Mark Beech’s mother gives an overview of her son’s problems and of his progress:
Mark’s problems became noticeable when at age 2 years he showed very little speech development. That seemed the only developmental delay; there were no physical problems. His speech did improve, but at age 4-5 years it was still very limited and very hard to understand.
He started primary school in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, M.E., but repeated Year 1 twice as there was no progress. Then we moved to Durban, South Africa, where he attended another Year 1 class, also with no improvement.
In 1990 we returned to Perth and we managed to have him placed into a special ed. unit Year 2. He remained in special education for primary and secondary schooling and completed Year 12.
The emphasis of special education at Sacred Heart College was primarily life skills. His reading and writing skills were extremely limited; his math skills were marginally better.
Mark has been examined extensively over the years and has never been diagnosed with anything in particular.
Mark has worked with me in my business as a delivery boy since February 2000. He has no physical disabilities, is totally independent, uses public transport competently, and completes his wage sheets and pay records with competence and accuracy. He has good computer skills and uses a mobile phone with great ease.
The first noticeable improvement in Mark’s development since he has been attending the Edublox course has been the confidence with which he has approached reading. For the last 12 months Mark has shown an interest in reading the daily paper; this has improved dramatically over the last 6 months, where his reading interest seems to have widened. He has just finished to read his first ever book, The Bourne Identity!
I could only ever judge his writing skills on e-mails, which he would ask me to correct for him. These have always been extremely basic in spelling and grammar. Only just recently have I noticed that e-mails he has written are now longer in text, have better sentence structure and have acceptable spelling (no spell check is used).
He has always been friendly, but he seems more confident recently. His next milestone will be his attempt at getting his driver’s licence. Since he has turned 18 he has totally rejected the idea of trying to sit for his learner’s permit. He has done 2 terms at TAFE for a learner’s permit course, but has not had the confidence to attempt the task. He has told me recently that he would like to try in the new year.
I would like Mark to stay with Edublox for as long as possible, as he has for the first time ever, learned something, and gained self-confidence.