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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.

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