Albert Einstein Interviewed about Dyslexia

The following is an interview performed by Ofer Chermesh, the founder of Ghotit, the leading writing and reading assistive technology for dyslexics, and Mr. Albert Einstein that suffers from learning disability like many other famous people, the man synonymous with the word GENIUS and the world’s most famous dyslexic. All of Mr. Albert Einstein texts are exact quotes.

Ofer: Thank you, Mr. Albert Einstein, for joining this interview. And thank you also very much for being a dyslexic genius. One of the major misconceptions that people have is that people with dyslexia have a lower intelligence. That is ridiculous of course…

Mr. Albert Einstein: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe”.

Ofer: Your son Hans Einstein has be quoted as saying that your “ teachers reported that . . . you were mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in his foolish dreams”. How do you describe your experiences at school and with your teachers?

Mr. Albert Einstein: “Most teachers waste their time by asking questions which are intended to discover what a pupil does not know. Whereas the true art of questioning has for its purpose to discover what the pupil knows or is capable of knowing”.

Ofer: Any insights for dyslexics who are struggling with their studies at school?

Mr. Albert Einstein: “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school”. “The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Ofer: You know, Ghotit, the company I have founded offers a unique spelling and grammar checker. It offers a solution that I as a heavy dyslexic have been dreaming about my whole life. What guidance can you provide for Ghotit?

Mr. Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Ofer: Developing an intelligent spell checker that offers word suggestions based on the context of the sentence has taken a longer time then expected?

Mr. Albert Einstein: “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity!”

Ofer: So what do you see in the future of Ghotit?

Mr. Albert Einstein: “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”

Ofer: Any business recommendations for Ghotit?

Mr. Albert Einstein: “Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.”

Ofer: Any final words?

Mr. Albert Einstein: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”.

* Nobody really knows if Einstein was indeed dyslexic.

Since we published this blog, we have learned about its popularity. I wonder why so many dyslexics look with admiration at Einstein?

I believe that the following solution would have been appealing to Mr. Albert  Einstein.

 

Understanding how dyslexics write

 

Ghotit iPad Apps Bundle – Dyslexia and Dysgraphia App Kit

Ghotit offers two iPad dedicated apps for dyslexia and dysgraphia:

We keep receiving many questions on the difference between these two applications. Most inquiries are as follows, “My son/daughter/etc. is a dyslexic. Which tool fits him/her best, Ghotit Real Writer or Dyslexia Keyboard?”

Both apps use Ghotit’s core high-tech assistive technology features such as Ghotit Text Correction, Ghotit Quick Spell Word-Prediction, Ghotit Talking Dictionary etc., and both are recommended by Michigan University / Understood.

Ghotit Real Writer (“Dyslexia Editor”) is a text editor. It provides simple word-processing functions applying the same set of assistive features as Dyslexia Keyboard. Ghotit Real Writer has the benefits of an attention concentrating environment. It is particularly helpful and recommended for children and adults with severe dyslexia/dysgraphia.

Dyslexia Keyboard was created for the more advanced users, for those who mastered the basic skills needed for routine use of Ghotit Real Writer. When the initial barrier of using an editor is acquired and those experiencing a dyslexia/dysgraphia disability have gained enough confidence, they may start writing directly to browsers, Pages, Office, social networks, etc. This is the context where Dyslexia Keyboard comes to help.

Thus, the correct answer to the question about the most appropriate Ghotit app is: “You need both: One app for the start and the other for the days to come.”

That’s why Ghotit just debuted a bundle of Ghotit Apps for iPad containing both apps for a reduced price.

The bundle is available from iTunes

 

Dysgraphia Treatments

Dysgraphia is a difficulty in handwriting and in the ability to produce a coherent piece of handwriting. Even though the handwriting of all dysgraphics is impaired, symptoms aren’t necessarily identical. Some perform copying tasks successfully, but their spelling is flawed, other express physical difficulties in writing letters indicated by the investment of exceptional efforts in accomplishing simple writing tasks. Still, other, spread their texts in an unordered ways, making it chaotic and illegible.

Scientists classified dysgraphia into the following three main types:

  • Motor Dysgraphia
  • Dyslexic Dysgraphia
  • Spatial Dysgraphia

The causes of motor dysgraphia are poor dexterity, deficient motor skills or poor muscle tone. People with motor dysgraphia need very much time and a huge effort to form letters. The writing in this case is illegible or poor at its best, and drawing is difficult. The finger tapping of these people is below normal, and though the spelling is normal, many times the writing is slanted because of holding the pen incorrectly.

In the case of dyslexic dysgraphia, people’s spelling is poor and their spontaneous writing is illegible but their copied work is pretty good. The normal finger tapping of the people with dyslexic dysgraphia indicates the deficit does not stem from cerebellar damage.

People with spatial dysgraphia have a problem understanding the space. Both their spontaneous work and copied work will be illegible in most cases and their abilities to write suffer as well. This disability is not fine motor based as the finger tapping sped and the spelling is normal in people with spatial dysgraphia.

These three analytical types serve as gross description of real life people. Many dysgraphics, though, exhibit mixed symptoms, a bit of motor dysgraphia mixed with a bit of dyslexic dysgraphia, etc.

 

Each of these pure types deserves a different approach, but since these distinctions are in practice are not clear-cut, the outcomes are frequently disappointing.

The treatment of Motor Dysgraphia is a frustrating experience since affected individuals exhibit deficient fine motor skills or muscle issues vulnerabilities. For these people writing is a very difficult task, and it requires lots of time and efforts. For motor dysgraphics, dictation is helpful and they can be assisted by using the excellent Siri on Mac/iOS, Google dictation on Android as well as fast improving Microsoft dictation available at Windows-10. The text after dictation should be further corrected to fix all confused words, possible homophones and punctuation errors – this is where Ghotit Real Writer & Reader 6 and Ghotit Apps are helpful.

Yet another option in certain cases of Motor Dysgraphia is to try Word-Prediction techniques. In general, Word-Prediction is supposed to decrease significantly writing efforts and to make typing a more pleasant experience. However, standard tools fail to provide useful predictions on typing or spelling errors. Ghotit’s Quick Spell Word-Prediction finds a way to correct them on fly and provide the right predictions even if some of the first letters are misspelled.

Ghotit’s Quick Spell Word-Prediction reads aloud suggested predictions and has an integrated talking dictionary explaining meanings and/or bringing usage examples for the predictions. Therefore, it is helpful for those with Dyslexic Dysgraphia where motor skills are fine, but written text shows multiple irregularities.

Proofreading of the written text, particularly with dual highlighting of the currently read phrase and the word, could make a real difference in the case of Dyslexic Dysgraphia and help to spot and fix the errors. But the best and most proven assistance could be a combination of proofreading with Text Correction (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) software particularly designed for this case: Ghotit Real Writer & Reader has embedded proofreading tools and Text Correction specifically designed for such writers whenever their writing is phonetic or non-phonetic.

And last, Spatial Dysgraphia. People with Spatial Dysgraphia, where keeping writing in lines and organizing text on a page are the major issues of handwriting, are normally spelling good and expressing well using computer keyboard. The remaining punctuation issues as well as splitting long phrases to short sentences could be mostly fixed by Ghotit Real Writer & Reader punctuation correction.

 

In conclusion: Ghotit Real Writer & Reader provides full writing, reading and text correction support for all types of dysgraphia and dyslexia (see Ghotit video at the Ghotit Home Page).

Dyslexia and Google Docs

With the increase in the number of schools and colleges using Google Docs web-based application, it becomes critical to ask the following question: What is the impact of this shift on pupils and students with dyslexia and/or dysgraphia?

The question could be further narrowed: What impact does this move from the use of MS-Word have on the ability of a dyslexic student to read/write/edit/dictate text documents?

 

For making basic editing tasks and creating good looking rich-text documents, Google Docs has a very simple and clear interface. There are many good fonts, including Serif family fonts, and font color as well as background color could be easily adapted. When a user enables Screen Reader in Accessibility Preferences of the user’s Google Account Preferences, several screenshot readers (e.g. ChromeVox) are available. Screenshot Readers are available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc., but these browser-dependent addins provide different sets of features and qualities.

Another accessibility related option is, however available, the use of a generic Screenshot Reader working with any application on screen. For example, Ghotit Screenshot Reader is a valuable example coming as a part of the Ghotit Real Writer & Reader 6 software.

 

Texts should preferably be formatted and adapted to each student’s individual needs. Documents should take a visually comfortable size, fonts and colors. It could be much easier to comprehend a text if a Read Aloud option is also available. All these reading facilitators are absent when the document is provided in a read-only format, without editing privileges, or when a student is hesitant about making changes to an original document. Ghotit Reader solves this problem by importing the selected text into its own window where student can change the fonts, adapt the foreground and background colors and read it aloud with dual highlighting.

 

For students without learning disabilities, writing in Google Docs is a smooth experience. However, since many students with dyslexia and dysgraphia are slow typists and need Word-Prediction, using Google Docs AS IS could be a frustrating experience. Google Docs does not offer a Word-Prediction option (while an Autocomplete option is available in MS-Word). There are several addins for browsers working with Google Docs and adding a well needed word-prediction option. The addins work properly with Chrome, but do not exist or could come with compatibility issues for Safari, Firefox or Microsoft browsers. Ghotit’s Word Prediction is specifically designed for those with dyslexia and dysgraphia and predicts text with instant correction by doing that universally outside of browsers and not depending on them.

 

A great feature of Google Docs is Voice Typing. Student can dictate a text of a reasonable quality and format it by Voice Typing Commands. (This feature is only available in Chrome browser). Normally, microphones of smartphones and tablets are appropriate for dictation, whereas laptops and desktops require a purchase of an external high-quality dictation microphone. Dictation comes nowadays also as a platform feature of Mac (Siri), iOS, Windows and Android. Thus, there is a choice between these two good dictation options, Google Docs Voice Typing or platform-specific dictation, and there is no need to spend money on extra dictation software packages.

 

Text created by Word-Prediction or Dictation is supposed to be free of misspelled words, but it still comes with confused words, homophone, grammar and punctuation errors. When students write directly to a Google Docs document, misspellings are inevitable. Google Docs is doing a great job of flagging misspelled words as well as some confused words and grammar errors with a level of text correction being good enough for a non-dyslexic user. This service is far from sufficiency, though, for students with dyslexia and dysgraphia, and this is where Ghotit Real Writer & Reader comes to deliver the solution for the students by solving most complex cases.

 

In conclusion: Overall, Google Docs is a welcomed step forward towards simplicity in creating text documents and through its embedded assistive technology. When equipped with an appropriate and individually tailor-made additional assistive technology, Google Docs could make a positive impact on success of pupils and students with dyslexia and dysgraphia in educational systems.
Ghotit Editor with Google Docs provides full writing, reading and text correction support for those with dyslexia/dysgraphia (see writing with Word-Prediction to a Google Doc as a part of Ghotit video at the Ghotit Home Page).

Ghotit Dyslexia App for Windows 10S Is in Windows Store.

Finally, it is coming…

Windows 10S, the streamlined version of Windows for education, makes its way to schools being:

– Budget friendly with laptops priced starting from $189;

– Secure where all software is coming only from Microsoft Windows Store;

– Controlled system with all software installed only by admins;

– Energy efficient saving battery and allowing a full school day for the laptops.

 

When it comes to the pupils and students with dyslexia and dysgraphia, remind to their teachers that those children need assistive software, and Ghotit App is already ready in Microsoft Windows Store.

Ghotit Real Writer and Reader App in Windows Store is the result of the joined work of Microsoft Bridge and Ghotit R&D teams and includes all features of the Ghotit Standard Desktop software combined with the known security and efficiency of Windows Store Apps.

 

Dyslexic Summer Break

Finally, the summer vacation is here and if you are a parent to a child who suffers from dyslexia, you might have a break from your routine, day-to-day helping chores .
Can you expect to accomplish Paul McCartney’s Summer’s Day Song?

Someone’s sleeping
Through a bad dream
Tomorrow it will be over
For the world will soon be waking
To the summer’s day

I doubt it.

I really don’t know what’s the best way you, a parent to a dyslexic child, should choose for the Summer vacation. If you do know the answer, please share it with us. The only thing I do know is that you should opt for a balance, on the one hand, not to let hard work altogether, but, on the other hand, letting your child enjoy vacation. We all need some rest, but as is the case with dyslexic children, we can’t allow ourselves the leisure of a total vacation.

We all know that dyslexia is not like pimples where there is a chance that your child will start next year without them. Your child will suffer from dyslexia next year and helping him or her is, unfortunately, a multi-year cruise.

Dyslexia Reading Problems

There are most probably millions of reading problems and zillions of causes for these problems, and I cannot claim I am an expert in any of them.

Still, no one can assist people with their reading problems without letting them at least starting with a classification of their problem.

There are at least three types of reading problems

  1. General reading problem
  2. Problem in focusing on a sentence or a word
  3. Problem in reading text in the context of an image

Experts in assistive technology specialize in offering technological solution for all three types of problems and most of my time as an assistive technologist is dedicated for developing and offering answers to these dyslexia reading problems.

How can these three types of problems be mitigated by assistive technology?

The first, and more common issue, can be approached by text to speech technology, adding our hearing sense to the reading experience. Joining forces, adding hearing to sight, increases comprehension significantly.

The second obstacle is an attention issue, subnormal ability to focus attention on a specific detail, a word or a sentence, in the context of paragraph or a page. The double coloring reader method can be applied to solve this problem. By marking a sentence with a discernible color and simultaneously mark words in row with another color, the energy needed for reading decreases significantly and reading follows smoother.

Comprehending test inside an image raises formidable difficulties to most dyslexics. Quite frequently images are multi-color constructs. Their creators invest more effort in esthetics than in easing understanding.   We all encountered captchas, these annoying images commonly used to confirm you, the surfer are a human being, not a robot. Many times I hoped for the showing up of a technological savior, freeing me from the confusing image. Screenshot reader method is exactly this technological savior for the learning disable. It is an extracting tool, putting the confusing colors and forms aside, and leaving us exactly where we want, reading the text.

Dyslexics Hell Words

Written word that contains many letters can be hell for dyslexics.

You welcome to try to write the following words (each word has 25 letters or more).

Dyslexics Hell Words List:

Amygdalohippocampectomies

Antidisestablishmentarian

Antiestablishmentarianism

Cholinephosphotransferase

Electroencephalographical

Microspectrophotometrical

Octillionduotrigintillion

Pancreaticoduodenectomies

Quinquagintacentilliardth

Quinquagintacentillionths

Quinquagintaducentilliard

Quinquagintaducentillions

Quinquagintatrecentillion

Quinquanonagintilliardths

Quinquaoctogintilliardths

Quinquaquadragintilliards

Quinquaquadragintillionth

Quinquaquinquagintilliard

Quinquaquinquagintillions

Quinquaseptuagintilliards

Quinquaseptuagintillionth

Quinquasexagintilliardths

Scaphotrapeziotrapezoidal

Undecillionsedecilliardth

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

The longest dyslexics hell word I found has 52 letters:

Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic describing the spa waters at Bath, England, is attributed to Dr. Edward Strother (1675–1737). The word is composed of the following elements:

  • Aequeo: equal (Latin, aequo)
  • Salino: containing salt (Latin, salinus)
  • Calcalino: calcium (Latin, calx)
  • Ceraceo: waxy (Latin, cera)
  • Aluminoso: alumina (Latin)
  • Cupreo: from “copper”
  • Vitriolic: resembling vitriol

 

How to Overcome Dyslexia !!!

Many blogs offer ways “how to overcome dyslexia”.  As a dyslexic, I don’t really believe that overcoming dyslexia is possible, and therefore, I don’t think the question “how to overcome dyslexia”  is an effective way of phrasing this question.

 

Instead, I recommend approaching dyslexia in a more realistic way. Switching from the unrealistic target of the deficiency abolition, curing this learning disability, we should develop compensation tools to ease the implications of dyslexia, leading our way to make the most of the insights and virtues associated with dyslexia.

 

We live in an open, almost borderless age, technology is making huge steps to help us, the dyslexics, providing tools to overcome the problems of writing and reading. The post-modern phrasing tends to be become shorter than ever, twitting instead of expanding, letting us, the dyslectics find our equitable integration in human interaction.

 

Today’s world is friendlier than ever, widely accepting and integrating people with dyslexia.

 

This is my feeling, and what about your, what do you think?

Phonological Memory

The ability to hold on to speech-based information in short-term memory is called phonological memory. We rely heavily on our phonological memory when reading and spelling. This skill is assessed by asking students to remember strings of numbers or to repeat nonsense words of increasing length and complexity. Students with poor phonological memory are unable to hold as much phonological information in mind as their age-matched peers. When recalling nonsense words, they tend to forget parts of the word and/or confuse the sounds and sequence of sounds in the word. Students with dyslexia and/or dysgraphia often have weaknesses in phonological memory.