Our 11 year old daughter was having issues at school primarily with numeracy, time-telling and sequencing and we'd tried a number of techniques and exercises for Charlotte to overcome and manage more effectively. Charlotte would struggle with numeracy tests, which in turn, affected her confidence in all areas of the school curriculum. It was generally thought, though not clinically proven, that she may have dyscalculia.
We heard about the Raviv method through friends and magazines and decided to research it further via an official web-site and made contact with a number of practitioners. We chose Usha Patel as we felt that she understood our concerns and took time to discuss the Raviv method and explained to us the potential benefits but was also realistic about any future outcome and wouldn't guarantee a magic cure. However, what did come out of the whole exercise was a series of strategies which were both attainable and effective.
Charlotte started the first of thirty sessions in May 2008 and finished in March 2009. She completed her ' homework' on a daily basis, which consisted of 20 minutes of the 8-walk as well as number and spelling exercises. The numeracy involved counting forwards and backwards in hundreds, tens and other numbers associated with times-tables. Literacy involved remembering spoken sentences and writing them coherently with the expected grammar. Both these methods worked for Charlotte as she became more and more confident with this approach.
The daily exercises were generally achieved, but there was the odd occasion when Charlotte found it all too much and the best approach here was not to push but to continue the next day. However, the reinforcement Charlotte received during the weekly Raviv session with Usha gave her the impetus to push herself the following week.
Another area which Usha focused upon was time telling. Charlotte has always struggled with the time, and she refused to wear a watch for fear of somebody asking her the time. Usha persuaded Charlotte to wear a watch during her lesson and practised some innovative methods with her and set home exercises.
Towards the end of the Raviv sessions Charlotte gained enough confidence to wear her watch and now insists on wearing it to school on a daily basis.
I believe that Charlotte's numeracy has improved and the evidence of this improvement has been apparent in recent school exams, achieving level 3a compared to 1a in her year 6 SATs, which is for her an amazing improvement. We are looking for this to be sustained and for continued improvement.
We felt that the whole process was very worthwhile and found that Usha's approach was just right for Charlotte, who has gained in confidence since last May. She even repeats Usha's mantra of ' numbers are my friends' which gives her an inner confidence. Charlotte enjoyed her Saturday session as Usha made it interesting, fun and provided new methods of learning.
We all thank Usha for being understanding, innovative and patient and providing a method which has worked for Charlotte and given her a solid foundation for her to move forward from.