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Case Studies

Sarah (10 years)

Sarah is a ten year old girl who came for an assessment with Catherine McLennan (Founder of Listen to Read)

An early development questionnaire was filled out by Sarah’s mother while she sat in on the assessment for Sarah. This background information highlighted some areas of concern in Sarah’s early development. These areas of concern would certainly have had an effect on her early attempts to read. Sarah had been diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome a year before the Listen To Read assessment. Wearing the coloured lenses (in her case purple, was deemed appropriate) The lenses made the words easier to read. She was skipping words and lines less frequently and “the white background behind the words did not shimmer and shine as much.”

Why her mother was concerned

Her mother’s main concern was that Sarah never finished a book as she became distracted and lost interest. Sarah’s mother, Kathleen, was worried that poor oral reading and comprehension would impact on other areas of learning.

Catherine administered a reading age test and determined Sarah’s reading age was approximately 8.03 (8 years and 3 months). Given that Sarah was 10 years old, her mother was keen to begin the program immediately before she fell even further behind.

Sarah’s progress

Sarah began the Home Study program immediately. Catherine made several phone calls to check on her progress. During a Zoom call Sarah went through the early lessons with Catherine and Catherine was confident that the Listen to Read program had remediated the gaps in the early parts of the reading process (Consonant Clusters, Bossy ‘e’ and Vowel Blends.)

After a discussion with Kathleen, Catherine determined which lessons needed focus for the following weeks (Prefixes, Suffixes, Bossy ‘e’ and Syllabification).

Three months later, Sarah and her mother again travelled to Engadine for another assessment to determine the improvements which had been made.

Sarah’s results after 12 weeks

Sarah’s reading age had gone up to 10.06 (10 years and 6 months), an improvement of (1.03) 1 year and 3 months in only 12 weeks. Given that the 12 week period included the Christmas school holidays and the fact that she was not doing the lessons every day as recommended this improvement was most impressive!

Catherine recommended that now the focus for Sarah should be on reading aloud every day, focusing on fluency and comprehension. Kathleen was given strategies and suggestions to help Sarah with these focus areas. Catherine suggested the purchase of Forbrain for Sarah. These were purchased and worn by Sarah when she was reading aloud to someone in the family. This extra step helped to consolidate the improvements that had been made over the three month period.                   

Ryan (14 years)

Ryan was struggling with his reading at school. He was being ridiculed by his classmates and his father realised that Ryan needed some kind of miracle, so he went in search of answers.

Why his father was concerned

Dad felt that the school system had let his son down and that unfortunate family circumstances had possibly added to Ryan’s reading problems.

He knew that he had to help his son and that he had to act fast or Ryan’s opportunity to learn to read confidently might be lost forever. He heard about the Listen To Read Program and Catherine from a workmate and immediately booked Ryan in for an assessment.

Ryan’s progress

When Catherine first tested Ryan she found that his auditory memory was severely impaired. His self-esteem was poor, and he became quite frustrated during the assessment process. His reading age was determined to be 7.09 years. Given that he was in his first year of high school, no wonder his self esteem was poor!

After only four weeks his reading age had improved by 13 months.

Ryan’s results after 12 weeks

This improvement continued over the next few months and soon he was reading competently and in line with his age. The same classmates who had made fun of him were now encouraging him and were amazed at his improvement.

Kay (adult client)

Kay had struggled with reading for years after having left school at age fifteen without ever learning. She told Catherine that she would break out in a cold sweat whenever she went out for dinner with friends. She was always fearful that someone would find out the secret she had been trying to hide for years.

How Kay lived without learning to read

When handed the menu in a restaurant, she would pretend to read it carefully then ask her friends what they had decided on. She would then say “I think I’ll have the chicken, it does sound nice.” She hoped that she would like what her friend had ordered.

Other times she would say that she had left her glasses at home if she was required to fill out a form.

Kay’s progress

After a few lessons with Catherine she made incredible progress. At the end of the course she broke down in tears saying that Listen To Read had given her back her confidence and that she was looking forward to reading to her grandchildren.

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