Most educators agree that reading over the summer is one of the BEST ways to decrease regression. However, reading is hard for dyslexic people. Even after intensive remediation using the best programs, reading can still be very laborious. This hardship often leads dyslexic people to NOT read. This is terrible because reading helps improve vocabulary, fluency, promotes creativity, imagination, and higher level thinking skills. Reading needs to happen! With that said, let’s take a piece from the dyslexia rockstar, Ben Foss (author of The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan), and redefine reading...
There are 3 types of reading:
1. Traditional eye-reading
2. Finger-reading (also known as brail)
The third, ear-reading, is what our dyslexic students know how to do really well. Ear-reading is when one listens to the text being read aloud; more commonly known as listening to audiobooks. I LOVE LOVE LOVE audiobooks! In my opinion, I think everyone in the world would read more if they would ear-read. I know that my reading increased 10x when I started listening to audiobooks in my car instead of the radio. Let's just take a look at my nightstand with a HUGE stack of unfinished books. I would start eye-reading a book, and then never finish because lack of time or energy. This unproductive habit has been going on for my entire life. (Besides blazing through the Harry Potter books, cause everyone knows you can’t put those down). In the last month alone, I have read 5 books by listening to them in my car. I have learned, been inspired, intrigued, and touched by words in amounts that I haven’t experiences since my HP obsession days. I have laughed, screamed out loud, and pondered the words spoken. All this is brain activity I wasn’t previously getting during my daily drive time. Oh it is wonderful! And, you and your kids can experience this awesomeness too! (I sound like an infomercial, lol!) Get your kids ear-reading this summer!
At Dyslexia Pros, we have a traditional summer reading program for all of our students to each read 1000 minutes over the summer. If a student accomplishes this goal, then they get to come to a totally awesome and rad party we throw. At first, most of our students look at us with shocked faces and say “1000 minutes! I can’t read that much!” We just look back at them and say, “Audiobooks!” Audiobooks are the key to productive summer reading for our dyslexic kids.
Ear-reading also greatly helps to improve eye-reading. The difference we see in eye-reading ability between our students that started listening to audiobooks early and the one’s that resisted is shockingly enormous. Our early ear-reading students have better vocabulary, spoken expression, and their speed of eye-reading is faster.
So instead of countless hours of television or video games (all of my students know EXACTLY how I feel about video games), get some audiobooks and start listening away!
Here are some great resources for audiobooks:
Low cost or free audiobooks with confirmed diagnosis of dyslexia:
My personal favorite:
Free Books ipad app by Digital Press Publishing
Also, check out if your local library has any audiobook programs.
Feel free to comment or send me an email with your favorite audiobooks, or if you want book recommendations.