a pattern of numbers in the phone pad, it can be easier for you to remember the numbers. For example, ì1478î makes a pattern of a capital ìLî while ì25846î makes a cross.

Use Your Knuckles

Most kids use this method to remember how many days are there in one month. Using this, even though you are not a kid is alright. In fact, a lot of dyslexic adults use this method, since you have your knuckles anywhere you go.

Comparing Numbers

Some dyslexics have problems with comparing numbers. Some do not have the ability to visually compare numbers. If you are having the same kind of problem, then you can try using your calculator to know that the numbers are different. You can do this by subtracting one number from the other. If you get a zero, then this means they are the same, if not, then they are different.

Money Matters

Some conditions of dyslexia may give you problems in counting money. Some people find this very embarrassing. To avoid counting out change, what is usually done by dyslexics is to be ready by simply having a larger bill than your estimated amount of purchase.

In this way you can accumulate a lot of change. You can then get rid of these by already counting out the exact amount of small purchases that you will be making in the near future. Putting the counted amount into a separate change purse then would make the whole process easier for you.

Dot Method

Some dyslexics that have problems in understanding number concepts and using this method is one way they help themselves. Here you visualize a specific pattern of dots for the numbers one to nine. Using a dice can be helpful too.

Drawing

Some use their ability to draw in remembering phone numbers. In this method, you perceive the numbers as parts of a whole picture or drawing. The picture is what is then stored in your mind. With just a little concentration on your part, remembering numbers wonít be a problem anymore.

These are just some of the ways how some adults with dyslexia have managed to deal with their condition. However, you should take note that each technique can vary from one case to another. That is why its effectiveness can differ too.

Adult Dyslexia Late Diagnosis: Is There Still Hope?

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that affects people of all ages. Just as with other disabilities, early detection of the condition and early intervention are beneficial to the person with the disability. However, this is not always the case with dyslexia.

An Overlooked Beginning

Most of the time, the beginnings of dyslexia is overlooked, which is the reason why a lot of cases are only diagnosed during adulthood. To think of it, in present culture when a child has not yet learned to fluently read by the age of ten or eleven years, he or she would be often thought of to be lacking in motivation or intelligence.

Most people would think that they are stupid or lazy. However, in most cases, they are neither of the two. Most likely, they have dyslexia, which is a learning disability that causes their difficulty in understanding written language, even though they have normal or even higher-than-normal IQ.

Faulty Wiring And Early Detection

The most recent studies show that the difficulties in reading that dyslexic people experience are due to “faulty wiring” in specific brain areas that have a relation to learning and language. Research also shows that identifiable genetic variations or defects are the partial cause of this faulty wiring.

Early screening and detection for such variations makes it possible for you to have appropriate and timely remedial training. Most experts suggest that children should be allowed to deal with their condition to overcome it and at least learn how to read at an acceptable level. However, since dyslexia is sometimes only diagnosed during adulthood, the benefits of early detection are not maximized.

Late Detection

Although there are people who only become dyslexic during their adulthood, due to stroke and traumatic brain injury, in most cases the condition is a developmental disorder. According to experts, still, the majority of cases reported of people with dyslexia are adults who have had it ever since childhood but only knew they had it when they were already adults.

This late detection of the condition is something most adult dyslexics are troubled with since early intervention is not a choice anymore. However, if you are one of those who had late detection, there is no reason to be troubled. Intervention no matter how early or late is still intervention, even though they may have varying effects.

The Issue On Brain Plasticity

Late detection becomes an issue due to the premise of brain plasticity. Research shows that younger people or even animals have a more elastic brain than older counterparts. The relevance of brain plasticity is that it is one important factor in relation to intervention.

Since the brain is more elastic when you are younger; rewiring of the brain is then possible, since it hasnít reached its mature state and continues to develop. Thus, if ever a learning disability like dyslexia is present, then your brain can still be developed to function at a more acceptable level, where the condition has minimal effect.

A lot of adults recently diagnosed with the condition fear that intervention would do them no good, simply because their brain is not as elastic anymore as childrenís. However, recent studies show that the brainís property of elasticity is still present even with adults.

This recent finding on plasticity in the adult brain is a breakthrough for adult dyslexics. So if you are an adult that had late diagnosis, then be happy! There is still hope for your condition to improve, even if only to an acceptable level.