"I have been in the very fortunate position to have been aware of the work of Rita Treacy over a considerable number of years. I have seen the WordsWorth Literacy Programme develop from her early work into what is now a robust, systematic and successful intervention strategy for individuals with a Specific Learning Difficulty (Dyslexia). I have referred numerous individuals for intervention in the past and continue to do so. This Programme has proved highly successful in helping to remediate both reading and written language difficulties and I have received exceptionally positive feedback from clients. Of greater importance are the measurable increases in academic levels of reading and spelling following intervention which I have found on repeat testing. I would have no hesitation in recommending this Programme of intervention for individuals with a specific reading or written language difficulty."
Consultant Clinical Psychologist (Dublin)
"As a Resource Teacher I have been working with Stephen for the past two years. He has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and in my opinion presents with some classic features of dyslexia. He is a very smart boy and can read almost any text with a high level of understanding. However we spent our first year working together in a dreary cycle of learning to spell consonant vowel consonant words and Dolch words with a spelling test on Friday filled with frustration, tears and little success.
At that point I read The Gift of Dyslexia by Ronald Davis and realised we were wasting our time and eroding his confidence. An article in the Irish Times led me to Wordsworth Learning. As Stephen has difficulty articulating some sounds I was first struck by the forensic emphasis on voiced and voiceless consonants and on the shape of the mouth (spread, round, resting and moving) when making vowel sounds.
On enrolment I had misgivings about the daunting number of rules to be learned, fearing that Stephen would balk. However the counter exercise which helped him to express which sound had changed by swopping counters was a big breakthrough for us. Up to this point I thought he could not hear the difference between a in cat and o in cot for example. Quite quickly even the medial sounds (up to this point an absolute nightmare for him) began to be distinguished and then mastered. The emphasis on nonsense words helped to focus on the individual sounds as well.
Although Rita presents the tasks in quite a traditional manner the interactive format is particularly attractive to a boy with Asperger Syndrome. In addition each exercise is short. Perhaps the programmes greatest strength however is that it is so carefully structured around incremental steps and consistent reinforcement of what has been learned. Although my experience of Wordsworth is limited to one child I am about to enrol another pupil in confidence that it will help her as much.
Stephen is now looking witheringly at the "too easy" tasks set by the school spelling text book for the class level below his. He is sprawled on his chair waiting for these spellings to be called out. A year on from anxiety and tension I think he has earned a run into the summer holidays with this ease. Another year and he will certainly be spelling as well as his peers.
Stephen's mam agrees with everything written here, as does Stephen himself.
Thanks Wordsworth from all of us!"
Siobhan Rea, Resource Teacher, Griffeen Valley Educate Together, Ireland
"To whom it may concern,
The WordsWorth Literacy Programme has made a world of difference to my now eleven year old son. Before he started the programme, he had great difficulty with spelling which had a very negative knock-on effect on his attitude to books and reading. He was only comfortable reading picture books and comics or books with very little text and this held up his progression to more interesting material with age appropriate themes and subject-matter.
Meeting Rita Treacy who introduced him to The WordsWorth learning Programme changed all that. The programme gave R a different but accessible set of tools to work out how words should sound. After a relatively short period of time, was able to read more confidently and fluidly and as his confidence grew, so did his appetite for reading. He no longer goes to resource English class in school and is reading books which are appropriate for his age group. He also has no more fear of the "Friday spelling test" and quite often gets full marks.
It is wonderful to observe him enjoying books now and talking about his "favourites" where he once would shy away from them. His confidence has grown hugely thanks to Rita's help. I cannot recommend the WordsWorth Literacy Programme highly enough. "
Mrs. K. (Dublin)
"At the age of 23, I was diagnosed with a form of dyslexia. I had struggled for my entire life with spelling and writing but I had never been tested. These problems manifest themselves in various different situations. Applying for jobs was difficulty because every single piece that I write would need to be proof read and oftentimes I would try to do it myself and I wouldn't be considered for interview because of the poor quality of the writing. In work I found that my letters were being sent back to me with very basic mistakes, this made my working life extremely stressful and I lacked self confidence. I was referred to Wordsworth learning by a friend of the family because I had been told elsewhere that my problems were intrinsic and I couldn't be helped. I was a little sceptical at the start but my fears were quickly allayed. I learned to break down sounds and words so I could read them quicker and spell them with more accuracy and confidence. My reading speed has improved and I am able to work faster as a result. Wordsworth takes time and it requires you to change the way you read and spell, it's more challenging than you expect, but it's also more rewarding.
Ms. G (Kildare)
"Your programme is about words, so I should find it easy to describe the difference you have made. However, I find I struggle to find the correct ones, so profound has the impact been. For our daughter to be diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 17 was disconcerting, but your intervention converted those feelings of dismay into quiet relief. Over years, we had suspected a problem, but real difficulty for her became more apparent in 4th year. To finally know and understand why work was more challenging for a young, creative talent was comforting. This was actually because you were at our side with kind, inspiring confidence, which seemed to transform those befuddled words into intelligible, simple ones. Your professional and excellent course offered more than hope, it gave tangible results allowing our daughter to trust once more in her own abilities. In 10 weeks her reading progressed 10 years! Actually and truly, you have transformed a young life. Thank you."
Mrs. G (Wicklow)
"I wanted to write to you to express my sincere gratitude for the expert assistance you gave to both my sons in their efforts to manage and significantly improve their dyslexia. There is no doubt that both J (aged 17) & B (aged 14) experienced step change in their development, as they approach their day to day education in school with improved enthusiasm and confidence, both attributes which were absent for some time before they engaged with you. I can honestly say that your tutoring, advice and your specialist programme "WordsWorth" has opened a new chapter in the lives of both boys. We are indebted to you and would like to thank you not only for developing such an insightful product in "WordsWorth" but also for your teaching style which they found to be personal, assertive and empathic. The "WordsWorth Programme" is extremely relevant, user friendly, adaptable and fun. We have no hesitation recommending the "WordsWorth" product and programme for any person, young or old, should they want to minimise the effects of dyslexia. "
Mr. & Mrs, S, Co. Meath
"Over all I feel the benefits have been significant. The programme is great as the lessons are designed to repeat the message without becoming repetitively boring. The exercises were short and to the point, easy to keep my concentration, thus making it easier to grasp the concept. For example I can now see patterns in words without consciously trying to remember the rules. I began to see and understand in a new and better way. The graphics helped break down the learning process and bring in a fun aspect to the exercise. They were a good method making the idea stick in your head allowing you to sound out the words in order to improve the reading and spelling words of every day usage. The videos are an excellent addition of drilling home message of how to follow the exercise. Rita is a natural teacher. I feel that she has a great insight into the complexities of someone with learning difficulties due to her back ground, by personalising her sessions to the individual. I actually enjoy figuring out how to spell the words which is a first for me !!!"
Ms. C, Kildare, (28 year old student)
"When D first went to Rita as a child of 7 yrs, we were distraught and upset at the situation we found ourselves in. D was a very bright happy child when he started school at 4 yrs, but by 1st class his scores dropped from an average of 85 percentile to under 25 in one academic year. His wasn't happy anymore and frequently had outbursts and was inconsolable. We had him assessed and dyslexia was diagnosed and we followed a series of recommendations. It wasn't until we met Rita that we could see light at the end of the tunnel.
The WordsWorth programme put D in the steering seat. He responded well to Rita's encouragement and as soon as he realised that he could do the work, his competitive streak starting coming through. His mathematical brain seemed to respond to the way the programme was set up, like building blocks. It was not difficult, just a set of tiny steps and the daily 10 minutes practice, lots of praise and bribes too! There were rules and logic and it made sense to see the words broken down into patterns that D could recognise. It was amazing to see the reading improve and the fear dissipate. It had a ripple effect on other aspects like confidence and self esteem which had really taken a battering. Slowly he started to be more like him self again.
One of the great things for parent is to see the measured result. Rita does that brilliantly by the initial assessment and then a month or so after the course has finished the child is reassessed. It is plain to see and gives such a boost and feeling of achievement to both the child and parents.
Of all the courses we have done with D, none compare to the WordsWorth Programme by the simple fact that the progress was remarkable. It gave him the jump in percentile that he needed to be able to function well in class, to be able for the work and to feel on par with his classmates.
We return to Rita for top ups as he gets older, he is doing really well and now reads books on his own going to bed and I have heard him discuss what he is reading with his older brother and friends. It's great that he can read what the others kids are reading. Having Rita's programme there has reduced the worry and anxiety we have going forward.
We would also like to say that Rita takes a special interest to get to know the child himself. It wasn't rushed just natural slow build up of trust. She laid down the rules and gave continual praise and encouragement to the child. By the way she often has to teach the parent too as it is rather strange at first. D loved the class with Rita and they often laughed and found humour in things so the classes flew by. I think D actually enjoyed himself. His last assessment showed a 75 percentile in a Drumcondra test. We have a lot to thank Rita for. "
Mr. & Mrs. O'D,(Dublin)
"Together with our ten year old son we attended weekly sessions with Rita Treacy and over four intense months learnt the WordsWorth Literacy Programme. Under her guidance, the programme armed us with rules of the English language, enabling us to approach spelling and reading from a different angle. This gave us a greater understanding of how words are constructed and why they are spelled the way they are. As a mother it is a relief to have the knowledge to explain to my son how words work, and in my son's own words, he liked the programme because "it made sense". At the conclusion of the programme his reading and spelling age assessments have improved by a factor of three years. We are delighted to have done the programme and would heartily recommend it to other families who need help and maybe a fresh approach to reading and spelling. "
Mr & Mrs H,(Dublin);
"When our son was originally diagnosed as having a reading problem we were really taken aback. The reason being that he read avidly as a hobby and there was no clue that there was any difficulty. However, in a school reading assessment he was shown to have the reading skills of a child a number of years younger. As we begun to investigate we realised that he was "seeing" words quite differently to what we might expect and we were at a loss as to how we could help him work through this. We were introduced to the WordsWorth Programme through Rita Treacy. The programme provided our son with a toolset more useful to the way he was seeing words. In addition, it provided us with a series of practices and a vocabulary with which we could work with him in improving his skills. The reading challenge will never go away but it has not been allowed grow into a problem nor prevent him growing into the bright and confident young man that he is today."
John & Catherine, Co. Kildare.