Perhaps these misunderstandings are cause for a laugh. Perhaps they present us with minor frustrations. Perhaps, at worst, you drive to meet somebody at the wrong time, or show up to the wrong location, or somebody’s sister gives birth to a gorilla.
It’s clear how even one wrong word can change the entire meaning of a sentence…. dramatically. For those of us with neurotypical brains, it’s usually easy enough to catch these mistakes. Why? Because we are able to glance over the scripted words and evaluate them for accuracy, grammar, and correct meaning in mere seconds, before the light turns green again or before we bump into a store shelf. We are able to read, or ask our virtual assistant to read, our friend’s horrified response and piece together where, exactly, our trip to see Santa went terribly wrong.
We took the kids to see Satan and Ethan cried the entire time! He was so scared, poor little guy.
Poor guy is right! I would cry too if you sat me down on Satan’s lap!!
Holy moly… I meant SANTA!!
Now. For students with reading and learning disabilities, what poses a simple enough problem for many of us can present a complex obstacle to effective communication. When a student uses speech-to-text and isn’t able to make corrections by merely glancing over their writing, a story about a family trip to the beach can come out on the page as something like “taking a turn to go to Iceland,” and because of the limitations they experience, they may be unaware of the drastic change in destination.
This is the difference between thousands of miles and a climate as dissimilar as night and day. It is the difference between the sun’s warmth, sand castles and waves, and darkness and ice and lava fields and northern lights. It is the difference between the magic of effective communication, and the beautiful connections that follow in its wake, and being misunderstood and frustrated.
At Don Johnston, we’re deeply interested in providing students and teachers with the right tools to build bridges over such learning challenges, bridges that can potentially span the miles that separate them from their full potential. One such bridge we’ve recently raised in Co:Writer is a feature erected with speech recognition’s typical limitations in mind. And it can assist that student to realize academic independence.