Matching the child to the BR method – EB’s story

EB recently presented to the Tyquin Reading Clinic.  The family’s concerns were that he had failed to progress with his reading at school and at 9 years old the idea that it might ‘just click’ had seemed to pass.  EB’s family was keen for EB to particpate in the comprehensive, diagnostic assessment by Tyquin’s Speech Pathologists.


Results of EB’s assessment showed a profile where EB had superior visual perceptual skills but seriously low auditory conceptualization (manipulation of sounds within words) scores despite having had a couple of years of speech therapy working on specific phonological awareness skills. The time spent doing this work however seems to have successfully taught him how to recognize phonemes (sounds) and syllables in words.  Despite this, EB’s ‘non-word spelling’ was poor.  This skill is tested by having the child listen to a nonsense word, perhaps ‘bront’ or ‘drof’, and then spell the word. Of course it is only possible to spell a nonsense word if the child can a) hear the individual sounds in the word and b) know what letter combinations could be used to represent the sounds in the words.


A plan of action, based on ‘best practice’ was put forward to EB’s mother.  On this occasion the recommended plan was declined due to financial constraints.

Rethinking our strategy to accommodate EB’s needs and the financial constraints of the family, we proposed a change of clinical strategy to Behavioral Reading (see


BR achieves its success by taking a child through all the vital aspects of reading, but within a very small sample such as a single sentence. In this small sample, it is possible to cover aspects like word recognition, word recall, spelling, fluent reading and phrasing, expression, comprehension, visualizing, fast reading, slow reading, ultra fast reading, ultra slow reading, looking up and down, hand placement, eye positioning, multimodal spelling, short term to long term memory, visual accuracy and working memory management. It is this vital combination that unlocks the puzzle for many children.


BR is very effective and results are usually visible within a single session. By EB’s second session he had done very well and his mother was comfortable to progress with this method. Given the family circumstances I suggested that we open the sessions to three weeks apart to allow more time for practise and also to relieve pressure on the budget.


In a perfect world, best practice would always be followed, but is not a reality for some families.  It is good to know that there are alternatives that can also result in reading improvements


If reading is proving difficult for your child, it is always a good idea to look around for different solutions that best fit your personal circumstances.


Some agencies, businesses and groups that may be able to help include:;;; SPELD; dyslexiatestingservices; Cellfield, ; literacycare; mater hospital; behavioural optometrists; tutors.