The App: Letter Reflex
It is common for lots of children to experience difficulties with letter reversals and orientation of letters and numbers. While it is still age appropriate for occasional letter reversal to occur up to the age of 7, addressing difficulties in this area can be supported through specific apps, such as Letter Reflex.
The app provides a novel and ‘sensory motor’ way to learn the correct orientation for commonly mistaken letters “b” or “d” and “p” or “q” and numbers 3, 6, and 9. Moving the iPad in the direction of a letter e.g. moving the iPad for the letter ‘p’ to the right, due to the placement of the circle of the ‘p’ on the right. This kinaesthetic learning supports the integration of understanding left/right sides to support correct letter/number formation.
There are two games in the app: The above ’tilt’ game and the below ‘flip’ game. The tilt game requires children to lay the iPad flat, then tilt it from side to side, based on the letter that is called out. The placement of the ‘q’ and ‘d’ on the left reinforces the visual perceptual and letter formation skills of placing the ‘circle’ for those letters on the correct side of the stick. Similarly, the ‘b’ and ‘p’ require the tilting to the right, to match the letter formation. This kinaesthetic approach has been shown to be successful, and is often used by OT’s in the OTFC clinic, to support letter formation through ‘whole body movements’.
The swipe game works on the practise undertaken in the tilt game. In the swipe game the user must swipe a letter to match the top left ‘target’ letter, which then turns gold when correct. This reinforces a strong understanding of orientation and directionality, as the user must appreciate which direction the letter is to be swiped to achieve the gold letter.
Both games have timers, accuracy stats and increasingly challenging levels to support engagement and a users desire to obtain higher accuracy scores and faster times. In addition, the use of tilt in the ’tilt’ game, and moving targets in more advanced levels in the ‘swipe’ game, encourage motor accuracy and visual tracking.
For an app with two simple to use games, the visual perceptual and fine motor components addressed in this game make it a very useful and engaging tool for children who may be struggling with letter reversals.
*Note: OTFC has not received royalties or endorsing this app or product