Feedback from Jo-Anne, parent/educator, Ontario

You asked for some feedback.  Here are a few observations:

It’s one thing to accept the challenges of dyslexia in general.  It’s another to have to sit in math class with your hand up all the time – not because you can’t do math- but because you are unsure of the phrasing of the questions.  For our son, waiting for help was like a constant reminder of his helplessness and disability.  Now that he uses the c-pen, he can work independently and if he does need the teacher in math class, it will be for math – just like everyone else in the room.

We have a few children who badly need a quiet place to work.  But without the ability to read well, these students cannot ever be sent out of the teacher’s eye.  Now that we have c-pens, they can leave the room or go to the library… and there will be no excuse not to get their work done.

You’d think students would be hesitant to publicly use the c-pen?  Not in our experience.  In younger grades, peers go home asking their parents to get them one – it’s techy and cool.  In older grades, there is no way to hide your struggles.  We’ve found the c-pen to be embraced by older students as something they can use to help them be more independent.

Do parents worry the c-pen will become addictive and keep students from learning to read?  From our experience, the c-pen is one of the stepping stones to reading.  Once a child experiences the joys of ‘knowing what something says’ they become more open to trying to read.  The c-pen enables persistence to pay off for the child who is trying to make sense of the printed word.

Formerly, challenged high school students taking the grade 10 literacy test would all need scribes.  This year a few students opted for the c-pen instead and took the test “like every one else”.

At a recent teacher’s conference, we took our pen to our lunch sharing session.  In no time people around the table were whisking it off to show colleagues around the room what it does.  I’m sure the c-pen will continue to develop, but alreadyit offers a good solution to a wide population in a number of settings.