“Word Play & Learn!” is a new app designed by Justin Smith, a father who has dyslexia. “Being dyslexic and as someone who struggled to read myself – last year I decided to create an app to help my son (2 years) learn to talk.” Here is Justin’s story:
“I have always hated reading ever since I can remember. This is my short story …
I can remember my parents making me read out aloud in the kitchen while my mum cooked and while they had my best interest at heart – I really feel (now) forcing me to read was not the best way to engage me.
My parents bought me a BBC (B) computer back in the 80s – which I must say was the start of my love for computers / technology.
Starting by playing games, but I soon wanted more lives. My 1st coding attempt was to change nearly all the “3” (for 3 lives) – till i managed to get it to work. Hours of fun trying.
I found that I just don’t get the same hate, reluctance etc when viewing words (code) on a computer. This was my breakthrough.
I feel getting starting early, using technology really helped me.
My 1st born arrived just under 6 years ago and is a rapid developer. She was walking at 9 months, and talking very early on. When my 2nd born arrived he developed walking around 10 months but did not talk as well (at the same time) – so I decided to create my app.
The core idea was to help him repeat the words I said and to use it to introduce new words / objects. I added sound effects and a game to keep him interested (On average 10 minutes is the expected playing time). I used my daughter’s voice to give him a new perspective.
I was keen not to have adverts, allow offline working and to keep it very kid friendly.
Most recently, for my daughter – I added “telling the time” and for my son I added “at the beach” and “basic shapes”.”