Sunday, March 1, 2009
Heads Up! Review
Heads Up! is a company that makes and distributes products for children with learning challenges like autism, aspergers, Sensory Processing Disorder (which my oldest, Scott, suffers from), dyslexia, gross motor skills deficits...you name it, they have products to help.
They sent me several of their reading aids to review. Have you ever seen something and thought, "where have you been all my life"? Well, that was my reaction to these aids! They all work the same in concept, but are differently shaped to work in different applications. In essence, these aids are differently shaped thin pieces of polycarbonate that allow you to isolate text in any type of book. I think a picture is the best way to explain:
Here are the Frames. They come on two sizes, and six different colors. Of all the products they sent, this was the one we used least, but I think that is because of the books that we use for doing our work. I could see these being hugely helpful in isolating math problems, etc., but that's not how our math functions.
These next two are very similar. They are the Top of the Line and the Double Time. The top picture shows the Top of the Line, and you can see the colored part of the reader highlights one line of text above a opaque gray (or white on the other side) box that blocks the rest of the text below from being seen so the student can only focus on the current line of text. The Double Time works the exact same way, but highlights two lines of text. These both come in blue or yellow. These were our second favorite ones, and the fact that they work perfectly as book marks meant they were always there when we needed them.
Our favorites, hands down, were the Readers. As you can see, these feature a colored strip between two panels of gray (or white on the back). They work perfectly to isolate one line of text and transformed my oldest daughter's reading fluency. The difference was night and day. Especially with the blue one. A friend from church who is an LNP said she read recently that they are finding that highlighting text in blue helps people with dyslexia read more fluently by an astonishing percentage. My daughter has never been diagnosed with dyslexia, but she definitely struggles with fluency even though she has a firm foundation in reading. So we used the blue for her, and her improvement was amazing. Oh, and the Readers also come in clear too so you can have the benefit of text isolation without the color if you want and they work as bookmarks, so we have dome well keeping track of them.
I can't imagine any "cons" to these, and at only $1 a piece, you can afford to get a selection of different colors or sizes or both and have plenty for all your kids and their needs. I want to say also that just the other day I was in a teacher supply store about 30 minutes aways, and they sold reading aids like these. It was the first time I'd ever seen them anywhere else besides the ones Heads Up! sent. But they were $1 each too, and for the money, I'd rather order from Heads Up! and have them shipped than deal with an hour round trip in the car and the gas to get there. To order these, or check out other products from Heads Up!, go HERE.
To read what other members of the TOS Crew thought, go HERE.