|Problem Areas||Preferred not to read, Memory, Comprehension, Spelling, Handwriting, Self-Esteem, Concentration, Understanding Instructions, Maths Comprehension, Reversing Letters and Numbers|
|Finished Program||August 2014|
We were a worried about Carlin, because from really young she wrote a lot of her words back to front. Then when I went to Specsavers to have her eyes tested, just a routine check-up, her eyes were actually fine, but the optician said to me “Have you ever had her tested for dyslexia?” Because she read all the letters on the chart back to front. She read the whole chart back to front, she started from the right and read across to the left and did it at every single line. So I said no I hadn’t, but I had been worried about it as she was not into anything academic at all. She didn’t like reading, she didn’t like writing. Whereas our older daughter who is very academic, seemed to sail through school and never had a problem. She got good results and never seemed to find homework too hard. So it came as a bit of a shock.
If you put a lot of effort into something and you don’t get a result out of it, that’s actually not good for your self-confidence or your self-esteem and you end up not bothering because you think “I can’t do it anyway”. So then it’s a vicious circle because you don’t even bother to try.
Then I heard about the ALC program through a friend who’d got a son with dyslexia. I used to watch him quite a lot. He had no self-confidence and no self-esteem and then after he’d done the course, not straight away but a few months afterwards, he just changed. Everything about him. The way he walked and when he spoke to you he looked you in the eye. Whereas before he would have shuffled his feet and the way he even walked up to a friend to speak to them in the playground. It was just really amazing the difference.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
When we thought about the cost, we thought it is a lot of money to spend, when you can’t guarantee you are going to get a return for your money. However when we discussed it as a household we felt if we didn’t go for the course and in 10 or 20 years’ she was still struggling and perhaps struggling to find employment, because she had not many academic qualifications, obviously now jobs and employment are hard to find for a lot of people. Even people with qualifications.
We felt if we hadn’t sent her on the course would we always regret the fact that we couldn’t be bothered or couldn’t afford the money. Yet we’d held her back all her life, because we weren’t prepared to take the plunge and spend that money, meaning she was disadvantaged for the rest of her life. That was the deciding factor for us.
We sat down and one thing that came up in the discussion at home was that if she took her GCSE’s and got even one grade better in her Maths & English that would put her on the road to getting a better job, because she had better qualifications. That in turn means a better salary, which means she can then better her circumstances. It’s a knock-on effect. We felt if we didn’t go for the course, it could be a knock-on effect to her detriment, because obviously if you can’t find a job when you leave school it’s not good for your self-esteem.
6 MONTHS LATER – HADN’T SEEN MASSIVE PROGRESS
I remember thinking about 6 months after the treatment finished, ‘I haven’t seen a massive change’ and almost as I thought it, it happened. She just went way up in levels and in her reading and writing. Her last school report was really good – she was on target for everything and the teachers were very pleased with her progress. Before when her report came it was that she always made an effort, but she never got good grades. I just thought she’s not that sort of kid. Whereas now, she’s getting the A’s & B’s, which before she didn’t because she couldn’t physically.
Definitely after 6 months I noticed drastic improvement, in all areas – self-confidence, academic ability, caring how she looked & what she wore. Her whole mind set just changed, because she started believing she could do it.
Homework was probably one of the biggest issues in our life! She hated, doing homework and I mean really hated it. So in turn I hated it, because I always used to struggle to get her to do it. I used to take about half an hour to persuade her to even sit down and get her books out. Then it was just a constant struggle, literally. I would be asked how to spell every single word, and I would have to form the sentences. I would sometimes take 10 minutes to explain one question and then she didn’t understand the answer and I’d have to try and explain it from a different angle.
It’s still not the most favourite thing to do when we come home from school. But if she has half an hour break when she gets in and I ask her if we should do some homework, she’ll get out what she needs and come to the table and sit up. I will still be asked for help, but not nearly to the extent that I was before and it’s just not the constant struggle. I can see that even if I have to initially explain a concept or question, she grasps that and then will take off on her own and give it a try. Whereas before she just thought I can’t do it. So she didn’t even bother to try.
READING A NO-GO AREA
She would read for 24hrs a day now, if we would let her. We have to keep pulling her nose out of a book! But before the treatment she didn’t use to read at all. She may have read a comic book every now and again. But it was hard work to get her to read the reading books she brought home from school and she was on quite a low level.
When she started at the private school she had a reading age of four and she was nearly eight. So basically it was half her age and now she is above her reading age in her last reading test at school. She had a reading age of twelve and she is ten. So that has greatly improved and obviously that helps all other areas of your school work. Because if you can’t actually read a question, you can’t write anything about it. It helps your spelling because you’re reading words – your brain is looking at them all the time.
It’s been good, even the levels of concentration, sitting in a lesson or listening to a lecture at school. If you can concentrate for more than 2 minutes at a time it’s a good thing!
I used to get worried and think, she can’t still be writing backwards when she is doing her GCSE’s. Because obviously you lose a lot of marks for grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Her writing was one of my main worries, because she just didn’t seem to get the hang of it. However many times you said “A b is like this” and showed her, it didn’t seem to go in. Her writing was very, very messy, before she had the treatment. After she’d finished the treatment it was slightly improved, but now twelve months down the line it is greatly improved. She won a pen licence at school from the Head Teacher, which you get awarded when the Head Teacher thinks your handwriting is neat enough to use a pen rather than a pencil. There was only 6 students in her year group that won that and she was one of them, which we were very pleased about.
See Also: Download our free handwriting templates.
“Also after my course, my colouring has got much neater.”
IMPORTANCE OF HOMEWORK
The homework and the eye exercises are very important. Because one adult I spoke, to who had had the treatment had carried on with their daily life, their working life and their social life – everything exactly the same. Even though they were doing the treatment. They didn’t get the same benefit as someone that put aside everything, just to do the treatment. Which sounds quite harsh, but if you are going to get the benefits at the end of the day that’s really what you need to do.
I would definitely recommend it, it’s in the child’s interest for you to do it.
Update 14 months after treatment:
We were very pleased and excited on Friday when she won the Gold Award – couldn’t believe it! Good advertising for dyslexia treatment – I’m sure she wouldn’t have got the award before she had it!
Now looking forward to going to the national event for the event dinner. Carlin’s never been to this type of event before!