Brian, Adult learner with dyslexia

United Kingdom

"I have read over 120 books since using Touch-type Read and Spell!" 

Two years ago, on his 70th birthday, Brian Playford’s wife gave him a computer, and his TTRS journey began. An accomplished and award winning engineer, Brian also describes himself as a very dyslexic man who never used to read for pleasure, and one who had always very much struggled with writing and spelling. Two years on, here are some of his comments about TTRS:


The course has transformed my life in terms of reading. Before, I only read what I absolutely had to, and I never enjoyed it. My reading has improved significantly. Now I read every day and it’s a pleasure. I hate to think how many books I’ve read! My wife calls me a bookworm now. Reading is a lovely thing to do.


When I used to do e-mails it was a nightmare, but now, what would take me half an hour I can now do in five minutes. There’s a definite improvement there. Now I can access the spell check and the grammar check and that definitely helps. When you do sentences, you stop thinking about your fingers, and you just do it!


My spelling has definitely improved. Certain words are just “there” where before I would have struggled with them. Sometimes I think of a word, and then it’s automatic - I don’t think about the spelling as such. Instead of being overwhelmed by a word I don’t recognize I can now break it down into manageable bits, try out different pronunciations, and re-read the sentence to figure it out from the context. These are strategies I couldn’t use before TTRS.

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It used to be that if someone gave me a telephone number, I’d have to remember and write down each number separately. Now I can chunk them together. I can do that with words now too.

Keyboard Skills 

When we’ve come back from a holiday, I’ve been amazed how quickly I dropped back into the typing. I might make a couple of mistakes in a module, but I never score below ninety-two or ninety-three percent correct. Most of the time my scores are in the high nineties. When I first started I was nowhere near that kind of level, so I’m now working my way through the course for the second time. I’ve scored 791 “excellents”. I’ve even got three perfect scores, and my speed has increased. I find the scores very motivating.


When I started out, one or two modules might take me half an hour and I’d try and do that every day. I’d come off the computer very tired. These days I’m very much faster than that. I might do up to ten modules in the same time and I’m not as tired.

TTRS has given me confidence. Yes, I’m dyslexic and I’ve struggled with reading, writing and spelling until now - but that’s all part of life’s rich pattern. You can’t be good at everything. If you were you’d be really boring!

After three months of TTRS, Brian reached Level 19, achieved 284 excellent scores and 1 perfect score.

I'm dyslexic and I've always struggled with spelling and writing. When I was in school I could study for a spelling test, and get nineteen out of twenty words correct, and two weeks later I wouldn't be able to remember a single one. There's an incident that comes to mind when I was trying to remember how to spell the word "I" - I was sitting there and the sweat was pouring off me. I just couldn't remember "I". That's how bad I was.

When we went back to school after six weeks summer holiday, I used to feel as if I had to start everything from scratch ... as if I'd forgotten it all. So after using TTRS recently for the past three months, my wife and I went on holiday and, I thought "I bet I've forgotten it all" - but I hadn't. I went right back to the same place in TTRS on my return.

Sometimes when I'm typing, and I'm repeating a word two or three times, it becomes automatic. I don't have to consciously think about where the fingers go. Sometimes my fingers are working quicker than I can say the word. I'm developing the confidence to let my hands move about the keyboard, and I'll suddenly think to myself "Blimey. I've done it!" I feel I can trust myself to get it right. I'm letting go of that self-doubt. I haven’t been so excited since I took my first girl out!

My spelling has improved without me even realising it. Words come readily now, whereas previously I wouldn't have had a clue. Taking Touch-type Read and Spell has helped me to break words down so that I read and spell them more easily.

I didn't used to read for pleasure. I'd read the first two or three pages and the last page of a novel and that would be it. But TTRS has helped my reading, and my enjoyment of reading. Now I read quite large books and enjoy them. Sometimes I'll even get so involved in a book which tells a good story that I don't want to put it down. That's a new experience for me. I've now read over 120 books since using TTRS.

I'm quite excited to keep going to see how much further I can go.



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Adult learner with dyslexia, Brian