When I am talking about Elizabeth, so many times I say to people ” We are working on it”.  It can be in reference to a skill, or a task or even remembering the steps to complete something.

I use that phrase a great deal when I talk about Elizabeth because she has special needs, specifically Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Global Dyspraxia.  These special needs affect her life each and everyday, and because life is challenging for all of us and more so for her.

For Elizabeth, learning to read essentially means memorizing the English language.  I am told by her therapists that she memorizes words and instead of sounding out a new word, will essentially replace it with a word she knows that either starts with the same letter or looks like the word in questions.   This makes for some interesting sentences for sure.  Learning the new word, she then adds to her memorized list.  It is a hard way to read but it shows once again, how smart and hard working our special needs children are.

Another thing that she “works on”‘ is not losing her place as she is reading.  Sometimes she will read a sentence, pause and then reread it again.  She did this when she was young and found that using a pencil to help guide her eyes helps.  I know this is because Dyspraxia can affect the eye muscles used for tracking thus making this skill hard for her too.

We started looking into the use of a color and how it affects reading ability and comprehension.  As it turns out, the use of color does appear to help in these areas.  So we used one of those plastic binder separators, cut to a smaller size, in the color blue, to use as she read.  I have to say, it seemed to lessen the work that reading was for her.  I know we used it a great deal when she was in elementary and middle school.

I think making our own, way back in the day, was a great help but there are many options now to lessen the struggle to read for your child.  The one I like a great deal is called the EYE LIGHTER

This little reading device is deceptively simple.

It is about 6 inches long and a bit over an inch wide, and looks like a ruler.

The Eye Lighter comes in four colors: green, yellow, blue and purple, all of which are see through. Colored, but see through.

The cost is pretty small as well.

You use it like a ruler to follow the sentence you are reading but instead of the desired sentence being above the ruler it is in the middle of the EYE LIGHTER.  The desired sentence is then highlighted by the device and is to be easier to read.  Another thing is that the Eye Lighter makes it easier to follow the words and sentences instead of using a finger or pencil.  This makes it a great learning tool for a school bag or a sensory bin.

Order one today, especially if your child is showing signs of struggling with reading, it might be a good fit!

I hope the new year started off well for everyone!!

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister