A wonderful achievement after dyslexia course

Article by A. Sargeant:

How one Engineer went from an Anxious Reader to PhD 

When Andrew contacted Barbara Hoi of Sydney Dyslexia to help him with his reading, he had no idea where this course would take him. Being dyslexic while studying to be an engineer, Andrew was no stranger to hard work in order to achieve his goals. But even he couldn’t imagine that unlocking his reading potential would lead him to completing his PhD, winning a Global Innovation Award and working in Silicon Valley.


Andrew Babakian is a principal engineer, specialising in networking and security for a major software company in Palo Alto. In preparation to work with Barbara Hoi, Andrew admitted to Barbara that he felt nervous and petrified the week prior to working together, knowing he’d be spending concentrated time looking at words, reading and dealing with comprehension. Andrew realised though that he could no longer ignore his need for solid tools to help him with literacy and numeracy which were causing him so much overwhelm and anxiety.


Working with Barbara, Andrew discovered how to break his old thinking habits and get into a place of receptiveness in order to increase his concentration and ability to learn. Using Barbara’s unique learning system, Andrew found that words and sentences became real and alive which helped with his comprehension. He was able to read and understand exactly what he read and repeat it back with incredible clarity. Andrew explains to Barbara “It’s like you put a key in my head and you turned it for the first time and I can read in the end”.


With an arsenal of tools to help him move forward, Andrew took his newfound confidence, reading and comprehension skills and became unstoppable. Andrew then went on to do his PhD in Engineering and reached another career milestone when he won a prestigious global award for an invention that is now being used by organizations around the world.


Andrew leaves us with this wonderful piece of advice that he would give his 11-year-old-self and anyone who is currently struggling with school: “It’s okay, you’re amazing at what you do. You’ve got an extremely unique learning ability. And you’re going to spend the next couple of years understanding how that works, and then harness it, and use it to your strengths and advantages, because you’re going to be the best at what you do”.


Today, Andrew uses techniques he learned with Barbara, to explain complicated cybersecurity concepts in his work as an engineer for the technology company he works for in Silicon Valley. What next for Andrew Babakian? In his words: “If I focus on what I enjoy all the time, a new door opens. After the PhD, I couldn’t imagine what would be there, but I imagine it’ll be another door.”


Recognizing the power of her dyslexia program, Barbara Hoi has honed her remarkable course into The One Year School. A year long online program to improve literacy and numeracy using a holistic approach that brings quick results in a supportive environment.
Andrew Babakian endorses this program with his closing thoughts: It’s a method that’s going to help everyone, dyslexic or not”.

Would you like to become a Beta Tester?

The One Year School is opening soon, but before we do, we would like ten people to test the program, to give us feedback, to help us to make the program even better.

We are looking for ten adults (over the age of 18) who are committed to:

  • use the One Year School online program for visual learners for five days a week with their child (about one hour a day)
  • participate in all exercises together with their child/student
  • give us feedback on the program and the result
  • keep a journal or take notes, pictures or anything that tracks the progress
  • take part in a two day training (9am – 3 pm) in Mosman or at the Entrance Beach Retreat (only charging cost, $ 600 for two days, or $ 700 incl. accommodation), as you won’t be able to have use of a tutor
  • give us a testimonial at the end of the program

What you will receive or can expect:

  • free use of the One Year School Program for the entire 48 weeks (worth $2,640 at $220 a month)
  • free use of the Dyslexia Tutor App (priceless!)
  • a student who will be able to learn and thrive at school or at work
  • a life with a lot less anxiety and stress around school or studying
  • support by Barbara if needed
  • facebook support group, help from other parents

This is for you if:

  • your child/teenager/husband/wife is dyslexic, or struggling to read and write, a visual or tactile learner (we will test to see if that is applicable)
  • you have the time to train (times will be sent to you to choose from once you apply and are one of the 10 people)
  • you have the time and temperament to work with your student (the two-day training will help)
  • you and your child are motivated to change and want help
  • you will be able to work with your child or student

We are looking for a variety of ages, genders, children or adults, and would like to hear more about their talents and challenges and why you would be the best person to take part in this wonderful and transformative experiment!

You will be the first!

Please apply with an email to:

hoi.barbara1@gmail.com or barbara@theoneyearschool.com

or call Barbara on 0402 686 327.

The One Year Junior School

Launching on June 1, 2020

It has been a long journey and it keeps going. Training my first tutors next week, still on small covid scale, some students have been waiting patiently – and I still have to finish the Adult version of the One Year School.

Dyslexia Tutor Training, Dyslexia Testing, Dyslexia Tutoring, sourcing every material needed for the kit that every student will need, legal agreements, podcasts to be made and put up, marketing, new website design etc.

I am learning by doing and trying to keep a balanced life.

My blood test have shown excellent results – inflammation markers down to 0.5,  immune system working well… feeling grateful and blessed.

I truly believe my morning routine helps too. Will tell you next time.

Starting Tutor Training

Hallo my friends,

Sorry for the long silence, but I have been incredibly busy, totally missed the Covid-19 lock-down, as I was totally in lock-down to finish Term 1 of the One Year School, the website, a training program and some SEO and Marketing stuff.

Well, I thought I link a page to the Website, which isn’t quite finished, as the courses are not linked up yet, etc.

However, you will see an introduction and a lot of answers to questions you may have.

The links to each of the courses, adults, children and tutors, are leading to information pages and I want to start training tutors soon.


So check it out and if you think you would like to become a tutor, or you know someone who would benefit from the One Year School program, please contact me.

Sydney Dyslexia is opening its doors to the One Year School


What is the Aim of the ONE YEAR SCHOOL?

Do you know how some kids muck up at school, finding it really hard to focus and to learn?

Do you know how they may be at school physically, but you wouldn’t know – as they don’t seem to remember much?

You know they are bright, so why aren’t they able to learn like everyone else?

Do you know someone like that?

Someone who:

  • gets anxious and stressed, just at the thought of going to school
  • doesn’t know how to concentrate or stay focused long enough to learn
  • finds it challenging to read, write and spell, no matter how hard they try
  • may enjoy mathematics, but doesn’t understand all the questions and concepts
  • struggles more every year
  • loses their curiosity and confidence
  • has great ideas, but can’t express them in writing
  • gets into trouble, maybe not knowing why
  • finds other ways to shine, especially in sport or creative pursuits
  • knows that they have so much more potential, but doesn’t know how to deliver it

Now imagine if there was an alternative school, one that doesn’t use the traditional approach, comes into your home office via a daily ‘broadcast’, training you as a parent to help your child to finally know

HOW to become and stay focused

HOW to read and learn without the painful sounding out, or boring repetition, the stressful time restrains and exam torture.

You are not a teacher or tutor?

No problem, you will be assigned a personal tutor that has been trained by us to help you implement every part of the program, tailoring it to the need of your student!

The ONE YEAR SCHOOL, which is additional to your child’s school or homeschooling, provides you (for a small weekly subscription fee of $ 50) with:

  • A Weekly Program that arrives in your inbox with daily tasks, that help with a step-by-step approach to a NEW way of learning
  • A tutor that spends six hours with your child, one-on-one, either by coming to your house or via zoom or another online version, to help you implement every part of the program. You can then book in more hours or days with your tutor as needed, which is then an additional cost.
  • The use of an App, called ‘the Dyslexia Tutor’ that has been designed specifically for the homework. A photo of the final work  with your child will be added to the app and seen and commented by your tutor. The app is fun, creative and interactive.
  • Support all the way
  • All materials needed for the implementation in one special tool kit (at the cost of     $ 150)
  • A program that will include everything you need to achieve the level of reading, writing, spelling, grammar and Maths for your student to fully participate in school either after or during this online school.
  • Life concepts that are woven into the program that include many subjects the schools are not able to provide: time management, public speaking, self-help techniques for mental support, emotional self-regulation, meditation, concepts that help children with ADD/ADHD and many other concepts to help students to more fully participate in school and life
  • Mini courses to prepare these bright individuals for creative online professions, using their imagination as a gift

As this is the most important educational experiment you are taking part in, we are waving the enrollment fee (of $ 1,500) for the first year of operation.

Please pass this on to anyone who you’d like to succeed – either as a corrected dyslexic, a thriving student or a tutor. We need more of those! Please pass the information on.

Let’s use this time of self-isolation to learn and grow, to thrive and reach our dreams.




Looking for schools to pilot a new dyslexia program

I apologise for the long pause in my blogs – but I haven’t been idle. After finishing my last rounds of chemo, (which I have cut short, as I was progressing so well and the scans were clear) I have thrown myself into finishing the creation of my dyslexia app, which I am happy to say has turned out better than expected. I have to thank BAPPO for that, who created a beautiful product!

Now I am having a big favor to ask:

Do you know of a school that would be happy to trial my ‘Dyslexia Tutor’ App next year, for free?

Ideally that school should be in Sydney or at the Central Coast. It can be a Primary or High School, public, private, catholic, home schooling, special schooling, un-schooling, …you get the idea.

It’s free, as I am looking to collect data to sell it later as an evidence-based educational tool. I have put together a program called ‘the One Year School’, which offers the following support:

  1. the app (Dyslexia Tutor), which includes cartoon tutorials, two hundred videos of sight words, visually explained and 7 modules of a dyslexia recovery program.          I will support the teachers, special-ed teachers or anyone who will be working with the dyslexic pupils with a one-day workshop, assessment of the students  for learning style, suitability of this approach and the current state of literacy; and a ‘survival pack’ for each student, including all the materials needed for the one-year school ($ 150, will be the only expense for the school or the parent, a small price to pay to have their child’s dyslexia corrected by the school).
  2. Monthly concepts (such as consequence, time, etc…)  that I’m able to introduce either personally at the school or to the teachers at a time that suits them. These are vital to create a foundation for understanding maths, behaviour and are specifically designed to support the visual mindset of the dyslexic participants.
  3. The program will not only help a dyslexic student, but anyone who struggles with literacy or numeracy and shows a visual or tactile learning style. It will help children with ADD, ADHD, dyspraxia, asperger, hyperlexia, and of course dyslexia. The assessment will clarify, which of these students has the appropriate learning style to benefit.
  4. I’m working on a Podcast, interviewing experts in education, nutrition, mental and emotional support for children and young adults, as well as successful dyslexic adults on how they used the gift of dyslexia to overcome the challenges. I am open to any suggestion! Thank you!

Please call (0402 686 327) or email (hoi.barbara1@gmail.com) me if you can help me!

I so appreciate you!


How can a teacher help?

It was very exciting to actually get this question asked by a teacher.


Usually mothers ask this question and they want a teacher to support their child – and ask me how to explain their child’s needs to their teacher.

Answering that question is actually tricky. Most teachers will be confronted by a child, whose dyslexia has not been corrected. Therefore I have aimed to focus on the most important aspect of support for these children: understanding how they think and how they learn.

If a child had done a program that is not involving sounding out (like a Davis Dyslexia Correction Program) or finished the Focus First Online Program – http://www.focusfirst.org/literacy, there are more things a teacher could do to help, e.g. how to help the child to regain their focus; how to read without sounding out, how to fully comprehend and how to remember what they have read.

On the video I am actually addressing what is fundamental for teachers to know:

These children are not slow, less intelligent, lazy, broken or disabled. These are not attributes they may voice, but suspicions a teacher may be harbouring.

Nothing could be further from the truth:

  • Dyslexic children are highly intelligent, but would be finding it harder to be focused for prolonged periods of time.
  • Dyslexic children will present as creative and intuitive, but may struggle to reign in their creative mind on a task at hand
  • Dyslexic children may come up with phantastic stories, but struggle to express them in writing, without going off on tangents
  • Dyslexic children will be challenged spellers, being able to spell words one day, but not a week later
  • Dyslexic children may have a wonderful sense of humour, excelling in art and/or sport

Believing in their abilities, strengths and intelligence is the first step.

I love Goethe’s poem on self-responsibility, that ends with these two sentence:

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse

If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

Invitation to a Free Dyslexia Course for Adults

You asked for more information about the FREE Adult Dyslexia Course. Here it is:




I am looking for adults of all ages, whose literacy levels are low to moderate, who are motivated and able to attend every Monday evening in August, from 6.30 – 8.30 pm at 36 Queen St, Mosman.


I’d need to see you prior and assess if this is going to be beneficial for you!

If you think so – or you know someone who fits that description, please contact me via

Phone (0402 686 327) or Email: hoi.barbara1@gmail.com.


Looking forward!…and please don’t miss out, I can only fit in 5 people max!