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Could Bionic Reading Help Your Child With Dyslexia Or ADHD?
PHOTO BY /SHUTTERSTOCK
  • With recent reports of Filipino students lagging behind in comprehension and lower reading rates among children, parents are understandably disconcerted. But it likely does not take statistics to know that reading continues to be a challenge for both children and adults alike. 

    Families are quick to admit that personal devices have taken over, creating shorter attention spans. Last week, certain online communities including TikTok was abuzz with a newly developed reading system that seems to be helping people read better and faster.

    Bionic Reading made headlines last week and excited Twitter as well because some users have noted how it’s made reading on devices easier, allowing some to “stay focused on the text” and even calling it a “game-changer”.

    What is bionic reading? 

    Bionic Reading "is a reading system that supports the reading flow," explains its website.  "The eye is guided through the text by means of typographic highlights. 

    These highlights look like the first few letters of words being converted to bold to give the reader's mind an artificial fixation point. 

    PHOTO BY /BIONIC READING
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    By highlighting parts of a word, it "guides the eye over the text and the brain remembers previously learned words more quickly. 

    Who created Bionic Reading? 

    Bionic reading was founded by Swiss typographic designer Renato Casutt. Bionic Reading is not the first reading system that helps the reader. 

    One of the more popular systems is speed reading. Another is skimming.

    Casutt tells Newsweek that speed reading and bionic reading in particular are different. For one, speed reading is a learned skill. "Bionic Reading does not have to be learned, because it happens intuitively, says Casutt. 

    Newsweek reports that Bionic Reading has gathered feedback "indicating that—thanks to their system—people with dyslexia immediately understood the content of various texts the first time they read them, which they said was impossible without the help of Bionic Reading.”

    RELATED: Kids Are Reading Less? No Wonder Cheska Kramer Is So Proud Of Scarlett's New Reading Habits

    Study International writes that Bionic Reading did not utilize formal research during its development. Casutt stumbled upon it when he was designing a book written in a language unfamiliar to him. 

    The team behind Bionic Reading looked closely at the work of researchers in text and comprehension, “and noted that historical scientific eye movement research has existed since 1905,” reports Newsweek.

    Casutt said that while designing, he was able to easily understand what he was reading even if he had never read in that language 

    "There are users who can read faster with BR, but there are also readers who have dyslexia that can read better. And then there are readers who, professionally, should read more focused [while using Bionic Reading]. 

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    RELATED: Child Struggling With Reading and Writing? He May Have Dyslexia 

    Symptoms of dyslexia 

    Dyslexia is a "learning disability characterized by difficulties with reading, writing, and spelling," says a previously published Smart Parenting article. 

    There are no stastics on dyslexia in the Philippines but children with dyslexia may exhibit these symptoms: 

    • speech delay or difficulties
    • difficulty identifying names or labels of things
    • has difficulty saying long words (spaghetti as “pis-get-ti”)
    • difficulty learning to write letters 
    • difficulty following verbal and written instructions  reverses b-d, p-q; inverses u-n, w-m; transposes (interchanges) letters in words (e.g. day - dya)
    • difficulty in spelling and writing sentences  

     If your child confuses "b" with "d", does she have dyslexia? Specialists usually wait till 7 or 8 years old before diagnosing children. 

    READ MORE ON DYSLEXIA HERE: 

    How Bionic Reading is helping ADHD TikTok  

    TikToker Dana Kidd’s reaction video to a paragraph converted to bionic reading has gained 7.4 million views as of this writing and is her current pinned post.

    She says that if you’re neurodivergent and gave up reading physical books in the past, try reading the sample text on her video and see if you’re able to focus and read. 

    Kidd cuts to a completely shocked reaction. Psychotherapist (with ADHD) Helen Villiers calls it a “game changer” on her TikTok post and asks her followers which side is easier to read, bionic reading on the left or regular text on the right. And a number of commenters claim they are neurodivergent and find bionic reading easier. 

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    How to try Bionic Reading

    As of this writing, there is an ongoing dispute over copyright and trademark rights between Bionic Reading and Torpedo Read.

    Bionic Reading is currently available on Chrome Extension, via its own converter, and app integration for a fee.

    What other parents are reading

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