The purpose of this study is to evaluate the Audiblox Learning Program and determine its effectiveness on ADD and dyslexic students.
The project was conducted in a learning disabilities resource room. Because of scheduling conflicts, the project was done after school for thirty minutes. Half of the study was done in the Douglas County School System. The facility used was an intermediate elementary school consisting of nine third grades, nine fourth grades, and nine fifth grades. The school has an enrollment of about 600 with a 20% special education enrolment.
The subject, Bob, is a ten year old fifth grader. He was referred to special education when he was in the first grade. His teacher was concerned because he was unable to work independently. He was first tested in November 1992. On the WISC-III, his verbal score was 85, his performance score was 71, and the full scale score was 76. The verbal score was used and Bob was eligible for learning disabilities. He was served in basic reading, reading comprehension, and math. He was served in a resource program. In 1994, written expression was added. Bob was reevaluated in the fall of 1995, his scores were:
|V 83, P 65, FS 72||Listening||85||2.0|
Bob’s strength is in auditory memory. Remote memory and visual perception are his weaknesses.
The verbal score was used because it was a better indicator of Bob’s ability. After the reevaluation was done, Bob only qualified for basic reading. He is presently being served in a resource room ten hours per week for language arts. He spends 20 hours per week in the regular classroom. He is having difficulty in regular education math. Science and social studies are influenced by his low reading.
Bob is easily distracted and is off task frequently. He is unable to stay focused. He has many of the ADD characteristics but has not been diagnosed by a physician. The mother is very supportive but has never taken Bob to be evaluated. The ADD checklists have been done and indicate that he has an attention deficit. The father has indicated that he will not put Bob on medication. This may be why the mother has not pursued the ADD diagnosis.
Bob lives in Douglasville with both his parents. His father is a fire-fighter and his mother is a homemaker. He is the younger of two sons. His brother is in the sixth grade and has no learning problems.
Bob comes in for our sessions immediately after school. He seems eager to begin the session but usually it takes several minutes for him to settle down enough to start. He is affected by the events of the day and wants to talk about them. We start with the sequencing activity everyday. Bob always misses the first pattern of the day. The number of blocks in the sequence does not matter, he will miss with four or ten blocks. Usually by the second sequence, he is able to attend to the exercise. In the five weeks that we have been working, Bob has gotten to twenty-four blocks.
Bob is easy distracted from his work. The classroom is close to the gym and this affects his concentration. He is also distracted by the blocks. The blocks are open on one side and Bob is obsessed with getting the hole on the bottom. He will turn the block over and over until he finds the bottom. This has to have an effect on his concentration. If Bob is not closely monitored, he will play with the materials in the Audiblox kit. He loves to put the blocks on the end of his fingers.
The transition exercises are good for Bob, he needs to get up and move around after the longer exercises. Patterning is also difficult for Bob. He seldom can get any of the four block cards exact. He knows the correct colours but cannot put them in the appropriate position. He does better on the five and six cards if the pattern does not include the four tile pattern.
There is never enough time to do all that is required in thirty minutes. He works at his own pace and it is impossible to speed him up. If I spend as much time on each activity as I wanted, the sessions would last over an hour. We are really rushed some days to get the reading done. I don’t want to skimp on the reading because I see his greatest improvement in this area.
Bob enjoys the reading activities. This is where I can see the most improvement. He seldom misses any of the vocabulary words so he is reading a new paragraph everyday. He always wants to read more. I have taped his reading and he wanted to share the tape with his reading class. He read two pages of the story to his mother and it was obvious from the smile on his face how proud he was of his accomplishments.
Bob’s homeroom teacher has indicated that she has not seen any improvement in Bob this school year. I have seen improvement over last year. Only twice has Bob failed to complete an assignment, last year he would not do any work that involved using pencil and paper. It is obvious that he has more confidence in his reading and spelling. This confidence hasn’t carried over to his writing or socialization skills.
I have been working with Bob in the Audiblox program for approximately five and a half weeks. In that time, I have seen an improvement in reading skills and in his confidence level. Bob was reevaluated in March 1996; his reading level was estimated at 1.7. On a reading inventory given this week, his oral reading and reading comprehension level was second grade. Green Brigance scores indicated that he is reading and comprehending at a second grade, second semester level. There was a significant improvement on the Woodcock-Johnson word identification test.
I have been working with Bob on the Audiblox Program for approximately five and a half weeks. In the time, I have seen an improvement in reading skills and in his confidence level. Bob was reevaluated in March of 1996 and his reading level was estimated at 1.7. On a reading inventory, given this week, his oral reading and reading comprehension level was second grade. Green Brigance scores indicated that he is reading and comprehending at a second grade second semester level. Since we started the program, he has been excited about reading in the Audiblox book. This excitement has carried over to the classroom. He volunteers to read in class and he did not do this in the past. Last year, Bob was turned off by any activity that required pencil and paper. Today, he copied eight sentences and added correct capitalization and punctuation. Last year, this assignment would never have been started. I have no way of knowing if this is due to the Audiblox Program or to maturity, or previous classroom work. This is Bob’s fourth year in the learning disabilities program and he certainly has not made this much progress in an eight month period.
I do not like working with Bob after school. He is really tired at the end of the day and he does not always have pleasant experiences at school. I can tell what kind of a day he has had by his cooperation level. If his day was bad, it is hard to get him to focus on our work. All of his ADD characteristics seem to be evident at this time. Playing with blocks, talking while he is supposed to be focusing, inability to sit still, and impulsiveness are all behaviours that he exhibits during our time together. These behaviours make it very difficult to finish a session in thirty minutes.
I like the Audiblox Program, I think it has great possibilities. I have several dyslexic students who are going to middle school next year and I think they would really benefit from this program. These students try very hard but are not having much success in school. The modified curriculum is difficult for them. Because of the socio-economic make of our population, it is hard to find parents who can pick their children up after school. I would like to use this as a group activity so several students could benefit in the same amount of time.
The duration of intervention in this report is six weeks. Six weeks is usually sufficient to start seeing results. However, it is certainly not sufficient to solve a learning difficulty, and if one discontinued the program after only six weeks, a relapse is bound to occur. Results will only be permanent if one continues with Audiblox long enough for the skills foundational to learning to become automatic.