The VAS/Echo concept is unique to our research and can only be found on this website.
Almost every child needs some help. Which of the following profiles best fits your child?
Low VAS / High Phonics
Sam’s low VAS means that sight words were slow to develop. However he was taught good phonic skills from Grade 1 and he is one of the better readers. He was initially a little slow in reading and extra time was spent on comprehension but he is increasingly accurate and familiar words are now becoming sight words.
High VAS / High Phonics
Isabel has always been one of the best readers and spellers. She lapped up the phonic instructions from the start and her high VAS meant that once she had worked a word out it rapidly became a sight word. A bright girl, a delight to teach.
Alex is impulsive; the inaccuracy of his guesses is made worse by his confusions between the letters b, d and p. He never learned the correct sequence of strokes when writing letters. Confusions between b, d and p can undermine confidence, fluency that then disrupts comprehension particularly in low VAS / guess-dependent situations.
Low VAS / Low Phonics
Jane is 8 and is a poor reader. Low VAS means that sight words are often guessed on the basis of just one or two letters. Her low phonics is significantly caused by her failure to resolve long-standing confusions between letter names and sounds.
High VAS / Low Phonics
Jack’s high VAS means the he was always one of the better readers but he tends to be impetuous and careless in his word guesses and his spelling is well behind his reading ability. He has recently been given remedial phonic tuition but his guessing habit is very difficult to change. He is heading towards “the 4th year slump” when his inaccuracy in reading undermines confidence. He is inconsistent when writing letters, this hampers his writing and spelling long or visually similar words.
Average VAS / Low Phonics
Madeleine has always been a little below average in reading partly because she learned letter names before she had mastered letter sounds.
That confusion still undermines her phonic skills.
The ‘average’ VAS means that she was almost 8 before whole word processing began to be reliable.
Low VAS / Average Phonics
Julian is 7 and impulsive. He is below average in reading. Last year he was taught letter sounds blending but this was not consolidated. His low VAS continue to undermine his sight word skills and he never really understood the process of reading simple, meaningful instructions. This year a ‘teach everything’ approach in which his rudimentary phonic skills have to compete with his low VAS-related sight word problems was used, leaving little room for comprehension.