“Necessity is the mother of invention” – This phrase has become the reason why I have devoted thirty years of my life to discovering the best possible interventions for dyslexia and ways to use A.I. to assist not only dyslexic students, but all  Neuro-Diverse students to make progress. 

Hence the choice of  Lexplore as our assessment tool. It is quite simply the world’s best use of AI technology to uncover learning differences for all students. 

In New Zealand for a student to receive assistance for dyslexia they have to pay  $500.00 to receive a report written in a high-level academic language which most lay people can’t understand. Even if they could understand it, in my experience, most New Zealand teachers have no idea or what they can do to assist the students to overcome it or manage it.  

Lexplore developed by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in Sweden over 30 years by 50 scientists. This Medical University who award the Nobel Peace Prize has transformed reading assessments. 

  1. It’s 97% accurate.
  2. Is totally objective..
  3. It provides an accurate pictorial representation by measuring the eye movements in milliseconds while a student’s reading which then leads to a targeted intervention.
  4. Measures fluency which is essential for comprehension and is the whole point of reading.
  5. Takes 4-5 minutes. 
  6. It’s cost effective. 

So why hasn’t it taken off yet? I believe it will in time just like millions of other new ideas -after all it took ten years before “ Horseless Carriages “ or cars became the main form of transport. Many said that would never replace the horse and carriage. 

So it brings me back to the statement, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. In my small town I have worked with 20 students in the last two years who have struggled with dyslexia which had never been identified. They like many others become very adept at not being noticed and found ingenious ways to slip through the gap. So after assessing them with Lexplore Wordsmart made the difference to their lives. Unfortunately it is just the tip of the iceberg until these tools become the go to for all English speaking schools.

Before

Before

After

After

 We use a belief change process at the very beginning to change the students mindset to become successful readers where their reading age matches their chronological age. 

These are fmri scans of the belief change process we use where we guide the students through an incredibly simple but powerful process.It transforms a student’s negative view about their ability. Before shown in red to completely changed after in green. It’s becomes a permanent and lasting change

Of course the students don’t instantly overcome their reading challenges but when they believe that it’s possible it increases their motivation ten fold.

Our goal with Wordsmart by applying  the research by Prof. Guinevere Eden of Georgetown University is to provide the students with ways to overcome their inability to hear the sounds of the letters. It’s been described as “Unconscious Deafness” by Dr Christine Braid from Massey University ,NZ. 

Wordsmart uses funny stories to explain how the letter sounds got their names- (Our brains have been naturally wired for story telling since caveman days).

In doing so we are focusing on the strengths of dyslexic students who are strong in visual working memory and helping all  students to focus on oral storytelling which trumps all other methods of acquiring reading skills.

At the same time we are strengthening the students’ verbal working memory by telling humorous oral stories where all they can see using an avatar, the avatar sitting beside an open book. 

Our emotions and long term memories are stored in the limbic system of our brains. This is part of the survival impact  of our brains functioning.The funny stories provide the emotional impact.

What happens in the brains of dyslexic students is  due to our brain’s ability to adapt itself i.e. plasticity. (Summarised by the diagrams below.)

How does this happen ? The part of the brain that provides the ability to articulate sounds is called the brocas and in a non dyslexic student the brain coordinates two other parts of the brain that match letters to sounds..The functions of these parts are explained in this diagram below. 

However, the dyslexia learners’ brains adapt the brocas and uses it to perform  the same functions as the non-dyslexic learner. ( Plasticity in action )

brain dyslexia
Dyslexia Phonemes

The effects of intensive repetition of the phonemes*

This diagram shows the enlarged part of the brain (ie the brocas shown in purple) has expanded enabling the students to connect the phoneme( sounds) to the graphemes.( letters)

The students using Wordsmart are engaged because we have gamified it by making the games inherent to the learning. Consequently the students make rapid progress.

The physical aspects of our programme have accelerated the students progress with  a series of activities which we have branded as Prolexia.

Prolexia means proficiency with words as opposed to dyslexia which means difficulty with. All these activities are located in a portal and accompanied with detailed notes.

Introducing Prolexcia 

Prolexia hands on activities are designed to achieve fluency:

  1. Mindset changes using Prolexia , goal setting and self actualising tools.
  2. Lexplore followed by the alien word test to test decoding.
  3. Test letter sounds, decoding skills, segmenting/blending /letter sound knowledge. ( Using cards based on the stories in the game.)
  4. We ask the tutors to read the stories in the book supplied by and even act the stories as a whole class before starting the online with Wordsmart (daily 10-15 minutes)
  5. Card game covers letter sounds cvc words vowels long and short followed by sight words.
  6. Spelling, consonant blends, digraphs, floss rule, trigraphs spelling words  and
  7. Finding your passions Holland’s personality test,Howard Gardiners eight intelligences.
  8. Accelerated Reading using texts and books matching the students passion.
  9. Opposites game online and  self control and ways to manage it.
  10. Using LFB, and LFK** to extend literacy skills for all students. Lexpore final assessment to test reading age target.

Early 2021 Prolexica Trial Results. 

The results from one small country school in New Zealand called Opoutere. The students needing support from years 3-6 were matched with proficient readers in years 7 and 8.The tutors were given instructions on how to support the students selected by the teachers as those who were struggling . They met together for thirty minutes daily. Both groups made progress including the tutors who were fully engaged with Literacy for Boys/Kids. 

Two students of note were students 73 who was assessed on Lexplore as a non reader and student 110 who was tested as one who was struggling but clearly was very capable. 

This student parent presented initially with a very low percentile but after applying the Prolexia process he changed an early traumatic experience to overcome his fear of being tested and we established his true level.