Over a decade ago, Easyread was developed to help highly visual learners who were struggling with their reading. Founder David Morgan’s two sons both struggled in the first few years of formal education to achieve literacy that matched their overall intelligence. Morgan started researching and experimenting with different causes and solutions for this, and eventually found one method that out-performed all others in results: Guided Phonetic Reading (GPR).
GPR works so well because it appeals to visual-spatially oriented kids – usually estimated at between 40-60% of the general population – who have tried to sight-memorize words instead of engaging with phonics. Many a child with dyslexia or auditory processing disorder has resorted to reading strategies like guessing based on the context, since it feels easier to them than using their weaker auditory function.
Your auditory function is essential in order to do things like sound out a word or blend sounds together into a word. With a weak auditory decoding capacity, reading unfamiliar or difficult words is near impossible. In developing a solution for his sons, David Morgan found that many kids with reading difficulties are bright visual processing or seem to have a weak auditory capacity.
Clinical Research on the Visual-Spatial Learner
Across the ocean in the United States, a psychologist named Dr Linda Silverman was gathering lots of data on the concept of a visual-spatial learner. Silverman is widely respected for her work in child development. She found there were two major categories of visual-spatial learner.
The first category describes children who are high scorers on an IQ test, and far exceed the average in visual-spatial processing tasks like manipulating shapes or objects. These children also have good auditory abilities, and will tend to excel in school.
The second category contains children who are also highly gifted in visual-spatial tasks, but have a significant auditory deficit which affects their literacy. These children will struggle in school and tend to underperform on IQ tests due to this auditory weakness.
Silverman’s research on this second major category matches perfectly with the very symptoms that the Easyread System is designed to help fix.
If either of Silverman’s two categories sounds familiar to you, you can read more about each of them here: http://www.giftedchildren.org.nz/national/article4.php
If you know a highly visual learner who needs reading help for their chronic guessing and sight-reading, you can find out more about how to help here: www.easyreadsystem.com/info/dyslexia.html
Sarah Forrest is a Program Coach for the Easyread System, an online course that uses Guided Phonetic Reading to provide support for spelling and reading problems to children with dyslexia, auditory processing disorder or highly visual learning styles. Find out more at www.easyreadsystem.com