Truly Amazing come back
- Jo Wilson - Gisborne NZ: Dear Grant and Denise: Thank you very much for the Reading Master Maths kit that you sent us. The kids love it!! I thought I should tell you from the beginning what happened to Connor. Connor was a planned home birth, and was born 10 days overdue. The pregnancy was fairly normal with nothing startling occurring that would have made us unduly worried. He was born on the 4th October 1997 on our lounge floor. Just prior to his entrance, the midwife was unable to find his heartbeat. He arrived with the cord wrapped twice around his neck, but not tightly, just looped there. He refused to breathe, but thankfully he had a heartbeat, and a fantastic midwife team. He was rushed to hospital, where they said that he wasn't expected to live.
His little head swelled, and the doctors were unsure why he arrived into this world flat and unresponsive. He originally was given an APGAR score of 0 but this was revised to 2. Connor had problems with his heart also, a valve refused to shut properly, and his heart would start beating very fast for no reason. Connor fought, he started breathing on his own and we changed to a more positive Paediatrician. We were told that he would live, but would probably have a 90% chance of being severely brain damaged.
He remained in intensive care for about 4 weeks. He had seizures, and his muscles in his limbs were contracted - he looked like a frog. There were that many machines there, monitoring everything about him. He came off oxygen a few days prior to him coming home, and his older brother turned 5 years old. It was great to be home in time for Joshua's first day at school.
Connor's upper limbs were still very tight, and he was extremely sensitive to touch. We didn't know what the future was going to hold for our beautiful little boy. The doctors couldn't tell us what the extent of the damage would be, or why it had happened. I decided that we would do everything in our power to help him. I am a trained health professional, but I had never worked with children before, so my knowledge in this area was very limited, and what little I did know, scared me. I rang all my friends from training, and started everything I could with him. Sensory Integration, Bobath, anything. I used to change him on different fabrics, like a towel and then a silk scarf. We listened to music constantly, I would move his limbs in normal movement patterns and daily massages were now part of our routine. I surrounded his cot with everything, pictures, toys, and mobiles. For a while I was worried I was over overstimulating him.
Joshua was struggling at school. (He has since been diagnosed with dyslexia) We saw an advertisement for the Reading Master on television and decided to invest in our children's futures, even though at that stage we were struggling on one income. I soon discovered that whenever I put the CD or the video on, Connor would watch it too. I would sit in front of the computer with Connor, several times a day, and play on the reading master CD. He loved it!!! I didn't realise how much he was taking in. We started this when he was 4 months old. It became a party trick with Connor when he got older and family visited. From about 7 - 8 months old we would turn the sound off, and he would say all the words to the pictures as they flashed up. He used to call the Reading Master his "Birdies" because of the sound that it made when it started up. Connor used to drive us nuts, demanding that it be played over and over again, every day. I was astounded at his vocabulary and the correct use of it at such a young age.
At 1 year old, he was stringing together proper sentences. He absorbed everything, every word being said around him. He has amazed everyone who knew him at birth. Connor was reading by the age of about 16 months, just simple words like duck. He memorised whole books, and would recite them, page by page. He made us cry.
Today, he is a very healthy, happy 3 year old little boy. He attends Montessori preschool, and absolutely loves it. He has no increased tone in any of his limbs, and can climb trees like he was a monkey. His heart difficulties seem to have resolved themselves over time. Connor has the funniest sense of humour for a child so young, and boy does he have rhythm!! He can dance and just loves any sort of music. (In fact his favourite activity is to dance to music and take his clothes off!) Connor has confidence in himself coming out of his ears.
He is constantly mistaken for being older than his 3 3/4 years of age. He is terribly interested in everything around him, and has just recently been learning all the names of the bones in his body. Connor wants to know, and his learning is driven by him. We were told by a teacher, (who then knew nothing of Connor's past) that we should be careful what school we sent him to, as he was very, very bright, and that he needed so much stimulation. When I heard this, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry!
The Reading Master system is still so much a part of our lives with the children. We have since had another child, Aleisha who is a happy healthy 2 year old. She has also been brought up on a "daily diet" of the Reading Master. It is interesting seeing the difference between the two youngest children who have had this experience from a young age, compared to our eldest. Their vocabulary and pronunciation of words has astounded us and family. With the use of this system and additional tutoring, Joshua is now about level for his age with reading at school, and has grown in confidence. We have been impressed by how easy the system is to use, and for us and our experience with Connor, it played such an important role in his rehabilitation. I do not think that one thing in particular was the key to his recovery, but more a combination of approaches. Most importantly to us, was the fact that we never ever gave up hope, and we surrounded ourselves with positive people. I cannot sing the praises of the Reading Master highly enough. Thank you for allowing us to share our experience with you, and the one thing that comes out of all this is that no matter how terrible things look, we learnt to always have hope. Yours sincerely, Connor's mum, Jo Wilson
Footnote from Grant: Denise and I have a couple of educational heroes that stand out for us above all the others we researched in assembling the ReadingMaster system. We are reminded of Maria Montessori and Glenn Doman in Connor's amazing life-story and particularly Doman's pioneering work with rehabilitating brain damaged children, a methodology we built into the ReadingMaster System - he tells of many successes like Connor's. Now thanks to Jo and Paul we have a whole new family of heroes. All credit to Jo and Paul for believing, understanding and doing something with that understanding and belief and to Connor for doing what children do best - reward us with inspiration and hope of their attaining their limitless potential!
Other Great Stories
Debbie Ross - New South Wales, Australia: When I first heard of the Reading Master program, my son was 2 1/4 and his speech was minimal and not very clear. I had spoken with several health professionals including the speech therapist. All of them advised me that in time he would improve and boys were always slower to develop speech than girls. As a mother I found this very unsettling and was at a loss of what to do. I had already established my son's problem was not one of comprehension - as he easily understood and carried out complex instructions. The difficulty for him was being able to say words that were comprehensible to the rest of the world, including his mother. I had visions of him struggling at school and then being ridiculed by the other children. Like any parent I had bought books and read to him from an early age. I had read all the parenting texts available to see what I should be doing to assist my son with his learning. He owns enough books to start his own library. I felt that I had created the right environment to encourage speaking and reading, but the success was very limited. It was then a girlfriend saw the Reading Masters Program advertised on television. It seemed it was developed to treat the very problems that I was having with my son. I phoned to find out more information and I felt that it was worth a try.
Once I received the Reading Master Program and my son began watching the videos and reading the books, I wished that I had heard about it long ago. He showed signs of improvement within the first 2 months of receiving it. I was very grateful there was a manual for me, explaining exactly what resources were appropriate for each age and how long to use each book, video and CD ROM.
My son seemed to be quickly gaining confidence with speaking and he soon spoke a lot more clearly. He very rapidly started to locate and say the names of the books that were a part of the set. He was able to recognise the words and say them. When left to his own devices he was repeating the words with the video. His favourite of all was the Macaws. He would squeal with excitement whenever he saw them. I cannot even begin to tell you how relieved I was. I had also purchased the Maths program. My son would watch the video and is now able to count to 20 without difficulty. I was also surprised that he was able to do simple adding. His confidence had grown dramatically.
The CD ROM that is also a part of the program is teaching him basic computer skills. He is fascinated with the noises and loves the start up with the macaws and birds flying around. He refers to the CD ROM as the 'Macaws'. The sense of independence this gives him is invaluable. Not only is he learning valuable computer skills, but his ability to recognise letters and simple words is also a bonus. I am very grateful for the Reading Master Program and feel that is worth every cent that we spent on it and more. The reassurance that I have gained as a mother is priceless. I no longer feel that my son will not have the skills to be able to cope with school. I am also pleased to see that my son is no longer frustrated with not being understood and is constantly chattering all day. He would never have tried to talk for long periods prior to the Reading Master program.
I am so pleased that Denise and Grant developed this program. I would highly recommend this program to all parents as a "must have"........ it is a small price to pay for the results that it achieves. My youngest son is now also fascinated with the videos and the CD ROM pictures. His favourite is the cat books. I am glad that I will not suffer from the same anxiety with him, as he was introduced to this program at a much younger age. Thank you for helping me in ways that you could not possibly imagine. In years to come, I will always be grateful to my friend for seeing the advertisement for the Reading Master Program, and to you both for developing it.
Regards, Mrs Debbie Ross
Ross and Vanessa Tayler - Pahiatua: We have been using the Reading Master over the past year. It has been a great resource as we home school our children. Our daughter and son have learnt all their phonics using Reading Master and their spelling has improved in leaps and bounds. Our two year old is now beginning to speak and learning new words from the videos and CD. We can't say enough to recommend Reading Master. Cassandra, at eight has had her reading reinforced and improved her spelling, no end. She often reads the books to her brothers and teaches them the sounds. Callum knows every breed of whale, and has a great fascination with tornadoes, having got an interest from the Reading Master books about whales and weather. He knows most of the planets and zoo animals. His drawings are very detailed and have to be just so. He knows about 300 words and has a wide interest in many books, which he reads by himself. He has just turned four. Quinlan, at two and a half, is just taking an interest in speaking and is learning his phonic sounds. He watches the videos and speaks along with the CD. He knows about 10 words, using the sounds. He likes looking through the books and pointing out the pictures and saying the sounds. All three play the videos and use the CD so much, they are showing signs of wear and tear. The Reading Master has been such a valuable tool, we cannot recommend it enough. - Ross and Vanessa Tayler
Aidan & Trish Smith - Australia: I am writing to thank-you or the Reading Master series. My wife and I bought ReadingMaster 3 years ago, and have used it regularly since. Our 4-½ year old is now an exceptional reader, and can easily make out the sounds of words. He sits with me as I read my novels and points out words that he knows, and has a fair understanding of what it is that I am reading. We also have a 16 month old that drives us mad wanting to read Ducks, and Cats, he can recognize a few words, and we are sure that our reading to him so often is improving his speech, and he is learning words that he ordinarily would not have picked up in our day to day lives. Unfortunately, our youngest child is a lot rougher than our eldest ever was, and he has torn some of the books and now they are made more of sticky tape than ink and paper...... As we look forward to our child learning to read and the confidence and knowledge that comes with that. We have recently ordered the Maths Master series, and my wife is very excited, and has read, and reread the on-line parent guide, showing me the maths signs and the other interesting features ... and the various games. So we look forward to receiving that in the mail any day now. Again, thank-you for helping us to encourage our Childs learning, we have had a great time, and we have all learnt a lot on the way. Sincerely, Aidan & Trish Smith
Sarah O'Flaherty - Australia: Mckale is enjoying the videos and the flash books. I had a friend's son who is 10 stay the other night. He read a couple of the flash books for his homework. After a few pages he stated, "I'm learning something from these books!" He said it with such suprise. And we both enjoyed reading them together. The next morning we looked out side to see who could identify which clouds were in the sky. I am really looking forward to when Mckale starts to talk.
Eric and Kathy - Auckland: Sam has just finished his first year at school, he turns 6 on the 13th of January 2000. We couldn't have asked for a better school report he has done consistently well in all subjects. With having the head start that the Reading Master gave him it has also given him the confidence to do well in other subjects as well. I believe it is of the utmost importance that children start school with a can do attitude and a belief in themselves that they can achieve anything. Our daughter Hannah is also well on the way with a good understanding of phonics she will start school in October next year. Kind Regards, Eric Swindells.
Debby Shaw - Auckland: Well it has been five months since I spoke to you both on the phone. At the time my son was fifteen months old and not saying a lot but was very alert in other ways particularly with identifying what pictures and words belong to what book. He now says many words and will flick through all the five Sounds Flashbooks and Sounds Readers without much help at all. I now tell people my son reads words. I am very proud of what Daniel has achieved and am finally reaping the rewards not only from my own personal commitment but having an opportunity to work with such a wonderful product.
Mrs H. Mistry - New Zealand: Dear Grant and Denise, The Reading Master system has indeed been a blessing for our family. We purchased the system as an investment for our children when our son was approximately 4 years old and our daughter was just over 2. What seemed a slightly expensive selection of books ended up being a priceless investment which has and will continue to impact on our children's futures. Both of our children, now 6 and 4 years of age, are excelling at reading. Our son was reading confidently at kindy to the amazement of teachers, fellow parents, and peers alike. On commencing primary school, he was assessed at reading level 21, a much higher level compared to other children in the class. Our daughter, now 4, only started making out words after turning 3. She is now confidently reading and also has a better comprehension of her reading. Quite similar to your children in the past Reading Master commercials, her brother has often sat with the books and read both to me and with her. To my regret, when the children were toddlers/babies, I did not read to them frequently. The Reading Master videos were a life saver, the children watched them daily and within days were reading along with them. It was the same case with the CD ROM, I supervised as they absorbed. Reading Master was terrific as my two littlies are somewhat visual learners. The most amazing thing that I have to confess to is that they learnt all the above with very little effort from me. Reading Master deserves most of the credit. My husband and I are so glad we invested in Reading Master. The entire system is obviously an incredibly well designed and well researched system developed by you. It clearly achieves what it was set up to do. We recommend it to other parents and at this point we'd like to thank you sincerely for helping us develop a strong foundation for our children. Yours sincerely Mrs H. Mistry (A Reading Master BELIEVER)
Ingrid & Nick Turpin - North Shore City: Our 2.5 y.o child Ben loves to sit at the computer in the early evening and selects the books from the 'read to me' section and watches with intent. He especially enjoys "Fluffy the Showcat". He enjoys reading the sounds books 1 to 5 with us and it's just amazing what he has absorbed in such a short time. The Reading Master and Reading Master Maths were gifts from his grandparents who live overseas and they are wonderful gifts. Ben has recently started Montessori Pre-school and you would be impressed to see just how many Reading Master school bags there are in the bag area - great bags too! We unfortunately haven't begun with the Maths Master yet but we won't be too far away. Thank you very much. Regards Ingrid & Nick Turpin
Alan O’Sullivan - Auckland: We have two children, one aged 4 and one aged six years old. We loaded the Reading Master CD-Rom for the first time a few weeks ago and unlike many CD-Roms we have viewed, this one not only occupied the boys for several hours, but it kept my wife and I interested as well. The boys really enjoy the CD-Rom and have to be limited to 5 minute turns at a time to let the other one have a go. We really like the interactivity of the CD-Rom and how every time you click on something it doesn’t just do something cute but takes you where something else is added to what you were learning. We also really like that every image and sound in the Reading Master CD-Rom is how it looks and sounds in real life.
Kevin and Fiona Mould -Hamilton: We purchased the Reading Master system one month ago. Our daughter Olivia (11 months) has already developed the ability to connect pictures with sounds. In fact, after only two days, Olivia sounded "ck" and the very next day she said "duck". Olivia appears to absorb and enjoy immensely the clear illustrations and associated sounds or words available to her and the connections she makes with the outside world are becoming more apparent every day.
Rae Camons - South Africa: Our daughter Kimberley has been playing with the Reading Master CD-Rom for about 4 months now, and I have got to tell you that her teacher took me aside the other day and asked me what we had been doing with her. She has really leapt ahead in her reading . We would like to purchase another copy of the CD-Rom to donate to Kimberly’s school. Kimberly regularly spends 30 to 40 minutes using the CD-Rom and her general knowledge is accelerating at the same time as her reading. We are very pleased with the progress she had made.
Lisa Thompson - Queensland, Australia. Our children have achieved so much as a direct result of using the Reading Master phonics system, not only the ability to recognize the phonograms but also general knowledge of the world around them, a subject many of us deny young children. At 2 1/2 Liam already wants a telescope to see the planets he loves so much, again as parents we were trying to give him details we believed to be age appropriate. We now know there is no such thing as Liam can name all planets, how many moons and their names too and most of the general information about color, temperature, etc. At 18 months, MacKenzie is not far behind. In the 5 months we've used the system her vocabulary and language skills have grown ten fold!!"
A & T Dalton - Hamilton New Zealand: We have found the ReadingMaster is of great value, as we bought this just over one year ago when our daughter turned one. Her first words were "duck", then "star" as Jessica can relate these objects to her farming life. Today she can tell us the different planets, whales and cats due to ReadingMaster. I too have found it useful as my schooling was further behind than normal and now I have enjoyment in reading to my daughter and other children. I would like to thank you for creating a great learning system in reading that has given our child a head start in life that I never received. Kind regards Andrew and Trish Dalton
Naadi Thomas - New Zealand: Three years ago we decided to purchase the Reading Master system to teach our children to read. We had seen all the ads and were very impressed with what we had seen. We have eight children, and thus had always struggled with the usual school systems of teaching our children to read. In fact we had first hand knowledge of how easy it was for a child to slip through the school system, and over the years we had spent what amounts to a small fortune on getting reading tuition for a child that was failing to master reading in the school system. This was a real struggle and worry for us as parents, and we had got to the point where we knew that there must be a better way. At the time that we got our reading master system, we had a three year old and a baby, our older children being 21,17,15,12 and 9 years of age. And we still had one more child to be born. I remember the opening of the Reading Master as being a very exciting time for all. It seemed to catch the attention of even the old children, who in turn could see that they too would be able to help their younger siblings on the road to reading. As the main care giver of the children I was initially a little concerned about the time that would be required, as with such a large family ,time is a precious commodity. I was however very encouraged and empowered by my first reading of the parents manual. Any sense of doubt that I had had about my ability to teach my children reading , went right out the door. I found the parents manual is full of ideas that I had not thought of as means to help my children read. We love the way that the Reading Master really relates to our world ,and that the children find that they can relate what they read in the books to what they see when they are in their normal daily routines. We have found the Reading Master a pleasure to work with. We have not needed to be constantly encouraging or pressing the children to read, as they themselves tend to constantly crave the learning. It is not uncommon now for us to be woken in the morning by having a book poked in our nose , and a two year old saying "read Mum". The child that was three when we first got the reading master is now six. His reading age the month before his sixth birthday was that of and eight year old .The first line of his first school report reads and I quote "Roman started school with many reading skills and has continued to build upon these". As a parent this just gives me the greatest thrill. Roman now reads fluently to his brothers from the Reading Master series, and enjoys being able to help teach them too. We have just been absolutely amazed at the ease, speed,and interest that the Reading Master has brought to the reading experience of our still very young boys. With the success that we have experience with our first reading master child ,who had the reading master only from the age of three, our minds are completely in awe of how the reading experience is going to be for our youngest son who has had the reading master since birth. I would also note that the reading master videos rate higher in our house than Thomas the tank engine or even The Teletubbies. Reading Master has truly transformed our home. Books are now a far more important feature than the TV. The Reading Master books have no special place now as they are just simply everywhere e.g., they go to bed with them , we go shopping with them ,we go to Grandmas with them. We simply cannot thank you enough Grant and Denise Ford, Yours Sincerely Naadi Thomas.
Rebecca Bain - Christchurch: Dear Grant and Denise, I just had to let you know how the girls are going with Reading Master. Eleanor (she was 2 on Feb 13) shrieks "Master" every day and dives into her reading book box all the time. She loves the books and the videos. Yesterday we had one of Darryls clients over for dinner. Eleanor went and sat next to him and opened her New Zealand Birds book and proceeded to turn every page and name all the birds! Hearing her little voice say "Morepork" nearly had him fall off his seat!!! She was very pleased with herself and we are delighted with her enthusiasm and the rate at which she is learning. The cat book is also a great favorite and she does a great wide eyed impersonation of a Devon Rex. Felicity is enjoying the CD and has been reading all the story books avidly. She loves the ones about Magda and horse riding. You have come up with such a wonderful learning tool and I am so delighted I met you at the Tradenz Export awards, otherwise I might never have bought ReadingMaster at all. Best regards Rebecca Bain.
G. Jackett - Glen Eden Auckland: Sometime ago we purchase the Reading Master program for our grandchildren The program has helped immensely with our eldest grandchild who is now six years old. At the beginning of his school year, he was only on level two. Low in comparison to other children in his class. The Reading Master in combination with other school initiated programs, helped him improve his levels. He is now at level ten and still improving. The Reading Master provides his main source of development in this area outside school hours. I thought this letter may be useful feedback for you. Regards Geof Jackett.
Mrs T.R. Judd - Woodville New Zealand: Dear Sir/Madam I have been using the Reading Master system for approximately 2 years now. We find it very helpful, educational and great to read as I have a 5 year old who now appears to be flying ahead in her reading through using the system, and a 2 1/2 year old (not yet talking properly due to health misfortunes) who is in the process of using the system proving positive results. From another successful family with positive results developing. Mr T.R. Judd.
Mr G Thompson: Hi Denise, I am happy to endorse your Reading Master. I sent it to my grandson (aged 2) in Australia. It has advanced his capabilities to where he is outperforming 5 year olds. He is enrolled with Kumon schools and has attracted the attention of a psychologist at Brisbane University who, I understand is studying his performance. This is in large part due to your excellent Reading Master. Sincerely Graeme Thompson