Information and Resources  

rer aides, speech therapists and parents who want to teach their stud & children to love reading!achers, teacr ai



At the end of December 2018, I assessed Georgia. Most of her wanted to know if she was dyslexic but part of her was worried that she might just be ‘’dumb’’ as she had grown up being led to believe this at times.

Talking to Georgia, it was obvious that she was a bright and intelligent person and the assessment proved this. Her problem was that her inherent weaknesses had prevented her from following her chosen career choices because of timed testing and psychometric testing during interviews and entrance tests. At the time of the assessment she had been doing some presentations in secondary schools and working as a labourer for a horticulturalist.

After talking to her about how to overcome her difficulties and explaining why she was experiencing these difficulties plus sending her the assessment report and recommendations she decided to apply to university in Melbourne to complete a Masters degree in teaching.

This is an email I received from her after her first Semester  and below are study tips:

PDF file Don't Give up: look how well she's doing

PDF file Georgia's Study Tips



Teachers from a school can attend a free session, or arrange for students and parents to attend one. This is a hands-on session where Apple demonstrate the range of assistive tools they have and how to use them. These sessions usually take place after school/college at the nearest Apple store. Ask them to organise one specifically for dyslexic students and others with LD. I just made this request to my local store at Southlands, who have been amazing in their response and are inundated with requests. Apple stores worldwide could provide this service so ensure your school contacts them. Here's info about the Australian scheme


speech herapists and parents who want to teach their students & children to love reading!


Parents often ask me to recommend a site to help their children understand dyslexia- this one is great. DUDES WITH DYSLEXIA is managed by a dyslexic boy. It is aimed at 7-15 year olds, is cool and has great tips and advice for young people with dyslexia:



In Victoria, Australia, students will undertake VCE exams in a core subject on computer for the first time in a move that could spell the end of paper tests. In the article, a VCAA spokesperson states: "In the future, we will also consider how this approach might be adapted for examinations in other suitable VCE studies, where the use of computers is a key aspect of the study." Usage of computers is already a key aspect of study for most students today and even more so for students with learning difficulties. Therefore if using a computer is normal classroom practice, you should be able to gain special accommodations for your children/students from VCAA for VCE exams.



Many dyslexics have difficulty with writing and spelling. Speech Recognition software provides people with dyslexia and other disabilities the freedom to write and control their computer with their voice Speech recognition software is basically the opposite of text to speech software. Instead of typing and hearing the computer read your words, sentences, papers back to you, you dictate to the computer and the software writes everything you speak. Whilst there are a number of commercially produced packages on the market you can easily download the software for free onto Word 2007. Just install and you can dictate whilst it types, punctuates and edits for you. You can also use it to find websites by voice commands.

To Install:

 Simple go to your Start icon,

click on Control Panel

click on or type in Speech Recognition.

A panel will then appear to help you to install and take you through a tutorial.


Checking Readability of Word Documents

When I run PDs, I provide websites that will tell teachers and parents the age range that any website is most suited to. Teachers can also use these websites to check their hand-outs to ensure that the language and vocabulary is correct for the students they are teaching.

Teachers can also check the readability of any documents that they produce in Word.

To enable Readability of Word Documents  

Word 2003

To set your spell checker in Word 2003 to automatically check readability, go to Tools, Options, Spelling and Grammar, then tick the Readability request. Word will then show how readable your documents are every time you finish spell checking your document.

Word 2007

In Word 2007 Click File, and then click Options. Click Proofing. Make sure ‘Check grammar with spelling’ is selected. Under “When correcting grammar in Word,” select the “Show readability statistics” check box.

Once you have done this, spell check your document and when spell check is complete the Readability score will appear.

If you find that the Readability age is too high; check long documents in sections, so that you know which parts are too hard.

The final Readability score will provide an assortment of information:

For example, it will provide a total word count, number of paragraphs, average words per sentence as well as how Readable your document is.

Readability Explained

The Flesch Reading Ease score: Rates text on a 100-point scale; the higher the score, the easier it is to understand the document. For most standard documents, a score of between 70 to 80 would be ideal.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score: provides a reading age in terms of school years. This is based on U.S. grade-school levels. Therefore, a score of 5.0 means that fifth grade or average 10 year old, can understand the document.

If you find that your document is aimed at a higher reading ability group you can make it easier to understand by simplifying the vocabulary and using shorter sentences.


 Cyber-Bullying or 'Grooming.'

“Previously paedophiles hung out at scout groups and schools – now they hang out on Facebook.” – Susan McLean, cyber safety expert.

More and More children are becoming victims of cyber –bullying and online ‘grooming.’ A school that my friend’s daughter attends sent home advice for parents about: ‘! Want Facebook now!’:-

If your child is under 13 you don’t need to read any further. The answer is a simple ‘No’. To protect your children make sure they don’t have an account before they are old enough.

When they turn 13 the first condition is that they set up the account with you. This means you too must have an account. It will help you understand how Facebook works and what Facebook jargon means.

Make sure your child ‘friends’ you. This means that you can watch what your child is posting on their friends’ walls and what is being posted on their wall. You may agree to be ‘defriended’ as they grow up and as they prove to you that they can manage their communications in a respectful manner.

Make sure that your child shares their User Name and Password with you. This allows you to see their private chat log and their messages but in the early days you may wish to monitor them as well.

Make sure your child only ‘friends’ people they know in real life. Literally anyone can send you a friend request. Regularly go through their list of friends with them to check that they are genuine friends. It is reassuring for your child to know that if they delete a ’friend’ the ‘friend’ does not receive a message that this has occurred.

Discuss boundaries with your child. Your child needs to know that he/she should not post any personal information online. No reference to their full name, name of their school, their address or their birthday.

Limit your child’s access to the computer. Computers are a way of life, but as a parent you want to be able to monitor what your child is doing on the computer. Make sure the computer is in a central location and not in their bedroom.

Invest in software that monitors and/or limits your child’s computer activity. Check out our Filter tab. Our IT Depart-has tested many filters and outlined their features.

Monitor the photos your child posts . Pictures can lead to online bullying and sometimes too much information. Posting photos of a netball game in school uniform can tell unwanted people what school your child goes to.

Ivanhoe Grammar School has established a Cyber Safety website initiative for parents, which has many helpful suggestions about how to keep your children safe when going online. To find out more go to


Hank Zipzer Books for children

Parents and Schools: your children might enjoy the ‘Hank Zipzer’ books. The main character, Hank, is dyslexic. While the stories can be quite funny at times, they also describe the struggles and feelings a dyslexic often experiences. If you read them to or with your children, the storylines can provide opportunities in which you ask them how they have felt in similar situations, etc. The books can be purchased online at or other booksellers. Libraries also stock the books or can order them in.


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How to Add ‘Speak’ to the Quick Access Toolbar

If you have Word 2007 you can add a ‘Speak’ command to your toolbar. In this way you can highlight words, phrases large pieces of text and it will be read back to you. This is ideal when you are required to do a lot of reading for research or study. It will also to you to help proof-read your own writing as it will highlight grammar and spelling errors.

You can add the Speak command to your Quick Access Toolbar by following these steps:

1.    Next to the Quick Access Toolbar (found in the top right corner, above FILE)  click Customize Quick Access Toolbar:

Description: Quick Access Toolbar Speak command

2.    Click More Commands.

3.    In the Choose commands from list, select All Commands.

4.    Scroll down to the Speak command, select it, and then click Add.

5.    Click OK.

6.    When you want to use the text-to-speech command, click the icon on the Quick Access Toolbar.

How to Convert the Text to Speech

After you have added the Speak command to your Quick Access Tool, you can hear single words or blocks of text spoken by highlighting the text you want to hear, and then clicking the Speak command.


is a full length feature film (fiction) about an 8 year old boy with dyslexia. It tells of the boy’s struggles with dyslexia at school and also at home through lack of understanding. Then he encounters a teacher who has first-hand knowledge of his disability. It takes a while to get into but worth persevering; it sends out a great message. Have tissues ready for the ending!


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