Grandparents, how can you help your dyslexic grandchildren?

Do you see that your granddaughter stumbles over every word when she is in CE2? In recent years, we have been talking more and more about dyslexia, a reading learning disorder. However, grandparents are very involved in helping with homework and passing on knowledge. How to help your dyslexic grandchildren?

What is dyslexia?

“It is a neurodevelopmental disorder which has a lasting effect on reading and its acquisition, which has a genetic origin and which affects between 6 and 7% of the French population”, summarizes Pascale Colé, professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Aix. -Marseilles. “Dyslexia is characterized by choppy, expensive reading, the child has difficulty identifying the written word, adds Isaure El Khoury, speech therapist. Understanding the text will be complicated.” It is sometimes accompanied by dysorthographia, that is to say, difficulty in writing. Problem: Dyslexia can lead to a dislike of reading, promote academic failure and problems in professional life.

Can certain tools accompany them?

If they do not come in competition with an accompaniment by health professionals, certain tools can complete the care. Some software will help them to correct errors, others of voice synthesis allow to read a text aloud on a computer. Since 2020, glasses have been developed expressly for dyslexics by Atol, the Lexilens, with new technology that helps patients distinguish between letters and lines. “It looks like a pair of glasses, they are also adaptable to the view, but filters will flash, explains Solenn Bouyssonie, optician at Atol in Plouzané. For her, these glasses are not just an asset of the store “Before the Lexilens arrived, I asked myself the question of dyslexia, I struggle to read, I get tired, and it couldn’t be presbyopia, since it’s been years!” So it’s thanks to his job that Solenn got the right diagnosis. “I understand the magic effect because I feel it! The effect is instantaneous: within 20 seconds, we know if there is an impact.” With some brakes all the same. Whoever wears these glasses must not be epileptic, they only work with LED lamps. And especially its cost: € 449. “The appearance of the glasses slows down a lot, it’s more of a prosthesis than a gadget that you want to show your friends, recognizes the optician. In general, children only use it at home.”

Second, more recent tool: the Lili lamp, marketed in France since December 2021, from the French start-up Lili for life, allows 80% of dyslexics who have tested it to read fluently, according to the company. “Once the custom setting is done, people tell us: the letters are sharp and have come to rest”, testifies Solenn Bouyssonie. Some users manage to read twice as fast. “Parents cry about it, she is moved. As it is easy to transport, the children can take it to the speech therapist, to school, on vacation…” Advantage: the lamp can return to normal, and we can thus test the placebo effect. It is not for all budgets: 349 €. “Often, it’s the grandparents who put their hands in their pockets, assures the optician. A grandmother, dyslexic, confessed to me: ‘I want to buy this lamp for my grandson, who is also dyslexic, but not for me’.” In addition, the start-up is in the process of carrying out clinical trials in the hope of obtaining the status of medical device and then its reimbursement by the mutual insurance company. Pascale Colé’s research team is in the process of scientifically evaluating the effects of this lamp. Work that should interest caregivers and patients and health authorities…

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