Case Study: The Miracle of Gabriel
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 centre. 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.
Bonnie came across the Easyread website and let her son have a go at the free trial lesson. “What’s the worst that can happen?” she thought. A month down the line, Feeling intrigued and slightly desperate, Bonnie signed Gabriel up to the program. 4 weeks after that first lesson, Gabriel was still able to recall (with glee!) the Trainertext characters that form the core of the program, and which allow the child to recognise phonemes and therefore decode like never before.
Seven months later and things could not be more different. And the proof, as they say, is in the pudding…
In May 2011 and May 2012, Gabriel took standardized tests, or STAR tests.
For one thing, the simple fact of sitting down in front of the test was traumatic enough in 2011. Why? He couldn’t read of course. In terms of the results themselves, the difference is really quite astonishing.
For the English-Language-Arts test in 2011 he scored 29% correct. On the same test a year later he got 80% correct. Within that overall score, he had achieved 100% for the language portion, and 86% on the vocabulary.
Gabriel had gone from being a child who was frantically guessing the answers to questions he could not read, to a child who was highly competent and articulate.
The change extended beyond English too. During the maths tests, Gabriel achieved a score of 77% overall in 2012 when a year ago, he only achieved 62%. On the Geometry portion of this year’s test he achieved a score of 94%!
An engineer-in-the-making, and proud Easyread graduate, Gabriel is now at grade level for English – something that Gabriel’s parents never would have imagined possible. In fact, they were told by some professionals that he would never develop to adult-level mental faculties. How wrong they were!
Laura O’Sullivan is an Easyread Coach for the Easyread System, an online course for children struggling with dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, and general reading and spelling difficulties.
We started noticing problems with Joshua’s reading in Year 1. He was not progressing and his teacher noticed that he was guessing many words. He had extra intervention with a staff member hearing Joshua read most days at school. This was expected to help his progress but it didn’t happen. His teacher didn’t understand what the problem was. We were also hearing him read regularly at home.
At the start of year 2, Joshua’s new teacher mentioned the possibility of dyslexia to us. I started researching this on the internet and came across Easyread. I read the “story of James” and it could have been written about Joshua. I knew then that we needed to give Easyread a try.
Our reading break through happened around lesson 75. Joshua read one of his school books to me from cover to cover and fluently. This was a very proud moment as prior to that Joshua rarely finished a book, normally due to frustration.
Easyread also picked up an eye-tracking problem, which we have managed to resolve with easy exercises.
We have now completed over 200 lessons and we are amazed at the reading progress Joshua has made. He has jumped 5 book bands at school and now can easily read difficult words. We hardly ever see him guessing and he now will read place names, signs or leaflets and enjoys reading. Thanks so much and I am so glad we found Easyread!!
I think the support you have given over the phone and Skype calls has also been excellent. Our main reason for starting Easyread was to help with Joshua’s reading and it has exceeded our expectations and am happy that we can continue to work on his spelling at home. It is harder to give feedback on Holly (Joshua’s older sister who also did the course) as her reading was generally ok to start with but she has enjoyed the Easyread lessons and it has helped keep harmony in the household as she was feeling jealous of the daily one to one time Joshua was having when he was the only one doing Easyread!!
Overall it has been a good experience and I honestly believe that it has changed Joshua’s life!! Thanks so much!