“The best way for those with dyslexia to read, may be with their ears!” This is statement is from a list of facts about dyslexia on The Reading Well website. It is one of my favourite, go-to websites—created by parent, and educator, Michael Bates, whose stepson has dyslexia.
In relation to this, a recent Ipsos Report revealed a 20% jump in the number of kids in the US tuning in to podcasts during the pandemic lockdown. Subsequently, public broadcasters, like NPR and BBC, began shifting their audio content toward kids while refining their storytelling techniques for younger ears.
Is it possible that podcasts are answering the call for dyslexics to read with their ears? And coincidentally, just in time for October: Dyslexia Awareness month?
Enjoy anywhere, anytime!
If you’re looking for ways to turn down your children’s screen time and turn up their listening skills, podcasts are your new best friend. They are easily downloadable to phones, iPads, and laptops and being in an audio format, listeners of all ages can enjoy content—together or individually—without a screen! Like audiobooks or radio broadcasts, podcasts are completely portable and can be listened to anywhere, anytime—in the car, at bedtime, while exercising or cleaning up. Most are free and produced in a serial format, enticing listeners with cliff-hangers at the end of episodes to tune in for more.
Here are a few sites and podcasts I, and others, have enjoyed that you might like too:
- Motherly, curated 16 best podcasts for kids includes tips on downloading apps and podcasts and a comprehensive list of podcasts sorted into age-appropriate categories, subjects of interest and length.
- This article from Wired magazine is a curated list of story-based podcasts for kids
- CBC Kids curated this list of 7-podcasts-that-both-kids-and-adults-will-enjoy-together-at-home. My favourite is, Tai Asks Why…for the kid with soooo many questions.
- Trojan War podcast from Ottawa writer and researcher Jeff Wright. This very popular series was devoured by a 12 year old boy (brother of one of my students) who is enthralled with mythology
- This six-part NPR podcast series, Unlocking Dyslexia is an excellent overview of dyslexia. Episodes are short and can be easily listened to on short car trips.
Interested in creating your own podcasts?
There are plenty of websites to help get you started but if you prefer a manual, Podcasting for Dummies (now in its third edition) is a popular choice, available on ebooks.com or from your local library. For a deep dive into podcasting, check out International Podcast Day .
Becoming more aware of Dyslexia
Lastly, if you are reading this blog because you know someone with dyslexia or have it yourself, please check out (and share) these two heartwarming and illustrative videos during October: Dyslexia Awareness Month:
- “See dyslexia differently” is a short three-minute video from the British Dyslexia Association which explains the everyday pros and cons of being a dyslexic. (Scroll down on the link to see video)
- Hidden Potential Have your hankies handy. This short film from the Dyslexia Association of Ireland tells the story of a young dyslexic child who finds his hidden talents with the support of a caring teacher.
Other helpful Open Door blog posts you may find helpful at this time of year are:
Back to School: Reading your child’s emotions from Aug 2, 2019
Marion May is the Blog Curator and Content Writer for The Open Door blog as well as a reading and spelling tutor for The Open Door, tutoring children between the ages of seven and 10. Her blog content is “local, organic and specific” and is relevant for parents of children with dyslexia.
Marion formerly tutored teenaged students in a literacy remediation program at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School in Ottawa. She also worked as a paid fundraiser and grant proposal writer for The Excellence in Literacy Foundation, a national non-profit aimed at helping marginalized youth. She began her career in radio broadcasting and news writing and has worked in the area of promotional writing for several federal government departments and agencies, including the National Research Council.
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