Last Friday in CosmoCaixa, Change Dyslexia, the support network for people with the disorder, presented DytectiveU, an interactive game for mobile devices which detects the risk of dyslexia in children by means of a test and helps them improve their reading and writing skills. The presentation was supported by the Agbar Foundation.
The event—attended by the founder of Change Dyslexia, Luz Rello; the director of the "la Caixa" Foundation, Francesc Ventura; and the director of the Agbar Foundation, Eduard Pallejà—comes after a crowdfunding kickstarter campaign to support the project and six years’ work by a multidisciplinary team consisting of scientists and volunteers from Latin America (60 schools, 30 centres, 4 foundations and 3 universities, along with nearly 300 volunteers).
DytectiveU is an interactive game for mobile devices with two clearly differentiated modules. With the first one, affected children can do learning activities in game form, with up to 35,000 exercises whose difficulty adapts to the needs detected in previous activities. The second module provides an environment to enable professionals and parents to follow the child’s development. Specifically, professionals can view the daily development in up to 24 reading and writing-related variables. This is the first game to support dyslexia with such a large number of variables: language skills, working memory, perceptive process and executive functions.
The income generated by the app will go towards the social aims of Change Dyslexia: ensuring the dyslexia test remains free, setting up grants to treat less well-off children with dyslexia and opening new lines of scientific research to help with dyslexia.
It is reckoned that between 10% and 15% of the population have dyslexia, a learning disorder that affects reading and writing but not general intelligence. In Spain, approximately 600,000 school-age children have dyslexia, with the figure around 11 million when including Latin America. Only a third of children know and receive support, which generates elevated school drop-out rates.