Lincoln: severely dyslexic, low on confidence and self-esteem
1. What was reading like for Lincoln before?
His reading was extremely slow and problematic. As a grade 4 student he was working at grade 1-2 standard. Despite employing many methods to his learning, being kinaesthetic and trying to teach phonics and blending he still struggled greatly. Lincoln was diagnosed with severe dyslexia at the end of year 1, while he was 6 years old. He started a programme in ALN at school and this improved his self esteem greatly but his reading was still very problematic and writing was almost impossible for him. Both reading and writing would consistently cause melt downs and his self confidence and esteem were very low in regards to his school work. He did a lot of guessing and predicting what the word would be from the first letter or the sentence / story from the pictures.
2. How was the system a good fit? What were the highs and lows of the experience for you?
To start with the Easyread’s system was very visually friendly and fun, the games made it feel like play and engaged my son from the very start. As a parent the initial tryout period was excellent and helped me to get a feel for the programme as well as being able to gauge my son’s engagement and enthusiasm for it, before making a financial commitment.
Once we signed up to the programme Lincoln was enthusiastic and excited to see his progress, he felt like he was reading clearly and more easily and was confident in his decoding. His blending has improved enormously and he has started applying other rules for non-regular words and sounds created. The highs for him are definitely some of the games :- fighter mission and speed drive. The lows have come with the typing, spelling and writing and some of the trickier games like Pinball. He moved up to the third shelf and also found that very challenging to get the reading done in the time so we came back to the lower shelves. At this stage in the programme after 230 lessons he can feel the difference in his reading fluency. Due to the severity of his dyslexia we haven’t yet tackled his spelling but we are staying on the programme to keep practisiing and to deal with that also.
3. What was the direct result of going through the process for Lincoln, in terms of reading and spelling improvement, confidence gains, etc.? What has that meant for you?
Firstly the direct result is that his self confidence and his self esteem has improved, along with his achievement in school and progress in his ALN programme. This has been the most visibly satisfying thing for me to see as a parent. He is much less frustrated now than he used to be and has learned techniques to calm down and decode rather than rush and guess. For him he feels the benefit in his reading and enjoys the feedback and the online support lessons we have had. As a parent the ongoing support, calls and Skype lessons have really made us feel that the programme is personalised and they know my son and his needs.
It has been a true investment and we have no regrets. We have recommended the programme to other parents and my son’s school and would recommend anyone with the financial means to make this investment in their child’s literacy.