My youngest daughter saw me writing 6 blog articles with Dragon Dictate. She wanted to try it!
I will mention up front that she had some learning challenges including speech and occupational therapy challenges. We have attempted to use Dragon in the past when she was younger. Back then she had difficulties getting past the initail training.
We went on to try to write a couple sentences. That did not go well.

Trying Dragon Dictate with my daughter, overcoming learning disabilities part 1

But later she worked to tell the entire story of Alice in Wonderland from memory.  That worked a whole lot better. Dragon Dictate, aka Mac Dictate) captured the concept, but as you can see in the video there were two levels of challenges here.  At times, my daughter’s enunciation was not perfect and Dragon had problems with this. At times, her enunciation was good enough for a human to hear, but the initial profile created from one training session was not yet developed enough to get things right!
I think this video does a great job of showing how much potential Dragon can be for children with learning disabilities or learning challenges.
It also makes it much more apparent what adults without challenges might face too. This is sort of like watching in exaggerated slow motion what people might expect.

Some Lessons learned helping my youngest daughter work with Dragon Dictate…

  • Mya was able to complete the initial training! That was a big milestone for us.
  • At first she      said      one      word     at      a time
  • then she said       two words      at a time    and sometimes      three
  • Mya my daughter really enjoyed this after she was able to tell a story.
  • It was tiring for her as she attempted to get the computer to say ‘Baby Alive’ a specific baby doll toy, whose name may may not be trademarked. That was not a word combination that Dragon could understand. Repeating it over and over again, did not help my daughter nor did it help Dragon adapt the profile.
  • Speaking many sentences and at a natural speed helped both of them tremendously!

Training Dragon Dictate w my daughter, overcoming learning disabilities part 2

More training Dragon Dictate w my daughter, overcoming learning disabilities part 3

Writing a story wDragon Dictate my daughter, overcoming learning disabilities part 4

Mya’s Telling of Alice in Wonderland interpreted by Dragon Dictate

Now, this text does not match up. We have two different dynamics at play here. A child learning to compose through speech and a machine learning to interpret what the child says.
Neither the child nor the machine has much practice or training yet. But she was ready to have fun and did have fun!
Next time around we’ll do more!…

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Day 2 Mya trying to improve her dragon dictate vocabulary Not Easy

Yesterday Mya set up her profile and told a story off the top of her head. Between her and the Dragon Dictate software, the accuracy… Was not very accurate.
This meant we needed to improve the accuracy some more. An adult with a reading and speaking vocabulary might experience much better results. A child with vocabulary and speech challenges will require a lot more practice.
In the end this was frustrating and difficult for Mya and me too at times. Mya loves YouTube and turning the camera on and recording actually helped her make more progress faster than anything else we had tried. She even calmed down more once the video started recording.
It felt counterintuitive for me at the time as I did this, but it did help. I should have started with the video right away!

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