Many children with dyslexia need support to overcome their learning challenges. Securing this support early is critical; the longer children go without intervention, the more likely they are to fall behind their peers.

Typically, interventions begin with a dyslexia assessment before children are taught specialised skills that help them thrive in school and in their later years. In this article, we share how a Thomson Kids therapist helped a student named Jake to unlock his potential.

Reading this article should give parents and children an idea of what the road to academic success looks like. But to understand Jake’s journey, we must first explore how dyslexia impacted his studies.

How Did Dyslexia Affect Jake’s Learning Ability?

Dyslexia affects how the brain decodes words and symbols. This can lead to learning issues in some languages and not in others. For example, some children have dyslexia in Chinese but not in English.

Like many children, Jake had trouble with mathematics; especially when it came to visualising and understanding problem sums. Jake also found English to be challenging and he experienced difficulties with spelling, reading and pronouncing words correctly. As Jake grew older, he realised that he was slower to grasp concepts than his peers.

As Jake hadn’t yet been diagnosed, his teachers and parents didn’t understand why he was struggling in school. Some teachers thought that he was just naughty or lazy. Despite working hard, Jake’s grades weren’t improving. The additional after-school lessons that he attended were no help, either. Trapped in a frustrating situation, Jake developed tactics for avoiding work, like taking multiple toilet breaks per class.

In Primary 5, aged 11, Jake was diagnosed with dyslexia by Frances Yeo, Thomson Kids’ current programme director and principal psychologist. When administering Jake’s dyslexia assessment, Frances analysed his schoolwork, interviewed his parents and observed Jake’s behaviour. Frances also administered a battery of globally recognised psychoeducational tests that assessed Jake’s academic challenges. This rigorous process enabled Frances to pinpoint Jakes’ specific learning needs.

From Primary 5 to A-levels: Helping Jake Overcome His Learning Challenges

Once Jake received a dyslexia assessment, he was given the support and skills needed to succeed in school. Along with receiving additional help from teachers, Jake was given access arrangements so that he could complete written examinations under more equitable conditions. These arrangements included being given extra time and having the option to write examinations in a separate room.

Most significantly, Jake was helped by a teacher who specialised in dyslexia intervention. This teacher gave Jake techniques for decoding words, along with other strategies that help students with dyslexia cope in school.

But these strategies weren’t a ‘magic bullet solution.’ In Jake's own words, “it took time before I started seeing tangible results.” This is because students with dyslexia often require repeated practice to master reading and spelling — a process that can take several years.

While Jake’s support for dyslexia began in Primary 5, his exam scores only improved once he entered secondary school. By then, he was able to use his new skills to absorb and process information quickly and efficiently.

Recently, Jake completed his A-levels and is looking forward to a bright future. While reflecting on his journey, he told us that having dyslexia has shaped him into the determined person he is today. His advice to other students is to stay resilient and trust the process.

“Although it was a long and arduous process, the strategies and tips I learned became a strong foundation for me throughout my life and not just in my studies. I’d encourage those who are struggling now to continue working hard. One day, the skills you are learning will help you tremendously.”

How Thomson Kids Supports Children With Dyslexia

At Thomson Kids, we’ve helped many children to overcome their dyslexia-related learning challenges. Along with dyslexia assessments, we offer tailored Chinese and English intervention programmes taught by experts who understand how dyslexia affects learning. 

Want to learn more about how we’ve helped students like Jake thrive in school? Click the button below to speak to one of our educational specialists. We can also talk about your child’s unique learning challenges.

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