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Kindle for Dyslexic

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Showing 1-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 29, 2013 6:50:04 PM PST
My DD is finally reading books independently. She is reading paperbacks which likes so I don't know if a kindle is really necessary right now but I asked her what she does when she comes to a word she doesn't know. She tries to figure it out and then guesses. I was thinking this is where technology could help. I would like a reader where she can click on an unfamiliar word and it will take you to a dictionary that has the option to hear the word like many online dictionaries. We want something where lots of games, unrestricted internet and Netflix are not an option. My dd is doesn't want that either because she reads before bed and she doesn't want the temptation of playing games or watching movies. So I think the kindle fire is out of the running. Does the basic $69 kindle have a speaker? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Posted on Nov 29, 2013 7:00:33 PM PST
none of the newer kindles (paperwhites etc) have speakers currently - so it wouldn't be able to do that - but you could get a used K2 that has speakers - Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 6" Display, White - 2nd Generation

all of the kindles do have inbuilt dictionary though, where you touch the word (or highlight it) and the definition comes up

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013 9:12:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013 9:14:00 PM PST
The dictionary still does not speak the word, so it doesn't matter whether there are speakers or not.

ETA: You could teach her the International Phonetic Alphabet, then she could tell how to pronounce the word by looking at the pronunciation on the full-page dictionary definition.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2013 1:15:03 AM PST
Thanks for the suggestion. That model also can play audiobooks which would be a huge bonus.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2013 1:21:07 AM PST
This is what I was wondering about because it looks like you can go to the internet on this model. I may have to find someone that has one and see if there is something that might work. Thanks. I will look into IPA. She has learned many rules on syllable division and what are the possible sounds for different letters but sometimes it just helps to hear it and that will jog her memory.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2013 5:04:35 AM PST
The Kindle fire HDX will do just that. When she comes to a word she doesn't recognize, she just highlights it and presses the play button. The device will then speak, starting at that word and go to the end of the page.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2013 6:11:10 AM PST
Geekbabe says:
Why not get her a Fire but set up parental controls and/ or subscribe to Kindle free time? Your daughter would then gain the benefits of audio but you would be able to limit her other activities on the device. You could use the games and movie access as a reward to her for doing a lot of reading?

Posted on Nov 30, 2013 6:57:49 AM PST
A major study from researchers at Harvard University was released in September 2013 with regard to the use of e-readers for teens with dyslexia. Interestingly, they chose to use very small screen iPod devices and found that they helped many dyslexic readers.

The study results were widely reported in the media at the time. One of the articles, in the online journal Ars Technia, commented that "the authors found that a group of dyslexic teenagers showed greater reading comprehension when using an iPod Touch e-reader than when asked to read from paper. The e-reader was formatted to display around nine lines of text on the screen at a time, with only two or three words in each line, leaving fewer visual distractions. The authors therefore concluded that this improvement is due to the reduced demands on visual attention when reading from the iPod." (source:

The full study report can be read here:

Posted on Nov 30, 2013 7:13:20 AM PST
but you could take that data and apply it to any e-reader - increase the font size on the screen so it only shows a couple of words per line - and even rotate it, so it has less lines showing

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2013 8:22:27 AM PST
I don't think that's entirely true. If the benefit comes from reducing visual distractions and optimal results were found to be nine lines per page with 2 to 3 words per line, I think increasing font size on a 6" e-ink kindle to achieve this would produce a much less readable text. If you try doing this on an e-ink Kindle, I think you'll see what I mean. Even after adjusting margins and spacing on my PW, I don't get a very readable display with such large fonts on a 6" screen.

Posted on Nov 30, 2013 8:42:03 AM PST
well, since their whole initial premise was off - an iphone/itouch/ipad is NOT/NOT an matter how ppl argue for it - it calls into question the validity of a study as a whole and you are basically saying that a tiny 2"x3" screen will have more readability than a 6" inch screen...yeah...ok

Posted on Dec 1, 2013 7:31:26 AM PST
The article I read about this research concluded that tablets in general would benefit those with dyslexia. Furthermore, they note an Android app that has many of the same benefits (which, of course, would be downloadable on a standard tablet, including a Kindle Fire, if you sideload it).

Posted on Dec 1, 2013 8:02:12 AM PST
Meghan - I am now just slightly dyslexic. It only manifests when I am reading quickly, or am very tired. It was more common when I was younger. Phonics helped somewhat, as did frequent reading. I got so I learned basic rules...if I saw a q and a u in the same word, I knew that the u generally immediately followed the q, for example. The frequent reading helps train the brain to compensate. Seeing the same word many times helps the brain to adjust to the Dyslexia-in some cases-and sort of overpower it. I eventually grew out of the Dyslexia, generally, though it does act up when I speed read, or am reading while very tired. If I were you, I'd go with the 7 inch Fire HDX, and set up parental controls.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  13
Initial post:  Nov 29, 2013
Latest post:  Dec 1, 2013

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