Category Archives: Product and book reviews

Reviews of the best dyspraxia aids and books

Do you have visual stress? A visual stress checklist. Overlays and reading rulers: What are they? How to use them and how to care for them.

Do you have visual stress?

A visual stress quick checklist:

Do you or your child:

  • Tire quickly when working with text?
  • Have difficulty copying from the board?
  • Seem to experience increased difficulty reading after an initial period of about 10 minutes?
  • Keep adjusting their head or body position, or moving nearer or further away from the page?
  • Read slowly and without fluency?
  • Track the text with their finger?
  • Yawn whilst reading?
Coloured A4 reading overlays made by Crossbow Education. Relieve visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Reduce light / contrast sensitivity often experienced by children with dyspraxia and dyslexia. Packs of 5 or 10.
Coloured A4 reading overlays made by Crossbow Education. Relieve visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Reduce light / contrast sensitivity often experienced by children with dyspraxia and dyslexia. Available in packs of 5 or 10.

If any of these points are noticeable it is likely that trying a tinted overlay may improve you or your child’s speed of reading. The most affordable way to do this is to purchase a pack of the plain reading rulers, lay them side by side in turn on a piece of text, if the text seems clearer or reading is more comfortable with one of them, choose that one to read with. Once you have tested the different coloured tints and have ascertained which colour is right for you, use the one you prefer for a few weeks. You will have a good idea after that if you have the right colour and if you wish to buy any other items: plain and duo reading rulers, coloured overlays and monitor overlays.

Some questions that may be helpful to ask your child:

  • “Do the letters stay still or do they move?”
  • “Are the letters clear or are they fuzzy/blurred?”
  • “Is the page too bright, not bright enough or just about right?” 
  •  “Does it hurt your eyes to look at the page or is it OK?”.
  • “After you have been reading for a while, do the words or letters do anything different?

Reports of movement, blurring and glare are more likely in children who would benefit from overlays

We would always stress that you should see a school vision practitioner (www.schoolvision.org.uk) should you find that a colour works particularly well for you or your child, they are familiar with the use of coloured lenses and will check there are no underlying eye problems.

There is a Society for Coloured Lens Providers: They provide a list of recommended practitioners following an agreed code of conduct.
Web: http://www.s4clp.org

What is visual stress?

Describing visual stress to a non-sufferer is a little difficult: sometimes you may notice that someone is wearing a really stripy top and it feels uncomfortable to look at and might make your eyes go ‘a little bit funny’. Many individuals with visual stress experience similar feelings when they look at text. Visual stress describes the discomfort some people feel when looking at text for long periods. Our tolerances for repeating shapes, high contrasts and brightness are each slightly different. Visual stress refers to discomfort and print distortion brought about by pattern glare. It is also known as visual dyslexia and scotopic sensitivity.

The term visual stress is sometimes used to refer to the collection of symptoms and signs of visual fatigue when reading that are reduced when colour is used as therapy.

Visual Stress might not be seen as a serious problem until it comes to coping with small black text on a white background or volumes of reading. Many children who suffer from visual stress are unaware that they see the page differently to others.

What are the symptoms of visual stress?

Below are some symptoms that may indicate visual stress. (This list is for guidance only, and is not proof of visual stress)

  • Words or letters may appear to move or jump on the page, letters may have a back to front appearance, may shimmer or shake
  • Words or letters may fade or blur, often going out of focus, become darker or flash
  • Letters may seem to change size
  • Patterns may appear in the dark print or the white spaces
  • You may feel tiredness during and after reading, dizzy or even nauseous
  • Headaches, often frequent, may occur from reading. Regular migraines (especially when working at a computer)
  • You may find it easier to read large, widely spaced print, than small and closely printed text.
  • Words or letters may break into two and appear as double.
  • You might experience difficulty with tracking across the page, losing your place
  • You  may feel uncomfortable in the bright daylight, sunlight or under fluorescent lighting conditions
  • Glare on the page might be upsetting to you, most noticeably with black print on bright white paper
  • You might experience sore eyes when reading, often rubbing them during or after reading, experiencing eye strain
  • You might blink excessively

In some cases any of these symptoms can significantly affect a persons ability to read. It can also make reading very tiring. Note: A child may not recognise what they see as a problem, as this is how they have always seen text.

Research has shown that around 20% of the population suffer, to varying degrees, from visual stress (around 5% of the population are severely affected). Reading through an overlay of the right colour can reduce the symptoms or remove them altogether. Overlays enable more fluent reading with less discomfort and fewer headaches.

Recent studies indicate that visual stress is more prevalent in people with dyslexia than in the rest of the population

The symptoms of physical stress can be similar to those caused by other physical eye conditions e.g. undiagnosed short or long sight or binocular vision problems. Therefore, any person experiencing visual stress should be examined by an optometrist. Nonetheless, visual stress can remain, despite correction of refractive error and treatment of binocular problems.

Why does colour work?

Original research indicated that the discomfort when looking at the print and the related symptoms of visual stress in reading difficulties are due to a hyper-excitability of neurones in the visual cortex. Some of the cells in the brain that process visual information work too fast and don’t respond in the way they should.

Some cells in the visual cortex are colour sensitive and so, by placing a colour in front of the eye; the pattern of excitation can be changed: the colour helps to slow and calm these cells thereby quietening the pattern and reducing the visual stress.

The colour needed to reduce this hyper-excitability is individual to each person.

Statistical data from recent studies has shown that 5% of children in mainstream schools read at least 25% more quickly with coloured overlays (Wilkins, 2002). 

What does the colour of my tinted overlay or reading ruler mean?
What does the colour of my tinted overlay or reading ruler mean?

NEW Research provides some very interesting answers as to why you chose your specific overlay colour. Click HERE or on the image to understand why that colour worked for you.

Visual stress products include:

Our visual stress products are made by Crossbow Education. Their products are designed using the findings of the research from the Department of Psychology at Essex University. They are the visual stress products most commonly chosen by UK schools.

They are made from transparent PET and enable you to read longer and with less stress. All our visual stress products are available in the same colour range which include: Yellow, Celery, Grass, Jade, Aqua, Sky, Purple, Magenta, Pink, Orange and NEW Grey (only available in the A4 overlays and virtual type-thru monitor overlays at present).

Reading rulers: There are two types of reading rulers: Duo window reading rulers and Plain window reading rulers.

Crossbow duo eye level reading rulers reduce visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Pack of 10 colours.
Crossbow duo eye level tinted reading rulers reduce visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Pack of 10 colours.

Duo reading rulers: are divided into a narrow reading window and a wide reading window by an opaque strip. People who have difficulties keeping their focus on the line being read find this design useful. Focus can be further confined by taping paper over the wide transparent window a quarter of an inch below the opaque part of the ruler, so that all words except the present line are completely blocked out. The rulers can be trimmed to fit in books or even cut in half to keep in a small dictionary. Click HERE to buy.

The Eye Level Reading Ruler is a coloured overlay filter and text highlighter about the size of an eight-inch ruler. It is discreet and professional-looking and can be kept in a book as a bookmark for easy storage.

The Duo reading ruler is made of a combination of opaque and transparent plastic that both underlines the text and highlights it in a coloured tint. Simply read the text through either of the tinted plastic strips of your selected colour, and track down the page: broad strip for paragraphs; narrow strip for single lines.

Crossbow plain eye level reading rulers, text overlay for relief of visual stress and light sensitivity for faster reading speed
Crossbow plain eye level coloured reading rulers, text overlay for relief of visual stress and light sensitivity for faster reading speed

Plain window reading rulers: are the same size, price and colours as the Duo Window reading rulers, but with only one window and a tracking line half an inch from the edge. They have no opaque strip in the middle. Confident readers who struggle with visual stress often prefer plain because there is no interruption to the flow of text, allowing them to read ahead easily. Click HERE to buy.

 

Coloured A4 reading overlays made by Crossbow Education. Relieve visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Reduce light / contrast sensitivity often experienced by children with dyspraxia and dyslexia. Packs of 5 or 10.
Coloured A4 reading overlays made by Crossbow Education. Relieve visual stress and increase reading speed for many children and adults. Reduce light / contrast sensitivity often experienced by children with dyspraxia and dyslexia. Available in packs of 5 or 10.

Page overlays: Full sized coloured overlays can be useful; in an exam or revision, and research where you are glancing around the page and going back and forth to the same page. It can just be left in place over the whole page. Other useful applications are for reading sheet music and machining patterns. Overlays can be easily cut in half to use with smaller pages or to keep in dictionaries and other reference books. In the workplace,  page overlays are perfect for invoices and copy typing. Click HERE to buy.

Monitor overlays: You can change the background colour in your windows preferences, but you can’t change the background colour of a web page, such as the “google” page. Monitor overlays deal with this, and also the glare from the surface of the screen itself. Crossbow monitor overlays simply stick to the screen by static electricity, effectively reducing the glare, allowing you to work comfortable for much longer periods of time. Click HERE to buy.

Virtual coloured overlay for pc. Select your perfect tint, unrestricted by the 10 colour plastic overlay choices for screens. Convenient, easy to use visual stress and reading support product.
Virtual coloured overlay for pc. Select your perfect tint, unrestricted by the 10 colour plastic overlay choices for screens. 

Virtual Type-Thru Overlays: The virtual overlay will tint the screen of the monitor any colour you like from 2 million colours. It will not deal with the surface glare like  a monitor overlay does but it does give flexibility if more than one person uses the computer. Many people find it sufficient for their needs. You also don’t need to worry about scratching your monitor overlays.

Visual stress A4 tinted exercise books available in 10 colours.
Visual stress A4 tinted exercise books available in 10 colours.

 

A4 Tinted exercise books. A4 Tinted exercise books. Children with Visual Stress often find it as difficult to write on white paper as to read from it due to light and contrast sensitivity. Writing can be untidy and presentation poor, because the words they write are affected in just the same way as the printed words they read. Revision from poor presentation is difficult and discouraging. The right colour workbook can make learning easier and improve grades. Our range of exercise books are available in 11 colours and feature high paper quality to reduce the effect of see-through “shadows” from the reverse side of the pages, which can be a distraction for children with dyslexia-related and other visual-perceptual difficulties. Click HERE to buy.

Tinted handwriting exercise book well liked by children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and visual stress.
Tinted handwriting exercise books are enjoyed by children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and visual stress.

Tinted handwriting exercise books. Many children with handwriting difficulties enter a new world of neatness when they write on tinted paper. 48 pages with soft grey ruler, ‘shadow’ for the height of the letter and soft guidelines for ascender and descender stopping points. 15mm ruled. Available in 8 colour tints. A5 size. Click HERE to buy.

 

Visual Stress Assessment Pack by Crossbow Education - School Edition - Revised. Help your students or child reach their full potential - eliminate visual stress in the classroom. Suitable for all schools and children ages 6-18. Visual Stress assessment should be carried out for all weak readers by the end of key stage one. The visual stress assessment pack is the ideal tool, as the assessment can be carried out by non-specialists and will identify the children (5%, or around ten in every average-sized primary school), whose reading is severely impeded by distorted print or other symptoms. The children who just need a reading ruler or coloured overlay to increase their reading speed by 25% or more can be quickly identified with the Visual Stress Assessment Pack.
Visual Stress Assessment Pack by Crossbow Education – School Edition – Revised. Help your students or child reach their full potential – eliminate visual stress in the classroom. Visual Stress assessment should be carried out for all weak readers by the end of key stage one. 

Crossbow Education Visual Stress Assessment pack – School Edition: Suitable for all schools and children aged 6-18. A complete guide to testing for visual stress in schools: contains full instructions for testing for visual stress. No prior experience needed. Contains directions on how to deal with the results and where to get help. Contains 2 sets of A5 Crossbow overlays to do the test, photocopiable  leaflets for parents, classrooms, staff rooms etc. Cick HERE to buy.

 

 

How should an overlay be used?

  • Simply place the sheet over the page, when reading. You may want to cut your overlay down to A5 size if you normally use if for reading books.
  • Try both the matt and the glossy side to see which side you prefer, and use the side you like best.
  • Position the text to avoid reflections from the surfaces of the overlay caused by lighting
  • The overlays can be used as often as you like, wherever it is helpful
  • You can touch the overlay in order to point when reading
  • There may not be a difference straight away as the improvement may only show after 10 minutes or so of reading, when fatigue would normally have set in. Your experience will vary depending on lighting conditions, style and size of print etc.

Care of your coloured overlays and reading rulers: 

  • Coloured overlays can scratch and the colours wear off and so care should be taken. Don’t slide them across the table as they may pick up a small piece of grit underneath which may damage the surface.
  • Keep your overlay free from creases, being careful how you pick it up, don’t let it flap around.
  • Keep your overlay in a sturdy envelope when not in use.
  • Use a soft, clean glasses lens cloth to clean your overlay, using just soapy water. Do not use window cleaner, methylated spirit or any chemicals on your coloured overlay.

References: Wilkins, A.J. (2002). Coloured overlays and their effects on reading speed: A review. Ophthalmic and Psychological. Crossbow Education (2015). What is visual stress, and How can you reduce it?

Enter our Visual Stress shop to purchase any items that you may find helpful. Click HERE.

Click here to view the complete range of visual stress products on Fantastic Dyspraxic
Click HERE to view the complete range of visual stress products on Fantastic Dyspraxic

Copyright. Fantastic Dyspraxic, 2015 – 2018. Author: Lisa Bochenek.

10 ideas for using sandtimers with children to teach the concept of time and positive behaviours

Sand timers are ideal for teaching the concept of time:

  • Time is a very complex concept for our children to understand. Lay firm time concept foundations in their early years through regular use of sand timers in your activities.  “How long do you think it will take to….?” encourages estimation skills and understanding of how long things take: the concept of time.
  • The 5 minute sand timer is particularly good for helping them to understand the clock. Point out that it takes 5 minutes for the long hand to travel from one number to the next, use your sand timer to demonstrate it and find other things that take 5 minutes to complete.

    Quality Sand Timer Pack. 1 Each of 30sec 1 2 3 & 5 Minute Timers. Perfect for improving transitions, encouraging turn taking, managing time and teaching time concepts. Especially good for children with Dyspraxia or ADHD who benefit from the visual sense of time that these timers provide.
    Quality Sand Timer Pack. 1 Each of 30sec 1 2 3 & 5 Minute Timers. Perfect for improving transitions, encouraging turn taking, managing time and teaching time concepts. Especially good for children with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia or ADHD who benefit from the visual sense of time that these timers provide. Available in our shop, simply click on the image to go to the item in the shop.
  • Sand timers provide a strong visual understanding of the concept of time as they watch the sand running down as time passes.
  • Helping children to manage their own time – create a habit of using the sand timer for cleaning up after getting their toys out or messy play. “Turn the timer, let’s see if we can do it faster than 5 minutes, 4 minutes, 3 minutes.” “let’s see if we can clean up before the sand runs out..”
  • Not relevant to sand timers but something I want to share with you that was really successful for me with my son: A good way of teaching time is to draw a clock face on your home trampoline, ask them to bounce clock-wise, anti-clockwise, get them to be the long hand and you be the short hand and shout times out for you to bounce to the relevant numbers – a really fun way to learn time.
  • If you are using the sand timers to teach time ensure all the clocks around your child are analogue: play room, their bedroom, where they eat and where they watch television. Point out to them that they have half an hour to eat and show them where the hands will be when time is up. Plenty of this repetition will really help them to understand time concepts and organise themselves.

Sandtimers can be used to help manage positive behaviours:

  • Encouraging turn taking especially if they have a friend over and they both want to play with the same toy. “I see that you are playing with that car right now, when this 3 minute sand timer is done it will be your friends turn”. Encourage turn taking at home, “Oh, you are playing with the spade and there’s only one, you enjoy that and in 3 minutes mummy can have a go and turn the timer…” Make sure you carry out your turn…
  • Sand timers can prevent meltdowns; “I see you are busy playing with your Lego. It’s time to go to school. Would you like to put your school shoes on now or in 1 minute? After saying this you should flip the sand timer over and stand back to be amazed at how well your child can make the transition for themselves.
  • Helping your child to make choices – “Would you like to do that in one minute, or two?” Then turn the sand timer.
  • They can be used as positive reinforcers. If your child is demanding your attention and you’re on the phone, use the sand timer to communicate to them that they need to wait for 5 minutes. You might offer to read to them for a quick 5 minutes etc.
  • Happy transitions – “We are going to read a book once the sand runs out”, “5 minutes of play and then we’re going shopping…”, “Come downstairs when the sand runs out…” You’ll be amazed how well they respond to this.

How to introduce a sand timer effectively:

  • Plan time to introduce your sand timers, and don’t expect overnight results. Children need to be taught their purpose and the benefits. Introducing them when you can be consistent in using them is essential, such as school holidays or even a weekend when you don’t have too many time restrictions.
  • The adult must have control of the situation and the timer to ensure that the child fully understands the meaning and benefits.
  • Teach your child the rules of using timers: not turning them over once that have started, not moving them etc.
  • Teach your child how the sand timer works
  • Use sand timers according to your child’s age or development: Use a 2 min sand timer for a child between 18 months to 2 years, a 3-min timer for 3 year olds and a 5-min timer for 4 years old and up.

Please ‘like’ us if you get chance so that other parents and children can find the article and benefit from it – thanks. Lisa & Oli.

Dyspraxia shop to help people with dyspraxia, DCD, Dysgraphia and dyslexia
Dyspraxia shop to help people with dyspraxia, DCD, Dysgraphia and dyslexia

 

What is the best handwriting pencil for my child to learn to write with?

Without doubt the best pencil for a child to learn to write with is the Yoropen mini-pencil.

The best handwriting pencil for children learning to write - the Yoropen Mini Pencil
The best handwriting pencil for children learning to write – the Yoropen Mini Pencil

Why?

  • The ‘Z’ neck design allows your child to see the letters much more clearly as they write, aiding letter formation, visual memory of the letter formation and improvement to their posture whilst writing. (Many children hold their heads at an angle when writing trying to see how, what and where they are writing which twists their backs and often leads to one eye becoming stronger than another due to the angle of the eyes when the head is held at such an angle. This can have longer term implications on their whole visual system)
  • Dyslexic children in particular, will benefit greatly from the extra visual field these pencils give them as they get a better reinforcement of the letter formation as they write, boosting their visual memory.
  • It is specifically designed for children aged between 3-8.
  • The pencil is shorter than a standard pencil by almost 6cm reflecting the smaller size of children’s hands at this age. Imagine writing with a pencil 1 and a half times longer than the one you currently use? The shorter pencil can have immediate benefits to the quality of your child’s handwriting. It gives them far better control.

    The difference in size between the Yoropen mini-pencil (ages 3-8) and the larger Yoropen Pencil (ages 8+)
    The difference in size between the Yoropen mini-pencil (ages 3-8) and the larger Yoropen Pencil (ages 8+)
  • The Yoropen provides a very comfortable tripod grip, encouraging the tripod grip from a very early age.
  • The gap between the pencil tip on the Yoropen Mini-Pencil and the Yoropen Pencil for ages 8+ is also shorter keeping your child’s fingers at the perfect height above the paper. This is hugely important as often children will raise their wrists from the surface when they write leading to vastly reduced pencil control.

    How the tip to grip distance is altered on the Yoropen Mini Pencil compared to the larger Yoropen Pencil to fit smaller hands perfectly.
    How the tip to grip distance is altered on the Yoropen Mini Pencil compared to the larger Yoropen Pencil to fit small hands perfectly.
  • Each pencil has 2B lead requiring less effort to write making the early years of writing much more pleasurable
  • The extra field of vision provided by the ‘z’ neck helps your child to keep their writing on the line.
  • The finger support system requires far less pressure to grip the pen reducing writing strain and allowing more focus on handwriting, spelling and content. The comfort grip neck on the pencil holds your grip firmly in place preventing your child’s hand from sliding down towards the nib.
  • The tripod grip rotates to accommodate your child’s preferred writing position. Ideal for left and right handers.
  • Yoropen provide a natural pen and pencil progression path onto the Yoropen HB pencil and the Yoropen Superior ballpoint pen range. Ideal from ages 6-8+ through to adult.
  • It’s no wonder that the Yoropen is the number 1 choice for children with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and any child with difficulties controlling a pencil.
  • Affordable at a little over £2 per mini-pencil, is really long-lasting requiring future purchases year after year of a refill pack costing just 99p – cheaper than a good quality pencil.
  • If you are reading this article it is because you take your child’s handwriting seriously. We also have a children’s ergonomic handwriting pack to help you find the perfect pencil to encourage the tripod grip from the earliest years.
  • Dyspraxia pencil pack ages 3-8, blue barrels
    Children’s ergonomic pencil pack for learning to write and encouraging the tripod grip. Blue and pink variances available.

Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts and risk of choking.

NB. If you can’t stretch to a Yoropen, I would advise you to cut down one of your children’s pencils by around 6cm and witness the effect. I have had children who refuse to pass the pencil back to me because it suits them so well after they have struggled for years with a standard pencil. If you do this and it works for you please ‘like’ the article on Facebook so that more parents and children will be able to come across it on a google search. Thanks

The Dyspraxic Learner – strategies for success. Book Review

The Dyspraxic Learner. Strategies For Success By Alison Patrick.

Gill Dixon, Vice Chair for The Dyspraxia Foundation says, ‘I loved this book from the first paragraph. It is comprehensive, well-researched and grounded in reality. Alison describes the subtleties and complexities of dyspraxia brilliantly and illustrates that it is very much more than a motor difficulty and impacts greatly in every area of life. A welcome addition to any bookshelf but a MUST-read for anyone who can affect the progress of a person’s educational career and emotional well-being.’

The Dyspraxic Learner. Strategies For Success by Alison Patrick. Features simple and effective solutions for children in secondary schools. Valuable source of information for secondary school teachers supporting children with dyspraxia.
The Dyspraxic Learner. Strategies For Success by Alison Patrick. Features simple and effective solutions for children in secondary schools. Valuable source of information for secondary school teachers supporting children with dyspraxia.

With a wealth of practical strategies for teaching and supporting students with dyspraxia aged from 11 years up to college or university level, this book addresses all aspects of learning and ways in which teaching can be tailored to the dyspraxic learner.

Exploring dyspraxia and its physical, emotional, psychological and social impacts on learning, the author shares tried-and-tested strategies for ensuring that students with dyspraxia achieve their full potential. This book covers a wide range of topics such as research and study skills, improving memory, teaching literacy, visual and auditory learning styles, dealing with sleeplessness, stress, low self-esteem and anxiety, and preparing for future employment. Teachers, lecturers, tutors and SENCOs will have a greater understanding of dyspraxia, and feel confident in helping students with dyspraxia to overcome educational challenges. This book will also be of interest to students with dyspraxia who are looking for ways to help themselves with their school or university work.

About the author: Alison Patrick is a Specific Learning Difficulties Tutor, tutoring higher education learners with dyslexia, dyspraxia, autistic spectrum disorders and physical disabilities.

Fantastic Dyspraxic review: I always judge the success of a book by the amount of post-it notes that are clinging to it at the end – I didn’t have many post-its left when I reached the conclusion!  As a parent to a child with dyspraxia I always find it helpful to know the next set of skills to be taught in advance so that I have time to prepare them – I especially like the page on useful verbs to avoid misinterpreting the questions – so good and refreshing to see such ‘on the mark’ guidance, super section on memory too. The format featured easy to read bullet pointed lists. Dyspraxia is a very wide and diverse subject area, the author touches on every aspect in a researched, organised and well constructed way allowing you to go deeper into the subject if that particular area affects you. An essential book for teachers or anyone about to make the transition to secondary school or entering into higher education. Informative resource for employers, adults with dyspraxia, health professionals and parents supporting children with dyspraxia. A valuable source for developing school guidance on supporting a dyspraxic child in secondary school and further education.

 

All about the Evo.pen – writing support for dyspraxia and arthritis

evopenEverything you need to know about the Evo.Pen…   (Available now exclusively in the UK at www.fantasticdyspraxic.co.uk)

Extremely comfortable and portable, the Evo.pen (evo-lutionary) is contoured to fit in the natural closing grip of the hand. The ergonomic shape is ideal for people with different kinds of grasping problems and relieves the hand ache and writing endurance problems caused by Dyspraxia, Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, chronic hand pain and writer’s cramp. The Evo.pen is lightweight, slips easily into a pocket and is suitable for left and right handers. The pen is retractable to prevent it from drying out and very simple to refill.
Prolific Dyspraxia author, therapist and lecturer, Lois Addy, highlighted the Evo.pen in her book titled ‘How to…increase the potential of students with DCD (Dyspraxia) in secondary school.’
evopenhanddrawing
The Evo.pen has been commended by the American Arthritis Foundation for ease of use and is recommended by hand, physical, and occupational therapists. Called the “natural remedy”, the Evo.pen imitates the natural gripping posture, resulting in pain free writing.

  • evo.pen-contoured-illustrationReduce writing discomfort
  • Compact and convenient
  • Refillable
  • Occupational and Physical Therapists recommend it
The first writing instrument to receive an “ease of use” commendation from the Arthritis Foundation.

“An evaluation of this product by a panel of health-care professionals, consumers and foundation staff found this wide-grip pen fits snugly in the palm of the hand and is contoured to the shape of the fingers, which makes it easier to use.”

evo-pen-refill-packReplacement cartridge packs are available from www.fantasticdyspraxic.co.uk

evo-pen-cartridge-instructions

The acclaimed Mary Benbow, writes, “Of all the writing devices currently on the market, I believe the Evo.pen is the most unique, affordable and most intelligently designed for adaptive use. The Evo.pen approaches the task of writing with a fresh concept. Tools are extensions of the human hand. When the hand is compromised, some way must be found to compensate for the deficit. The imaginative Evo.pen device manages this more efficiently than any other product I have found…”

mary-benbow-reccommendation-evo-pen

 

 

 

 

 

 

evo-pen-twin-packValue evo.pen twin packs are also available at www.fantasticdyspraxic.co.uk

Suitable for ages 6+ through to Adult

 

Are you a dyspraxic finding colouring in difficult?

Today is Red Nose Day and I’ve drawn this picture for a competition at school. It’s a cyborg, but all red noses have to have a funny name dyspraxic-colouring-in-problems-and-solutionsso I called him ‘snotborg’. I coloured this in using my new Maped Color’Peps brush pens and I really recommend them, they colour in so much faster! Shame they don’t have a silver one – had to use a silver pencil, took quite a while that did. Wish me luck for the competition! Oli

My tip… If, like me, you hate going over the lines, you can get erasable colouring pencils so no one knows apart from you.

Maper-Color-Peps-Brush-Felt-PensFaber Castell Box of 10 Colour GRIP erasable pencils.

Hilarious read with Ollie! Stephen Harris in Trouble….

Decided Ollie was of the age to understand more about Dyspraxia and begin to get his head around what to expect when he goes to secondary school. He’s in Year 5 at the moment so we don’t have to worry much just yet but planning early is something I have learned benefits us greatly.

Anyway, I reached for a book called Stephen Harris in Trouble by Tim Nichol. The front cover didn’t really excite Oliver but once we started reading it, well, let’s just say he’s looking forward to me reading Chapter 2 tonight. The book follows the life of an 11 year old boy who has dyspraxia, it’s quite a funny read so far. My favourite line was how the boy described his school sweatshirt after eating – clean on this morning is now looking like an ordnance survey map, the history of his day in food! He then went onto how he managed to get himself included in the playtime football which ended up in calamity, it was just like Oliver had come home from school and told me it himself, so likely to happen. Throughout my reading the first chapter Oliver was engrossed to discover that other people were EXACTLY like him, repeatedly asking, is this boy real mum? When it came to the recounting of the chalk being dropped into the goldfish bowl Oliver started to howl with laughter and actually fell out of bed! All this, and we’ve only just finished Chapter 1!! I hope this book continues in the same vein throughout. I’ll let you know, but I suspect this will be one of the books in the shop very shortly.