Review: Lexercise Online Dyslexia Therapy

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Two of my three children have dyslexia. Because learning to read came easily to me, this has been a huge challenge in our homeschool. I was a voracious reader by third grade.

I read to each of my kids from the time they were infants. We went to Story Time at the library while they were still in strollers. Mountains of books were always accessible to them. We did all the “right” things.

I never expected any of them to struggle with reading.

Lexercise Online Dyslexia Therapy

While the bulk of Brianna’s struggles were overcome with intensive phonics instruction during her second and third grade year, nothing seemed to click with Josh.

I was thrilled to discover Lexercise earlier this year and to be able to bring you our first Lexercise review, which focused on their online dyslexia assessment. To finally have an official diagnosis and a plan of action was such a relief. An even bigger relief was getting Josh started with their online dyslexia treatment program in July. (They also offer therapy for dysgraphia.)

Working with the Lexercise Clinical Educators

I know a lot of homeschooling parents are a little apprehensive about working with people outside the homeschooling community. There is a fear of judgment or condescension. I have never, ever felt that way with Josh’s clinician, Tori.

From our very first conversation, she told me that when she worked in the public school system she had always worked closely with the classroom teacher to customize each student’s therapy. She told me that she considered me to be Josh’s classroom teacher and that, as his mother, she recognized that I knew Josh better than anyone.

Lexercise Isolator Game

She let me know that she was willing to work closely with me to tailor Josh’s therapy sessions to meet his unique needs. She has always treated me as a colleague and the authority on my son’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning style.

Tori has often let the concepts we’re studying with our spelling program guide those covered in Josh’s therapy sessions and has freely shared resources and suggestions with me. We’ve incorporated several of those tools and ideas into our school day, which means that all of my children are benefitting, not just Josh.

I have been thrilled with Josh’s progress! Tori admitted to me recently that she was not sure, at first, with how quickly Josh would progress due to his age and the fact that he had already experienced such frustration with reading,  but she’s been as impressed as I’ve been with his progress.

We’ve both seen improvements in Josh’s reading level, his spelling, and his overall confidence. He’s noticed, too. Additionally, Josh’s engagement with Tori has been exciting for me to see.

I was worried that he would be really resistant to the whole process (the “extra work” involved), but Tori has worked really hard to incorporate things that interest Josh and he has responded well to that. As just one example, in yesterday’s therapy session, she’d searched around and found photos of blacksmiths for Josh to write about during the sentence structure portion of the lesson because he’s so obsessed with that right now.

It’s really cool to me to see how he interacts with Tori. He’s so relaxed when he’s online with her. He cuts up and jokes with her, which tells me that he’s comfortable with her. I love that because his attitude about his therapy sessions has a direct correlation to their effectiveness.

Lexercise Online Dyslexia Therapy

The online therapy process is pretty simple. Josh meets with Tori online once a week for about 45 minutes. They use Adobe Connect and Skype. With Adobe Connect, Tori can screen share with Josh. He can see the slide presentations that she’s using and either of them can control the screen as needed.

Lexercise Dyslexia Therapy

This means that Josh can do things like use the pen tool to write out spelling words, or he can write them on paper on hold them up so that Tori can see them with the webcam. Tori can type out words or phrases that Josh dictates so that they can work on creating more complex sentence structures.

The therapy sessions focus on concepts such as:

  • Syllable types
  • Sound/symbol correspondence
  • Explicit spelling instruction
  • Reading fluency and comprehension
  • Parts of speech
  • Sentence structure

I have noticed marked improvement in Josh’s reading fluency and comprehension and his spelling. As we resume school after our fall break next week, I’m going to begin incorporating the sentence structure techniques that Tori has been using with Josh to see if we can start building the complexity of his sentences.

A huge benefit of the Lexercise therapy is that it’s all done online. We don’t have to drive anywhere, so we don’t have to worry about getting everyone dressed, ready, and out of the house by a certain time.

It also means that Josh is relaxed. He’s in a comfortable environment…and he can even have a little help from Gus, the cat, if needed.

Lexercise reviews

I can work with my girls on other things while Josh is doing his therapy…or use his therapy time as an excuse to site and relax for awhile while I observe what he and Tori are working on.

Lexercise Online Practice Games

In addition to the weekly therapy sessions, Josh has daily online practice games. The games were created based on the Orton-Gillingham principals and focus on the areas of:

  • Phonemic awareness
  • Word recognition
  • Vocabulary comprehension

The interactive games are set up so that the student can play them completely independently. Tori sets up the content of the games each week after their weekly online therapy session so that Josh is practicing the concepts that he worked on during his weekly session.

Lexercise Isolator Game

The games only take about 15 minutes per day. At the end of each practice game session, I get an email with Josh’s error words and a link to the Lexercise site with a detailed explanation of how to practice those words and concepts with Josh.

Each game is timed and the student gets bonus points if he beats his previous high score, so he’s always trying to improve on his own best efforts. At the suggestion of the folks at Lexercise (because I had expressed my concern that he might be resistant to playing the games), we set up a reward system for Josh based on the points he earns. Josh earns $5 for every 10,000 points, which generally take about two weeks to earn.

Lexercise MatchStar Game

He actually hasn’t complained about the games too much. It’s only been recently that he’s fussed a bit. That’s because he has to complete his therapy and practice games even when we’re on a school break so that he doesn’t lose any momentum. He only grumbles a little, though, because he’s honest enough to admit that they don’t take much time.

Over the last few months, I have told so many people, if you suspect your child may have dyslexia, I strongly urge you to have them take the free dyslexia screener. It’s not some scam where every kid who takes it is flagged for needing the full evaluation.

I wish we had done this years ago. It would have saved us so much time, tears, and frustration. Josh is finally getting the kind of personalized, one-on-one help that I didn’t have the knowledge or training to give him. He’s finally making progress. I just wish we’d found out about Lexercise sooner.

If you’d like to see how another homeschooling family is faring with Lexercise, visit Maureen at Spell Outloud. We’ll both be updating again at six months, so keep an eye out for our next full review in January 2013.

You can find out more about Lexercise by visiting their blog or following them on Facebook or Twitter.

I was privileged to receive this service at a discounted rate in exchange for advertising space and writing a review, but I would gladly have paid full price for it.  I received no other compensation for this review, nor was I required to post a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my personal, honest opinions.  Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.

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15 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this. I will look into the program for our 10 year old son who is dyslexic and dysgraphic. If it is do-able financially, we would definitely be interested. 🙂

        1. With the links provided or before? Just in case:

          “Our evaluation is personalized, convenient and costs less than traditional evaluations. Children (up through age 14): $295 – Adults (15 and up): $595”

          “Choose between two simple payment options – $125/week or $395/month (a 26% savings).”

  2. My experience with Lexercise was mixed. I hired them to test my daughter whom I suspected might be dyslexic. The test was very difficult and frustrating for her and while the facilitator was kind and understanding the methods employed seemed odd for a child that is not yet reading. But my biggest beef was with the administrators of Lexercise. A day after we paid the fee (which is NOT inexpensive), we received an email offering a $50.00 discount to sign up for the testing. Naturally we assumed they would be decent and honor this since we hadn’t begun the testing, but they refused, making them look unkind, inflexible and very greedy in our eyes. Bad customer service – especially around the holidays when money is so tight!

    1. I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with them. I can understand your frustration. We were just so happy with them. After so many years of struggling with reading, the fact that my son can now read is invaluable to us.

  3. Just read this review of Lexercise. How did the program work out for your family and did you see long term benefits from it that we maintained?
    Thank you

    1. I whole-heartedly recommend Lexercise. I’m honestly not sure if my son would be reading today if it weren’t for the tutoring he did with them. He is now 17 and will voluntarily read aloud with confidence during our co-op class each week. That may seem like a little thing, but it always amazes me because I know how much he struggled before.

  4. My daughter is going to get a complete assessment locally as it will be covered by our insurance, but any ongoing educational tutoring won’t be covered and Lexercise looks like it might be a good fit (I suspect she has dyslexia and it runs in the family).

    She is a rising 4th grader and would be a “stealth dyslexic” if she were in school as she can read books okay, but spelling is very hard and short passages are very hard for her.

    My question: how would Lexercise fit in with the spelling stuff we have been doing at home (All About Spelling)? Would we keep up our track separate from this? Would I take a break from All About Spelling and just use that time to reinforce what she is getting from the tutor? How else would I modify what I am doing with her to reinforce/help support tutoring?

    1. For us, it worked out that we were pretty much on track with the Lexercise sessions and spelling. We just kept going with spelling, but very often the lessons kind of overlapped or reinforced what we were doing. You might talk to your therapist to see what they recommend, but, really, you’d probably be okay either way – continuing with spelling or putting it on hold for awhile. You might consider being your daughter’s scribe for writing – you write as she dictates so that she can get her thoughts on paper. She could always edit and write the final copy. Hope that helps!

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