What is Dyslexia? Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that affects an individual’s reading, writing, and spelling ability.
There is a misconception that adults and children with dyslexia are less intelligent, this is not the case, people with dyslexia simply process language differently. Dyslexia makes processing language and words extremely difficult.
Most schools are heavily dependent on a child’s ability to read and write and individual performance is frequently assessed in written assignments.
There is often a mismatch between a child with dyslexia’s ability to reach their intellectual potential against their performance in class assessments. This academic structure can make life really hard for a child with dyslexia and cause them to fall behind their peers, or even lose their self confidence.
With the use of technology on the rise, there are a multitude of apps available to help kids with dyslexia get back on track. These apps are centered around focusing on supporting kids to learn to help themselves, to grow, and develop core skills.
Dyslexia shouldn’t be considered a setback. The intervention of apps not only helps kids with dyslexia but also helps parents and teachers to support their children and students.
So to make it all a little easier for you, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 best apps for kids with dyslexia. This post will offer you valuable information on what each app has to offer as well as a helpful buying guide and frequently asked questions.
The 10 Best Apps for Kids with Dyslexia
The following apps are designed as a solution to help kids with dyslexia overcome obstacles by helping them practice essential cognitive skills.
These apps make learning fun by offering cool graphics, visuals, touch-screen, sound, offering a full multi-sensory experience. Research has shown that young learners benefit from the experience of diverse stimuli channels.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Dyslexia Quest is an app designed to help kids with dyslexia and other learning difficulties to develop their reading and listening abilities.
This app offers customized lesson plans which are designed to help the individual address and overcome certain concerns.
The app also offers an added benefit that allows the child to see where their strengths and weaknesses are. Having this tool for assessment will enable them, their parents, and teachers to see which areas they need to focus on.
This app offers six games, each designed to help an individual develop a particular skill set. These games are centered around helping a child improve their memory, phonological awareness, visual memory, and their processing speed.
Dyslexia Quest is considered an educational app as it offers structured tools for development. However, this app incorporates an element of fun and entertainment to keep the child entertained.
Dyslexia Quest relies heavily on providing a multisensory experience to stimulate and engage the learner. This is achieved by using a sense of touch to drag, drop, and swipe across the screen to complete tasks.
Dyslexia Quest uses game based learning to develop the learners' cognitive skills without boring them.
- Uses games to test the learners' memory and to develop other cognitive skills
- Focuses on developing more than one skill at a time
- Replay - an option for the learner to try again to build and work on a specific area
- Percentile assessment - helps to highlight the learners' strengths and weaknesses in order to see where they need to improve
- Age 5+
- Not for infants
Omoguru is an app designed to develop a child’s reading ability. This app works to make text more readable for kids with dyslexia by providing a reading tool that improves readability.
This benefits the learner as they will be able to analyze words with ease which will help them when it comes to decoding.
Omoguru is an educational app as it can be used by teachers and students in classrooms. This app can download notes that text from a class straight to the app for the child to read.
This feature is interactive and encourages the learner to take part in school.
- Easy to use
- Offers a variety of customizable features for learners to create their individual experience
- Modify the size, font, and spacing of text - allows the learner to find the right appearance for them
- Age 5+
- Not for infants
Easy Dyslexia Aid is designed to help kids develop their cognitive, communication, organizational, and productivity skills. This app offers solutions that help with developing a learner's spelling and literacy abilities.
This app provides a customization feather that offers a choice of overlay colors. Each of these is designed to improve a learner's readability and to stop words from swimming around the page.
An added feature of weighted text aims to help the learner recognize which letter is the right letter and to ultimately improve their memory.
Easy Dyslexia Aid is considered an educational app as it can be used within a classroom setting to help an individual with day-to-day literacy tasks.
- Customizable - font and color overlay
- Supports multiple languages
- A voice speaks the text
- Option to repeat the speech to hear the word or phrase again
- Offers an ability to look up and share words with classmates
- Age 4+
- Not suitable for older kids
Crazy Cursive Letters is designed to help kids to improve their spelling. This is a great app for kids to use at home to build up their muscle memory through regular practice.
Crazy Cursive Letters includes a word plan which can be scheduled ahead of time. This app offers personalized feedback for the individual to see where they need to improve.
This app focuses on improving the learner's cursive handwriting by encouraging them to go through each letter in a single movement repeatedly to develop physical memory. This reinforces a pattern that will develop their writing.
Crazy Cursive Letters is considered an educational app as it delivers a phonics based approach that involves letters being sounded phonetically. This is done to help the learned develop the skill of breaking down words.
This app also offers a free word option that enables the child to choose which words they wish to write. They can practice their selected words in cursive.
- Entertaining - fun sound effects
- Right and left hand option
- Multiple player options to involve family and classmates
- Age 4+
- Not suitable for older kids
Writing Wizard is designed to develop a child’s writing skills. This app is ideal for classroom use as it enables parents and teachers to create and set a word list for the child to practice.
This involves practicing sight words, practicing writing numbers, letters and reviewing phonetic sounds.
This app offers the added benefit of giving a demonstration of how to write the letter and then giving immediate feedback after the tasks have been completed.
Whilst this is an educational app, it offers an element of entertainment by presenting visual instructions, interactive graphics and audio prompts to promote engagement and reduce boredom.
- Customizable options
- Animated graphics
- Clear instructions
- Age 4+
- Not suitable for older kids
Open Dyslexic is designed to improve readability to help kids with dyslexia read with ease when they are using an iPhone or iPad.
This app works to change the default font on a device to stop words from moving around the page, which is something that is often experienced by people with dyslexia. This app prevents this by providing a font that offers text legibility.
Whilst this app is simple, it is highly effective.
- A weighted letter emphasizes the shape of the letters, making them more distinguishable for dyslexic readers
- Easy to use
- Age 4+
Simplex Spelling Phonics is designed to help kids to improve their understanding of the sounds contained within words.
This in turn will help them develop essential skills of decoding as they will learn how to place words into a context that is relatable to them. This helps learners to not only understand how words fit into a sentence but also helps to build familiarity when they see the word.
This app incorporates a reverse phonics feature which allows learners to break down words even further to really expand their understanding of the letter sounds and the word structure.
Simplex Spelling Phonics is considered an educational app as it offers tools that are designed to stretch a child’s vocabulary and help to develop a child’s spelling and reading ability.
Simplex Spelling Phonics uses a variety of techniques to help learners. This app offers a well planned spelling curriculum with challenging quizzes for entertainment.
This app steers away from traditional memory recall methods of using flashcards. Instead, a reverse hint system is in place which delves into the child’s understanding of a word, moving them away from relying on just memorizing words.
- Information spelling rule - explaining why words are spelled in a particular way to improve understanding
- Fun sounds - more increased engagement
- Customizable options - to individualize the learning experience
- Progress tracker - to assess the next point to improve
- Age 4+
Me Books is designed to develop a child’s independence in reading. This app offers a wide range of books for students to choose from.
This digital library is designed to encourage a sense of adventure in reading for pleasure to develop eager readers. The goal is to make reading less of a chore and more fun.
This app offers a range of genres and book types from comics, books, and bedtime stories.
Me Books is considered an educational app as it helps to improve reading skills. It is a highly interactive app that allows kids to get involved by adding their narration and sound effects to their library.
- Professional narrator - creates engagement
- A varied selection of books to choose from - to encourage curiosity
- Ability to record narration and sounds - interaction creates engagement
- Color overlay - improves readability
- Age 0-5
- Not for older kids
Montessori Words is designed to help learners develop their phonetics to improve their writing, spelling, and reading abilities. This app is self directed, allowing kids to choose which activities they wish to take part in for hands-on learning.
Montessori Words encourages learners to apply their understanding to new words to build up their vocabulary.
Montessori Words is considered an educational app as it helps kids with dyslexia get over the obstacles they face. Montessori Words make learning fun by providing a multi-sensory experience that involves a moveable alphabet.
Kids are encouraged to participate by moving, dragging, and placing the correct letter in the correct place. The app incorporates bright graphics for hints and visual success.
This app is bright, simple, and fun, making it feel more like a game than a learning task.
- Visual feedback - to enable improvement
- Customizable features - individualized learning
- 3 levels of difficulty - encourages growth
- Age 3-5
- Simple graphics
Learning Ally Audiobooks is an interactive learning tool designed to improve an individual's literary skills. It is also designed to encourage reading ownership to make reading more enjoyable for kids with dyslexia.
This app is great for in-class use as it can be used for school work. This app is geared towards older kids with dyslexia as it encourages app interaction within class. The app offers features that allow learners to make and share notes with the teacher.
This app makes reading less of a chore and more engaging as the text is highlighted in sync with audio narration to avoid words wandering around the page.
- Highlighted text for increased engagement
- 80,000 audiobooks to choose from
- Customizable font, text size, overlay color, and line spacing for individualized learning
- Speed control, bookmarking, note-taking for hassle-free reading
- Age 11+
- No assessment feature - teachers may need to come up with their assessment feature
Best Apps for Kids with Dyslexia Buying Guide
No two individuals are alike, therefore no two individuals with dyslexia are alike. People learn in different ways and engage with information in different ways.
So, choosing the right app that brings out the strengths of your child is essential as well as choosing the right app that will assist them in the areas they are struggling with. The following shows the things to consider and look out for when choosing your app.
Core Skills to Look Out for in an App
Developing reading phonology
One of the most common obstacles that kids struggle with is their ability to sound out words when they are learning how to read. In order to tackle this obstacle, an app needs to provide tools that help an individual strengthen their phonological awareness and develop their decoding skills.
What you need to look for is an app that provides tools to help the learner practice word segmentation and sound blending. This way of learning will improve a child’s reading and writing ability.
Developing reading fluency
Another obstacle frequently encountered is the ability to read accurately. The purpose of reading is to be able to understand the meaning of what is being read. To do this, a reader must be able to understand what certain words mean.
This goes right back to being able to understand alphabetic principles for a reader to be able to accurately recognize and identify the spelling of a word in order to understand how it fits in a sentence.
This skill comes under decoding. To help a child develop their reading fluency, look out for an app that helps the learner memorize common words to a point where they no longer need to sound them out but instead recognize them by sight.
Another obstacle that kids with dyslexia frequently face is spelling. Dyslexia impacts memory and phonological processing.
Kids with dyslexia often struggle with spelling as they experience the difficulty of hearing sounds in words. This makes it difficult for people to break words down into smaller chunks for them to understand the word and spell it.
Using apps that offer touch typing can be a great way to help develop a child's spelling ability. These apps assist in building muscle memory.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing an App
How old is the app?
When choosing an app for your child it’s worth noting the year the app was created and when it was last updated.
Apps that haven’t been updated for a while may present technical errors such as broken links or poor sound quality, making for a poor user experience.
Are there any reviews?
Check when the most recent review was, if it was a couple of months ago, then it may be worth looking elsewhere.
Reviews are reliable sources of information that enable you to weigh up the pros and cons of a product before purchasing.
Who is the target audience?
All of the apps presented are designed with a particular audience in mind. It is important to check who the target audience is before purchasing as there will be specific features tailored to an audience.
Making sure you purchase an app targeting your child is essential as it will provide the correct information and level of difficulty.
Benefits to look out for:
- Improving memory
- Phonetic awareness
- Improving engagement
- Productive language use
Frequently Asked Questions
How can technology help kids with dyslexia?
Technology in the form of apps is a great way to assist your child’s educational development. Kids with dyslexia tend to fall behind in school because they lack the additional support needed to help them learn.
Tools such as the apps presented provide support in areas that kids may struggle with. They are designed to help learners help themselves by offering assistance and feedback. These tools help kids learn in their own time in a way that allows them to individualize their learning for increased engagement.
Many of these apps include visuals and interactive features to ensure that the learner participates to get the most out of the service. They provide kids an opportunity to get back on track.