[Article Response] io9 – Can This Special Font Really Help Readers With Dyslexia?

Original Article: http://io9.com/can-this-special-font-really-help-readers-with-dyslexia-1679274354

Great investigative article on the “Dyslexie” font. I certainly wouldn’t use the word ‘revolutionary’ myself, but the idea itself is a powerful one. And super interesting, no matter what.

The basic concept stands, in particular for emergent readers (pre-k & kinder in particular, but even up to 1st) who struggle to discern the difference between p, d, and b (like the illustration – see original article). Imagine this: someone is holding up a wristwatch and asks you what it is. “A watch,” you answer. The holder turns it upside down; “Now what is it?” “A watch.” Flips it backwards – still a watch. This is what happens to kids who see a ‘d’ and read a ‘b’. A lowercase ‘d’ is – in most fonts and in much of basic manuscript handwriting – a mirrored ‘b’.

So changing the key structures of fonts to make otherwise mirrored or rotated letters more distinctive is a great start, and also good for teaching emergent readers to distinguish between the letters and their corresponding sounds before introducing more traditional typefaces. But dyslexia is a far more complicated diagnosis and often attaches any number of additional learned comping mechanisms that will differ from person to person.

I see this having far more use as a teaching tool in pre-K for emergent readers learning to identify letter shapes rather than as corrective or supportive therapy for older readers who have already established a connection (although the potential for re-teaching isn’t entirely without merit).

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