John from Bridport

John tells his story of learning to read:

”At junior school I was given extra help with my reading but it did not help very much.  I was not reading properly. My parents sent me to a retired teacher but that did not seem to work either. At secondary school I was also given extra coaching. It helped a bit but I was still struggling. The only exams I passed were practical exams. My geography exam was described as gobbledegook.

I wanted to be a chef and the school vouched for me to get into catering college. I did well at practical work but struggled with my written exams.

I was finally diagnosed as dyslexic and given a reader when I took exams.

It was a horrible feeling not being able to read and I felt very isolated. I would not go to the bank by myself and when I was learning to drive my mum had to read the Highway Code to me over and over again.

My wife suggested I go to Lyme Net to study English, maths and computers and from there I started Read-Easy. I was introduced to Vee and to my coach. We immediately got on well and we had fun. It did not seem like work.

I was nervous about starting Read-Easy but with Vee, my co-ordinator, and my coach (and strong support from my wife) my confidence grew and I finished the book very quickly. I am now on Moving Ahead.

When I was younger and went to bible classes we had to read aloud. I hated it so I would use any excuse not to go to the class. Now I read every day and I enjoy it. I buy books and I read stories. Michael Palin and Terry Pratchett are favourites. I read newspapers and TV guides.

Now that my reading has improved so has my life. I am a member of the local film club and I can read the sub-titles at the cinema. I can read the specials board in restaurants and I can go out on my own with a shopping list. This is all new.

I play the drums in the local brass band and in blues groups and reading has helped me follow the music and play-lists. My confidence has improved so much that I even went to see Macbeth.
I had read the plot before so I was able to follow the play easily.

Read-Easy has changed my life for the better (and my family’s life) and I would recommend others to have a go”.


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