Reading

Large print may be easier to read. Some companies will send bills in large print, or on cassette, on request. Try a large magnifying glass for small writing. A reading aid can be made out of a piece of plain card. Cut a slit in the card and place it over the page so that only one line of print is visible at a time. This cuts out the distraction of all the other words on the page. Or simply hold a bit of card under the line you are reading to help stop you jumping lines. Read small manageable chunks – listen to your body; don’t push through the symptoms (easier said than done, of course). You may find short stories, children’s books, comics, cartoon books or poetry more manageable than a novel, or try books on cassette (see Talking books). There are computer programmes which can speak text from the screen. (e.g. ‘Text HELP! Read and Write’). Ask other people to read aloud to you. Letters can be sent on tape. When reading through a text it is sometimes useful to highlight important passages for ease of future reference. You may find it easier to read while lying down, and printing text onto coloured paper can also be helpful. I find skim reading particularly over-stimulating, as my brain can’t select only the words I want to see and gets overloaded. To avoid skimming when looking at an index, focus on one word then jump to another word and read it properly, rather than scanning lots of words. Keep jumping until you get close to the word you are looking for. When searching for a particular page number in a book, keep your gaze on the numbers only; take care not to look at the rest of the page until you get to the one you want. Instead of skimming lots of pages of The M.E. Tips Collection, look at the contents page to locate what you are looking for. If holding a book is difficult there are many designs of bookstand, which vary in their effectiveness for different sizes of book. Some local libraries operate a delivery service for housebound people and they may have large print books and also books on tape.

Computer : Education : Headaches : Over-Stimulation : Pacing : Paperwork : Talking books : Tray : Writing