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Rose is Taken Off the “Danger of Retention” List

Geoff Nixon

By Geoff Nixon

Rose’s Story of Success

The only thing that we did that was different was work with Gemm. It changed our lives.

Gemm Learning recently interviewed the mother of Rose, an 8-year old girl who struggled with reading problems and learning difficulties from an early age.  She was not diagnosed by a clinician.  Her mother recognized there was a problem and didn’t need a clinician to tell her that.  This is Rose’s story – from a daily struggling to being taken off the Danger of Retention list.

Rose hated school and confidence was eroding

Rose loved school in kindergarten, first grade and at the beginning of second grade. However, towards the end of second grade, all of that changed. She started to hate going to school, and was so resistant to the small amounts of homework assigned.

Her reading was not improving and in fact,  by the end of second grade was not much different than the end of kindergarten. Her spelling was nearly impossible to decipher. Homework was not only a battle, but it took her forever to complete what seemed like simple assignments. Her cousins in the same grade did not take nearly as long to finish their homework.

This started impacting Rose’s confidence.

Nothing was working

We tried all the “normal” stuff, getting extra help, tutoring, practicing sight words, over and over. I thought if she spent more time each day practicing, it would make a difference and it didn’t.

A close friend familiar with the Fast ForWord insisted we try it for Rose. I was feeling very frustrated and figured we’d try it out because nothing else seemed to be working.

Rose was happy doing the program

Rose wanted to do better – for her family and for her teachers — and so she was willing to try it. She was happy doing the program and not having to do all the other extra stuff each night.

There were some games in the Fast ForWord series that she liked and others that were harder for her. 

I could see right away the potential of this program, especially the exercises she found hard.  She was not able to sequence sounds after hearing them, and she struggled to hear the difference between sounds like “mee” and “nee.”  I could see this program was going to help her. It started slowly, so she could hear the difference, and then got faster and faster – at her pace. 

Taken off the “Danger of Retention” list!

Within two months, she wasn’t struggling so much to read sentences and I started to see huge improvements in her spelling tests each week, she went from failing her spelling tests to getting 8 out of 10, 9 out of 10 or all of them correct.

After four or five months of working on the program, Rose’s status changed and she was no longer listed as “in danger of retention.” When I asked her teachers why the change, they told me she was almost reading at grade level!

Rose is now reading with ease in all subjects and reads independently and sometimes for pleasure. She’s continuously earning high grades. The only thing that we did that was different was work with Gemm. It changed our lives.


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