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Go-getting Oliver always finished first; except when it came to the reading race…

The Problem

Oliver had always been the kind of child who put 110% effort into everything he did. His teachers often praised him for his intelligence and the competitive manner in which he went about his work. His mother Desiree was proud of her son’s vivacious nature.

For that reason, Oliver’s major struggles with reading and writing caused him crippling frustration.

If given the option to listen orally to instructions and dictate his answers, Oliver could master any subject matter at all. However, when asked to read a mathematics puzzle, the page of a book or anything else besides, he was unable to comprehend with any real detail what he was reading. What’s more is he was painstakingly slow to read anything, meaning he was always the last in class to finish. For Oliver, who liked to win, this was devastating.

Pretty soon Oliver’s attitude started to spiral out of control and by the end of first grade at age 6 he had decided he hated school altogether.

So the school advised that Oliver attend a “Reading Club”, which involved an extra hour after school in a small group practicing reading. But the added pressure made him shut down completely. Meanwhile at home Desiree tried playing games to learn a few common sight words. Oliver seemed to do well with this at first, however 3 days, a week or a month down the line and he had forgotten them all.

Seeing the distress that reading caused him, his mother and his father starting trying to read to Oliver. Surely if they could get him feeling excited about stories, the reading problems would slowly disappear and the rest would follow. They tried books in all shapes and sizes and audio stories too. But he wanted nothing to do with any of it. As far as Oliver was concerned, anything to do with reading was a big, fat “NO!”

The Solution

Desiree was feeling a little desperate the night she came across Easyread online. Every temper tantrum was breaking her heart, and she could feel they were getting nowhere. When she saw the unconditional money-back guarantee, she felt safe in the knowledge that if Oliver lost interest (as he did with everything else) they weren’t obliged to stick at it.

She tentatively mentioned that she’d found a reading program that she thought Oliver would like and that would actually help him. As expected, he immediately responded with a determined shake of the head. Desiree then told him that he could try one lesson and then decide for himself whether he wanted to give it a go. “This will only work if you want it to” she said.

After 5 minutes on the trial lesson, he was totally hooked and uncontrollably excited. Mum couldn’t believe it! Ten minutes later they had signed up.

The Result

The constant positive reinforcement from David Morgan, the narrator, gave Oliver a huge self-esteem boost every time he logged in to do his daily lesson. The stories, games, and prizes (not to mention the use of words like vomit, burp and farts) left him in stitches; it was right up his street!

As for Desiree, to come home to a reading activity that was fun and which Oliver actively enjoyed was beyond anything she could have hoped for! Reading and laughing were never things that Desiree thought she would see her son doing together, until now.

Before Easyread Oliver did not read, full stop. Reading as an ‘issue’ no longer exists now. He is enjoying books that are at the same level as his peers, and takes great pride in doing so. He is also more confident in school and most importantly, he’s got his spark back! At home meanwhile, Desiree will sometimes find him tucked up on the sofa at 6am; trying to finish (yet another) Roald Dahl novel before school starts!

In December 2012, 12 months after starting Easyread, Desiree arranged for an assessment to be carried out. Through this they learned that Oliver has visual processing and working memory issues that impact his reading and handwriting abilities. For that reason, the physical task of writing is much more difficult for him.

With this in mind, his achievements in the past year on Easyread seemed even more staggering!

Easyread has allowed Oliver to give his handwriting the focused attention that it needs. For Desiree, this means everything: “Thank you thank you thank you to you and your team for coming up with such a fun and successful program for reading!”


Laura O’Sullivan is a Program Coach for the Easyread System, an online phonics course specifically developed to help children with highly visual learning styles, dyslexia, auditory processing disorder and more, who need reading help and spelling help. Easyread provides solutions for spelling and reading problems through fun daily lessons that come with an unconditional refund guarantee. Find out more at