All About Dyslexia Games!

“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 Statistics

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. 

With this post, the journey began…

Dyslexia Games and the Fight Against Brain Fog (Part 2)

(Guest post by Ferne Hood)

The final week of the first month of the trial saw more and more positive and unexpected outcomes. Moms were feeling less overwhelmed, more organized, more in control, more creative and even remembering where they left their phone and what that person’s name was who they just met! One mom said, “It has been helping me remember things, like names. I’ve been getting increasingly worse at remembering names for the past couple years. I’ve surprised myself a few times lately!”

            At the end of the first month of the trial, Sarah conducted a little poll to see what areas of people’s lives were improving the most as a result. There were an astounding eighteen areas nominated! The area with the most votes being focus, shortly followed by organization, cleaning more and feeling less scatterbrained. Brain fog reduction was fifth on the list, which shows that these other fantastic areas of improvement were wonderfully unexpected by-products of the experiment. Moms reported an increase in concentration, patience, mood and memory. Some moms also discovered that they had some wonderful hidden artistic skills and their creativity was allowed to come to the surface once again. They found themselves bonding with their kids more and making precious time for themselves, sometimes for the first time in a long time. A month of Dyslexia Games also seemed to be helping to calm anxiety and improve mental health, as well as inspire moms to cook and clean more and finish the jobs they start.

            Because of Dyslexia Games, many moms are now feeling more in control of their lives, while also finding new ways to spend time with their kids, reconnecting over puzzles and pictures. Sarah has since created a range of Mom Brain Games specific for this purpose, to help mothers everywhere reclaim their lives, harness their thoughts, own their day-to-day and even clean a garage or two.

            “I felt exhausted, depressed, frustrated and nothing seemed to get accomplished. By the time I was halfway through the first book in this series I had retrained my brain to completely focus and complete one small task at a time. Now, I am able to get things accomplished. My anxiety and depression is no longer an issue. I am not overwhelmed–I can look at things and break it down into small chunks that are doable… This would not have happened without doing these brain fog series. I don’t know how it works but I am proof it does work !!!” – Krista.

            So many moms who have done this trial have had such fantastic results and are now a part of an ever-growing community. They have found a way to find themselves again, with a little daily focus, some time and dedication, some pretty pens, and maybe a green lemonade or two along the way.  

(Read Part 1 by clicking here)

Sarah Janisse Brown - Morning Light
Sarah Janisse Brown, Creator of Dyslexia Games/Art & Logic Therapy

Dyslexia Games and the Fight Against Brain Fog (Part 1)

(Guest post by Ferne Hood)

When Sarah Janisse Brown’s daughter Anna was struggling with dyslexia and finding it hard to read, Sarah began creating patterns and pictures in sequences and doing these “games” with Anna again and again! The result was incredible as Anna soon began to read comics and recipes, and then moved on to novels and the Bible. Anna didn’t realize she was actually learning to read when she was doing these puzzles with her mom, she just thought she was having fun. But her success led to Sarah creating a series of workbooks containing her Brain puzzles called Dyslexia Games, to help countless other kids and their parents who were having the same struggles.

            As some moms began going through the games with their children, and inadvertently doing them themselves, they soon realized that the games were having a significant impact on them too. It seemed as though the Dyslexia Games were helping these moms in their struggle with brain fog! So Sarah decided to conduct a little experiment. She launched a Facebook group and asked moms struggling with brain fog to commit to intentionally using Dyslexia Games to see if they could improve their brain function. Around 800 moms committed to the trial, keeping notes of their progress along the way. And the results have been astounding. Not only have these moms discovered a passion (or aversion!) to designing t-shirts and drinking green lemonade, and maybe a newly formed addiction to stationary, but they are happier, more focused, more present and feeling less scatterbrained as a result of committing to doing just a few pages a day.

            In the first week alone, participants were already starting to notice a difference. Melanie said, “I definitely noticed a clearer mind and was able to get more done each day. Doing two pages each day has opened a desire up in me to be more creative and to take up doing art with my daughter!” And Janice said, “I look forward to it every day! My brain feels good and likes working on the puzzles. Afterwards I feel more focused and refreshed.”

            Even after just a handful of days, the positive affect of Dyslexia Games was noticeable. Many moms mentioned how it was even helping to ease their anxiety. Elina commented, “I have had way less anxiety since I started the brain games. I’ve been more motivated and have come up with many new solutions for problems I’ve had for a while.” And Michelle said, “I got the best sleep last night that I have had in a pretty long time. I have also found that I’m less anxious if I do these. I am prone to panic attacks and have found that if I feel anxious and I focus on doing these I don’t do my regular nervous habits and the feeling doesn’t escalate at all. It is a fabulous coping tool for me!”

            An easing in anxiety, increase in creativity and focus, and more bonding with their children – it seemed like week 1 was impacting for so many moms. (click here to continue reading)

How Your Child Thinks (Part 1)

how your child thinks

You may have heard me, and some other moms of teens, joke about the “Brain Dead” Stage. Let me tell you what happens sometime between age 11 and 15…

YES, at our house we joke about the “Brain Dead” stage. It’s very real and happens even to the best behaved kids.

Of course they are not brain dead, but they sure act like it. There is a phase where kids CAN NOT follow instructions, CAN NOT make plans, CAN NOT think logically, CAN NOT answer normal questions in a normal way, CAN NOT see how what they do now will impact the future. They can not manage time. They can not have a reasonable conversation. They can not answer the question, “WHY did you do that?” They can not answer “What do you want to do?” Sometimes they are like “Whatever!” and show some disrespect out of nowhere.

The may lose interest in the things they once loved, and seem aimless. They tend to really love music at this stage. It’s like the only thing that makes sense. They might just want to crawl in a hole with piles of novels, or get lost in Minecraft like they are never coming out.

There is usually one thing that they hang onto. They tend to get really good at one thing in this time. Sometimes they find their life passion or discover God in this time. It’s a time of disconnection and refocus. It lasts 2 months to 2 years. If they get addicted to anything during this time, they may just stay in the “Brain Dead” stage for much too long, and not come out of it until they have their own kids. My kids usually stay in this stage for about 4 months. I try to help them make use of the gift of time to find their passion in it.

There is science to all of this.  It’s a pruning process the brain goes through when kids lose the childhood brain connections and develop the grown-up ones.  The transition from childish thinking to adult thinking is not a process that happens slowly over time. It is rapid–but to get there they have to go through an intense period of brain pruning and the death of all the childish brain connections that are not needed for adulthood, and then all those adult thinking connections start to form. Tools like our newest journal, Lost & Found: Art & Logic Therapy Brain Games can help especially during this time.

Take heart! Pay attention to the process, provide support and guidance, tie a knot, and hang on! It’s going to be okay.

Continue to How Your Child Thinks: Visual Thinkers (Part 2).

Raising Kids Who Are Thinkers

I’m the girl who could not handle structured schooling, it’s because I’m too much of a leader. In the 1980s, when I was in school, it was common for girls to be more easily manipulated by an authoritative system. It was expected of girls to give in, and learn in silence.

Traditional school works so hard to create submissive students. It crushes leaders.

Many boys are also natural leaders and don’t submit quickly to a authoritative system. It’s actually a good quality! Many kids, like me, resist submission, more and more these days. But schools tend to squelch individuality.

Schools don’t raise up leaders. We often are trying to push our kids into submissive learning, and that’s the main idea of socialized public schools. Get all kids to conform, make them good employees and obedient citizens. What are they trying to REALLY do? Create a population that doesn’t ask hard questions.

THINKING moms want to nurture THINKERS and LEADERS. May your homeschooling style reflect the truest of your values and the most precious of your goals.

What does it mean to raise a THINKER?

  • You may raise a child who will question the religion they grew up with.
  • You may raise a child who will question what they hear on the news.
  • They may question the information in their college textbooks.
  • They may question your morality.
  • They may question their future boss.
  • They may question pop culture.
  • They may question family stereotypes.
  • They may question popular political policies.
  • They may question the motives of loved ones.
  • They may question traditional values.
  • They may question law enforcement.
  • They may question the traditional historic narrative.
  • The may question their identity.
  • They may question their heritage.
  • They may question the main stream thought cycle.
  • They may question the wisdom of debt.

Can we all agree we want to raise THINKING children who are brave enough to question everything? Even traditional values and popular reasoning.
If you say you want to raise a THINKER but will shun your child if they ask uncomfortable questions, you are not really raising a thinker.

My teens all went through a stage of deeply questioning my faith, values and political perspective. For example some of them came through this period of intense questioning with a decision to be part of a church that is not like the one they grew up in.

Are you okay with raising thinkers? It’s risky! You may try to say “Be a thinker… but never question…”
And don’t forget kindness, compassion, understanding and personal liberty in the process!