"It would have been better for you if I had
not been born..."
Jack was struggling at school. He was emotional and
often burst into tears. Every single word on a page was a battle which
he seemed unable to conquer - "for Jack, reading and writing were
practically impossible - it was just so stressful for him that
he could not sit for more than a few seconds of reading at a
time". He lagged so far behind the rest of his class that he
totally lost interest in even trying to catch up.
With three bright older sisters, Jack's feelings of
inadequacy were constantly compounded - "he felt he was the only
one who couldn't cope".
His class teacher was particularly fond of Jack and
suggested to his mother that he might be dyslexic. His mother was so
concerned with his total lack of progress and the potential
psychological damage the constant expectation of failure could do to
him, that she requested he be officially assessed. The school summoned
a Child Psychologist, who announced that Jack was not dyslexic, but
rather that his educational delay was due to his parents' separation.
His own mother had the blame squarely placed at her feet when she was
informed that she was just too busy working, trying to support her
children, to give Jack the attention he required. With that, the
school seemed to wash its hands of any official responsibility.
A change in family circumstances at a time when
Jack's mother was particularly concerned for his welfare and future,
encouraged her to sell her business and move to a new area -
"where I could concentrate a great deal of my time on him".
Jack's new school were very supportive, giving him
a special programme and one-to-one tuition. But still Jack made no
progress. It seemed he would never be able to catch up.
Then, one day, his mother received a selection of
reviews through her book club, one of which was for 'When Listening
Comes Alive' by Paul Madaule. The author's description of himself, his
years of battle in a 'dyslexified' world and the dramatic changes
wrought on him through the Listening Therapy fascinated her. In parts, it
seemed to be describing Jack himself.
She made an appointment for an assessment at the
Lewes Listening Centre.
Jack has completed three sessions of the Listening Therapy.
His mother quickly noticed changes she had not
expected to see:
"His personality began to change immediately
after the first session. I would say he became the opposite of how he
was before - he seemed so much stronger, happy, even over-excited.
This was obvious from the very beginning.
"And then his teacher remarked on the changes.
She said he was suddenly willing to learn and had become competitive
in class for the first time.
"I have to say we saw no improvement in his
reading after the first session, but the changes in him as a person
alone made it all worthwhile".
By the second session, his mother again saw an
improvement in his confidence - a vital step in itself towards the
desire to learn and achieve at school.
"His school report following that second
session was the first he had ever had which showed some hope. Jack had
never had a good school report before this. There was a marked
improvement in his reading and writing - even his spelling had
improved - and he wanted to learn to read!
His mother was still holding out for a more
dramatic change in his academic work and began to lose heart -
"It was his teacher who told me Jack had to finish the treatment
with a third session. She had seen so many positive changes in him
that she said we could not give up now".
So it was that Jack attended the Lewes Centre for
his final treatment:
"Jack was so receptive to the
treatment. There was such an obvious need in him for it - he'd come
out of his two hour sessions and tell me it wasn't long enough!
"He is now progressing very well. Last week,
with his spelling, he got eight words right out of ten!
"He used to be so clumsy, always
breaking things. Now, he is the opposite! He helps around the house,
even taking control of activities. He has always liked playing with
Lego and Meccano, but now he is actually building things - before he
was just too clumsy to do anything.
"Most importantly, though, is that Jack knows
he is clever now, we can see he is clever. And he knows he is good. He
has a future.
"For Jack, the treatment worked in gradual
stages. I want people to know that they must not become despondent. I
was looking for immediate changes in his schoolwork and became
doubtful after the second session, but we did the full course and it
has worked - I am very happy.
"He is such a different boy - more sure of
himself, interested in lots of things. And optimistic. Today, Jack
shines - he wasn't shining before. And now he has a great big