Samantha Merlivat founded GoLexic in 2019 as a response to the lack of support readily available to families who face dyslexia. It is a new app built for parents with children who have learning or reading difficulties to help with remediation and support outside the education environment.
On why she built the app Samantha says, “It hit me that so many children need support for reading difficulties. Parents have to wait months to even get an appointment with someone, and in some places, children have to essentially prove that they fail consistently at school to qualify for support. I felt this cannot go on.”
Samantha set out to develop and build the most technologically advanced training possible, for a fraction of the price of a traditional intervention. Today, with a team of experts, she has built GoLexic to support dyslexic children and their parents.
To start GoLexic, Samantha left her job as an analyst in emerging media technologies at a leading digital technology research consultancy in London. This year Samantha was awarded the ‘Education Finalist Award’ at the 2020 Global Digital Female Leader Awards.
GoLexic’s mission to support children and their parents
The main goal of GoLexic is to support children and their parents by making it easier to improve reading and writing skills.
That is why GoLexic offers an interactive, voice-recognition-based training, not a digital book or a word game. It is designed for parents and children to go on a learning journey together and seeks to offer an effective and uplifting learning programme to children who face learning challenges, in a way that is convenient and easy to use for all parents.
Covid-19 and home support
The current situation with Covid-19 makes an often difficult situation even more acute. School closures in the first half of the year required more self-study and homework, which is difficult for children who struggle with reading. Many already started this new school year in a position where they are having to catch up.
Many support organisations are having to reduce or postpone dyslexia assessments until 2021. Given that even in a normal year, 80% of dyslexic children are not identified at school, the rate of support is likely to decline further next year. This creates an incredibly painful situation for many parents who can see that their child struggles, but who just can find the right support in the current situation.
The first ever remediation programme created for parents
GoLexic has launched in the UK as the first ever remediation programme for children with reading and writing difficulties that focuses on parents and children working together to improve skills.
Easily downloaded via Apple iPad, the app’s reading and writing exercises are structured so that children from age 6+ can increase their reading and spelling skills at home. Each day, the app delivers a personalised 15-minute session for focused, engaging and effective training that they can do by themselves or with parents.
Practice to automatise not memorise
GoLexic has been developed with the support of a team of experts in dyslexia and psycholinguistics, with more than 20 years of practical experience in helping children with dyslexia. The app has tailored content to help develop automatism, not memorisation. The app makes sure it is giving each child the right task, that suits them, to repeat. GoLexic focuses on building up the skills needed to increase reading fluency and comprehension. It also works on spelling, as developing reading and spelling skills goes hand-in-hand.
Golexic works best when practice is frequent. Samantha recommends using the app at least 4 times every week. The short 15-minute-sessions are built to fit into the busy life of families.
Personalised training for your child
Children with reading difficulties require a structured approach that adapts to their needs and reading level. The personalised lesson planning in GoLexic makes sure that each child progresses at the right pace and that they build confidence.
The exercises continuously build up new skills, then solidify what has been learned. The level of difficulty is therefore always within reach, while the speed of reading and writing continuously increases.
Reading and writing foundations first
The GoLexic goal is to help children improve their writing and reading skills as fast as possible, as early as possible. This means spending some time assuring that things like the foundations of ‘knowing the alphabet’ are solid. During the first weeks, the GoLexic App assesses your child’s skills and makes sure they have a solid mastery of the basics. The level of difficulty increases progressively when your child is ready.
Empowering children to work autonomously
GoLexic is built so that your child can do the exercises without you needing to spell, read or correct their work. As they improve, they can progressively start doing training sessions independently. An optional weekly overview email shows you exercises that might be best for practicing together with your child. And the parent dashboard will keep you informed about the learning progress. It is also recommended that you stay close when your child is using the app as progress accelerates when parents create a good learning environment and can show encouragement.
Mental health aspect of dyslexia?
The consequences of reading difficulties often go well beyond problems with writing and spelling. Many do not realise what it means for a child to not be able to read and write properly. It very often prevents them from doing well in other subjects, too, as so much of learning and testing requires swift reading for comprehension. Reading itself can become a source of anxiety and can undermine a child’s confidence. On so many occasions they mask the difficulty, so it is not always easily picked up until it is too late.
GoLexic helps children overcome their difficulty and find confidence in their reading skills. The app is a safe place to learn, where children are not being tested. Instead they are training. There is use of a lot of positive reinforcement and children are given feedback that is realistic, positive and encouraging.
The GoLexic subscription offers a proven training method to your child for only £12.99/month. You can end the subscription before the end of each month, no strings attached. The app is available in the UK iPad AppStore and offers all subscribers a 2-week free trial to test the programme first.