My son William had a lot of trouble learning to read. I read all the advice that said not to worry about it.
“It will come.”
“Some kids are just late readers.”
It was helpful advice when he was 6. It was a little less helpful at 7. After he was 8 and even 9, the late reader testimonials really didn’t calm my fears much at all. One of the things that he really struggled with was focusing on the page. He couldn’t keep his eyes on the right line, and he just seemed distracted. He has never been officially diagnosed with dyslexia, but he displays most of the signs.
One of the things that we tried to help keep his eyes on the right place on the page were color-overlays. I noticed a definite improvement in his ability to keep his place in on the page. Moving the overlay himself was an issue at that time though.
I was recently given a set of Eye Level Reading Rulers from Crossbow Education to review. They are designed to assist people who suffer from either visual stress or dyslexia. These rulers have 2 sizes of color-strips on each ruler. There is a thin strip that can be used for reading 1 line of text at a time or a thick strip that can highlight a whole paragraph at a time. This allows for more fluent reading. The rulers have both a glossy side and a matte side. They also come in 10 different colors so that you can test which color works best for you.
I really like these rulers. I especially like the matte finish side because I struggle some with glare. Maybe it’s from my constant use of the computer. I also like having the selection of colors to choose from. I find it interesting how some of the colors just don’t work at all, while others make the text seem clearer to me. They make a handy bookmark and are great for keeping your place when correcting student papers.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get William to give them a very good trial. Thankfully, he is reading much better now, and he seems to think that using the ruler is a step backwards. I did force him to try them out anyway, and he preferred the orange. The biggest problem with them for him is that that are a little too large for many books. If I could convince William to use one, I would purchase a pack of 1 color and cut them in different sizes so they are easier to hold in a small book.
If you suspect that your child (or you) might be dyslexic or suffering from visual strain I would definitely recommend trying out the Eye Level Reading Ruler. They are available in the multi-color 10 pack for only $16.95, that’s a very small investment for something that could provide such a great benefit. You can visit Crossbow Education to order the Eye Level Reading Ruler and many other learning tools.
By Kristen H.