Do you have a child who struggles with reading?
Do they get easily distracted, forget what line they are on or have trouble concentrating on what they are reading? Or do you have a teen who would benefit from a device that could eliminate distractions when reading?
I have recently found a clever device that may be a help to your struggling reader! It is called the Reading Focus Cards (Patent 7,565,759), made by Brennan Innovators, LLC. This company also offers an app -(Reading Focus Cards desktop app – Patent 8,360,779, that serves the same purpose, helping readers to focus on their reading. This review will be talking about the hand held reading focus cards, but will also be mentioning the app. later in this review, as well.
What are Reading Focus Cards? They are a hand held guide that can help readers with focusing problems, that have been helpful for readers of all ages. Here is one of their reading focus cards, so you can see how they look:
How do you use them? They are placed over the print, to help guide the reader to focus just on the words at hand! These cards also include a filter which is placed inside of the cards themselves, which ophthalmologists say also help with focusing.
How were theses devices created? They were inspired and made by a teacher, Joan M. Brennan, while working with a group of middle schoolers with ADHD issues. They had trouble focusing on their reading, and she devised these cards to help them with their work. And, boy, did they help! Reading Focus Cards can help readers of all ages, from picture book readers, to high schoolers reading novels or researching on the web.
Joan Brennan has gone on to work with many more students over the years, who had suspected/undiagnosed learning differences…and also benefited from these cards. Families and teachers who have purchased the Reading Focus Cards, have reported success as well.
The Reading Focus Cards have been shown to help kids with:
- ADHD and ADD
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Difficulty with convergence, or using both of the eyes together at the same time
- New readers who struggle with word-attack or decoding skills
- Kids with visual processing issues, who have not improved with visual therapy…and more.
These cards come in two sizes, which can fit large picture books to advanced textbooks, novels, paperbacks, and even recipe books, etc.
When you get your cards, instructions for putting them together are included. You will get a choice of filter colors to place into your cards. The three filters were made based on recommendations from visual therapists and doctors.
Here is a trick for inserting the filter into the Cards. As instructed, please pull the paper, on the back of the Cards, a little at a time, like this:
See how I pulled the tan paper back, just a little, from the orange Reading Focus Card? That way I easily attached the filter to the Card.
There is also a NEW Reading Focus Cards desktop app (Patent 8,360,779), published in late 2014, allowing readers to use this same technique with digital media! Both products are frugal.
If you have a child struggles with reading, focusing, and visual distractions, or a teen, who just gets distracted by the other words on the page…my family recommend trying the Reading Focus Cards.
As an OT, I know that visual perception is not complete until age 9, or even later. Many kids, then, are likely to struggle with too many words to look at on the page. This product does a good job of helping children and teens focus on their reading! I like how they work to eliminate distraction, helping the reader to focus on just the words at hand, at the time.
The Reading Focus Cards (and app) are both made by Brennan Innovators, LLC, a company that designs and manufactures tools for all kinds of readers. For more information, please go to www.FocusandRead.com, and check out their blog at Help for Struggling Readers, full of resources and encouragement.
Betsy blogs at BJ’s Homeschool about high school and college and all the fun of homeschooling the early years too. As a veteran homeschooler and the mom of a college student and homeschool grad, Betsy also offers free help to homeschool families, She is the author of Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.