“A lot of people think you have a disability if you can’t read or spell properly, it’s just that everyone learns in a different way and once you find how you learn it becomes a lot easier.”
At school, I was one of those ignored kids. I didn’t do that well, and nobody picked up why. Spelling is my biggest issue and my difficulties have held me back all my life. At 35, I found out that I was Dyslexic. I tried 6 months of group tuition through a government funded initiative but their knowledge of Dyslexia was limited and I could see many others there who had already given up on their own abilities and accepted that they are “dumb”. A lot of people think they’re stupid and give up and hold themselves back in jobs and everything in life because of it.
I thought “I really want to improve this” and researched Dyslexia on the internet. I read that Dyslexia is incurable and thought, there has to be some way I can improve my skills. That’s when I found out about the Fast ForWord program, I read stories from others who had used the programs and I thought “I’ll give this a go”.
It works. I liked the fact that I was better at the exercises than I thought I was going to be, I liked that I could see the improvement in my daily life. I could instantly see I was improving, for example I stopped asking my kids how to spell words and started sounding them out myself. My confidence improved greatly as well as my reading ability. I read every day, but only now I realise I was skipping words and constantly having to go back and re-read sections. Now my concentration is way better so I don’t do that anymore. All the words I thought I was reading properly before, I realised I’ve been reading them wrong the whole time, it’s like a lightbulb switched on in my brain. At my job I work with numbers and I’ve noticed my Maths skills have improved too.
Towards the end of the Fast ForWord course I was a little bit slack because I let others in my family distract me. My advice to other adults with families is to find time to do this for yourself when nobody else is around, get into a routine of doing it the same time every day, and have everyone understand it’s something you’re doing to benefit yourself. These are not just kid’s games, they are not a waste of time, you’re doing this to improve yourself as a person. If you have trouble with reading, writing and spelling, you’re not dumb – I think a lot of it has to do with your perception of yourself as well as your concentration and attention – and I think adults give up a lot easier than they should.
I read The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, that book is brilliant, learning about plasticity has really helped me to realise that I can change my brain, that I can un-learn what I’ve been taught in the past, and find different ways of learning now. I even got into university to study a Bachelor of Education – I want to help those ignored kids who are just like I was.
Tania, 34 years old, Queensland Aphasia
Thank you so much. In a relatively short space of time, the overall change in Tania is unbelievable. Fast ForWord has opened her up and we cannot believe her ongoing progress. After a lifetime of struggling and agonizing, dealing with her frustrations and low self esteem, my appreciation and joy is overwhelming.
Tania, my 34 year old daughter, was diagnosed with aphasia (a language disorder) when she was five years old. She had spent the first five years of her early learning only being able to guess what was being said by those around her. She was pretty smart as she kept the “professionals” guessing until presented to the Spastic Centre at aged five. Being totally language disordered Tania had to be taught via sign language, verbal communication and visual means (pictures mostly). Tania started Fast ForWord with Sonic Learning in September 2009. The program targeted her cognitive skills and an incredible change began to take place in Tania’s ability to appropriately communicate with people. Tania’s ability to read just took off, whereas before she would not even pick up a magazine in a waiting room to flip through she began to read fiction books, first with myself supporting but very quickly on her own and now she falls asleep with a book most nights!
I found the weekly progress summaries given from Sonic Learning of extreme interest. The graphs were detailed and I was fascinated to find the areas of frustration that I coped with on a daily basis with Tania, were areas that showed up in the reports. In a short span of time I could not only observe a real change in Tania but the reports we were receiving also portrayed the improvement and at all times both my husband and I had access to the professionals at Sonic Learning with any questions we had. Sonic Learning has given my daughter a life.
Hello, my name is Robyn, I am 44, I have a job, a career, I am married and have a child. I have a learning disorder, which I didn’t know about until 27 years after my last high school exam. Which I failed. In fact, I failed almost everything in school, and was told by teachers and parents that it was just because I was lazy and wasn’t working hard enough.
Leah, 35 years old, Western Australia Auditory Processing difficulties
After completing Sonic Learning’s literacy program, my processing has gone from ‘impossible’ to functional!
Studying became possible (listening to lectures without going into ‘brain overwhelm’.. which required an instant lie down, with all stimulus shut off around me to fix and often took a good day or two to recover from)…and I could attend social situations such as dinner parties, where many people talk at the same time, without going into this overwhelm mode. I still cup my ear to focus better on the person talking to me, but can distinguish their words apart from other speech around me now.
What a life changer!
I successfully completed the course that initially I had despaired of completing, and can now participate in social situations that I used to avoid like the plague. I have developed some wonderful, new friendships due to this, along with being able to better hear people and participate in conversation, without making a fool of myself. This gives me the confidence to engage in the conversation required to make friends. I can also engage in telephone conversations without the usual, (former) effort that was required. Again, it is life changing and I cannot thank the creators and the team at Sonic Learning enough.
John, Adult, Western Australia Stroke to left frontotemporal region
Two years ago my husband suffered an asymptomatic heart attack, followed by a stroke, damaging broca’s area. He was diagnosed with aphasia, dyspraxia and limitations in the lower right arm and leg.
Initially speech pathologists at both Royal Perth and Shenton Park Annex used visual aids to assist him in reading, but he replied with Samoan words, not English. After discharge he benefited with 5 weeks of continued therapy at home under the R.I.T.H program. Once that was over, Swan Districts Hospital provided 1 hour per week with a speech pathologist. I became totally involved in assisting him with the aid of a booklet “Learn to Read and Write.” This was very effective, and on completion he was able to read aloud, albeit very slowly, stuttering and dyslexic. But he was much more fluent in Samoan, our second language, than in English. But his strong desire to return to his occupation of 35 years in public speaking motivated him to do more. Every day he spent hours practicing reading aloud, but with little improvement. This was a dreadfully frustrating stage in his life.
Then we discovered Sonic Learning. John diligently applied himself to the Literacy program for 3 hours every day, 5 days a week. He was so determined to make it work, and I could see improvements in his speech immediately. He took a month longer to complete the initial course, during which time his cognitive abilities, thinking speed, focus, memory and auditory processing skills were improving. He even presented a 10 minute discourse to about 80 people at our place of worship. He progressed to the Literacy Advanced course, finishing that in half the time. The final course, Reading 1 & 2, he completed within a few weeks, and the improvement in his reading was amazing.
When friends comment on how well he expresses himself now, he kindly acknowledges my patient assistance; but especially attributes his fluency in reading to the Sonic course. He addresses the congregation every few weeks for 10 to 15 minutes, and has even read aloud with modulation and feeling.
Six months after his stroke I never would have believed this was possible! His neurologist told me I would not see much more improvement with his speech after the initial 6 months. I was told that was the ‘cut-off’ point as far as making new pathways in the brain.
My husband’s progress has proved the amazing plasticity of the brain. In fact, this past month he attended a 5 day seminar along with over 40 others, freely making his expressions as did everyone else. Rather than take a negative view of what the brain is capable of, we are very positive. Even if damaged, the brain will respond when stimulated and develop new neural networks, working out ways to deliver. The techniques developed by Sonic Learning are brilliant. We recommend the program to everyone. People who haven’t known of John’s stroke say they can’t notice that he even had a stroke. Well, that is our little secret.
Free phone consultation
We’re here to help. Call us on 1300 135 334 for a free confidential phone consultation with a health professional. Alternatively, fill out the contact form and we’ll call you.