A SCHOOLBOY with learning difficulties was given an early Christmas present by The Argus Appeal, writes Jack Arscott.

Peter Reeves, 11, who struggles to read and write, won a Wiz pen scanner – and a surprise gift he will open on Christmas Day.

Little sister Caitlin, ten, got a pen of her own to help with her dyslexic symptoms. She and Peter both have a reading age of six, which hampers them in their schoolwork.

“It will open up a whole new world for them,” said grandmother Susan Taylor-Hill, 56, whose husband Roy welled up at the handover at the children’s home in Pankhurst Avenue, Brighton, on Tuesday evening.

“I couldn’t resist showing them the pens straight away. They were over the moon.”

Superhero fan Peter has needed special tuition since he started at Cardinal Newman School in Hove.

As well as suffering from ADHD and dyspraxia, Peter has a poor memory, which makes it hard for him to retain much of what he reads.

“Sometimes he says ‘my brain doesn’t work properly’ or ‘I’ve got a stupid brain’,” said Susan, of Flint Way, Peacehaven.

“He’s behind at school but this is going to help him so much.”

Wiz pens scan the page and speak words aloud. They also have an in-built dictionary that defines words and suggests different contexts in which they can be used.

The mystery present will help Peter overcome the poor motor skills that prevent him from writing efficiently.

Susan said: “When they got the pens, they went to their mum straight away and asked her to read to them.

“Pete loves Father Christmas and he was totally in awe of him. He was lost for words. Even his sister believes he exists now.”

Peter is a keen fan of World Wrestling Entertainment and puts on a two-and-a-half hour tribute act in his grandparents’ front room every Saturday morning.

“He knows all their moves,” said Susan.

“He gets us to make programmes and we even make hot dogs for the interval.”

Elsa Gillio, of The Argus Appeal, which is in its 60th year of helping the needy, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to help this family.

“This is what the appeal is all about.

“The children didn’t know we were coming. It was a total surprise to them.”

Susan added: “I can’t thank the Argus enough for what they’ve done.”