The Decipha team has assessed a Year 3 pupil at St. Columba's P.S. who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Last November Celine Barry visited our school to train his classroom assistant, Margaret and his mother in how to implement the Decipha Reading and Literacy programme. I observed at first hand Margaret working with our pupil and I was very impressed with his enthusiasm for and engagement in the programme.
It transported him on exciting adventures around the world. When he was re-assessed in June by Celine, seven months after he had commenced the programme, he had made excellent progress in his reading and his skills in blending and segmenting were developing well. His self-esteem has greatly improved and he has a much more positive attitude to school.
As principal and SENCo, I feel that the Decipha Reading programme has the capacity to not only help children with DMD but also to make a difference in the life of any child who has learning difficulties in literacy. Having witnessed the difference that it has made, I now intend to purchase the licence to implement the programme with targeted pupils in our school with literacy difficulties and working memory problems. Collette Maguire Principal St Columba's Primary School Clady
The Decipha programme was perfect for us- clearly structured, easy to use, specially designed for pupils with DMD. It involves a lot of repeated practice of basic phonics, decoding and encoding, segmenting words into syllables etc. within this fabulous framework of historical time-travelling adventures! The team were able to fine-tune the programme to our pupil's needs. It was stimulating and fun. Assessment is built into the programme at regular intervals. Best of all, the assessments showed that the pupil had made great progress over the course of the programme. He loved learning all about Rosa Parks, the Blitz, cave paintings and all the rest. And his reading, writing, spelling, comprehension had all improved tremendously. We would highly recommend Decipha.
Joanne O'Dolan, Specialist Teacher Mullaghroe National School Ireland
My son David is 9yrs 5months and has participated in the Decipha programme since Jan 2009. He is a child who has been seen as 'behind' with language since learning to speak and has had intensive support with regard to phonics which enabled him to learn to read but it has been difficult for him and there has been a consequent lack of confidence. In addition, like many boys wth Duchenne MD, David has a short attention span with regard to many learning experiences. With Decipha David has achieved a huge amount in less than a year. He is amazingly confident and competent at the tasks. He does not usually give up or get fed up and is proud of what he has achieved. He reads and writes with much more pleasure and pride. His letter formation is accurate and he is now often doing his school homework independently. Decipha takes a very small amount of time but achieves a great deal without the tension that is often present for children like David when it comes to learning language skills. I have a teaching and social work background and would unreservedly recommend that this programme is available for boys with Duchennes and many other children with similar reading and language difficulties.
Helen Kemp, mother of David aged 9 years. Broadstairs Kent.
As far as Decipha is concerned it has been something of a revelation. Fraser simply did not get reading and writing before Decipha and suddenly it began to make sense to him. At times he has found it difficult but it has always given him a sense of achievement. He has made a great deal of progress and this has been recognised at school and they have been very supportive. Fraser can now make a decent attempt at reading almost anything. We had wondered if he would ever be able to read so this is amazing. It will certainly enrich his life.
Julia Carr, mother of Fraser aged 10 years diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Autism. Whickham, Gateshead.
Ben has made more progress through this project than we ever thought possible. It is the only work he has ever approached with a smile on his face. He really enjoys it and his reading and general comprehension skills have dramatically improved. In some ways, more importantly than this, it has made a dramatic difference to his self-confidence and his attitude to work and life in general. As all parents of children with a learning need know, any type of academic work causes arguments and tension at home. Decipha has meant that we no longer have these arguments. It has given us a chance to talk about work in an enjoyable and non-threatening way. Our son is now more confident and less worried and in turn we are happier as a family. I cannot stress enough just how grateful we are for this programme and how much of a difference it has made to us all.
Rachel Mooney, mother of Ben aged 8 diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Blackburn, Lancashire.