Reading Challenge: Dyslexic Second-Grader Struggles with Literacy Basics
Emmie’s Story: Second-grader Emmie would sit in class with her head down, discouraged and not participating, and any activities that involved reading she would completely steer away from, says Dyslexia Therapist Jo Fuller.
Fuller’s job is to assess every student referred to her to determine if they are dyslexic. Those who are identified as dyslexic receive dedicated intervention time, four to five days a week for 45 minutes. In September 2015, Emmie joined the class and faced a serious reading challenge, not able to get through even the first two stories on the Gray Oral Reading Test, which measures rate, accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. She also missed several basic sight words such as “pat,” “then,” “jump,” “mother” and “father.”
“Reading just wasn’t coming to her well,” says Fuller, who put Emmie and her other second-through-fifth-grade students on MindPlay four days a week. Many of her students were also ADHD and needed something that would capture their attention and also focus on their personal learning needs. “Nothing I could do in class was able to match the level of personalization that MindPlay’s technology offers,” says Fuller, who adds that “even the wiggliest learner” stayed focused with the program.
When it came to Emmie, it was a struggle for her to get through even the first level of the program. “She had to go over and over lessons and reviews and I thought she would get discouraged,” says Fuller,” but she never did.”
In January, something just clicked for Emmie. “Suddenly it wasn’t so hard for her to put sounds together and to complete the spelling activities. She started picking up books on her own. She would come to me and say, ‘Mrs. Fuller, can I read this to you’?”
Impact: On the Gray Oral Reading Test administered in the spring, Emmie was able to read five stories before she needed to stop. She no longer sits with her head down in class but participates, and is very interactive with both her peers and adults.
“Emmie has things to say all the time, and she is proud of herself,” says Fuller. “She is still not quite on grade level, but is so much father in her journey. She is a new little girl.”