|Problem Areas||Able to read, but preferred not to read at all, Read with little comprehension, When reading would miss out words, or jump across lines, Poor spelling, Couldn’t copy text quickly or accurately, Unsettled and fidgety behaviour, Short Concentration Span, Low Self-esteem – saying things like “I’m dumb.” or “I’m stupid.” or “I just can’t do it.”,|
|Finished Program||July 2014|
On the outside, Amy led a seemingly “normal” life, as a mother of 2 grown up children. However her family will tell you that, that wasn’t quite the full picture.
Background: Ever since I can remember, my mum (Amy) seemed almost crippled with a condition known as dyslexia. To simply see her struggling to read, write, spell and simply CONCENTRATE was quite upsetting for all of our family, especially when we were infants and could read stories to her quicker and easier than she could read them to us. The frustration must have been immense when after reading a couple of lines she would fall into a deep sleep – almost a stupor. There was no question about her helping with homework – as much as she may have wanted to – because she simply wouldn’t have been able to do it. As it was, before she started baking, a recipe had to be read to her a couple of times before the method sunk in and she was able to concentrate on it. Numerous ‘trial runs’ for writing in cards took place before the pen touched the paper: not only would she have made spelling mistakes but her train of thought would have been lost and the sentence – or phrase – would have appeared nonsensical. Not that she used to write in many cards – her handwriting was nearly illegible, and the more she tried to neaten it up the worse it seemed to get!
The thing was, underneath it was obvious that she was very switched on. Very few would have guessed she suffered from dyslexia, but I knew personally that the condition forced her levels of confidence to be shallow and she was often too scared to speak out in fear she had ‘got the wrong end of the stick’, or what she said wouldn’t even make sense.
Her mind somehow needed disentangling.
THE TREATMENT PROGRAM
We first heard about ALC, in Yeovil, through friends. Mum was all for it from the start. At first, I was somewhat reticent about the effect it had, but when we looked it up on the internet it seemed like nothing in its field could better it. Children with the condition were clearly reaping its benefits, sailing through homework and overall enjoying their new lease of life at school. But would it work on someone older, someone over 50? And would it be worth it?
From the moment Mum enrolled to go to the ALC Dyslexic Centre, we have never, ever looked back.
Firstly she was given an Initial Assessment – to verify what the course would entail and to present some of the exercises that would be executed during the 10 days of treatment. It was visible, even after this short hour, how much this would help Mum in the long run, as even then she seemed to be somehow more relaxed.
Throughout these 10 days, Mum was very tired physically and the homework given seemed to me to take a long time. It was simple – from handwriting ‘dot to dots’ to spot the difference in pictures. At the time it didn’t seem real – but as the days went on it was visibly easier for Mum to write neater and straighter, and she seemed more proficient in spelling, just to mention a few areas. Through the eye exercises, we noticed a big improvement in how her eyes moved over the cards. She actually found these particularly relaxing and if ever she woke in the night she would get the cards out and be able to settle down again.
Areas Improved So Far: Once the course finished, the movement of her eyes over these cards continued to ameliorate as did progress in general. Her handwriting was about 50 times better! When I got emails from her I would be able to read them comprehensively instead of trying to piece together a couple of misspelt words. Her sense of humour shone out more because she was more confident to talk. It was like her potential was being finally realised. Instead of struggling through a situation, she could take a step back and assess the bigger picture.
As Mum says with anyone that asks her about ALC course now – ‘even if it was ten times more expensive, I would recommend it to ANYONE with dyslexia’. And so would we, no questions asked.
It is incredible that a few weeks of unobtrusive, sympathetic treatment can make such a difference to the quality of somebody’s life.