In Loving Memory of Samuel Bomgard
Effective dyslexia remediation specifically designed for older struggling readers (age 7+).

Managing the snowflake: Avoiding Frustration

In this short article we will explain some approaches to help you and your child work constructively with the snow flake in the Reviews and Words modules.

Guard against frustration

We have researched and worked very hard to create a learn-to-read remediation for older struggling readers which delivers success and recovers their motivation to learn to read.

When working through the suggestions in this article please gently and lovingly explain to your child that you are simply helping to get off on a good and positive start. Please do not ask of the child to retry and retry and retry. We can solve your experience and keep motivation high. This article should help you, and remember: We're only an email away: .

Why do we have the snowflake?

The snowflake was introduced in Version 4 of Dynaread (Spring 2012). Its purpose is to verify and ascertain that your child is actually looking at the words on the screen—their orthography—when listening to and echoing its pronunciation. This actual looking to the screen is instrumental, as we seek to couple the visual imagery of a word with its pronunciation, in preparation of further and deeper couplings with other language components (grammar, syntax, semantics/meaning, and context) during the Reader Module phase.

What do we expect of the child when working with the snowflake?

The snowflake can be thought of as a soft reaction game. Soft, because it is not the main exercise but rather a gentle background exercise we ask of the child.

  • Each display of a word will only show a single snowflake appearance;
  • Each snowflake appearance asks for a single response = clicking the mouse in the Word area, or touching the Word area on a touchscreen device;
  • The response time is measured and should be reasonable quick following the appearance of the snowflake.

If the child is not looking to the screen, and missing snowflake responses, the program concludes that the child was not paying attention at too many words. This conclusion will result in the program asking to do the Reviews module round, or Words module round again.

I understand it all, but my child still fails: Why?

You can monitor whether or not the child is effectively responding to the snowflakes. We display in the right bottom corner the count of missed snowflakes. The counter counts down: when reaching 0 the exercise will stop and ask the child to redo the exercise again. Below, you see a screenshot of this counter.

snowflakes missed counter

The following things can go wrong and cause the child to "fail" the snowflake focus or attention tracker.

  • Missing too many snowflakes ( = not responding to them before the disappear again);
  • Hitting the mouse or spacebar more than one time per snowflake. Repeated clicking of the mouse, or tapping the space bar, will be regarded as an invalid response;
  • Responding to the snowflake too late. We do not ask a super quick immediate response, but do expect the child to respond promptly.

I understand that also, but still my child fails...

If all of the above has been understood and is applied, we are left with only two common scenarios. Mouse or spacebar usage issues, or multi-tasking issues.

Mouse issues

Make sure your child's mouse sits inside the approved area. When the mouse is outside of it, a white rectangle will show around the word/phonics exercise area. Bring the mouse inside the approved response area.

Make sure the click action of your mouse work smoothly. Wireless mouses may falter when low on battery.

Spacebar issues

We recommend using the mouse. But if you do choose to use the spacebar, then the following considerations may be the cause of the issues.

Your child may not be pressing the spacebar enough to make contact. Some children have a beautifully graceful and tender disposition and tend to pussycat the spacebar. To test this, simply open a text editor on your computer (Wordpad, Word, anything that handles text) and type a series of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Then place your curser in the middle of it and then do a little game with your child. Each time you show thumbs up, your child is to hit the spacebar. You should see the x-pattern shift right, like this: xxxxx xxxxxx, creating a space.

Multi-tasking issues

Working with our Reviews and Words modules does require mild multi-tasking. Research evidences that children with dyslexia run an increased risk to struggle a bit with multi-tasking. However, our science team carefully considered all data and concluded that our requested level of multi-tasking should present no problem. Our field experience evidences that their conclusion was correct.

Still stuck?

Every child is unique. We have the technological means behind the program to custom-adjust snowflake behavior for your child. We can also micro-track all actions and responses on a per child basis and deeply analyse what is going on, in order to come up with solutions. If all of the above still does not help you, please do not let your child experience consecutive failure: Contact us! We're here to help and love to help.

We're passionate about your child's success!

Photo showing an Elementary School boy reading.

What is Dyslexia

Watch a 10 min video explaining very clearly what Dyslexia is, and how it affects your child.

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quote-sign Our Dynaread team members are required to hold themselves accountable for serving our clients in adherence with our core values...

Contribute with scientific and overall integrity.
Retain the focus on the needs of each individual child.