Screening and Intervention System for enhancing the Learning Process of the Dyslexic Children
(Proposed under the IMPRINT Program)

Dyslexia stands to be the most common reading disorder affecting about 10% of the world population. In India, more than 15% of school going children suffers from this disability. According to the World Federation of Neurology, dyslexia is "a disorder manifested by difficulty in learning to read despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and socio-cultural opportunity". The cause of dyslexia is considered to be neuropsychological deficits with disabilities in skills such as alphabet acquisition of both sound and shape, generating rhyming words, reading out irregular and/or nonsense word, spelling errors, letter misplacements, difficulty distinguishing homophones and small written vocabulary.

For writing, different types of writing systems require very different neurological abilities for visual and auditory processing; therefore, the predictive deficits of dyslexia may vary from one language to another. For example, in alphabetic languages like English, phonological awareness is an indicator of reading ability, whereas, logographic languages like, Chinese require orthographic awareness and high motor programming. It has also been observed that a language having deep orthography such as English has adverse effects on children suffering from dyslexia than the shallow orthographic languages such as German [1-2].

Due to the cognitive difficulty in reading and writing, many affected students drop out from or lag behind in mainstream education. The hurdles are attempted to be overcome through the intervention and help of the special educators who are properly trained. Due to the paucity of such educators, who can intervene only during the school hours , such interventions fail to cater to the need of many students and also cannot be taken forward through 'home rehabilitation'. Moreover, the screening process through standardized tools, are carried out manually in India. The imported tools are also very expensive. Consequently, the schools fail to identify many students who need help.

Signs and manifestations of dyslexia have been studied for alphabetic and logographic languages [1,2,5-7]. However, such initiatives are still in infancy for Indian languages, such as Bangla, Devnagri and other Indian scripts, which follows abugida writing system. Bangla writing system, for example, which is more like a glyph, presents a very complex orthography for the learners and also contains many phonetic inconsistencies and therefore a deep orthographic depth [3-4].

ICT can play an effective role in alleviating some of these problems, a fact that forms the genesis of the present proposal.

Aim and Deliverables:

1. To develop indigenous and Indianized ICT systems (running on tablets / desktops) that can be used to


  • capture the cognitive data from the students, asked to independently perform different tasks

    • existing tools will be adapted and new schemes may be synthesized

  • help the teachers in identifying traits through the analysis of captured data

  • utilize self-driven intervention systems for

    • reading (at word, sentence and paragraph levels)

    • spelling

    • pronunciation

    • syllabification

    • pattern identification

      • with real time feedbacks using NLP techniques and Speech Processing

    • Monitoring reading speed and performance
The ICT based tools will allow monitoring the errors and giving the child multiple opportunities to practice in privacy and at her own comfort zone.
  • Identify hotspots through pattern analysis of the writing dynamics of a child.
  • 2. Analyze the effect of the different glyphs on the cognition of a child, through establishment of correlation among bio signals (EEG and GSR) and behavioural patterns.

    • This may result in suggestive recommendations on font selection for reading materials.

    References:

    [1] Landerl, Karin, Heinz Wimmer and Uta Frith. "The Impact of Orthographic Consistency on Dyslexia: A German-EnglishComparison." Cognition (1997): 315-334.

    [2] Frith, Uta; Wimmer, Heinz; Landerl, Karin (1998). "Differences in Phonological Recoding in German- and English-Speaking Children". Scientific Studies of Reading 2 (1): 31?54.

    [3] Shaywitz, Sally E., M.D., and Bennett A. Shaywitz, M.D. (2001) The Neurobiology of Reading and Dyslexia. National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy Focus on Basics, Volume 5, Issue A - August 2001.

    [4] Van den Bosch, A., Content, A., Daelemans, W., and De Gelder, B. (1994). Analysing orthographic depth of different languages using data-oriented algorithms.

    [5] Xu GF, Jing J (September 2008). "Major achievements in relation to dyslexia in Chinese characters". Chin. Med. J. 121 (17): 1736?40.

    [6] Snowling, Margaret J. (2004). "Chapter 4: The science of dyslexia: a review of contemporary approaches. in Turner, Martin and John Rack. The study of dyslexia. Kluwer Academic/Plenum publishers.

    [7] Wolf, Maryanne (2007). Proust and the squid. Harper Collins. pp. 190-191.