including dyslexic children,
and children with intellectual development disorder,
may have difficulty reading.
Decoding and fluency
- Have difficulty recognizing and quickly associating letters with their corresponding sounds.
- Make reading errors, such as reversing or confusing letters, which affect their ability to read fluently and automatically.
- Decoding and fluency problems.
- Problems understanding the meaning of words, sentences and texts.
- Difficulty making connections between main ideas and details
- Inferring informations not explicitly mentioned,
- Comprehension of complex vocabulary,
- Grasping the author’s tone or intention.
1. Page layout
- Among classic fonts, we recommend sans serifs such as Arial and Comic Sans.
- Verdana, Tahoma, Century Gothic are good alternatives.
- A font size large enough for comfortable reading. The recommended font size is generally between 12 and 14 points, or even larger if necessary.
- Some fonts have been specially designed to improve legibility for dyslexic people. These fonts, such as ‘Dyslexia’ and ‘Lexie Readable’, feature visual characteristics that help differentiate between similar letters and facilitate word recognition.
It should be noted, however, that there is no clear consensus in the scientific community as to the effectiveness of special fonts for dyslexic people. Study results are contradictory and inconclusive. Some researchers believe that the perceived benefits may have more to do with other factors, such as text layout, font size or letter spacing, than with specific characteristics of the font itself.
Line Spacing and Alignment
- Greater spacing between letters and characters improves legibility, ideally around 35 % of the average letter width. Word spacing should be at least 3,5 times greater than letter spacing.
- Larger line spacing improves legibility and should be proportional to word spacing; 1,5/150 % is preferable.
- Left-hand alignment clearly identifies line starters and facilitates word recognition,
- Wide margins prevent text from being too close to the edges of the page, improving legibility and reducing visual confusion.
- Empty spaces between paragraphs or sections improve text clarity and organization.
Text structure and highlighting
- Clear headings and sub-headings to organize content make it easier for children to find their way between the different parts of the text and orientate themselves as they read.
- Bullets or numbers clarify the sequence and structure of content when presenting information in list form.
- Underlining and italics give the impression that the text is flowing and cause overcrowding. Bold highlights words, but don’t overdo it. Borders or boxes isolate key information or examples.
- Illustrations, diagrams or relevant images help to understand and remember content. Illustrations should be clear and illustrate the text.
- Colored or lightly tinted paper reduces visuel fatigue and contrast between text and background. Light shades of blue, beige or gray are often recommended.
- Color combinations offer high contrast between the text and the background . For example, dark text on a light background, or vice versa. Bright, saturated colors can sometimes cause visual fatigue or distraction. Slightly muted colors or softer tones are preferable.
- Don’t overlay too many different colors in the same text, as this can also create confusion.
2. Reading guides
Reading guides, also known as reading rules, are visual tools that help focus attention on one line of text at a time. They reduce visual confusion and improve concentration and reading fluency.
Reading rulers are also available in digital versions.
3. Audio books
Audio books enable children to enjoy reading by listening to the texts instead of reading them. This improves comprehension, and children enjoy literature without the difficulties associated with reading.
Some publishers offer books specially designed for dyslexic children, using adapted fonts, special layouts and other visual elements to make reading easier.
5. Methods for learning to read
There are several reading methods adapted to these children. One of the recommended methods is the so-called ‘multisensory’ method, which combines different senses in learning to read.
6. Assisted reading softwares
In primary schools, assisted reading software offers several advantages.
It improves reading comprehension when the child listens to the text read aloud. It facilitates access to written content and boosts the child’s self-confidence by encouraging more fluent, independent reading.
7. Reading glasses
Reading glasses for dyslexics are designed to improve reading by alleviating certain symptoms associated with dyslexia, such as disordered eye movements and difficulty in maintaining concentration.
However, it should be noted that the effectiveness of reading glasses for dyslexics has not been conclusively demonstrated.