Preneil was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of thirteen. The diagnosis caused his self-esteem to suffer and filled his mom with anger, annoyance, sadness, and despair. After Preneil failed English, his mom discovered Edublox. His Language Arts score improved by 21%, he achieved an A in math and was allowed to enter university. Here is Preneil’s story, as told by his mom, Devigi Pillay.
Dyslexia label drags him down
My son Preneil was diagnosed with dyslexia in June 2010. He was in Grade 7! We were both quite unsettled and not sure of the way forward.
Not only did he have to attend a school program to help learners struggling with reading, but he also had to work with me every night, completing eye movement and word recognition exercises.
The issue that troubled Preneil the most was that fellow students labeled him a “remedial” child. Preneil’s confidence was always quite fragile, given his small stature and quiet, introspective nature, but this diagnosis dragged him back even further.
Mom despairs after dyslexia diagnosis
His teachers and I picked up quite early in his schooling career that Preneil struggled with reading. I had his eyes and hearing tested but found that both were fine. He participated in several reading programs, but there was no significant improvement in his reading. His teachers never recommended that he be tested for ADD or any reading disability, so it never occurred to me that Preneil could be dyslexic.
Finding out he had dyslexia when he was 13 (Grade 7) filled me with anger and annoyance, to sadness and despair. I had not been able to give Preneil the support he needed, and I could only imagine the frustration he experienced from one class to the next. The program he attended in school didn’t show any improvement in his reading.
Failing as a result of dyslexia
Preneil entered high school, and the first six months were difficult, to say the least. He was withdrawn and tried very hard to “look” happy because he didn’t want to worry me. At the end of the 2nd term, he had failed Afrikaans [additional language] and obtained 42% for English.
Our morale was at an all-time low. I did not know how to help my child.
As is typical with 21st-century moms, I spent many hours on Google researching possible solutions. Finally, I came across Edublox and found out that there was a center in our area. But it was only after a glowing reference from a previous participant of Edublox that I registered Preneil into the program. The facilitator at Edublox, Susan, confidently told me to give her 18 months to turn Preneil around.
Report indicates few dyslexia symptoms
Preneil has been in the program for 22 months, attending one lesson per week. His English has jumped from 42% to 58%; he is writing compositions that bring tears to my eyes. His imagination and vocabulary are astounding, even though his spelling needs a little more work.
Preneil was reassessed for dyslexia in April 2013. The report indicated that only a few symptoms of dyslexia could be picked up. Preneil has managed to overcome this difficulty which we can only ascribe to his participation in the Edublox program.
More good news
This email was received from Preneil’s mom, two and a half years later:
I trust you are well and still hold fond memories of Preneil and I.
I wanted to drop you a short note to thank you for the time, effort, knowledge and skills that you invested in Preneil during his time at your center. I firmly believe that it was this foundation that helped him pass Matric [12th grade] comfortably with an A in Math Literacy. More importantly, Preneil achieved 63% in English! For Pren and I, this is the greatest achievement! We will always be most appreciative of your support and encouragement.
Preneil will be following a career in Human Resources at TUT this year.
Thank you and Take care.
(South Africa, 2014)