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Bought Language Tune-Up Kit At Home


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#1 DyslexicParent

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 05:01 PM

Just like I couldn't find actual users' review of ADHD brain-training software, all I could find about the Language Tune-Up Kit At Home were a lot of fellow parents looking for a review but there were no user replies. Just like I ended up buying AttenGo to be the guinea pig, I have now bought the Orton-Gillingham-based CD-ROM.

It consists of 87 lessons over 120-150 hours. I'll try to post a review later.

Edited by DyslexicParent, 26 October 2012 - 05:47 PM.


#2 simplyme99

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:31 PM

I hadn't heard of it, but am very interested in your results! :bigear:

#3 DyslexicParent

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

Summary: If one is not sure of paying for an Orton-Gillingham tutor or DIY program such as Barton System, then the $144 I paid for this OG based software is worth the try. Below is my initial review.

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We paid a leading dyslexia expert to confirm our suspicion of our child's dyslexia through tests such as Woodcock Reading Mastery III, CTOPP (Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing) and TWS (Test of Written Spelling). Instead of paying up to $95/hour for a LiPs tutor, then paying up to $50/hour for an OG tutor or the Barton System, I decided to first try the OG-based Language Tune-Up Kit at Home (LTK) software. It cost $144 including shipping to Canada and it took three weeks to arrive. The demo CD is $5 with free shipping, which is a good option for those evaluating the many options that claim to treat dyslexia.

The computerized assessment in the CD suggested skipping to a high lesson number, while the manual "Break 1" assessment I gave suggested a much lower starting lesson. I experimented with starting at lesson 1, which turned out to be too boring for my 11-year old. I contacted LTK Support, which is excellent by the way, who recommended lesson 23. I did the "Break 2" assessment, which confirmed that lesson 23 is a good place to start. I got a copy of the all the reports for lesson 1 since the student's history file is erased when you override the lesson number after having started LTK.

I also did the optional audio assessment. The student is expected to achieve 80% accuracy in identifying whether the sounds of 80 word pairs are the same or different. Even though my child got 88%, she still got the same recommendation as someone who got only 52%:
"Student appears to have some problems hearing sound differences. Close observation is recommended to ensure that the student does not become frustrated with the number of errors made because of this."

The dyslexia expert tutors I consulted mentioned the disadvantage of O-G software is that it can't tell if the student has read a word correctly or not. The student records words and is expected to click on a button until what she says is the same as the software. This disadvantage may be overcome by a motivated parent who will closely observe the student and make sure that the multi-sensory exercises are done correctly, including correcting wrong pronunciation.

A "Card Deck" booklet is included to help the student identify the 108 sounds made by letter combinations. One of the many exercises is to write a sentence in the booklet using the example word for each sound, e.g., mule and flute.

The available options we changed during the lessons include:
- Quick Pace: 3 repetitions per lesson activity instead of 10.
- used the middle Expert Level of 1 to hear most, but not all instructions.
- used the animation option which has been motivating her so far since the female character giving praise reminds her of her principal.
- my DD changed the screen colours to what she wanted.
- she changed the student icon from male to female.
- turned off the mouse click sounds.

I have started doing one lesson per day, which takes around 30 minutes. I hope to finish the last lesson #87 by mid-January. Even if the program fails to bring her reading level up to her grade, I figured it will at least reduce the number of expensive tutoring lessons that I will pay for. For anybody looking for OG options, feel free to ask questions.

#4 DyslexicParent

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 02:05 PM

In response to jklee73's request, here is my final review of LTKAH. DD finished the final lesson #87 in mid February. The software shows that DD spent a total of 53 hours on the O-G lessons, with a performance of 81% correct. She improved in the pre and post five Break Assessments. For example, she only read 50% of the words in the final Break 5 Assessment correctly before starting lesson #76, but after finishing lesson #87, she read 79% of the words correctly.

The software has a few bugs such as crashing when the word "cigar" is spoken and mistakes in the crossword puzzles, but this old-style software is more robust than most I've used.

Another thing that can be improved is to have the capability to redo the same lesson with all the features available. The only way to redo a lesson is to do a "Side Trip" but it goes through every single question available and takes way too long; the option to do only 30% or 50% of the questions does not work. For example, when we wanted to redo lesson #24 because she had problems with the Dictation parts, just the first part of pronouncing the VCE words took more than two hours. We had to give up several times and had to start from the very beginning again; we finally had to leave the PC on so we could continue the next day and keep clicking for a couple more hours just to get to the parts we wanted to redo.

Her public school had tested her reading at three years behind at grade 3 level, so I have requested another assessment to see how much her reading level has improved. Many school districts including mine neglect dyslexia, so many will continue to leave high school as illiterate; O-G interventions such as these should be the minimum to be used by schools and non-homeschooling parents like me. Feel free to ask any questions.

#5 AEB

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:06 PM

It sounds like the program has some annoyances, but is usable and has been at least somewhat helpful. Would that be a fair sumary of your experience?

How does your daughter like it? Not that enjoyability is the main thing I'm looking for, but I'm curious. The demo looks a little stilted. I also wonder if you have seen an improvement in her spelling, if spelling was ever an issue for her.

Here's why I ask: I'm considering using this program with my 10 year old son who was homeschooled until this year. He is nearing the end of his first year in public school. He has a summer birthday, so we had our choice of 4th or 5th grade. Due to his reading troubles, we chose 4th. Honestly, the school has done a pretty good job with him. In 2 trimesters, he has increased more than a whole grade level and I can see the improvement. However, I recently came to believe he is dyslexic. We cannot afford the diagnostic process, but talking with a dyslexia expert has me pretty well convinced. Given the dylexia, I'm concerned that he needs more targeted intervention to really get to where he needs to be. (In spite of his improvement, he is still not up to 4th grade level, and the expert warned against accepting progess that is too slow to catch him up.) Lucky for my son, his struggles are limited to decoding and spelling. He is great in math and doesn't struggle with reading comprehension or composing sentances while writing. His spontaneous spelling is atrocious. He spells completely phonetically, with no consistency in how he spells any given word. (He'd be right at home in the 17th century, lol.)

SO, I want to start him on an O-G program, maybe 3 days per week for the rest of the school year, then more intensively over the summer. If he could improve to 5th grade reading level by the time he enters 5th grade, I would be thrilled. I expect him to leave 4th grade at an early 4th or late 3rd grade level, so I'm hoping for about a 1 grade level improvement in 4 months. That would be ideal. If he improves even 1/2 a grade over the summer, I'd still be pleased. I am almost desperate to see some spelling improvement. His teacher this year has not counted spelling against him in any way, but that won't last. I don't know about 5th grade, but by 6th (Middle school) it could be a big problem.

Given what you know of the program, would you buy it if you were in my shoes? I know you can't give any kind of sure answer, but I'm interested in your impressions, as well as your answers to my 2 specific questions, above.

Thank you so much for taking the time to review this curriculum and for considering my question.

Stephanie

#6 DyslexicParent

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:03 AM

I would recommend this ~$144 software to parents who would not be comfortable homeschooling with an Orton-Gillingham program or not sure about spending $50/hour for long-term O-G tutors (like I was). For most homeschool veterans, I think Barton (if the screening tests are passed) or other O-G program would be more effective.

My 11-year old does not like doing any of the therapies, including LTKAH since it usually takes 30-60 minutes per lesson. She has the most problem with the spelling exercises (Dictation Words and Dictation Sentences). I don't think her spelling improved as much as her reading. Now that we are reviewing the LTKAH lessons, we are doing more kinesthetic activities such as writing incorrect words in cursive on a notebook and skywriting.

If I had your homeschooling experience, I would choose one of the O-G programs often recommended by "BTDT" posters.

It sounds like the program has some annoyances, but is usable and has been at least somewhat helpful. Would that be a fair sumary of your experience?

How does your daughter like it? Not that enjoyability is the main thing I'm looking for, but I'm curious. The demo looks a little stilted. I also wonder if you have seen an improvement in her spelling, if spelling was ever an issue for her.
:
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Given what you know of the program, would you buy it if you were in my shoes? I know you can't give any kind of sure answer, but I'm interested in your impressions, as well as your answers to my 2 specific questions, above.


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