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The Boy from Barataria

The late afternoon I drove to the Primary School in North Trinidad in the area of Barataria, I remember three things; the classroom was stiflingly hot and humid, it was cramped and there were no more that a dozen parents present including a friend.

My brief was to tell them about dyslexia and the specialised programme I was beginning to use.

This was a first for me in many ways; the first school I was presenting to, the first client I was to work with , and unwittingly, this was to be my first big lesson on how the brain works!

I had previously worked with nine students who completed the programme and immediately improved in many and incredible ways not only with their literacy skills but with confidence, listening skills and handwriting. I was therefore confident that my new client would smoothly follow suit.

Isaiah promptly arrived with his father at my office in Port of Spain, and I began the process. Reading test. Spelling test. He was a small built child approaching his 7th year and had particular difficulties with phonics. And so for the next few weeks, this was the main emphasis of his programme material, using his own voice and multi-sensory techniques repeatedly.

I was confident that Isaiah would do extremely well as he was focused and followed the instructions well. I carried out his final tests and was DEVASTATED to discover that his improvements were at best minimal! He had hardly shifted. His father had reported similar findings from his home and school work, “NO!”

How could this be possible? what did I do wrong? Why did this not work?

Being a most gracious person, Isaiah’s father expressed gratitude for my efforts and reverently left hand in hand with his child.

I could hardly sleep for days, I discussed this with my husband, what should I do? Finally and not many days after, I decided that I would offer another complimentary programme for Isaiah. The moments that followed were filled with the first big lesson on the brain. As I was aplogising and offering another programme to Isaiah’s father on the phone, I heard him laugh and to my complete surprise he rejected the offer and began to explain how Isaiah had suddenly started to read, he no longer had a phonics problem, his confidence grew and he was totally elated. “Thank you, but he wont need another programme”.

As I put the phone dawn, I just stood staring, agape as I tried to work out how this happened. Relieved but bewildered.

Basically it had taken a little longer for Isaiah’s brain to process the learning that had taken place during the programme. It reminded me of when my daughter’s years of learning had suddenly unlocked and manifested itself, and since have realised this is what happens if there is sufficient and efficient input from the early years. In Isaiah’s case the unlocking process was delayed, and the reasons could be numerous, but information has to travel around the brain until it finally gets processed into long term memory.

I must add that this has been the only time that a student on the programme has displayed this delayed learning tendency in my years of using the programme.

Finally I would like to thank Dr. Colin Lane for developing such a life changing programme and giving me the privilege of using it. A.R.R.O.W. was to be a big part of my life during the next ten years in Trinidad and Tobago.

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