Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Story Time: Dyslexia Fonts

 Hi all you lovely readers. It's been a long time since I made a post, but today I really felt the need. So, this is story time and I'm going to share a few things with everyone.

I am dyslexic. That means words and letters get mixed up in my brain when I'm reading or writing. This is a pretty common condition. Some research has stated that upwards of 20% of the US population show symptoms of dyslexia. In fact over half the children in our school systems labeled with a learning disability have dyslexia. 

That's not a fun word. Disability. I hate that word and the reason is pretty simple. Dyslexia doesn't seem like a disability to me and it's the word that triggered this post today.

My daughter brings up the topic of dyslexia every couple of years because the schools around here are finally talking about it and testing for it like they should. Little Lou knows what this is and she knows I have it. Thankfully she does not. Watching through those early years when she was learning to read and write was so hard, because not everyone understands how hard it is to be that little kid that's just not getting it. They try and try, but the letters and words just don't look like what everyone else sees.

I went diagnosed until the mid 90's. That was in sixth grade and even then some of my teachers didn't believe it, even though the school administered the tests. It was all good though. By that point I had learned on my own. I didn't independently read my first chapter book until fifth grade and it was an Anne Rice book.  It was still hard. I didn't read as fast as the other kids. I couldn't read out loud. 

Onward in the story. Little Lou brought dyslexia up again last week. She said that she learned some fonts were easier to read for people who were dyslexic. That was BIG news to me. I had never thought about it. I knew somethings were easier to read than others but I just thought I was tired or just couldn't concentrate. 

So WOW. I looked into this. There are fonts that make reading easier. There have been studies done on this. A little bit of reading led me to a paper that states sans-serif fonts and other fonts are a really good font to use for people with dyslexia. I'm gonna switch over to something like that... 

Now. This is Courier font. It spaces out letters a little more and most of the letters look different enough to stop mirror imaging. There are two spaces between each sentences that helps break it up. There are also fonts designed with dyslexia in mind like OpenDyslexic. 

Those fonts have heavier bottoms so that there is a defined bottom of the image. This keeps letters and words from flipping upside down. Some of these special fonts also have bold capital letters. This makes an easy starting point. 

I don't have any of these special fonts on blogger, but I'm looking into it. I can however say I'm interested in changing the font of my books. We are so used to Times New Roman and Arial being our go to choices and I want to shake that up. 

Personally I can't take the look of Courier. It makes me feel like I'm in an old school detective novel and typing at the daily news paper. Fun to imagine but it can get old. I do admit now that I know what's going on, this is a lot easier to read. 

Well, that's it for story time. I hope this has led to some of you lovely readers learning something new and maybe something helpful.

Peace and Love