When Louisa started school age 6 it was instantly clear that her spelling was poor compared to other children her age. By the end of the school year it had deteriorated so much that her father Kagema, himself a teacher, could only assume that the fault lay with her schooling. The daughter he knew was bright and energetic – it just didn’t make sense.
So in an effort to smooth over what had been a wholly negative early experience, Louisa repeated her first year of education at a different school. Yet another year went by and as far as writing was concerned; they saw no improvement. In fact things were actually getting worse. Not only was she reversing letters (such as b and d); but she was now reversing certain numbers as well. She desperately needed concentrated spelling help to turn things around.
From rock bottom to real-life reader in 6 weeks...
Phonics was a walk in the park for Catherine at age 5. She was in the top half of her class and had an all-round superb first year at school. However, after the summer holidays it was as if the slate had been wiped clean; all of a sudden reading became a real struggle.
At the start of Primary Two, while many of Catherine's friends moved ahead, Catherine was kept back with her reading. This meant repeating all of the books she had been working on in the previous year, which left Catherine feeling upset and demoralized.
She knew all her single sounds and vowel digraphs off by heart. In principle it was all there! The real difficulty came when Catherine was asked to read words she had learned (easily) two months before. Her mother Christine, herself a primary school teacher, couldn't help but notice that her daughter's confidence was quickly disappearing. She refused to blend or sound out and instead relied on wild guessing and picture cues to read words. As time went by things got much worse. It reached the point where Catherine was going to great lengths to avoid reading in any context.
The early signs had been positive. Shanel was careful to ensure that reading was well and truly part of her son's daily routine and Jaydon seemed to genuinely love books. He would take great delight in choosing the books he wanted mom Shanel to read to him, and his comprehension and general engagement were excellent.
Yet as soon as he started school, things quickly went downhill. So much so that after six months of school education Jaydon was painfully aware of his shortcomings with reading. Compared with his peers, he simply wasn't getting it.Shanel remembers how anxious and highly resistant he became to all forms of reading – whether it was in a book, on a signpost or in a supermarket.
After 7 years of frustration, the 'Ants' allowed teen Callum to fly...
Kevin and Elaine knew that their son had problems with reading and spelling from day one. This niggling feeling was followed by mounting evidence at school and at home. After a long wait and a hard fight, his parents finally convinced the local education authority to assess Callum, at which time their suspicions were confirmed.
By now Callum was 8 years old. He had been diagnosed as dyslexic and his reading was 3 years behind his peers. It was Kevin and Elaine's hope that following the battle that had built up to the diagnosis, this would be the first step towards expertly and swiftly ending their son's struggles. As it turned out this could not have been further from the truth.
When inaction from the school continued Elaine set out to discover for herself the options that were available. A few months later Callum started the Dore programme. It seemed to have quite an impact at first, especially on his balance. But after the initial boost it became clear that the improvements weren't permanent and the guessing habit quickly re-emerged.
7 year old Francis is dyslexic. Testing had revealed significant phonological and auditory processing problems and a shockingly low working memory capacity. What the test did not measure, was his terror when it came to reading a book.
Daily intervention for Francis' reading and writing at school and at home for over a year failed to achieve a significant improvement.
Tessa dreaded the daily tears that were associated with the journey to school. She would describe the whole process as being nothing short of "torture" for both of them.
Lyn can remember how when her son was at nursery, he was observed as being one of the most promising children in his class. Indeed, Andrew was progressing incredibly well in all areas and staff often commented on how bright he was. Then, he went to school....
From age 5 onwards Andrew's difficulties with his reading were woefully apparent. All Lyn could do was to hope that the school would guide him home.
But by the end of the next year, Andrew had not reached any of the required target levels. During Year 1 (Kindergarten) his reading and writing skills were almost non-existent and so by Year 2 (1st Grade), Lyn decided to question the school about his reading and writing abilities, to which the Teacher replied: "well Andrew struggles with everything, doesn't he?"
Lyn promptly took Andrew out of the school and opted for a year of homeschooling. They hired a tutor who assured Lyn that her son was very bright and would catch up. He didn't.
Just over a year ago, things were looking very different for Gabriel – he was in third grade and was classified as being 3 years behind his expected reading level. Gabriel's mom, Bonnie, was being confronted with worrying acronyms left, right and center. With an IEP in hand, as well as a diagnosis for PDD, APD, ADD and Dysgraphia, the Landau household was praying for some help for their son.
One thing that Bonnie had noticed, but which no one had as yet put down on paper for her, was the fact that her son was a distinctly visual learner. For instance, despite his difficulties he was a whiz at puzzles, and scored at high school level on his visual pattern recognition during an IQ test.
Our son Ben turned 7 in November 2011. We had been concerned about his lack of progress in reading for some time. After several requests, over a six month period, we managed to arrange a meeting with the school. With no hesitation they agreed that Ben was experiencing difficulties in his reading. However, the child they described was not the one we knew.
They said he had little imagination and was unable to express himself verbally.
At home he is known for his long, detailed stories and impressive vocabulary. They said his difficulties would affect all areas of his school work and seemed to be looking only at damage limitation. As far as they were concerned, this was a problem which was not going to go away. It was one we would need to help him to live with. We felt they were writing him off too soon. The one thing we all agreed on was that Ben did not realise he had a problem and his confidence was still high. The school's plan for the future was to leave things for 3 months, focus more on his reading and writing, and to further assess Ben during that time.
Izzy always loved being read to. Mum Sheryl remembers that when she turned 2 she was able to recite all her favourite books word-for-word. It seemed impossible that her daughter would be anything but a high flying reader once school began.
However when Izzy began full-time education at age 4 it was like she just wasn't ready to board the train yet. The school day was more tiring for her than any of the other children and all she wanted was to be back at nursery playing with her dolls. Being a naturally care-free and bubbly child, she ploughed on with little complaint. For a while it worked; she seemed to be making good progress and was one of the most popular children in her class.
Within the space of 1 year the situation could not have been more different. Suddenly a reluctance to read raised its ugly head and permeated everything Izzy felt and did during her school day.
Our son could not read at nearly six, we knew something was wrong as he did not get it at all.
I did some research and came accross easyread. We did the programme and within six months he was a fluent reader and devouring paperbacks. Now aged nine he is an avid reader and has a love of reading, he has just completed the C S Lewis and Harry Potter series.
We had the same problem with my daughter who age six was falling behind with her reading at school. I did the programme with her over the summer holidays and the difference was astonishing. I did not mention that we had done the programme to her teacher. Two weeks into the term her teacher commented on the astonishing transformation in Nancy's reading and asked what we had been doing over the summer.
Easyread is brilliant for children. Phonics did not suit mine, I think they are visual readers, but I am not sure. It is a fantastic system and they both loved doing the programme. I wish it was available to all as so many children leave primary school without being able to read.
My daughter age 9 has been using the easy read system the customer service is excellent she enjoys the lessons and games and I have never had to nag her to do it 15mins is just the right amount of time and the postal gifts keep them motivated apart from some auditory problems the package is very well designed.
LUKES AMAZING SUCCESS WITH EASYREAD Luke had got by with reading but it was not something he sought for pleasure. Lukes spelling on the other hand was atrocious. By the time he was 10 years of age, his mother Jill felt they had reached a brick wall. They tried regular trips to the library and the school intervened jwith regular sessions with a Learning Support Teacher. However, nothing worked, Jill decided that something was still being missed as Lukes reading was improving but his spelling was so disastrous. On looking through the internet, Jill discovered Easyread, we took the trial, Luke, loved it, and was keen to carry on. Over the coming weeks Jill felt that for the first time that it had been possible to capture Lukes imagination, the results have been amazing. Jill watched as Lukes confidence grew,prompting both teacher and friends alike, to comment on the change they were seeing in Luke,and also Lukes own feelings regarding school were changing for the better. Both Jill and Luke, feel that this system is a brilliant learning tool for children,Luke, had fun doing the lessons, learning about the little boy Ungar, in the stories, and playing the games, whilst most importantly learning and spelling better, and retaining what he has learnt. We would have no hesitation, in recommending this system of learning to both parents and children alike, you have nothing to loose and in Lukes case, everything to gain.
As my son was growing up, I did everything I could to help insure he would gain a love of learning and reading. He loved books at a very young age, would pour over them, we would read and re-read material. He had always been a child with chronic ear infections we have had to present 7 sets of ear tubes. (They just kept getting pushed out, he was growing so fast.) I had worked with him so that before he began school he knew all of his letters, sounds and a word to associate with each. I really thought I had him on a great learning plan. He had had great success up until the middle of second grade. His teacher told me he had a good reading level, but he had not gained any ground and we were half way through the school year. We both zeroed in on his reading, he was missing the easy words; he worked on it at school I made him work on it for hours at home. (Poor kid one of his biggest problems was that his mother was a 3rd grade reading teacher.) By the end of the school year, we had him academically tested through the schools. Of course they came up with ADD, and auditory processing problems. We continued to work through medical help and guided educational direction he was still not progressing and becoming more and more frustrated.
Finally, my son was in my reading class, oh my, seeing your child read at home to you and then seeing them read in class is two different experiences. There were days, I walked into the hall and shed many tears for him. I knew how hard he worked at home, and I was seeing the frustration and despair he faced in class each day. I told my husband, “I know what the schools testing showed, but I want him tested by outside professionals.”
We began the testing process, trying to get a good doctor and jumping through insurance “blue-tape” it took us until May to begin the actual testing. I knew the EOG’s were up coming and I knew the importance of his doing well. I just told him to do his best, pretend you are reading to me. He had an IEP and would be testing outside the classroom. Read-a-loud to self, separate room, and read aloud in math were his modifications. If the test could have been read to him and the questions asked, he would have blown the top off, but…he scored a 1 out of 4. I smiled at him and told him proud I was of him when he got back to the room, and he said “do you know how I did already?” I told him no, I just knew he had given me his best. I got a break and went to the testing coordinator and asked about his test, she sat me down and said I want you to see and hear about this. The lady who did his EOG test said he read every word, he had his finger on the line, but the words were “way off”, the easy words “a, and the” he rarely got correct in reading. She said it baffled her to see him get hard words and miss so many easy words. My hands did not touch his test booklet, but the testing coordinator showed me his math assessment portion booklet, where he worked the problems got the answers correct then went to mark the answer and marked it wrong. After work I called the doctor conducting the educational testing and asked about dyslexia. Over the phone the nurse said she would ask the doctor. The doctor later called and they wanted me to bring my son in 15 minutes early for our next appointment then we would go over the results. We got the office early and 1 ½ hours later she walked out looking as exhausted as he did.
I was so alarmed, we asked my son to play on the computer as we talked. She folded her hands on her lap and proceeded to inform me that my son was chronically dyslexic in reading, writing and math. I asked her for some suggestions, she quickly informed me I needed to research on my own, that the school systems were no help. Her suggestion was a private school. I myself had been a teacher for 10 years and knew I had never had a diagnosed student of dyslexia. . I was scared and left wondering, “Now, what do I do?”
I got home, called the educational specialist at my school and had a meeting with the Exceptional Children’s directors for the school system set up. I knew they could assist me in helping my son. WRONG! Before the meeting I had gathered any information I could concerning dyslexia and how to overcome it. These 5 ladies, my new principal at my school, and the EC teacher and guidance counselor at our school all sat down to meet. The EC director graciously informed me that my son was “the only student in our school system with the written diagnosis of dyslexia.” I would need to let them know what I thought he needed to make him successful. The reading systems that the currently in place did not address dyslexia, this much I knew; I had been one of the pilot teachers for the county with that reading program. Again, I was on my own, but I now knew what the problem was, it was no longer a mystery.
While on our summer quest, I had other family members helping in the research. My mother came across the “Easy Read System” for dyslexia online. I pulled it up and looked; skyped and spoke with the staff at Easy Read, then called and told my husband. He told me to try it and see. We signed up and began our lessons that day. When the first lesson was over, my son, who by this time, hated anything to do with school, (and our relationship was at a breaking point), looked at me and said, “Let’s do it again.” I could have jumped through the roof with joy! Later in the day, my husband called to check in, and my son began telling him all about the games and fun stuff he had learned that day.
We faithfully completed our lessons throughout the summer and as school was ready to begin, I knew I had seen so much improvement in his reading skills, but I was concerned still for Montgomery’s self-esteem as school began. I had an IEP meeting with his teachers and I just explained that we were all learning how to help him together. His reading teacher took my suggestions on not placing him in the Corrective Reading program, because of the group read aloud requirements and not to have him read aloud in class. He was given “large print” text books and this along with his amplified glasses would be how we started our 4th grade journey.
My son has worked hard, he loves the Easy Read Lessons, even on Sunday’s, when I would have let him take the “day off”, he wants to complete the lesson. By the end of the 1st nine weeks of school, Montgomery was actually raising his hand and volunteering to read in class. Remarkable!
We have not finished our Easy Read Lessons yet…but we are continuing to grow and learn to overcome dyslexia. I cannot tell you how much the Easy Read System has taught me in helping other students I teach. I see many characteristics of dyslexia (characteristics I did not know and recognize before) in some students, and have mentioned to several parents about how successful the program has been for my son.
Montgomery picking up a book on his own before now didn’t happen, but this past fall he came up to me with a hunting magazine and began reading it to me and of course declaring he needed this magazine for his hunting. My thought was you think hunting, I am thinking your reading. Yes, because he surprised me so, he did get the magazine; but as a reading teacher, I know it does not have to be a book that students read, just have something that gets their attention (a comic book or hunting magazine) and see their world open up.
We are all life-long learners, it is just a different journey some travel in the learning. Students with dyslexia are very bright, they have been self teaching themselves for a while before parents and teachers figure out what they are actually doing. Thank you Easy Read for allowing me to help my son and give me my son back. We no longer are frustrated with dyslexia, we have accepted it, and work to overcome it day to day.
Our 7 year old Sam is now 5 months into the Easyread programme.
When I was looking for a programme to help him I was impressed with how accurately the description of optilexia given by Easyread fitted him, and the no-nonsense description of a plan which does not claim to give instant success but rather a continous programme of support tailored to the learners' needs.
He has gone from being over a year behind his peers, and hating getting his reading books out at home, to being in the top half of his class and asking us to buy more books.
When we started one of the biggest problems was that Sam would not tolerate being asked to go back and read a word again, he was always guessing without trying to read the word at all and would get annoyed when he was picked up on it.
Easyread gave us the means to make him get the sounds right, especially when he was reading with only the sounds, as there was no way for him to cheat. The system has also allowed us to gradually improve his pronunciation to the point that now we can tell him when he has got a word wrong and he accepts this, reads it properly and moves on.
In the early stages the "1 hour lockout" which stops a child going back to a lesson too quickly was invaluable. (It meant we could blame "The computer" for not letting us start again rather than it being us stopping him!)
This gave him the time to calm down if he'd been making too many mistakes. After the first few weeks this stopped being a problem and we haven't looked back.
Finally we can relax about Sam's reading as Easyread has worked at exactly the right time in his development to stop his reluctance to learn becoming a problem with other subjects at school.
My son James, who is almost 10, had always been very bright, positive,cheerful and loved going to school. Upon entering 2nd grade,it slowly became obvious to us that he was struggling with reading and spelling. He began to guess at words alot more than ever and seemed to be increasingly frustrated, unhappy and more negative toward school. Vowel sounds were especially becoming a problem for him. In the middle of second grade, his school agreed that he needed extra help and he began working one on one a few times a week with the special education teacher. This year in 3rd grade,
we had all noticed that vowel sounds and rules
were still confusing and frustrating him. I decided to search for additional help and
came across the Easy Read program. I studied and compared it to other programs and then signed him up. As soon as we began the program we have not looked back. James immediately gravitated toward the unique characters within the program. They have enabled him to see and figure out words and vowels in a new and unique way that we had never imagined. He is now inspired to read and decode words and is back to being his positive, happy self. It is apparent that he doesn't have to guess words anymore AND OUR WHOLE FAMILY
IS SO EXCITED. My hubby, who is a teacher and a skeptic by nature, is also completly convinced. Thank you, Easy Read..I give you guys permission to give out my contact info
to any parents considering your program.