We are a family with 3 children of the ages of 17, 14 and 10. My husband is from New Zealand and I am from Germany. Our children were born in NZ where we lived until we moved to the north of Norway at the end of 2009. Our first language at home is English with German as the second language.
All 3 children were diagnosed with dyslexia within the first 3 years of school and all receive some ” special education” help of varying degree at school.
When we moved to Norway our children were confronted with Norwegian as a third language which provided a huge challenge to all of us but especially our oldest son who was 12 years old at that time.
Norway has a good system of supporting children with specific learning needs but getting into the system as a newcomer proved to be a very long and frustrating process. In the meantime I searched for alternatives in order to bridge the gap and to enable our children to continue with their learning while in process of applying for the help they needed.
This is when I read about Easyread on the internet. What I liked about the program was the down-to-earth introduction by David Morgan, his positivity and his integrity towards making a difference to children who struggle at school. We did a one week trial and our oldest son who is classed as “severely dyslexic” liked the program instantly. His reading level at that stage was very poor, he had huge problems decoding words and often guessed the words instead of reading them.
He continued with the program and we never needed to encourage him to do the daily lessons because he was so inspired by the positive affirmations he received throughout the whole program and of course the reward gifts which arrived in the mail on a regular base. When he finished the course after approximately 1 year of daily lessons he was still a slower than average reader but had learned to decode and no longer needed to guess the text in front of him. His ability to read had increased hugely and this was evident in all 3 languages. Easyread had provided him with the tools necessary to decode and read and he was able to apply what he had learned in all 3 languages. What was interesting, was the fact that he found reading in German the easiest of all 3 languages, despite the fact that he had less opportunity to read in German.
Our oldest son is now 17 years old and was educated in Norwegian as well as English speaking schools during the last 5 years of study. The fact that he has mastered 3 languages both written and verbally is sensational given the fact that acquiring language for people with dyslexia is a huge challenge. For us and in our situation Easyread became a life saver and has contributed hugely towards our son’s success in learning at his level.
There are of course many contributing factors involved in overcoming a learning difficulty such as dyslexia and one has to realise that there will never be a “quick fix solution ” to such an issue.
Our son is still struggling with learning. He still receives extra help at school and has learned the use of assistant technology for his studies. He is an avid circus artist which I think has also helped him to access and connect some of the neurones in his brain necessary to further his ability to learn. He plays the piano and guitar at quite a high level and we were lucky enough to always find people who did not focus on his dyslexia as a problem. There is no doubt that his learning is slower than that of others but this does not matter to us or our son.
He was assessed by educational psychologists at varying stages during his childhood and we were provided with quite a clear picture of what we are dealing with from a relatively early stage onwards. To date he has excelled above all what was said and written about him by the experts over the years and I think that the key factors for his success are a strong and supportive family, the ability to focus on solutions rather than the problem, some wonderful and dedicated people on the journey of discovery, often during unexpected moments, and people like David Morgan and his team who have made it their business to provide real life help to people who struggle with reading and writing by developing programmes like Easyread.
Before I had children I barely knew the word dyslexia and had no concept of what it means. I still remember the despair and disbelief my husband I felt when we were confronted with the fact that our son ( and later all our children) were diagnosed with dyslexia.
My husband and I have had no problems achieving at school or professionally ourselves and it all was a real shock to us. However, we have learned a lot and not least through and because of our 3 beautiful children who we love and support in every way possible. All 3 of them have become experts on dyslexia and are not shy to describe to others their struggles in every day life. I feel that they have become strong individuals who have learned to problem solve by developing an ability to make the best of every situation.
Our 2 younger children both went through the Easyread program as well. Unlike our first child they did not complete the whole program for different reasons. Our daughter has a mild intellectual disability as well a dyslexia and found it difficult to sustain the daily rhythm of the program. Despite of this, she benefited greatly from Easyread because it helped her to automise the alphabet as well as decoding words. Her reading speed is still very slow which is associated with her general disability.
Our youngest son also did not finish the whole course because he learned to decode the words very fast and felt a bit bored with the lessons once he had cracked the code. His reading gets assessed at school at regular intervals and has progressed in big steps after doing Easyread. He now reads in English and Norwegian and prefers to read in Norwegian which is interesting proof of the fact that once learning to decode words has been achieved it can then be transferred into any other language as well.
It would be interesting to see whether non-English speaking dyslexic children would benefit from doing Easyread as part of their learning of English as a second language.
I recognise that different things work for different people and that there are different learning styles which may not be facilitated in every programme offered on the market.
Without wanting to sound like a sales agent, I can say that Easyread has been a great help and resource for our 3 children, especially because it is designed to meet the children at their level and interest and is so much fun to do. Our children did not notice how much they were learning during their every day lessons and often got a surprise when reading a text at school they had struggled with before. Our oldest son even thought at the beginning that David Morgan was really sitting at the other end talking to him during the lessons and felt very silly when he realised that this was of course not the case!!!!
Our children have the use of 3 different languages both written and verbally with English as their best language, followed by Norwegian and then German as least used language during their every day life. Their language learning has of course helped greatly by having a German-speaking mother, an English-speaking father, many international friends and the Norwegian speaking environment in which we live. Language in my opinion, cannot be seen in isolation and is connected to culture and environment. I find it remarkable what can be achieved even in the face of difficulty such as dyslexia.