09 Jun 2017
ben - preview image

Gift helps Ben keep up with his classmates

Ben tried his best to join in with his class on writing and reading activities, but severe dyslexia held him back.

When Ben reads he sees letters “jumping” into the words on the page, and this confuses him. As for writing, he could never get down on paper what was in his head. While the rest of the class would turn out pages, Ben would only manage a few sentences, of jumbled words at that.

The bright 10-year-old felt misunderstood, and different from his classmates.

Ben’s mum Chris loves her son dearly and is proactive in finding things to help him and his schoolwork. So when the specialist told her about an app for people with dyslexia she knew it was worth a try.

The problem was the cost — they’d need a digital device, but it was completely out of reach for the family of four. Convinced that the app could make all the difference, Chris applied to Variety for a grant for an iPad. With the help of Hero for Kids and other Variety supporters, we approved the application.

The difference was almost immediate.

Where Ben would have struggled to produce half a page of mostly illegible writing, he was now turning out two pages easily that his teacher had no problem reading.

Chris said Ben is making incredible progress. He’s moving up reading levels. He’s loving writing, especially creative writing — a new outlet for his vivid imagination. “The iPad made him much more confident at school, and in general too.” Most of all she said, Ben now has the same opportunities to learn as other children.

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