Are you trying to find a dyslexia tutor near you but don’t know where to go or what to do? The internet is filled with tutors out there, but how do you know which one to chose and if they are qualified enough to teach a child with dyslexia. Here is everything you will need to know about finding the right dyslexia tutor for your child.
How can you make sure that you find the right dyslexia tutor for your child?
You can ask speech therapists, educational psychologists and special education advocates. These professionals are usually well connected in their communities and have a network of good people they like to work together with.
Can I get the school to reimburse me for private dyslexia tutor expenses?
Sometimes you can. School districts will reimburse parents for private dyslexia tutor expenses if the district agrees that the school is not providing an appropriate education. Almost always, in my years of working with parents and dyslexia tutors, the parent has to take the school district to a due process hearing to get reimbursed. This means parents have to hire a Special Education Attorney or Advocate. Some parents end up removing their children from public school for part of the day or for a specified time in order to bring their child to a private dyslexia tutor. The school needs to agree with this arrangement.
Can I use a dyslexia tutor in a small group setting?
Sometimes, a dyslexia tutor will work with students in groups. This is an option to consider if you know of other children in the same situation. A group setting will reduce the cost and your child may learn from the other kids as well. The downside to a group session is that your child may not have the benefit of an exclusive one-on-one learning situation with a dyslexia tutor. This can make progress a bit slower as well.
Which program should my dyslexia tutor be using?
Your dyslexia tutor needs to be using an Orton-Gillingham reading program. This program needs to be structured, systematic, cumulative and extremely repetitive. It also needs to be multisensory. Most Orton-Gillingham programs will use a very specific scope and sequence. It is crucial that the dyslexia tutor follow this scope and sequence precisely and not skip around. If you have an amazing tutor that you love that is not trained in Orton-Gillingham, then you can provide a program for them to follow and use with your child. You can also homeschool or tutor your own child with an Orton-Gillingham tutoring program. Some dyslexia tutoring programs that I recommend for tutors or homeschool parents to use are:
After selecting a dyslexia tutor, make sure that you receive regular progress assessments along each step of the way. Ask the dyslexia tutor to provide you with tutoring session plans on a regular basis so you can follow along with your child through their scope and sequence. Good Luck finding a dyslexia tutor and if you need more assistance – feel free to contact me personally.
Karina Richland, M.A., is the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers, LLC, an educational company that works with children in special education and focuses on reading, writing and comprehension help. She is also the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at PRIDE Learning Center.
I have watched many families throughout my career as an Orton-Gillingham tutor, lose valuable time and money when choosing the wrong person or the wrong program to tutor their dyslexic child. I know that these parents had great intentions but simply did not take the time or do the research necessary to become informed. Several essentials make up a successful plan for your child to get the most out of his or her dyslexia tutor.
The Orton-Gillingham approach is the “grandmother” dyslexia tutoring program from which many others are derived. It was developed in the 1930s and 1940s by neurologist Samuel Orton and linguists June Orton and Anna Gillingham. Together they developed this amazing way of teaching the structure of letter-sound correspondences, using a multi-sensory method. A dyslexia tutor that is trained in Orton-Gillingham will be able to tutor your child in reading, writing, spelling and comprehension strategies correctly. If you are unable to find a dyslexia tutor trained in Orton-Gillingham, you can always hire a tutor that you like and hand them an Orton-Gillingham tutoring program that they can use with your child.
Orton-Gillingham tutoring programs:
The PRIDE Reading Program is a multisensory, Orton-Gillingham curriculum for tutoring reading, writing, spelling and comprehension. It is taught in a step-by-step progression using an easy to follow On-Line Teaching Guide that is heavily scripted out. Because it is so easy to follow the script and it also comes with online demonstrations on how to teach each step, tutors with little or no experience with Orton-Gillingham can implement it quite easily.
The Barton Reading Program is a teaching method based on the Orton-Gillingham approach. It comes with videos that explain how to teach each lesson. It is easy to learn this system and easy to teach it.
The All About Learning has an All About Reading Program and an All About Spelling Program. These programs offer intense reading and spelling lessons utilizing the Orton-Gillingham methodology. They are both highly interactive multi-sensory programs that are scripted and illustrated and easy to follow.
Dyslexia tutoring must be delivered 1:1 for your child to progress the most. Keep in mind that the dyslexic student is behind his or her classmates and must make more progress than they do or catch-up will never happen. If your child is far behind, he or she must make a huge leap to catch up. Those that never make that leap might very well stay behind forever. In a 1:1 lesson, the dyslexia tutor will customize the program to fit your child. The tutor will slow down, repeat, speed up or change the pace as needed. In a group setting, the tutor has to shoot for the middle of the group, so if your child is slower than the rest they will be forced to move too quickly and the information will not “stick.” If your child needs to move faster than the group but is forced to slow down to stay together, your child will be bored to death. Being bored will result in a lack of motivation and also ignites difficult behavior. Some really great 1:1 dyslexia tutoring centers are:
Lindamood Bell is a learning approach that can help students who struggle with reading and other learning issues. It offers 1:1 instruction at private learning centers throughout the world.
PRIDE Learning Center employs the Orton-Gillingham, multisensory approach to reading, writing, spelling and comprehension. PRIDE will send a trained dyslexia tutor to your home, work, school or library. They also run many Orton-Gillingham summer camp programs throughout the United States. Their dyslexia tutors are background checked, have strong backgrounds in special education and are warm, nurturing instructors trained to implement the PRIDE Reading Program.
Your child with dyslexia will face many challenges in school at various times. By being a loving and pro-active parent and getting your child into the right program with the right kind of a dyslexia tutor will really benefit your child’s self-esteem, love of learning and academic success.
Karina Richland, M.A., developed the PRIDE Reading Program, an Orton-Gillingham program for struggling readers, based on her extensive experience working with children with learning differences over the past 30 years. She has been a teacher, educational consultant and the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers in Southern California. Please feel free to email her with any questions at email@example.com.
Do you worry that your child might have dyslexia? The warning signs are there. Your child is struggling with reading, writing and spelling. You might be using your intuition that something is wrong. What should you do?
Get a Diagnosis!
Diagnosis is the fundamental first step in successfully helping a child with dyslexia and the earlier, the better. It is never a good idea to wait or prolong testing. This will only put the child with dyslexia further behind. Children, who receive help early on, can catch up to their classmates. Later-identified children miss out on essential practice and miss out on an effective dyslexia remediation program during the crucial window of opportunity. So where do you go for a diagnosis… here are some suggestions:
- A licensed educational psychologist
- A Neurologist
- A Medical Doctor
- A Speech Pathologist
- The Special Education Department at a university or school district
Practice Reading A Lot!
Reading fluency comes from repeatedly practicing the same words over and over again so that the brain eventually identifies the words rapidly. Poor readers receive the least amount of reading practice although they need it the most. This is mostly because they avoid reading, read less than their classmates, and as a result fall progressively behind their peers in reading skills. With a proper dyslexia remediation program the student will be able to practice reading intensively and often. So how should your child with dyslexia practice reading a lot?
- Make your child read at least 20 minutes a day before they are allowed to get on any technology.
- Give your child materials that motivate them to read.
- Give them easy reading. Let them read below their grade level. Its about fun and practice, not torture.
- Get into the habit and routine of reading the same time each day.
Catch-up with an Intensive Reading Remediation Program!
A child who has dyslexia that is not identified until the third grade or later is already thousands of unlearned words behind the other readers. This is a gap that might never get closed without an intensive reading remediation program at this point. The best intervention is prevention in kindergarten or remediation beginning in first grade. After first grade it is just remediation year after year. And that’s a lot of catch up to do.
Reading instruction for the child with dyslexia must be delivered with great intensity. Children diagnosed with dyslexia are behind in their reading levels and for them to catch up with their classmates will need to make a big leap forward or else they will remain behind. Optimally, a child who is struggling with reading should be taught one-on-one and should receive this specialized reading instruction 2-3 hours five days a week. A larger group or less time will greatly undermine the possibilities of success. Use the long summer months to send your child to a summer Orton-Gillingham reading camp for intensive instruction. Summers are a great time to catch up and get ahead.
Make sure you find the Right Program with the Right Teacher!
A child with dyslexia will take in and process information differently and needs to be taught with a specialized program. The content must be a research-based scientifically proven method that is delivered with a sequential, systematic, cumulative and structured multisensory reading program. The Orton-Gillingham method, for example, is a perfect example of a reading approach that is proven to work for children with dyslexia. Orton-Gillingham uses a specific scope and sequence that works with kids with dyslexia and closes all reading gaps. It’s a really remarkable reading method. I recommend you check out The PRIDE Reading Program as the perfect program to teach a child with dyslexia. It comes with training videos and is really easy to implement. It is heavily scripted out, so you don’t need to be a certified teacher to use the program. Using the combination of the right program and the right instructor is the key to your child’s success.
A child with dyslexia who is not identified early may require as much as 100-200 hours of intensive instruction if they are going to close the reading gap. The longer that identification and effective reading instruction are delayed, the longer the child will require catching up. Fortunately, with the proper assistance and help, most students with dyslexia are able to learn to read and develop strategies to become successful readers.
Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program
Karina Richland, M.A. is the Founder of Pride Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. Ms. Richland is a certified reading and learning disability specialist. She is also the author of the PRIDE Reading Program. Ms. Richland speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences, and writes for several journals and publications. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the PRIDE Learning Center website at: www.pridelearningcenter.com
This October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month, and PRIDE Learning Centers is helping to spread the word!
Did you know that Dyslexia is estimated to affect some 20-30 percent of our population? This means that more than 2 million school-age children in the United States are dyslexic! We are here to help.
What is Dyslexia?
Although children with dyslexia typically have average to above average intelligence, their dyslexia creates problems not only with reading, writing and spelling but also with speaking, thinking and listening. Often these academic problems can lead to emotional and self-esteem issues throughout their lives. Low self-esteem can lead to poor grades and under achievement. Dyslexic students are often considered lazy, rebellious or unmotivated. These misconceptions cause rejection, isolation, feelings of inferiority, and discouragement.
The central difficulty for dyslexic students is poor phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to appreciate that spoken language is made up of sound segments (phonemes). In other words, a dyslexic student’s brain has trouble breaking a word down into its individual sounds and manipulating these sounds. For example, in a word with three sounds, a dyslexic might only perceive one or two.
Most researchers and teachers agree that developing phonemic awareness is the first step in learning to read. It cannot be skipped. When children begin to learn to read, they first must come to recognize that the word on the page has the same sound structure as the spoken word it represents. However, because dyslexics have difficulty recognizing the internal sound structure of the spoken word to begin with, it is very difficult for them to convert the letters of the alphabet into a phonetic code (decoding).
Although dyslexia can impair spelling and decoding abilities, it also seems to be associated with many strengths and talents. People with dyslexia often have significant strengths in areas controlled by the right side of the brain. These include artistic, athletic and mechanical gifts. Individuals with dyslexia tend to be very bright and creative thinkers. They have a knack for thinking, “outside-the-box.” Many dyslexics have strong 3-D visualization ability, musical talent, creative problem solving skills and intuitive people skills. Many are gifted in math, science, fine arts, journalism, and other creative fields.
Symptoms of Dyslexia
- Late talking, compared to other children
- Pronunciation problems, reversal of sounds in words (such as ‘aminal’ for ‘animal’ or ‘gabrage’ for ‘garbage’)
- Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word (takes a while to get the words out)
- Difficulty rhyming words
- Trouble learning numbers, the alphabet, days of the week
- Poor ability to follow directions or routines
- Does not understand what you say until you repeat it a few times
- Enjoys being read to but shows no interest in words or letters
- Has weak fine motor skills (in activities such as drawing, tying laces, cutting, and threading)
- Unstable pencil grip
- Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
School Age Children
- Has good memory skills
- Has not shown a dominant handedness
- Seems extremely intelligent but weak in reading
- Reads a word on one page but doesn’t recognize it on the next page or the next day
- Confuses look alike letters like b and d, b and p, n and u, or m and w.
- Substitutes a word while reading that means the same thing but doesn’t look at all similar, like “trip” for “journey” or “mom” for “mother.”
- When reading leaves out or adds small words like “an, a, from, the, to, were, are and of.”
- Reading comprehension is poor because the child spends so much energy trying to figure out words.
- Might have problems tracking the words on the lines, or following them across the pages.
- Avoids reading as much as possible
- Writes illegibly
- Writes everything as one continuous sentence
- Does not understand the difference between a sentence and a fragment of a sentence
- Misspells many words
- Uses odd spacing between words. Might ignore margins completely and pack sentences together on the page instead of spreading them out
- Does not notice spelling errors
- Is easily distracted or has a short attention span
- Is disorganized
- Has difficulties making sense of instructions
- Fails to finish work on time
- Appears lazy, unmotivated, or frustrated
- Avoids reading and writing
- Guesses at words and skips small words
- Has difficulties with reading comprehension
- Does not do homework
- Might say that they are “dumb” or “couldn’t care less”
- Is humiliated
- Might hide the dyslexia by being defiant or using self-abusive behavior
- Avoids reading and writing
- Types letters in the wrong order
- Has difficulties filling out forms
- Mixes up numbers and dates
- Has low self-esteem
- Might be a high school dropout
- Holds a job below their potential and changes jobs frequently
The sooner a child with dyslexia is given proper instruction, particularly in the very early grades, the more likely it is that they will have fewer or milder difficulties later in life.
Older students or adults with dyslexia will need intensive tutoring in reading, writing and spelling using an Orton-Gillingham program. During this training, students will overcome many reading difficulties and learn strategies that will last a lifetime. Treatment will only “stick” if it is incorporated intensively and consistently over time.
Students who have severe dyslexia may need very intensive specialized tutoring to catch up and stay up with the rest of their class. This specialized tutoring helps dyslexic students become successful in reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary. It also will help them with math, and word problems. Fortunately, with the proper assistance and help, most students with dyslexia are able to learn to read and develop strategies to become successful readers.
Karina Richland, M.A., developed the PRIDE Reading Program, an Orton-Gillingham program for struggling readers, based on her extensive experience working with children with learning differences over the past 30 years. She has been a teacher, educational consultant and the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers in California. Please feel free to email her with any questions at email@example.com.
The diagnosis of dyslexia is often missed by child psychiatrists, who are frequently asked to validate a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), generated from a psychological evaluation because ADHD is a fairly common disorder with a prevalence of 10% in the US, and because roughly 80% of children with ADHD respond to stimulant medication, the role of a child psychiatrist is often circumscribed to diagnosing and treating ADHD with medication. However, because the dyslexia/ADHD co-morbidity, i.e., “the parallel track diagnosis” of ADHD and dyslexia has been described to be in the range of 10% (Shaywitz, 1988), child psychiatrists often confuse the 20% population of children and adolescents who epidemiologically are not expected to respond to stimulant medications with children with disorders of dyslexia/ADHD comorbidity.
Bruce Pennington (1991) an established authority in the field of dyslexia has suggested that there is no robust two-way association between dyslexia and ADHD, i.e., that increased prevalence of dyslexia in children with ADHD is lacking in several studies, whereas there are increased rates of ADHD in dyslexic samples described. To translate this into a more comprehensive language, I quote my former teacher at UCLA the late Dr. Dennis Cantwell who said:
“When you hear horse hooves around the corner you should suspect the zebra, because if you don’t – you may miss the unicorn.”
Whenever I evaluate a child who has been referred for assessment of probable ADHD, I also include a screening instrument for dyslexia as part of the evaluation. Conversely, if a child who has been properly diagnosed with dyslexia is referred to me for further assessment, I assume that she/he may also have dyslexia/ADHD comorbidity. It is important to remember that although the diagnostic statistical manual (DSM) has trained us all into the habit of diagnosing by categories; many of these disorders are not necessarily categorical, instead present on a dimensional range. That is to say that a child may have mild, moderate or severe dyslexia, as well as the equivalent degrees of ADHD severity. A few additional points deserve to be emphasized on dyslexia and ADHD comorbidity:
1. If a child is diagnosed with dyslexia, there are no medication treatments proven to be efficacious. The treatment of dyslexia is complex. According to authors like Pennington and others it involves a phonic-based approach to reading because the problem of phonological coding is so central to the disorder. Examples of programs, which teach letter sound relations, are the Orton Gillingham, DISTAR, etc. The issue of remediation of spelling dyslexia seems to be fairly complex and several centers do not make spelling a direct target of remediation.
2. Authors like Pennington have advised against the idea of parents tutoring their dyslexic children, not just because they lack specific expertise but because there is a conflict between the two roles that make a parent-child tutoring situation too emotionally charged to be successful.
3. I believe a psychiatrist should treat whatever degree of inattention secondary to ADHD may exist on a child with dyslexia. While minimizing any potential side effects from stimulant medication, i.e. loss of appetite and weight, it is worthwhile optimizing inattention deficits through the prescription of medication on a child with dyslexia.
4. There are diagnostic boundaries that need to be monitored on a longitudinal basis. In other words, if the expectation of parents or teachers is that with remediation of inattention through medication management, deficiencies secondary to dyslexia will also fall into place, these assumptions have to be identified and corrected. This is often a set up for delaying the necessary treatment of a child with dyslexia. This delay is often painful to witness because the large majority of children with untreated dyslexia eventually become demoralized, some of them clinically depressed. I have seen in 15 years of practice, children with dyslexia who barely compensate for their deficiencies in an educational environment that is still very alphabetic so to speak, for example in the teaching of languages, (heavily relying on grammar). As time goes by, children with untreated dyslexia become school avoidant, and often resort to maladaptive patterns in order to compensate for loss of self-esteem.
For more information regarding dyslexia/ADHD morbidity or to have your child evaluated for a screening please feel free to contact Dr. Pablo De Amesti Davanzo below.
Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program
Dr. Pablo De Amesti Davanzo, MD is Senate Emeritus of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles and former National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Career Development Awardee. He completed his residency training in Psychiatry at Duke University in 1993 and his fellowship training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UCLA in 1995. He is currently the psychiatrist of the Child and Family Guidance Center Northpoint Intensive-Outpatient Day Treatment Center in Northridge, CA. Dr. Pablo Davanzo can be reached by voicemail at his Brentwood office (310) 571-1519.
October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month and a Mission Viejo Dyslexia Center is helping out the community by offering a reduced-rate reading assessments throughout the month of October.
“One out of every five children has some form of Dyslexia,” says Karina Richland, a Dyslexia specialist and owner of the Mission Viejo Dyslexia Center and numerous Dyslexia programs throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Richland reports that “most children with Dyslexia in the classrooms go undiagnosed for years. If these kids are detected early on and given the proper intervention they can actually improve their reading and writing skills dramatically.”
The Mission Viejo Dyslexia Center at PRIDE Learning Center teaches children with Dyslexia how to read and write using a multisensory program called the Orton-Gillingham approach. It is an intensive one-on-one reading program that stresses teaching the entire structure of written English through a structured, systematic and cumulative teaching of letters and their corresponding sounds.
“The sooner a child with Dyslexia gets the proper intervention, especially in the very early grades, the more likely it is that they will have fewer or milder difficulties in the later grades,” states Richland.
Throughout the month of October, parents can bring their children into the Mission Viejo Dyslexia Center for a reduced-rate assessment that will measure their reading and spelling abilities. To schedule an assessment contact the Mission Viejo PRIDE Learning Center at 949-484-0230 or visit the website at www.pridelearningcenter.com