Anna was young when I created Dyslexia Games. Older kids with Dyslexia felt the games I’d created were too easy. I set to work at creating more advanced games. These were helpful both for Anna as she grew and for older children.
Series A is best for children ages 5-8. It can also be used by older children who are profoundly Dyslexic. This series is primarily art-based and introduces a bit of writing and spelling.
Series B for children aged 8-12. The art-based games become more advanced and more reading skills are required. We also include spelling and copywork in this series.
Series C is for ages 10+. We continue with intricate art-based games, add in some math, and work on cursive writing skills.
Not Only for Dyslexic Kids
Families began introducing their early readers to series A- regardless of if they showed signs of Dyslexia. Parents realized they made learning to read fun and engaging and that children thrived. Older kids saw Dyslexic siblings working on series B and C and wanted to try them out. It became apparent these games were not only helpful for Dyslexic kids.
We’ve heard from thousands of families who share remarkable stories about the benefits of Dyslexia Games in their homes. Parents have used Dyslexia Games with:
ADHD/ADD kids to help them focus and relax
Non-Verbal learning disabilities
Visual Processing Disorders
As “brain breaks” before working on a more focused/difficult task
To de-stress and relax a kid when they were frustrated
For relief from Brian Fog
To help develop executive functioning skills
This was certainly not something I ever expected. At this point, we think we’ve had about as many non-Dyslexic kids use Dyslexia Games as those with Dyslexia. Especially series A for new readers. I began to incorporate pages from these games into some of our Fun-Schooling journals and students have loved having them there.
“She’s almost 9, why can’t she read yet?” After yet another day of watching my daughter Anna struggle to read, I expressed my frustration to my husband. We would eventually come to discover she was Dyslexic. I watched the light go out of her eyes and her love of learning begin to die out. This was something I knew I couldn’t let happen. The journey to help my daughter with Dyslexia would end up helping thousands of adults and children.
Dyslexia is not a struggle unique to Anna. An estimated 20% of children are Dyslexic. The numbers seem to be growing. It’s hard to know if this is because of more awareness or another reason. Regardless, you know and interact with many people who have Dyslexia. Some children will “outgrow” Dyslexia while others will be lifelong Dyslexics.
Dyslexia Games Creation
My quest to help my daughter kept ending at dead ends. None of the products for Dyslexia worked for her or fit our family. I began to think about how Anna noticed b/d/p/q looked exactly the same. As I thought through ways to help her, I turned to her passion- art.
I was homeschooled myself and struggled in school. It’s likely I would have received an Asperger’s diagnosis myself. Awareness of Asperger’s was much lower when I was growing up than it is now so I was overlooked. One of the gifts of Asperger’s is the ability to think outside the box and be creative. Nobody knows their child better than their mother. I knew the answer to helping my daughter learn to read was one I could find.
One afternoon I sat down and started to draw. As I drew, I incorporated letters and words into my artwork. I wanted to see how Anna would respond to words and letters if they were presented as art instead of as a bunch of words on a page. I created puzzles for her to complete and pictures to copy. After I had a few done, I handed them over to her.
Anna loved them and eagerly completed them. But would they help her Dyslexia? After completing several more, she began to read! I made an entire set with different games and activities. Her reading ability increased and she was soon an avid reader who loved to read. Plus she no longer had any symptoms of Dyslexia.
We began selling the PDF version to print at home on our website DyslexiaGames.com and had physical copies printed and shipped by a local print shop at first. When we published Dyslexia Games Series C we switched from the local Print Shop to CreateSpace to drop-ship our books for us. We also listed the books on Amazon as well. Thus, Dyslexia Games was born.
Today Dyslexia Games have been used by thousands of children worldwide. We have families on every continent (except Antarctica!) and in dozens of countries. Dyslexia tutors, therapy centers, and schools are using the games with results unlike anything else out there.
I really enjoyed fifth and sixth grades at my new school in Ohio. The old historic school buildings were in the center of beautiful Victorian neighborhoods. The classrooms were bright with high ceilings, wood trim and big windows. I could see the snow fall and the leaves change from my window. My little sister and I loved the walks to and from school, and often we would save our milk money for ice cream on the way home. I even had teachers who saw my artistic talent and encouraged me to add art to all my book reports and let me help decorate the classrooms.
School was no longer something I dreaded. One of my teachers started each day with a brain game or logic puzzle on the chalk board, and I was always so proud to be the first student to solve the puzzle, even though I had to wear my glasses to see the board. I had a friend or two and got into a fight or two—once a bully was making fun of my little sister and me, so I showed her my fist. She ran home crying with a bloody nose and decided to be my friend after that. For my seventh grade year, my sisters and I were moved to a new school district—one of the “better” schools by reputation. I had always gone to small town schools before, but this middle school was one of the big city schools, and it was frightening. The fact that it had no windows didn’t even compare to the behavior of rowdy boys and bullies. I was grabbed and teased. I walked into the “tattoo parlor” in the girl’s bathroom, supplied with razors and permanent marker.
While waiting in the lunch line, I was offered a “good” deal on any kind of drug I’d like to try. Four girls in my middle school were pregnant. And I’d often get lost in the maze of halls and stairways between classes. My report cards also suffered. There were no art classes or logic games on the blackboard, and I felt myself failing socially and academically. This may have been a normal educational experience for most American teens back in the early 90s, but it was a shocking change to me. That same year, my mom began homeschooling Heather for health reasons. That left me waiting at the bus stop alone each morning while Heather sat at the dining room table with a pile of workbooks, a big globe, and a pack of colored pencils. And popsicles. My mom rarely forgot to hand out the popsicles. Sometimes she even sat outside under the dogwood tree to do her schoolwork or played during school hours! Homeschooling was rare back then. I hadn’t heard of it before. I was jealous.
Mom started getting homeschooling magazines in the mail, and I looked through big piles of them with her, their covers adorned with families, most with a dozen or so children all in matching hand-sewn clothing. I didn’t know what that was all about—I didn’t want to wear homemade dresses to match my mom and sisters—but the situation was becoming harder to handle at school, and I wanted to come home and stay home. One day I came home after a very bad day at school and basically demanded to be homeschooled. I finally revealed to my parents exactly what was happening at school each day, and understandably, they were shocked. They quickly agreed that homeschooling would probably be a better option and arranged to take me out of school. So after Christmas break, I didn’t go back. (click here to continue reading)
Question: “How do you handle a very active 7-year-old who can’t sit still and always complains about writing. Could it be that he’s just not ready? How can I encourage my 10-year-old to do independent work, even though he can’t read? Is that even possible?”
A lot of times the younger children who can’t sit still and write should just play. Just let them play. They’re never going to get those carefree days of childhood back. If you have a child who is obviously not ready for writing, just give them time. In a year or two they’ll be ready. I’d definitely say for the active 7-year-old you are going to want to just give them tools to learn about their interests. Give them Fun-Schooling Level A books that don’t have a lot of writing in them, but they have a lot of activities that can be done by kids who are not strong readers yet. Same thing for the 10-year-old who isn’t reading much yet. It’s okay for these kids to use the Level A books because they are for kids who are still struggling with reading. There is a really wide age range that can use those. Don’t be too stressed. If you are worried about their ability, definitely do Dyslexia Games because it really helps them to develop the skills they need for literacy without the stress and too much effort on your part.
Question:How did you teach your kidswith Dyslexia how to read?
I did not teach them to read. I tried and tried and just could not teach them to read. I tried all the books, all the methods, all the videos and all the tutoring. It had to get to the point where they wanted to read, and they taught themselves.
What we did was create the Dyslexia Games, and they are awesome for prepping their brains for reading. By the time my kids got through Dyslexia Games Series A and Series B, they were reading. The same thing has happened for thousands of other kids as well. They understand phonics, they have gotten down a lot of sight words and they move on to the Fun-Schooling spelling journals.
For my kids who don’t have Dyslexia, I used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and Reading Eggs and Time4Learning, and after four or five months with those things, they’d started reading. With the Dyslexic kids, you can try all those methods for four years, and as long as you’re pushing phonics, these kids are going to struggle. You have to deal with what’s going on in the brain, and that’s why Dyslexia Games works well.
1. If you have a child that has been struggling with reading, writing and spelling it’s important to take a break from any schoolwork that is causing stress for 3 to 6 weeks to focus on therapy.
2. During this break from conventional schooling provide your child with creative learning tools like art supplies, cooking opportunities, audio books and games they enjoy. Don’t push them to do school at home.
3. Once the child is relaxed and enjoying games and creative activities introduce a gentle Dyslexia Therapy. The therapy is most effective when the child is not stressed out by his or her learning challenges. Turn on some classical music and provide the child with a peaceful place to focus.
4. Print out dyslexia therapy pages and provide the child with gel pens. Dyslexia Games is a therapy can be used at home, without professional help. The child will use 3 or 4 worksheets per day, no help is needed because the games focus on the child’s abilities, curiosity, creativity and logic. Find it at DyslexiaGames.com
5. Parents can relax while kids spend about 45 minutes playing games to overcome reading confusion. Dyslexia Games are easy for kids to use without help from a teacher, tutor or parent. Kids will be able to get ahead and improve reading skills without the stress!