Read 123 for better reading by Maxamundo is a wonderful visual screening test for those kids who struggle with staying on task when reading, complain about wiggly words or lines, or just can’t seem to follow through with transferring information to their desk-top paper. All these behaviors or reactions are indicators of visual stress or other visual processing disorders. Once a kid has had an acuity check for vision, but is still rubbing his eyes, resistant or complaining; they are letting you know that the demands are too much. Eye fatigue is a major contributor to inability to perform and get work done, and many kids slip through the cracks so to speak because they are performing just above the cut-off point for services. Don’t we all remember what it was like to finish a paper or book for finals, at 2 a.m. then get up to present or test at 7:00 the next morning? Imagine feeling that way every day…many kids are sometimes just on visual overload.
Enter Read123 to the rescue! This super simple to administer app, helps kids determine their color choice preference and indicators for visual stress. It was developed by Optometrists for dyslexics and other poor readers ages 7 and up, and is based on the Irlen Method. In the UK there are 1 in 3 pupils that are likely to be affected, so the problem is more prevalent than first thought and very likely to extend to countries such as the USA. The unique feature of Read123 is it does more tests than with a specialist in less time as well as being more cost effective.Something as simple as changing the page color of what we are reading can improve the productivity of some individuals by increasing the ease of viewing and writing text. By eliminating glare and making the words appear more stable, there is less stress on one’s system. It is kind of like changing the
brightness or coloring on your nook, kindle, or other e-readers. The test takes about 5-10 minutes to take, and if you should make an error, you can always start over. In Part 1, you simply vote for the choice of color that is pleasing and makes the text easier to see. There is no right or wrong….you are just selecting what you like best. Part 2 & 3 asks first about suffering from epilepsy or migraines if so the test cannot be completed within the app. Here you look for changes in perception such as wavy lines or any distortions while looking at a complex black and white picture.
The last test assesses your speed in reading nonsense sentences aloud, once on black and white, and on your preferred color to assess improvement. It’s pretty hard, but you do get the hang of it once you’ve done it a couple of times. That’s it! Submit, and click for results. I would definitely use this as a screen to refer kids to a certified Irlen specialist and email the results to the family to take along with them for a follow-up evaluation. The app developers do have extensive resources and items to purchase in their store in England. The developers of Read123 are members of the General Optometrists Council and the Association of Optometrists.
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners. (edit)