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I am happy to give you my thoughts, but let me just say I would recommend Easyread without hesitation, and infact I will be signing up my younger son should he fail to make progress this academic year (he is in Year 1).

My 8 year old son has struggled with reading since the outset. He is now in Year 4. His inability to keep up with the pace and teaching style at school, together with receiving so many mixed methods of teaching has meant that the academic gap between himself and his peers has widened each year. Despite having one to one help and a tutor, and my having spent thousands (yes, thousands!) of pounds on other remedial reading methods, Easyread is the only thing he has been willing to engage in, and it has turned him from a non-reader to a reader. We are on about lesson 104.

I was a Primary teacher before having my children. Since my son showed difficulties with reading 4 years ago I have been reading every available book and piece of clinical and anecdotal evidence regarding the topic. If you are interested, Diane McGuinness’s book ‘Why Children Can’t Read’ is the one I would single out as being the most thorough, worthwhile and authoritative work in the field. She has a view on dyslexia I think you will find very interesting. My son was diagnosed with dyslexia at the start of year 3. It didn’t make a shred of difference to him or the way he was taught. My opinion is that it does not exist as a diagnosable condition, an opinion shared by many.

Some children-about 30%-struggle with the aquisition of the skill of reading, but it’s more to do with poor teaching, mixed methods, and a lack of thorough consistent teaching following a systematic approach. That’s what children who are struggling need. What they get more often than time with the class teacher is time with untrained teaching assistants, who try hard but don’t know how to teach the skill of reading. Methods such as Thrass and Phonographix are foolproof if employed correctly, with infinite time, skill and patience but schools just cannot provide these things, as teachers and the curriculum are overstretched, and the struggling children get further and further behind. I mistakenly thought school had the situation in hand and knew what they were doing, but the teaching of reading is being squeezed in and delivered hurriedly. I decided I had to do something out of school hours to help my son.

As I mentioned already, he had a tutor but could not keep up with the work and it was just more of the same to him. He had already decided he was stupid, and would become extremely distressed and felt he would fail if he tried to do anything academic, so he refused to try. We tried the Davis dyslexia method to very great expense, but in the end it was worse than useless, and has no clinical evidence. A lot of their methods are mumbo jumbo. We went to the Helen Arkell Centre, and again this did not help.

And then I read the Easyread website. It used methods I had come across in my reading that were evidenced to work. I signed him up the same day, without hesitation. My son took to it straight away, because it is short, achievable and has a completely different feel to school work. Because it is done in the home he does not have peers watching and therefore no need to feel he is being judged or failing. It is really really good fun, it builds skill upon skill over time and it feels safe, non-threatening and achievable to the user. There are great prizes, which keep my son motivated, and you get a lot of support (daily if you need it) from people who are dedicated to helping your individual child, and who are highly skilled. It retrains children who have got into the habit of guessing to decode every single word. This is really key, but it is not something all assistants/mums/grannies who ‘hear children read’ at school are guaranteed to know the importance of.

My son loves the lessons and they work. He was not reading at all. Now he can. I don’t think you will regret it for a second if you sign up.

Please feel free to email me again if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,