OKC Dad Inspired By Son, Creates App To Help People With Dyslexia

Wednesday, December 26th 2018, 6:26 pm
By: News 9

A new app is on the market, specifically targeting readers with dyslexia. A local dad came up with the software for his child, and his local library helped him make the breakthrough. 

The library continues to evolve beyond being a place to pick up books, now offering more free resources that are truly changing lives.

“Whether you are super good with computers or you know a lot about history or you’re just now starting out in a certain hobby or anything, there’s something for you,” says library spokesperson Victoria Stephens.

Last year, software designer Pierre Liebenberg noticed his 3rd grade son was starting to fall far behind his peers in reading. That is when they discovered he had dyslexia.

“The words wouldn’t hold still on the page when he was reading them,” Pierre says, “so if it’s just one word, he doesn’t have to worry about other words jumping around on the page.”

Pierre says there was surprisingly not much help available. He learned, though, that he could train himself to develop an app using Lynda.com for free with his metro library card.

The result is the Lexico app, which allows users to highlight any text and transfer it to a dyslexic-friendly font on a yellow background.

Pierre explains, “The idea is that it allows the reader or the reader’s eye to ground the text a little more.”

It works, for Pierre's son at least.

He says, “I put a few words in front of him and suddenly he was recognizing them, where if it was on a page or any other context he couldn’t read them.”

His son’s test scores have doubled since last year. As a nod to the free Lynda subscription Pierre used to build Lexico, he now offers his app for free around the globe.

“It’s empowering,” he says, “especially knowing that if there’s a problem and you need to solve it and there’s nothing else around, then you can do it yourself.”

Lexico is currently only available on iPad, but an iPhone version of the app is set to come out in early 2019. To learn more about the app, click here.

For more on the resources available through the Metropolitan Library System, click here.