New weekly blog feature! We can make this up as we go along but my idea is for a weekly mashup of topics. The inspiration for this came from three sources:
1. Someone asked me where my Word of the Week and Photo of the Week had got to.
2. A parent asked for recommendations to help her dyslexic daughter with reading.
3. Lisa Domican shared a favourite blog of hers which has a weekly blather post and her idea in particular was to talk about app recommendations.
So, here’s what we’re going to do – I’ll share my word and photo of the week as well as something I would love to talk about. It could be related to apps, autism, both or neither. In the comments you can carry on the conversation – about the word, the picture, share your app recommendations or ask for some, questions or advice relating to autism or basically any other topic. We can talk about ballet if you like… which is a nice segue into my…
Photo of the week
Dane Shigari has been spending the past 12 years or so photographing ballerinas in primarily urban environments. You can find out more about the Ballerina Project and see more examples of his work here and here. I really liked this one – ballet is such an unnatural, artificial but beautiful art form in so many ways that to see it in the context of real live city streets is quite the contrast – but in this case the dog has this brilliant “what the heck are you doing, lady?” look on its face that really made me laugh.
Word of the week
What a fantastic word. Immediately reminds me of a brilliant song from my youth but I’ve had it on my mind for a different reason this week, ever since Gingerheaddad and I went to see Lincoln. I haven’t seen a film in a theatre in over a year so that was an event in itself but luckily I also enjoyed the film very much. I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie but the Second Inaugural address is alluded to in a way that I found really lame, which is a shame as it’s probably Lincoln’s best speech. Anyway, I can’t think of better words to open this New Year with:
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Apps for dyslexia
A mother asked me about apps that might help her daughter, who is 10 years old and so isn’t going to be motivated by apps for little kids and is really struggling with reading. She has Dyslexia Quest already. I’ve listed my ideas below, please comment if you have any to add.
The Lorax and other Oceanhouse Media apps from Dr. Seuss. These books have themes that appeal to adults and could lead to interesting discussions about issues like environmentalism (in the case of The Lorax), so I think they would work for even a 10 year old. What I really like about them are that text is highlighted as it is read which is such a huge help when someone is struggling with reading.
Word Wizard – It can be used for testing spelling but what I really like about this app is the ability to free-play with letters and hear combinations of them sounded out. I think the interface is engaging without being off-putting for older kids.
Montessori Crosswords – also by L’Escapadou. I’ll let Mum decide if this one is too babyish-looking for her daughter, but I like that it combines pictures and words and that again, it’s play-focused, this time building crosswords.
Abilipad – Not just for reading but also providing support for writing with the ability to design your own keyboards using visual supports, text to speech, word prediction this app has the capacity for providing a huge amount of support. I know parents who have this app in their children’s IEPs so that all home and school work is done via this app.
Looking forward to your comments.