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Compensate For Learning Challenges

In a school setting, children are often given an accommodation for their learning challenges.  In the adult world, people learn to compensate for their weaknesses all the time.  If you have a child that struggles with writing, you can help them learn to compensate as well.

dragon-naturally-speaking


Dragon Naturally Speaking is speech-recognition software.  In a nutshell, you  speak into a microphone and the Dragon Naturally Speaking program will type it for you.  It says "users the power to create documents, reports and emails three times faster than most people type - with up to 99%  accuracy. It includes a free headset microphone with noise canceling technology."

See Dragon Naturally Speaking here.

My husband has tried the software, and had a lot of fun with it.  It was too difficult for my elderly parents to use, so it didn't work for us, but for a  computer-savvy teen it should be a breeze.  You have to "train" the computer to listen to your voice, and that takes a while to do.  Once the computer types what you have to say, there may be some editing involved, but it will be MUCH less work that having a teenager write an entire paper.  This program is being advertised heavily right now and a solution for improving grades in the public school.  Although I don't think it is "the" answer, I do think it can really help improve academic performance in non-English areas.

Of course you want to continue your work teaching them to write to their very best.  You want them to have the skills necessary to write anything necessary when they don't have any software available to them.  At the same time, using the Dragon Naturally Speaking may make their OTHER learning more enjoyable.  They can use it to compose reports or assignments in all of their subject quickly.  That way they can succeed in history, economics, science, and other subjects, without being penalized for their weaknesses in the area of English.  That can improve their love of learning, and lead to a better educated child in the long run.

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Comments 5

Guest - Karen Cohen on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 10:51

My son's finishing up his freshman year away at college. He has great writing skills, coming up with great ideas for essays and research papers. He could do all the research and easily outline what he wanted to write. But when the time came to put his outline to work, and write the actual paper, he hit the classic Blank Page roadblock. Being the "helpful" mother I am, I got him the Dragon Speak as a gift and sent it off to school in a care package with a pack of his favorite beef jerky. He actually opened the box and used it, but he reported it still felt a little clunky. So I suggested he stand up when speaking. It's an old trick but it worked like a charm. Now he stands up, looks at his outlines and dictates his papers easily, saving him tons of time and hand wringing trying to get over writers block. He says that standing helps put his brain in writing gear. All that saved time now gets used for editing and polishing, which of course, he can do sitting down!

My son's finishing up his freshman year away at college. He has great writing skills, coming up with great ideas for essays and research papers. He could do all the research and easily outline what he wanted to write. But when the time came to put his outline to work, and write the actual paper, he hit the classic Blank Page roadblock. Being the "helpful" mother I am, I got him the Dragon Speak as a gift and sent it off to school in a care package with a pack of his favorite beef jerky. He actually opened the box and used it, but he reported it still felt a little clunky. So I suggested he stand up when speaking. It's an old trick but it worked like a charm. Now he stands up, looks at his outlines and dictates his papers easily, saving him tons of time and hand wringing trying to get over writers block. He says that standing helps put his brain in writing gear. All that saved time now gets used for editing and polishing, which of course, he can do sitting down!
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 10:55

Karen,

You gave your son very loving, practical tools to help him thrive in his college life! Well done!

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Karen, You gave your son very loving, practical tools to help him thrive in his college life! Well done! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Marie on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 07:28

On any Macintosh laptop you can press the function key twice and it automatically translates your speech to text. This has worked better than any of the traditional programs for our son. Siri on an iPhone comes in second to directly speaking into the Mac.

On any Macintosh laptop you can press the function key twice and it automatically translates your speech to text. This has worked better than any of the traditional programs for our son. Siri on an iPhone comes in second to directly speaking into the Mac.
Guest - J W on Saturday, 24 April 2010 18:28

Total bunny trail here - I had voice recognition on a GPS I once owned. I told it to display "ZOO." It responded, "Showing schools." I chuckled, then repeated, "ZOO!" The GPS cheerily announced "Showing government offices." By that time I was laughing too hard to try again.

Total bunny trail here - I had voice recognition on a GPS I once owned. I told it to display "ZOO." It responded, "Showing schools." I chuckled, then repeated, "ZOO!" The GPS cheerily announced "Showing government offices." By that time I was laughing too hard to try again.
Guest - Jenny Loomans on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 06:08

We tried a primordial Dragon when we got a new pc waaaaay back in the 90s, and it's true: it helped my dyslexic husband--once he got it trained. But really, the advent of the home computer has made such a difference for him in and of itself. Spell-check programs are pretty darn useful! Neither those nor the voice-recognition software make him totally independent, though: after all, "form" and "from" are both in the program's lexicon. We are considering re-investing in Dragon for the sake of our children, two of whom are dyslexic--and the other just dislikes writing, and would use the program because it frees her of the mechanics.

We tried a primordial Dragon when we got a new pc waaaaay back in the 90s, and it's true: it helped my dyslexic husband--once he got it trained. But really, the advent of the home computer has made such a difference for him in and of itself. Spell-check programs are pretty darn useful! Neither those nor the voice-recognition software make him totally independent, though: after all, "form" and "from" are both in the program's lexicon. We are considering re-investing in Dragon for the sake of our children, two of whom are dyslexic--and the other just dislikes writing, and would use the program because it frees her of the mechanics.
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