About Our Services
Minds Matter Reading Instruction was developed with three goals in mind:
To provide highly effective evidence-based tutoring for children who struggle with reading and writing including Orton-Gillingham and Wilson methods
To advocate for those children and their families as needed
To provide consultation on effective reading and writing instruction to public and private schools
Children come in all shapes and sizes and the ways in which they learn are as varied as the children themselves. Some children learn to read and write effortlessly while others struggle just to learn the letters of the alphabet and to connect them with the sounds they make.
Reading is actually a very complex process that requires different parts of the brain to work together in order to decode words and to derive meaning from those words.
Writing requires children to be able to put letters, sounds, words and sentences together rapidly and in an order that makes sense to others.
ADVOCACY AND CONSULTING
A committed advocate for children with dyslexia and their families, Allison is available to guide and support teachers and school districts as they work to implement a structured literacy approach to teaching reading for their struggling learners.
Structured Literacy is an approach that provides systematic, explicit instruction that integrates listening, speaking, reading and writing and that emphasizes the structure of language across the speech sound system (phonology), the writing system (orthography), the structure of sentences (syntax), the meaningful parts of words (morphology), the relationships among words (semantics), and the organization of the spoken and written communication.
Minds Matter Reading instruction consists of individualized lessons specifically designed to meet the needs of children diagnosed with dyslexia and for those who struggle with reading but who haven’t yet been tested for, or diagnosed with, a language based learning disability.
Based on the results of formal and informal assessments, lessons are designed to address the unique needs of each child and are based on the Orton-Gillingham method for teaching reading.
Addressed in each lesson:
the relationships between words
the meanings of words and word parts
The process of writing integrates two skills; handwriting and composition. Both can be challenging for any child but are especially frustrating for dyslexic readers. These students benefit greatly from being given:
explicit handwriting instruction,
specific writing strategies,
specific structures to follow when composing sentences and developing paragraphs.
"Our severely dyslexic son began to work with Allison when he was six years old. He had just finished kindergarten. Despite his obvious intelligence, he did not know the alphabet and only reliably recognized the first letter in his name and the letter “X”. He was headed to first grade at a school for kids with language based learning disabilities.
Our son was not in the least bit ready for 1st grade without the foundation of recognizing his letters and knowing their sounds. He was also severely school phobic by then as well. In order to successfully transition to first grade, he needed to know the alphabet and have the basics for learning to read so he could enter first grade ready to learn. Much to our relief, Allison agreed to work with him over the summer to get him school ready, and she did!
Allison formed a close bond with our son and he with her so that his school anxieties began to fade, and he began to trust himself and her. We will never forget as the summer progressed when he would come home from his tutoring sessions with Allison and proudly show us something he had learned, a series of letters, sounds, etc. He also happily went to his meetings with Allison, the opposite of what kindergarten had been like with many tears and much resistance.
By showing our son that she had confidence in him, Allison began to help him instill a confidence in himself that had disappeared through nursery school and kindergarten as he saw kids younger than himself mastering the basics that were so difficult for him. Allison brought a mix of firmness, patience, quiet warmth with an intuitive sense of how to reach him and break down his defenses around learning combined with a deep knowledge of Wilson, Orton-Gillingham, and other techniques for teaching kids with language based learning disabilities.
Our son entered first grade ready to learn and continued to make strides. Now in 7th grade, he is a voracious learner, and still attends a school for kids with language based learning disabilities, but he reads at grade level and is continuing to make gains in his reading. He also continues to have a bond with Allison and will readily say she is his favorite teacher EVER, because of that summer seven years ago. We have seen Allison in action and have no doubt that she brings to her tutoring an individualized approach, drawing from a depth of knowledge and experience."