Keiki Success Spotlight: Meet Ryder

Ryder is one of my students who displayed poor reading skills, comprehension, a short attention span and slow processing skills. He couldn’t keep a beat – poor time perception skills – and had attended a special education program at his public school, all through 4th grade. After transferring to a small Catholic school in 5th grade, he began 2 years of direct 1:1 tutoring 3 days a week. But the results were not satisfactory: He still remained more than 2 years behind his peers in all his subjects.


When I met Ryder, he was 12 years old and his parents were eager to have him improve in time for 7th grade in the fall. Although I normally have my students begin with just one program at a time, they requested we start immediately with Interactive Metronome, Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant.


Partly due to slow processing of both the written and verbal language, the Fast ForWord Reading Progress Indicator assessed him nearly 3 grade levels below his peers. Despite graphics designed to please younger children, I placed him in Language V2 for Fast ForWord and adjusted his Reading Assistant to lower elementary school level, so he could succeed at fluency and build his confidence. His mom and dad were his daily coaches, taking turns during home training sessions.


The results were remarkable. He also responded particularly well to Interactive Metronome’s combined use of auditory and visual cues, and quickly progressed to cognitive loading tasks. He progressed through Fast ForWord's Reading V2 in a little less than a month, completing 90-minute sessions 5 days a week.  Ryder also completed more than 40 minutes a day of Reading Assistant 3 times a week.  Once Language V2 was finished, he moved into the Fast ForWord Language to Reading program.  Within a month and making outstanding progress, I advanced Ryder into Literacy.  His reading and comprehension climbed during the 7 weeks of Reading Assistant and he was ready for the challenge, so I moved him into passages geared toward 4th through 6th grade.  By then, he was scoring 90 to 100 percent on his comprehension quizzes.


Summer afforded him the time to apply himself without homework pressure. As a side note, many kids at Learn 2 Focus begin their training programs during winter, spring or summer breaks, so they can maximize several solid weeks of daily work and jumpstart the program. Once school begins, they scale down to 30 to 50 minutes a day depending on their schedules.


At the end of summer, Ryder cut his training time back due to homework. When he returned to school, his teachers couldn't believe the changes that had occurred over the summer.  He was quickly closing the academic gap in reading and comprehension, and he had higher self-esteem because of his successes. Ryder's improved confidence has spilled out of the classroom and he willingly joined a soccer team again - the first time since he was 6 years old. Although he still tends to be quiet and reserved, he is learning to be a better communicator and he now responds promptly without delay. His ability to follow instructions has helped him in both academics and on the soccer field.


Today, he’s progressed to his grade level for Reading Assistant and reads with good fluency skills.  With more time available to concentrate on Fast ForWord during winter break, Ryder will start the final language program, Literacy Advanced, and transition to the higher level reading programs in the spring.  


In Spring 2016, Ryder will be testing for entry into several larger private schools for 8th grade. I have no doubt that he’ll succeed! Good job, Ryder!