Dyslexia: Using W i d e letter spacing

In previous posts I have discussed our understandings of what dyslexia is and some of the basic principles to supporting people with dyslexia. A recent research project conducted by a French-Italian research team has provided some additional ideas to supporting people with dyslexia.

The study, published in June 2012 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) has concluded that using wider letter spacing may be a crucial aid in helping people with dyslexia to read 20% faster and to make half as many errors as when using standard spacing.

An approach such as this is potentially very useful for teaching staff and parents as it requires no prior training and resources could be generated very easily at home or at school. Of course, such a strategy is only one strategy from many others which may be useful to a particular person. The success of any approaches will depend on the nature of the difficulty the person experiences, and no approach will be successful in helping all people with dyslexia to improve their reading skills. Dyslexia is currently estimated to affect one child in every class and approximately 5% of the world’s population.

The research team have also developed an app for utilising the wide letter spacing approach that can be used on iPad’s and iPhones.



  1. Helping your child with dyslexia at home can be difficult at times. Before getting started, it’s usually best to consult with your child’s teachers and other reading professionals working with him or her. They can probably give you a good idea of the severity of your child’s issues and what you can expect to accomplish with home tutoring sessions. Also, the U.S. Department of Education’s website has a section created to help you as parent identify specific learning disabilities.^

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