DM News Blog

Latest news in literacy, child development, and all things DM Ed

Breakthrough Readers of December 2016

Sarah Forrest || 31 January 2016


Before DM Reading, Nathaniel was delayed in his speech. He had tubes to drain ear fluid when he was 4 and had speech therapy starting a year before that. By 5th Grade, he was still behind in grade level but engaged well in the classroom. He had accommodations set up for him to allow him to read out loud otherwise he could not comprehend what he read. He had to use his finger to read otherwise he would skip words or lines. He would guess words based on the first letter, or insert words that weren’t even there. And his spelling was, as his mother put it, horrible! Even though he aced his weekly spelling tests, his writing was illegible. His parents were so frustrated by the school’s lack of helpful insight, and that no one could understand him. When they found our website, they were amazed to read an exact description of their son! And to final get an explanation for WHY Nathaniel was struggling.

A few months into DM Reading, Nathaniel had reached the top level in the reading assessor internal to the program. He was reading longer stories fluently and enjoying the context even. He had mastered simple decoding and was progressing to good comprehension. A life change is in the works for wonderful Nathaniel!


Yuri could not remember his letters before starting DM Reading, though some basic words like ‘son’ or ‘dog’ he could recall from memory. If asked to write a g, he would maybe attempt a d or p. He was strong in math, and loved Lego – he had good visual-spatial skills in that way. But with English as a second language, he was very sensitive about struggling and easily frustrated when he couldn’t do anything.

Around Lesson 180, we heard the following:

“In the last month, Yuri’s reading is so good I’m amazed! I’m so happy that he can read, even slowly. He bought his own book yesterday!”


Before DM Reading, Marquez exhibited the classic signs of what we call “Optilexia”, or whole word sight-reading. When his parents stumbled across our website, they couldn’t believe how we were exactly describing their son! His spelling was horrendous; his reading was lagging, choppy, and very inconsistent especially with short words. He flipped the beginning sounds of words, struggled to decode, and yet could read long words without a problem by sight-recognition. In his homeschooling lessons, he was advanced in math and science, but needed to be read to in language-heavy subjects like social studies or language arts.

A few months later, we heard the following report:

“Thank you thank you! We are forever grateful! Marquez just picked up his first chapter book of his choice, to read for pleasure, and hardly gets stuck on any words (well, it’s Harry Potter so needs help with some of the more magical ones 🙂 ) and we owe it to this program! We recommend it to everyone we know who has a child struggling to read. Thank you so much!”