Updated: Aug 18, 2022
Barbara is teaching Ed to read and this is their story:
Ed was never able to read, he found it all too hard and no adjustments were made for his capability. He found that the words were too small, and the books too hard, but he did try. However he failed all his exams, and no one took the time to sit down with him to help him to read, or see how he was coping. He was never given a diagnosis so just missed out.
Barbara says she was 13 before she learnt to read. Barbara says she experienced the same things as Ed at school, no one sat with her to help her with the difficult words, or the basics.
At 13, Barbara was offered help by one of her teachers who invested time in her, then Barbara went to the head mistress (Mrs Dean) and asked to read in assembly – this was such a massive big achievement for Barbara.
She has kept reading, went to college at 42 for a training college for special needs and did her NVQs in care work. She was given a book to read from to take her exam, and she passed it. Being able to read has been such an important part of Barbara's life.
So when we spoke about looking for training for our members who cannot read and write, Barbara offered to help at coffee shop. Debs asked Ed if he would like this help, and he said yes – and this was the start of an exciting, successful journey.
Ed got some straight forward books that had good stories. The first book Barbara and Ed read together was about a dinosaur who was going on an adventure ‘roaring’.
Ed says being helped has improved him, and he is now practicing his writing and rhymes. He is now sharing these on the CLASP what’s app group – he could not have done this without the practice and encouragement from Barbara. Ed says he feels so much better now, he can go out and read what a movie is about at the cinema, and also reading the boxes of DVDs when he is buying things. He can now read all the writing on things he sees.
Barbara says Ed is really achieving things, they talk over the words each week – it makes Barbara feel happy, and satisfied that Ed has improved. They are now going to concentrate on reading and writing each week.
Ed has now read two Paw Patrol books on his own to Barbara. He needs big writing to see the words well and they are together exploring new books.
This is just what CLASP is about, self advocacy and supporting each other. Well done Ed and Barbara.