My son Preneil was diagnosed with dyslexia in June 2010. He was in Grade 7! We were both quite unsettled and not sure of the way forward. Not only did he have to attend a school programme to help learners struggling with reading but he also had to work with me every night completing exercises in eye movement and word recognition. The issue that troubled Preneil the most was that he was labelled by fellow learners as a “remedial” child. Preneil’s confidence was always quite fragile given his small stature and quiet, introspective nature but this diagnosis dragged him back even further.
Both his teachers and I picked up quite early in his schooling career that Preneil struggled with reading. I had his eyes and hearing tested but found that both were fine. He participated in several reading programmes but there was no significant improvement in his reading. His teachers never recommended that he be tested for ADD or any reading disability, so it never occurred to me that Preneil could be dyslexic. To find out when he was 13 (Grade 7) filled me from feelings of anger and annoyance to sadness and despair. I had not been able to give Preneil the support he needed and I could only imagine the frustration he experienced from one class to the next. The programme he attended in school didn’t show any improvement in his reading.
He entered high school and the first 6 months were difficult to say the least. Preneil was withdrawn and tried very hard to “look” happy because he didn’t want to worry me. At the end of the 2nd term he had failed Afrikaans and obtained 42% for English. Our morale was at an all time low. I did not know how to help my child.
As is common with 21st century mums I spent many hours on Google researching possible solutions. I came across Edublox and found out that there was a centre in our area. But it was only after a glowing reference from a previous participant of Edublox that I registered Preneil into the programme. The facilitator at Edublox, Susan, confidently told me to give her 18 months to turn Preneil around.
Preneil has been in the programme for 22 months, attending one lesson per week. His English has jumped from 42% to 58%; he is writing compositions that bring tears to my eyes. His imagination and vocabulary is astounding even though his spelling needs a little more work.
Preneil was re-assessed for dyslexia in April 2013. The report indicated that only a few symptoms of dyslexia could be picked up. Preneil has managed to overcome this difficulty which we can only ascribe to his participation in the Edublox programme.
25 June 2013
Update, 6 January 2016:
I trust you are well and still hold fond memories of Preneil and I.
I wanted to drop you a short note to thank you for the time, effort, knowledge and skills that you invested in Preneil during his time at your centre. I firmly believe that it was this foundation that helped him pass Matric comfortably with an A in Maths Literacy. More importantly, Preneil achieved 63% in English! For Pren and I this is the greatest achievement! We will always be most appreciative of your support and encouragement.
Preneil will be following a career in Human Resources at TUT this year.
Thank you and Take care.