Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Dyslexia Gold ~~ A New TOS Review!

Since I have a feeling that my two younger children (currently 10 & 13) struggle with dyslexia and if not they are struggling readers,  I was interested in trying out the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle from Dyslexia Gold. We were graciously given a lifetime subscription of the family licence for the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle.

Included in the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle is all four parts of the program: Engaging Eyes, Fluency Builder, Spelling Tutor, and Times Table Tutor. This program is not a learn to read program, but designed more for those who know how to read but are still struggling and/or are dyslexic. The aim of the program is to increase fluency in reading by increasing the students awareness and use of phonics; learn how to spell correctly; and to help the eyes focus and track across a page correctly. The program is designed for ages 7 - 11, but if you do have a dyslexic child this age range might be older. Dyslexia Gold says that in just 10 minutes a day using their program they can improve a child's reading age/ability by 12 months in just 10 hours of practice and play and spelling age is improved by about 10.5 months in just 3 months time.

As I said earlier there are 4 parts in the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle and I am going to briefly tell you about each of them.

Engaging Eyes:
This part of the program is designed to help train the eyes to track across the lines of text on a page and help train the eyes to both focus on the same point. They do this by a series of games within this section. There are 3 games are Target Practice, Eye Tracking, and Whack an Alien.

The first game, Target Practice, uses 3D glasses to help the student use both eyes to focus and shoot the target. This helps that the eyes are on the same letter while reading as opposed to being one on the first letter of the word and then the other eye on a different letter. This would be very confusing and is especially for dyslexic readers.
special 3D glasses

focusing to hit all the targets

The next game is Eye Tracking and it is essentially just what that says. The student watches as the letters appear and all they have to do is hit the space bar when the see the letter 'b'. This is helping the student keep track where they are on the page.

The last game of this section is Whack an Alien, and I think it's my sons favorite. It reminds me of Whackamole at the Arcade, but computerized. All your student has to do is whack an alien when they appear.  This helps your child move across the screen focusing on one alien at a time to whack as many as possible.
only 1 alien left

Fluency Builder:
This section of the program also has 3 games and is really interested in phonlogical awareness.

In the phonics section the child sorts the words either by how they sound or how they are spelled. There are 50 lessons and each lesson teaches one phonetic sound or spelling.

The next game is laser focused on knowing that a particular word has a set number of sounds not just 1. They use goat as their example -- it has 3 sounds /g/ /oa/ /t/. They also work on noticing the difference in words like hop and hope and that the middle sound is the difference. These exercises are designed to help improve any phonological deficit the child may have.

find the letters to spell the word

The last "game" is just a non-fiction reading passage that teaches new vocabulary. It may be an easy or harder passage. The goal is to read it 4 times in 2 days to help build fluency. Any word the child does not know can be clicked on and the computer reads that word. This was a favorite feature for both my users because they get very frustrated when they come to a word they just can't decipher. Having the ability to click on the word, hear it, repeat it and then move on reading has definitely helped their reading to become more fluent and less choppy.
3 levels that the passages can be set at

reading the passage aloud

You can click the links to learn more about how each of these sections of the program work and even the science behind the program.

Spelling Tutor:
Here the child will learn how to spell the 1,000 most common words. It will also help improve spelling in general. This is for all children who need spelling help, not just those who are dyslexic. From your child's mistakes the tutor decides which words they need to be tested on and are tested over and over with larger gaps in the testing to help put the words from short term memory into long term memory.

The next section in the tutor is writing of the words. The tutor dictates the words to the student as they write them in their own notebook both as individual words and in sentences.

You can choose an American or English spelling for the words and you can choose it to be an English, American, Scottish, or Australian pronounciation. Click the link if you want to learn more about how this works.

Now on to how we used the program.  When you first start with Engaging Eyes you will need to calibrate the monitor so it can work properly with the 3D image. It looks like a muted grey, blue, and red target and when the child has the special 3D glasses on they should be able to see 2 circles. They have to move their cursor to shoot both of the circles. At least this is the explanation I received from my two testers.

What the screen looks like WITHOUT the glasses
My daughter, who is more plagued by dyslexia, was able to do this and go through the levels much faster than her brother. He had a hard time and finally after a while his sister helped him to understand what he was supposed to be doing. The one problem both of them had with this particular game was they complained of their head hurting. This could be because of the eye strain and retraining your eyes to work together. it could also be because they wear glasses (my son does for computer work and reading, my daughter wears them all the time) and they were trying to keep the glasses on the right way while wearing them. I'm not sure, but we did this section less because of their headaches. My daughter did this game more than my son, but she would just push through and then have to take a little break from the computer before going back to working again.

Whack an Alien was a favorite of my son. He'd race to get as many whacked as possible. For the Eye Tracking section, I'm not sure either of mine have encountered that yet. They usually work on the programs on their own.

In the Fluency Builder my daughter has really enjoyed this section. She says it has helped her in her reading. My son really doesn't like to read and reading the passages sometimes takes him a long time and then his frustration comes out.
Fluency Builder results

For Spelling Tutor my daughter did this more than my son because he is still struggling on basic phonics sounds so spelling words and sentences would have been way harder for him. My daughter on the other hand, didn't like it, but understood it's purpose was to help her be a better speller.
Spelling tutor report

She would have to listen to the word or sentence being said and then write them down. This would help build retention and focus. She then marks her own work. This is accountability and keeps a record of it on the papers that she stores in her 3 ring notebook. Once she knows a word well enough it will be repeated in the 'tests' less because the computer learns her ability and adapts. In the reports you can see the words learned and those currently learning as well as a sneak peek into what the days lesson will cover.

For the Times Tutor, both of my children were already proficient in them. However, I am having my son go back to use them after his mini pop quiz where he missed a bunch of the 9's and 12's. The programs goal here is to help them become quicker in your answer. The fact is repeated over and over until the student can answer in the proper timing. And since my grandmother-in-law believes everyone should be able to answer them in less than 3 seconds he needs to have these two familes refreshed.
1st day of Times Tutor

After using the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle for the last few months I think I've seen some improvement. My son has not done as much as I thought he was and that is because he says he's working on his stuff and actually wasn't doing it all. But my dyslexic daughter has definitely been reading more on her own and at higher reading levels as well as retaining how to spell words that once were very hard to keep in her memory. I can't wait to see how they progress through the end of summer. I'm hoping by then multiplication facts will be more automatic for my son and that they both continue to increase in their phonological awareness and more reading fluency.
You can find Dyslexia Gold on Facebook. I also highly recommend that you click on the link below and read some of the other reviews from other Crew members and how the program worked for them. And if you know anyone with a reading struggle have them check out the link as well!
Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle {Dyslexia Gold Reviews}

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