Avaz today is an app designed to assist to children communicate non-verbally by addressing their difficulty in processing information such as letters, words and sentences. The app reworks the information into easy-to-understand pictures, rerouting through visual pathways rather than verbal ones. Avaz is prescribed through therapist evaluation for purchase by the child’s parents or through the school’s therapy program. Gradually introduced, the software becomes a part of the child’s life as it helps them to communicate in both academic and social environments. Taking a holistic view of the language development process, Avaz teaches the child underlying patterns of language while seamlessly integrating with existing methods of speech therapy. Moreover, the app is very easy to customize, allowing users to add a new phrase in just 15 seconds. And it’s available on the App Store for $99.
The font, available for download here, was made by Aberlardo Gonzalez and has a license that lets you use it for free without any restriction. In other words, it might be time to start trying this out with any of your students (or you, perhaps) who have dyslexia. 1 in 10 people have dyslexia so this font may make a big difference in comprehension.
In a well-publicized paper that addressed why some students were not learning to read, Reid Lyon (2001) concluded that children from disadvantaged backgrounds where early childhood education was not available failed to read because they did not receive effective instruction in the early grades. Many of these children then required special education services to make up for this early failure in reading instruction, which were by and large instruction in phonics as the means of decoding. Some of these students had no specific learning disability other than lack of access to effective instruction. These findings are significant because a similar dynamic is at play in math education: the effective treatment for many students who would otherwise be labeled learning disabled is also the effective preventative measure.