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True Stories of Success: Max, 11, & Thomas, 8

Why did I decide to have two of my sons to go through this program? Well, honestly, I didn’t know what else to do. I was desperate to get our 7 year old, Thomas, through his reading crisis. After 4 years of working on him with supplemental phonics classes at childcare, Hooked on Phonics at home (a wonderful program that worked beautifully for my other 3 children), and a fantastic kindergarten private education, he wasn’t making much progress. I was convinced he had dyslexia or some other issue. He could identify the sounds of the letters beautifully. But when it came to putting them together to make a word, he was really having issues. And he was frustrated too. Homework became a war of excuses and avoidance. He learned to make educated guesses about the words, like when we were practicing a group of words that all sounded the same. Then, when he saw the same words on a page of words that weren’t similar, he would get them wrong. I knew he wasn’t actually reading. He was learning a way AROUND reading. I had to break this cycle before Thomas really fell behind.

My daughter came home from UCLA for the summer, fresh out of her developmental psychology classes. She also sensed an issue. A Baltimore friend of ours has a child with dyslexia who attends a special school. I figured there must be some kind of program locally like that and so I asked my daughter to research it for me. She found educational psychologists and LearningRx. Well, I had already been the route of the educational psychologist in the past. My oldest son had also had some reading avoidance, so I had him assessed in 4th grade. After $1500 for a 4-day battery of tests and a 1 hour session to summarize the findings, I was basically told that his reading was “average” and that he should just practice reading some more. That was not helpful at all!!! There was a shelf full of books in his room covering every possible topic a boy his age could like and there was still resistance to picking one up!

So, I called Learning Rx and set up the assessment for my 7 year old. When we got the results, I thought, “yikes!” His short-term memory was horrible. The testing confirmed everything I had feared. The thing that convinced me to try the program was watching a trainer working with a boy about the same age as Thomas. They were practicing a drill where you read 4-letter nonsense words using what you know about letter sounds. He was doing great. I imagined how thrilled I would be if my son could do that. So, I signed him up. I also signed up my middle son, Max. His tests actually showed that he had an incredible memory and a phenomenal IQ. But his speed was slow and he sensed that. He complained about being a slow reader and it showed in the amount of time he needed for homework. So, I signed them both up. I figured there would be less complaining if both brothers had to endure the program together.

One thing I CAN say without reservation is that every one of the trainers we have had here was superb! They are dedicated to their jobs and to seeing their students make progress. They know how to make brain exercise fun and just what reward will bring out that last bit of effort for the day. Thank you Betsy, Tamra, and Casey! You are my heroes!

Yes, it worked. Yes, I would do it again. Thomas is over the hump and is a bona fide reader! And I can see the confidence he has now when he picks up a book or we sit down to tackle his new word study list. He did great in school! I had made his teacher aware of my concerns at the beginning of the year, so he was placed in the lower reading group for the class. Well, he has risen to the top of that group and is right on target! He is tackling sight words with ease. We no longer struggle to get the homework done and he is finding joy in understanding the story-line. He is recognizing words on signs and asking me what things say on his own. Max is finishing his homework in study hall at school and Dad doesn’t have to supervise him anymore. He has earned his educational independence. His testing supported that his speed had improved.

Stacey, Max and Thomas’ mom