Grace enrolled in our 12 month program to improve cognitive and reading skills. She has completed 7 months of training on the reading programs, first on Fast ForWord, then on the Reading Boost program, and now she’s working on the Reading Assistant program.
Students worldwide talk about their experience with the 3 step reading program
Kylah, 8 years old, Western Australia “It seems like a really big task in the beginning, but it is amazing to be here at the end of the year of Fast ForWord and see the results!”
In this interview, Kylah’s mum Cara explains why she decided to enrol Kylah in the 3 step reading program, describes their experience and provides tips for other parents.
Why did you consider this program for Kylah?
Kylah was diagnosed with central auditory processing disorder. In year 2, she was noticing that she wasn’t picking things up like her peers and saying, “I just don’t get things like the other kids.” We wanted to get some help and support for her to improve her overall confidence and help with her negative thinking as she had started saying some very negative things which was very heartbreaking to hear.
How did you discover Sonic Learning?
We took Kylah to see a Kinesiologist to get some support for her anxiety. The Kinesiologist mentioned that she had seen one of Sonic Learning’s online webinars and suggested it might interest me. I enrolled to watch the webinar “Identifying and helping students with learning difficulties” and I realised that Kylah presented with many of the characteristics discussed in the webinar. It really hit home that yes, there is a difficulty there and we can do something about it. That was very reassuring.
We did the Sonic Learning screening assessment online and the support team contacted us back the very next day. We then went to an Audiologist to confirm that Kylah did in fact have Central Auditory Processing Disorder, then we contacted Sonic Learning and decided to go ahead with the program. After chatting with them we decided to go ahead with the program because we could see that it was going to address Kylah’s difficulties and was very suitable for her.
What was your experience with the Fast ForWord program?
We initially really struggled to decide as to whether to enrol Kylah in a 12 month course. We initially enrolled Kylah for 3 months and we could already see some good progress, so we extended her course as we felt we were going to see even greater benefits over 12 months.
Routine is important! It’s not easy to do the program regularly for a such long period of time but it does get easier if you implement a good training routine. It was difficult at times to keep Kylah’s motivation levels up but we just had to step up and be the parents and say “no, you are doing this.” Things improved and after a while we would just ask Kylah to do her lesson and she would simply go and do it without any argument. It just became a way of life.
How has Kylah benefited from the program?
In the first 3-6 months of training Kylah struggled to see how the program was helping her – like everyone it’s hard to see improvements in yourself and she couldn’t see how her own behaviour had changed.
We definitely saw the changes though. Kylah made great progress. For example, when given instructions she used to just say “huh?” or “wait, what?” We made a point of continuing to point out her improvements in little ways and reinforce to her that the program was helping and encourage her to continue.
In week 10 of term 3 (year 2) we received Kylah’s NAPLAN results and she was sitting in Band 6 for her reading which just blew us away! Even though we don’t put emphasis on NAPLAN, it was great feedback for us to show Kylah how much she had improved in such a short time. I said to Kylah, “this is because you have been doing so well with your Fast ForWord lessons” and she was very excited! So, towards the end of her 12 month course she could really see the benefits of her hard work.
What other changes have you seen?
Kylah is now much more willing to read. She now lays in bed before she falls asleep and just reads.
Kylah previously would say “what” and “huh” and lot and ask for instructions to be clarified or repeated. She is now doing this a lot less.
We have seen a boost in her overall confidence and positivity, and the negative comments that we were hearing earlier have stopped.
What did you like most about the program?
Instant feedback: I like the immediate feedback that Kylah got at the end of each lesson. She could see her progress and we could celebrate her high scores and progress together.
Accessibility: The program is easy for children to navigate. At 8.5 years old Kylah can log on herself and complete her training. I don’t have to prepare it or time it.
Educational and fun: It is great that the program is presented in a game format which helps make it fun, but it also allows the kids to know that it is important and that they are learning.
It seems like a really big task in the beginning, but it is amazing to be here at the end of the year of Fast ForWord and see the results!
Rosie, 9 years old, Western Australia
Rosie’s teacher at school has attributed her outstanding improvements to the Sonic Learning Fast ForWord program.
We spoke to Toni, Rosie’s Mum, to learn about her experience with the 3 Step Reading Program over the past 18 months.
Why did you decide to enrol Rosie in this program?
From kindergarten it became noticeable that her working memory and processing speeds were a concern and teachers recommended immediate intervention to help her catch up to her peers. Despite repeated interventions implemented at school and at home, I wasn’t noticing an improvement and Rosie hadn’t moved from the lowest reading group at school. Rosie now has a diagnosis of Dyslexia.
I first heard about Fast ForWord when I read the book “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge. I enrolled my older daughter in the program first, and the improvements in her language and listening skills were very noticeable to everyone around her. We saw improvement in her speech, how she constructed sentences and decoding of words which contributed to an improvement in her overall grades.
I have been with Rosie every step of the way to keep her motivation levels up and provide encouragement. It’s been hard work, but it has absolutely been worth it.
What benefits have you seen?
The biggest improvement has been in Rosie’s memory. Rosie is now able to remember her peers’ names and clearly recall events. Her reading is better and her focus, attention, motivation and determination have also improved to the point where she gets up and completes all of the assigned exercises by herself and likes to read independently.
Rosie’s teacher at school has attributed her outstanding improvements to the Sonic Learning Fast ForWord program. Rosie is no longer considered as one of the “special” kids and is no longer in the low reading group. At the start of year 2 Rosie was at a Reading Level 5. 18 months later she is now at Level 21!