Spaced out text increases reading speed in dyslexia

Spreading letters of words further apart has been shown to help children with dyslexia read faster and more accurately.

Difficulty in reading and finding letters jumbled up are common early signs of dyslexia. Although common the nature of the condition and how exactly reading is affected is not well understood but many people are helped by using coloured overlays or tinted glasses which alter the contrast and brightness of the reading material and offer real improvements in reading speed for some.

One theory suggests that as letters move in and out of the blind spot of each eye, the brain becomes confused and the letters appear jumbled. Spacing out the letters may reduce this effect and in this latest study a 20% improvement in reading speed was noted.

Many people find increasing the space between lines helps reading a page of typed text. You can quite easily alter the text spacing on your computer in word processing software, try increasing it 1.5-2x and see how you like reading a paragraph of text. I quite like line spacing of about 1.5, it’s easier to read and looks much better when printed too.

Before diagnosing dyslexia or other forms of reading difficult it’s important to rule out more straightforward causes of reading problems such as a muscle imbalance or a need for glasses. We can test children from any age in a fun and and relaxed atmosphere so if you’re concerned, get in touch.

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