|Problem Areas||Reading, Spelling, Memory, Handwriting, Concentration, Frustration & Anxiety Levels, Self Esteem|
|Finished Program||July 2014|
Rebecca said she hated school. Friends would ask “How are you getting on at school Rebecca, do you like it?” “No I hate it.” would be the reply.
Background: Before she went to school everyone thought she would be fine, tall for her age with a large vocabulary and plenty of self-confidence, you wouldn’t have thought Rebecca would have any problems.
On advice from others we had already taken Rebecca to see a doctor who specialized in children with ADHD and learning difficulties. He did loads of tests and said that Rebecca had a problem with delayed development, said her left side of her brain wasn’t working as well as the right and gave us exercises to help her balance and her concentration.
But that was when she was 5, Rebecca was now at the end of year 1 and she was struggling. It wasn’t just in one area of learning, she struggled with reading and writing but also with concentration and organization. She would jump lines in reading, had poor letter formation and was very slow at anything. She was beginning to be kept in at lunch to finish work, she hated PE because she couldn’t get dressed/undressed quick enough and homework was becoming a nightmare. Trying to concentrate on school work after dinner she would just say “I can’t” and often end up crying.
Had the school picked up anything? Labelled “borderline” by the SEN teacher and told that “she could do it” by her own teacher I was beginning to worry. Was Rebecca just being lazy or did she have a learning problem? Many people told me it was something that would just “come” and that I should just give it time. I knew I didn’t have “time” – Rebecca was beginning to lose her confidence.
Not long before the summer holidays I received an e-mail with details of a course being run fairly near us by ALC. The website mentioned Dyslexia a lot and I thought “this isn’t what Rebecca needs” – thankfully I read some of the first hand stories.
The stories really interested me because there were descriptions in these accounts that really struck me as being so like Rebecca. Then I filled in an online assessment form and spoke to one of the people at the centre. The form was an eye opener in itself because it asked questions about things that I thought were “just Rebecca”!!
Having talked the program over with my husband we decided to have her assessed at the centre before we committed to the ten day treatment course. The course fee was quite high and we needed just a little bit more convincing. Also if we went for treatment Rebecca would be the youngest person the centre had ever had – was she too young?
The assessment took about an hour and I mostly left Rebecca with the Therapist to be tested on her own. Two interesting facts came out at the assessment. One was although she wrote with her right hand and kicked with her right foot, when looking down a tube she put it to her left eye. For some reason Rebecca didn’t trust her right eye. The second was when they tested her eyes following a pen. Rebecca’s right eye would suddenly flick out to the side and back.
This was the final convincing evidence I needed, we were soon booked in for a ten day course of treatment!
After we had been to assessment Rebecca showed more interest in writing and began labelling things on her pictures something she had never done before.
The course we had booked spanned the last week of the school summer term and the first week of holidays. Because of the travelling and the intensity of the treatment I requested that Rebecca should have the last week off and although the school were a bit skeptical they did allow it.
THE TEN DAYS
The treatment course was a commitment because of the travel time and I had to find people to look after our 2 year boy. The actual treatment time was an hour which included a break. Rebecca took to the therapist from the first visit and enjoyed the eye treatments. Because of her age and ability level the course had been tailored to suit.
|Looking at her handwriting, you can see improved formation of letters, accuracy in copying, extended memory and correct usage of upper and lower case letters.|
Area’s Improved So Far: Each night there was homework to complete and eye exercises to do. This was more challenging than the treatment because you had to make time to do them properly. After a few days Rebecca got used to them and they definitely were an important part of the course.During the course she began to write notes to me and a short note to the therapist. On the final night of treatment Rebecca suddenly decided to write. She wanted a special notebook and she wanted me to write things for her to copy. I would write things on my page and she would copy it neatly on to hers.
She had no problem with switching focus between the two pieces of paper.
6 MONTHS ON
Progress after this was not immediate nor was it especially noticeable. Small changes began to take place that I noticed over the course of the summer holidays. Rebecca wanted to do coloring. I had to go and buy a coloring book!! She had always been a free drawer and hated guidelines! She also wanted to do stickers – well we had loads of sticker books that had been given to her for birthdays etc. Up to then she had struggled with getting stickers into position correctly.
One day Rebecca said “do you know Mum, since my eye tests I can do hopscotch loads better” I did have to laugh! But it did show me that her balance and focus had improved.
She started back to school looking forward to Year 2. She loved her new teacher and was moved up from “starfish” to “sharks” in the first week because she could manage the sums that were set her.
Progress since has been steady. She has progressed up through 3 reading bands. Her writing has become a lot quicker, and her spelling although still quite bad is phonetic. Maths is gradually improving and although Rebecca is still just under national level for Year 2 we are hopeful she will reach this by the time she joins Year 3.
The best of all results is CONFIDENCE! Not only confidence to tackle hard tasks but a real interest in science and history. Art and craft still come top in her loves, but she is beginning to branch out.
The class have been studying the Great Fire of London and Samuel Pepys, and this has really caught her imagination. They had to write an eyewitness diary and Rebecca told me she was on her second side of writing! Then when we were in the local library Rebecca suddenly said “Mum can you get me a book on the Great Fire of London” I was really pleased.
Homework although not the favorite, has ceased to become the struggle it was. Once she gets started she can complete the written work a lot quicker, and with the maths I have even been sent back to the kitchen while she completes the sums on her own!!
The ALC treatment gave us back the confidence in Rebecca, and because we were worried about Rebecca learning – she became more worried. Give the mother hope and some positive results and this then transfers to the child.
So if YOU are wondering if this course is right for you or your child I would say definitely fill in an assessment form, speak to someone at the centre and remember that this treatment is unique and highly specialist and not available just anywhere.