At age 7, Ted could hardly read at all. Basic CVC words like “cat” or “dog” were manageable, but other simple three letter words eluded him, like “the” or “and”. Even if he was able to decode them on one page, he would turn the page and fail to recognise them correctly yet again. His mother, Kate, was well aware that his inability to read was impacting all of his schooling. Even maths questions required a basic literacy that Ted didn’t possess.
Ted himself, a bright and articulate child, couldn’t understand why he didn’t receive a reading book from school like his friends. Initially, this greatly frustrated him. Eventually he just became apathetic, and wouldn’t even try. Kate knew Ted was capable but just lacked the right tools to facilitate his learning. After multiple attempts to engage him in reading ended in hostility and tears, she was desperate to help him, but at her wits end as to where else to turn.
Kate googled for help and found Easyread. She read through the parent reviews, and felt willing to give it a try, though she remained sceptical that anything would miraculously help Ted. When he started at age 7, he had a reading age of a 4 year old, and yet engaging Ted in the lessons was amazingly easy. The 10 minute morning sessions were enjoyable for him, and he sometimes even reminded his parents that it was time to log on for a lesson! When he got his first prize through the post, he was elated.
The biggest draw was that Easyread didn’t feel like learning; the many games and pictures made the whole process easy and fun. And if Ted or Kate needed advice along the way, they were always impressed by the quick and helpful responses from the Easyread team, who even sat in on his lessons occasionally to check his progress.
Within 8 weeks, Kate saw an improvement, Ted began to attempt reading things around him, like cereal boxes and signs, which in itself was a huge change. After about 4 months on Easyread, Ted’s reading age had climbed from 4 years to 4 years and 9 months. Since he was 7 and a half, there was still a long way to go. But a 9 month jump in 4 months was a huge change from the plateau Ted had experienced before. And the best was yet to come.
Fastforwarding a few months, within days of completing the course Ted was re-tested again. His reading age had jumped 2 years and 3 months in a 6 month period. His teachers were astounded and told Kate that they’d never seen such a leap ever before.
Ted can now read confidently and decodes anything that he can’t immediately read. From having no reading book to take home he is now on Stage 7 on the Oxford Reading stages, all in well under a year. The impact on Ted can be seen in his whole attitude to school. He no longer sees it as a boring necessity but really enjoys the learning process. He is confident, and happy, and feels valued.
Kate says: “Ted’s reading has improved beyond recognition. For our part, the course gave us the feeling that we could play a part in helping him move forward in with reading when everyone seemed to have written him off. I can’t express to you what a difference it’s made to his experience of schooling as a whole – he now skips in to school every morning!”
Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist for the Easyread System, an innovative research-based online course for struggling readers and spellers who have highly visual learning styles, dyslexia, auditory processing weakness, and more. www.easyreadsystem.com