Reading Relations

Tutoring & Academic Language Therapy

Early Reading Support Can Make a Lifelong Difference

88 percent of students who were poor readers in first grade were poor readers in fourth grade” ~ National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Despite the efforts of teachers in the classroom, sometimes children need more explicit and sequential support. An intensive reading intervention can give your child the skills to break the reading code and overcome their struggles with literacy.

When Should I Consider Extra Support for my Child

  • If your child has an interest in books but lacks motivation because their reading is slow, choppy and exhausting.
  • If your child doesn’t recognize words used repetitively in text, sounding out the same word from sentence to sentence.
  • If your child struggles to read short age appropriate books and loses interest quickly.
  • If your child avoids reading, wiggles and guesses words on the page only by context clues.
  • If your child struggles to write with appropriate letter shapes, spaces and complains that writing hurts.
  • If your child transposes letter sounds in spoken words, mispronouncing words often.
  • If your child has trouble rhyming, differentiating discrete sounds in words or pronouncing multisyllabic words.
  • If your child refuses to read aloud and avoids any activity that involves reading.

These are signs of struggling readers that often confound teachers and parents. If your child demonstrates any of these behaviors or their teacher recommends an evaluation, then it might be time to consider outside support.

What Is the Difference Between Tutoring and Academic Language Therapy?

Tutoring is assistance that supports the child’s learning. Tutoring generally does not teach a program but supports the work from home to school. Academic Language Therapy and Reading Interventions, often referred to as tutoring are sequential, explicit reading programs designed for struggling readers with characteristics of dyslexia or a confirmed diagnosis of dyslexia. Academic Language Therapy should be multi-sensory, Orton-Gillingham based instruction.

What is a Comprehensive Literacy Assessment?

A comprehensive literacy assessment is often recommended by teachers when children struggle to remember letter names and sounds, read one sound at a time or just avoid reading all together. A comprehensive literacy assessment screens for Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Sight Words, Fluency and Reading Rate, Comprehension of connected text, Spelling, Writing and Vocabulary assessment.

A comprehensive literacy assessment will ascertain your child’s strengths and weakness, inform which program will best support your child and determine the frequency of sessions your child will need. A comprehensive assessment usually takes three hours. This can be done in two 1-1/2 hour sessions, depending on the child or three 1 hour sessions.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a language disability. This condition, which is remedial, makes it difficult for a person to read, write, spell, compute, organize and comprehend, despite adequate intelligence and conventional instruction. Fifteen to 20% of the population experiences some degree of Dyslexia.

The following websites are the best place to learn about the definition and signs of dyslexia.

Parent and Student Testimonials

Our son, Jack, loved working with Toni. He never saw it as a chore or a punishment or thought of himself as dumb because he was getting extra help. It was the opposite, he looked forward to working with Toni because she made the entire process fun. Jack, like most kids, loves candy and toys. Toni was able to incorporate rewards into her reading program and Jack was thrilled to work hard for rewards. Not only did he enjoy the entire process, he ended his time with Toni as a strong reader and to this day (he is 14 now) he loves to read. I like to dub Toni the ‘reading whisperer’. She was a god-send for our family.” ~ Barb Steinberg, mom of 14 year old Jack

Working with Toni was an amazing experience for our daughter and our whole family! Around age 5, our daughter needed extra help in her transition from private montessori education to a more rigorous public school setting, particularly as it related to her reading skills & motivation. Toni was able to very quickly and clearly ascertain what her areas of weakness were and build those skills, boosting our daughter’s confidence and motivation to read. The individualized instruction Toni provided was tailored to our daughter’s exact needs at the time which saved time, stress and money and made the process pretty quick and painless! At the time we also had a young baby, and the home sessions really helped eased our concerns about adding something to the family schedule. Overall, it was a playful, interactive push that made the difference between our daughter being disinterested to excited about reading. Toni continues to be a valuable resource and friend to our family years later – we’d absolutely recommend her!” ~ Fair Aleshire

Contact Me

If you are interested in learning more about tutoring or academic language therapy, contact me for more information. I will be happy to explain the process in detail and together we can design a plan to get your child on track with reading.