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Not being able to read forced lively Logan to go inside his shell. Mum was stumbling in the dark too with knowing how to help. But Easyread allowed them to see a light at the end of the tunnel…

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The Problem

Despite being a late talker, Logan had always been a confident and chatty boy at school and at home. So when at parent’s evening his teacher described him as an intensely quiet child who was afraid to speak out in class, mum Lyndsey could only assume they weren’t talking about her son!

Lyndsey knew that learning to read had been casting a shadow over Logan, but she had no idea it had been affecting his self-esteem so profoundly. The previous year there were no troubles as far as reading was concerned. Yet suddenly from age 7 onwards, it was like he simply couldn’t do any more than he already was. He was stuck on a reading plateau. While his classmates were starting to read chapter books, Logan couldn’t even blend sounds together to form simple words.

His teachers agreed that something extra needed to be done, and Logan started to get additional small group reading support each week.  He also started needing help with maths, something which he had always been good at before.  Lyndsey soon realized this was because he couldn’t actually read the questions to be able to solve the maths problems. This knock-on effect was only the beginning, and pretty soon nearly all of Logan’s learning was being impacted. By the end of his third year of school, Logan was still unable to blend many words except for some simple 3 letter CVC words and there was a huge amount of guessing going on. What’s more, since this was yielding more failure than success his confidence was taking a bashing every time he picked up a book.  He hated writing anything down as well because he was so afraid he wouldn’t be able to do it. So at almost 8 years old he was yet to write a sentence by himself.

Being an avid reader, Lyndsey was desperate to pass on the gift of reading for pleasure to her children. So her first instinct with Logan was to help him to appreciate the imaginative, joyous and freeing nature of reading. The family visited their local library regularly and often went to see children’s theatre based on much-loved books.  Lyndsey was meticulous in helping with homework too, and when she saw his general uptake at school was suffering, she tried to find fun ways of going over concepts. Throughout all this, Logan was a willing participant and a hard worker with great determination. And yet he just didn’t seem to be able to retain information from one day to the next.

As a next step they tried making more practical changes. When Logan complained that he couldn’t hear at school because it was too loud, they requested that he be seated at the front of the classroom and also had a hearing test done. The test revealed his hearing to be fine, and seemingly no matter where he sat, his uptake was the same. Specialist teachers at the school began consulting on Logan’s behalf and even pushed to have him assessed by a speech therapist. But since he had already had a successful round of speech therapy in pre-school this was a dead-end. Next, Lyndsey requested that the school carry out a dyslexia screening, however it took several months to even get the ball rolling, and in the meantime Logan’s confidence was plummeting fast.

By this point, just doing the same thing over and over in a different way was really getting to both mother and son. So Lyndsey looked online for a different angle that they could try together at home. She soon came across Easyread, and when she read about the typical problems that kids using the system had overcome, it made perfect sense to her. She was particularly interested in the idea that guessing of words could become a habit, and that the brain needed to be rewired in order to encourage decoding instead. What a light bulb moment!

So they tried the trial lesson. Logan loved the fact that it was on the computer and he got to play games, so he was keen to sign up right away! By this point Lyndsey had done a lot of research into a wide range of interventions, and Easyread was by far the best suited. For one thing it sounded like the website was describing her son, but most importantly for the first time in a long time Lyndsey felt as if she had found something that might really help. They signed up the very next day.

The Solution

At just 15 minutes a lesson, Lyndsey and Logan found Easyread to be blissfully quick and simple to do. It wasn’t time consuming, which was an important practical consideration for mum and it was also easy for Logan to accomplish as well as being fun, which was important from a motivational perspective. Knowing he was working towards receiving prizes was an excellent incentive for him, and as such he happily did a lesson every day, even during the summer holidays!

Pretty soon, Lyndsey could see how the mother-son ‘teamwork’ that formed each lesson was having a wider impact on Logan. The fact that they were both in this together every day; being proactive rather than reactive, made him feel safe. It also illustrated to Logan how worthwhile it is to never give up, and that it’s good to ask for help when you need it.

Within weeks Lyndsey’s trust in the Easyread program and the team behind it was absolute. She had hoped to help her son, but she had never expected to receive such profound insights into his struggles! And yet she now realized this was the key to really helping him. Issues such as his eye-tracking weakness were swiftly flagged up and explained, and the simple exercises they were given to work on at home had a significant impact. The team then recommended a Behavioural Optometrist, and so Logan received a comprehensive diagnosis for visual processing issues (that Lyndsey never knew he had).

The Result

In the past year since signing up to Easyread, Logan has gone from wildly guessing at words and reading barely anything from the most basic books at school, to easily reading books that are twice as challenging. What’s more, he is set to move up yet another level soon.

His teachers are nothing short of amazed at the difference in Logan’s reading ability.  His support-for-learning teacher even described him at the last parent’s consultation as being “the leading light of her reading group”. Furthermore, when the long awaited dyslexia screening finally happened recently, the school were shocked to discover that the results revealed he was now just three months behind the average reading age. Lyndsey and the teachers were in general agreements that the test would have yielded very different results a year earlier. His class teacher also praised his reading fluency and has commented on his burgeoning confidence in all areas of his learning. No more mister shy guy!

So is the honeymoon period over? Well actually, far from it. Since finishing Easyread Logan has taken part in the local library’s summer reading challenge. It is an annual tradition for the family, but this year for the first time he has actually been able to read the books himself rather than relying on Lyndsey to read them to him.  Before bedtime each night, on any given car journey and even when he’s in the bathroom, Logan can most likely be found turning page after page of some great new book!

An added bonus is that his writing has also taken off in the past few months too! The boy who wouldn’t write a sentence last June is now writing pages and pages of wonderfully imaginative stories. The spelling is still mostly phonetic although getting better, and is certainly readable. Essentially he can now communicate in writing when he couldn’t before, and Lyndsey trusts that the rest will follow.

It has been a long hard slog for Logan and Lyndsey to get to this point, but both feel it has been well worth it to see the kind of progress he has made in both reading and writing. And I think we can all agree: it’s an incredible story!

The Easyread System is an online course for struggling readers and spellers who guess when reading, make mistakes on common words, or spell highly phonetically. For more information or do so a questionnaire to figure out why your child struggles, visit