From homework hell to ravenous reading…Psychologist and mother Shanel could not believe the transformation in her son’s reading…
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. Jaydon’s parents also became increasingly concerned by the fact that their son couldn’t differentiate between sounds such as the “a” in “cat” and the “u” in “uncle”. His writing suffered too since he refused to write down anything that he couldn’t spell.
Despite her very best efforts, Shanel was no longer able to make reading together in any way fun, positive or rewarding for him, and his confidence was slipping away. Reading homework became the very worst part of every day, with both Jaydon and Shanel dreading it.
Shanel used every technique and method that she had learned from her own professional and personal studies. But still, nothing was working. In the end, it was after yet another evening of tears and disillusionment over a standard homework task that Shanel finally knew something had to change; they needed help.
Armed with a determination to change things for her son, she did some research online and stumbled across the Easyread program. After reading the material on the ‘7 causes of reading difficulty’ Shanel was convinced that they understood why Jaydon was struggling. When she had called the team for a chat and discovered there was an unconditional guarantee of success, she saw no reason not to sign up and see how things went.
Easyread renewed Jaydon’s confidence from day one. A previously wary and resistant child was suddenly asking if he could “do his Easyread”. Never in her wildest dreams did Shanel think she would see the day that Jaydon initiated reading!
The letters and prizes that were regularly sent in the post gave him the motivation to stay focused in the early days of the program. However it wasn’t long before even Jaydon recognised the vast improvement in his reading. More than that – he began reading everything in sight!
Just after signing up to Easyread Shanel attended a parent-teacher meeting, during which Jaydon’s teacher confirmed that he was well below with reading. He was only able to access texts intended for much younger children.
Fast forward a year and Jaydon is in the top reading group in his class, devouring books that exceed the national average range for his age. He often gets selected to read items for assembly and is a generally happy and confident little man!
What’s more, aside from giving her son excellent reading skills; the Easyread program also allowed Jaydon to discover the pleasure of reading purely for enjoyment, as well as the confidence that comes from mastering something you previously found hard. “Words cannot describe what this means to me” says Shanel.
Laura O’Sullivan is a Program Coach for the Easyread System, an online phonics course for kids with dyslexia, auditory processing disorder and highly visual learning styles who need support for spelling and reading problems. Find out more at www.easyreadsystem.com or www.facebook.com/easyreadsystem.