Categories: Activities, Assistive Technology, Audiobook Library, Disability Type, Learning Disabilities, Parenting, Students
Guest Blog by Amy Goetsch, Learning Ally Member Parent
Thank you Learning Ally for sponsoring the Summer Reading Together and Instagram challenge this summer. Our son has struggled with reading ever since he went to school and was diagnosed with dyslexia in kindergarten.He relied on us completely and we were happy to help in any way we could. We read everything to him and (painfully) listen to him read aloud. We tried Bookshare, but it wasn't user -friendly and the robot voices made listening hard - even for us as adults. So we kept on being the readers for our son. Our son kept bringing home books from the library that his classmates were reading and we just couldn't find them on Bookshare.
We learned about Learning Ally. Our son used it from time-to-time at school and at home, but still preferred to rely on us to read books as a family. We even got him an iPad so he could read just like he did at school, but it just sat collecting dust. We always thought that if he gave Learning Ally a try he would get hooked, but we didn't want to push the issue. Earlier this summer, we saw a post on social media advertising the Learning Ally Summer Reading Together and Instagram contests. I encouraged our son to participate and he was hesitant since he was already participating in the summer reading program at our library, but after a lot of encouragement he gave it a try...and got hooked - just like we thought he would. Every time we turn around now, our son is on his iPad reading!
He has figured out how to incorporate reading into almost every activity or chore he does during the day. We sometimes have to make him stop to do something else or go to sleep. We are thrilled to have a little more free time together since we aren't spending so much time reading aloud anymore and our son is devouring books. The best part is that I know once the reading challenges are over the habits he has built this summer are here to stay. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for having such fantastic materials (quality, innovation, and selection) and for hosting a friendly competition to motivate students like our son. To us, it feels like he has already won.