"The combination of our school's special services and Fast ForWord helped me in raising my son. He turned out to be a great man in such a short time."
Jason and I struggled together through his elementary and middle school years. He struggled academically and I struggled as a parent of one of those children whose high intelligence conflicted with his serious reading difficulties. I was dedicated to making sure that he got the best education and services that our school district could offer. Upon the completion of eighth grade, Jason was selected to participate in a six week summer session using the Fast ForWord intervention. Jason was the oldest of 25 students in that program and he took to the exercises immediately. He quickly grew in confidence and was a great help in working with younger students in the program. Within four weeks he had completed the program and in that short amount of time, he had made four years gain in his reading accuracy rate! We were all thrilled and saw it as a true testament to his intelligence and the effort he put into completing the exercises.
One of the things I remember clearly about that summer was that I had a car accident and totaled our car. We had no other transportation, but Jason was so dedicated to the program that he walked seven miles because he thought he would be late getting there--seven miles and most of it on a busy street with 40-55 mile per hour speed limits in over 100 degree heat. That's dedication!
At home, I began to notice little things that were different. For instance, when given the chore of grocery shopping after my accident, there was a distinct change in how Jason made selections. Before Fast ForWord, he would just grab the desired items and go, but afterwards he began comparing prices, sizes, etc. to determine the best buy. He had become a discriminating shopper! And then there were the big changes that always please a parent, like fewer arguments at home and a calmer demeanor outside. He was so happy that the Fast ForWord program had helped him; he was a changed boy from that point on in his life. The combination of our school's special services and Fast ForWord helped me in raising my son. He turned out to be a great man in such a short time.
Jason went back the next summer to continue working with the products and we both believed that those sessions contributed much to his success over the next few years. Following high school graduation, Jason joined the military, obtaining five promotions in the next two years. After all the struggles of his younger years, he was so proud that he did not need any help in reading the tests that were required for advancement. Jason also received two stripes from the Civil Air Patrol. He reorganized their personnel files for them and was taking some of their leadership skills classes. As a medic in the Army in Iraq, he not only worked with other soldiers, but also saved a small child who was shot in the chest. Jason loved being a medic and planned to be a doctor when he got back and finished his schooling. He loved helping people in any way that he could.
Jason couldn't have made me any prouder and he knew I was proud of him. He was awarded a Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, a Good Conduct Medal, a Combat Medical Badge, and a medal for serving in Iraq. I know he would have been proud to help the Fast ForWord program in any way he could because it helped him in so many ways. Jason also would have loved to know that Scientific Learning would honor him and his successes by providing a scholarship in his name for another Fast ForWord student in the district. Jason was just so happy and proud and I don't know what I am going to do without him.