My fiance is an adult in his 30s with dyslexia. We are trying to locate the best online program to help him improve his reading and writing through games, activities, etc. We are looking for something he can do without a tutor; basically, practice 30 minutes to 1 hour per day until his skills improve.

I see a lot of tutor-based programs for kids. I was unable to find anything for an adult that meets this criterion.

If you can provide a good recommendation, we would greatly appreciate it.
Dr. Pierson's Response: 
I checked with my colleague, Dr. Lauren Katz, who is a whiz with adults -- and we really do not know of an online program. Most individuals with dyslexia need some systematic intervention from a clinician or tutor. Without knowing your fiance’s strengths and weaknesses, it's difficult to answer this question. For example, if decoding is a real challenge for him, he may benefit from some work on letter-sound correspondences and spelling patterns and rules, as well as word study of roots, prefixes, and suffixes. If his issue is fluency and reading efficiently, then he may benefit from learning strategies for reading comprehension. Relative to writing, is it spelling per se that is challenging, does he have a difficult time getting started, organizing his thoughts, developing a thesis?

Without knowing his specific challenges, I’ll offer a few general suggestions. To help with improving reading in general, he might benefit from using a text-to-speech app or program that highlights text and reads it aloud. He should follow along with the text (rather than merely listening to the audio). We do know that the more one reads, the better a reader one becomes. The Kindle has this function. I’ve got software options here [1].

You might look at Marcia Henry's Words book, which is a good resource relative to learning about syllable types (which can help one decode and spell words), as well as Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes. I’ve got that book, and others, listed here [2].

If he has trouble getting his thoughts down when writing, the speech-to-text (dictation) software might be helpful. The students with whom I work really like Inspiration as they can get their ideas down while organizing them in a visual format and then with the click of a button, they can put it all in an outline. Ginger software is an option to help with spelling. There are more options under Writing at the software page link above. Although written for professionals, I’ve also got information about writing here [3].

I think some of these software options may be his best bet if he is going to try and do this on his own. If your fiance does decide to work with someone, he will want to find someone who understands the adult learner. Dr. Katz is currently working with an adult who was a non-reader and who is now reading due to systematic instruction. It is never too late to improve!