Back to school time is full of lots of preparation and planning, especially this year – with some students heading back to the classroom for the first time in over a year.
In addition to school supply shopping, completing summer work, and re-establishing routines, it’s wise to revisit who you may need to line up in your “school support squad.”
If you find your child needs additional academic services due to a suspected learning difference, our team at The Learning Center @ Wright Psychology would love to support you!
The Learning Center @ Wright Psychology
Since starting out as a solo practitioner 15 years ago, Licensed Psychologist Dr. Maggie Wright filled a void in the Louisville-area – helping identify and provide intervention for children with learning differences. She has built a practice sought after for its comprehensive evaluations and expertise in diagnosing dyslexia and other neuro-educational conditions.
Built with the same comprehensive philosophy and thorough approach (and the same longevity), is the Learning Center @ Wright Psychology – made up of a team of tenured, credentialed Dyslexia Instructors.
Learning to read the “Wright” Way
There’s no shortage of places to turn today if your child needs help outside the classroom. In this blog post, we’ll explore the people, processes and tools used at The Learning Center @ Wright Psychology and what sets us apart, including:
- HOW – An overview of the tools we use
- WHO – The difference between tutors and Dyslexia Interventionists
- WHEN & WHERE – The details of how we partner with parents and students
HOW – An overview of the tools we use
We provide dyslexia intervention via one of two methods: the “original,” gold-standard Orton-Gillingham approach and the Barton Reading and Spelling System.
Both programs are multisensory, structured, and sequential ways to teach literacy when reading, writing, and spelling do not come easily to students, such as those with dyslexia. Here’s a bit more about each one:
- Orton-Gillingham – this approach is named after Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham. Orton was a neuropsychiatrist and pathologist and a pioneer in studying reading failure and language processing difficulties. He’s credited with identifying the syndrome of dyslexia as early as 1925. Gillingham was an educator and psychologist. She compiled and published instructional materials in the 1930s, which became the foundation for the Orton-Gillingham approach.
- Barton Reading and Spelling System – an Orton-Gillingham-influenced program developed by Susan Barton. Like other programs based on O-G, Barton is a structured literacy intervention that encourages students to use all the senses to make connections between sounds and words. (Barton expanded the traditional approach, adding phonemic awareness activities and building fluency through repeated reading exercises.) Its efficacy has been proven through peer-reviewed research and its approach is consistent with Science of Reading data.
“The great thing about Barton is that you have the safety net of the structured curriculum, but each instructor is able to really bring their creativity and personalize lessons for each student,” says Abby Klein, Director of the Learning Center @ Wright Psychology. “With well-trained and energetic instructors, every lesson comes to life.”
8 Quick Facts about Barton Reading & Spelling
- There are 10 levels in the program.
- All students start at the same level and follow a structured, sequential teaching plan.
- A typical session is one-on-one and lasts about 50 minutes.
- Each lesson has 17 steps.
- If a student can’t complete the 17 steps within a session, the lesson continues at the next session.
- Students are assessed at the end of each level.
- They don’t move on unless they show mastery of what they have been taught.
- It can take between two and four years of twice-weekly sessions for students to complete all 10 levels.
WHO – The difference between tutors and Dyslexia Interventionists
From fellow classmates and former teachers to learning specialists at school or in commercial learning centers, tutors can come in many different forms.
“In the hands of a well-trained and experienced instructor, [Orton-Gillingham] is a powerful tool of exceptional breadth, depth, and flexibility.” – Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators
For children with learning differences like dyslexia, it’s important to have a credentialed professional who is well-versed and has expertise in leading students through very structured, intensive programs.
To become Orton-Gillingham certified, instructors must complete a two-year International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC)-Accredited Program.
Barton Certification indicates professional training that goes beyond the instruction provided in the basic Barton program. Instructors complete a 6-8-hour course in order to be certified. From there, instructors can advance through three levels of mastery by reaching levels 1-3 (beginner), levels 4-6 (advanced), and levels 7-10 (masters) You can find a directory of certified tutors on the Barton System website.
We have 5 highly-trained, professional Dyslexia Instructors on staff at The Learning Center @ Wright Psychology. Four instructors have achieved Barton certification (more than any other practice state-wide). Two have completed post-graduate training in Orton-Gillingham dyslexia intervention. And two instructors hold Bachelors in Education, Masters in Teaching, and are State-Certified Teachers.
Abby Klein, the director of our program, is an IDA and IMSLEC Certified Orton-Gillingham teacher. She is also a Certified Barton Instructor.
Shelley Schuhmann, BA, MA.Ed.
Before investing in academic support, it’s important to ask two questions:
- Do you use an Orton-Gillingham based system? At the Learning Center @ Wright Psychology we use Barton Reading and Spelling System, but there are more than 10 well-known Orton-Gillingham-based programs. Data shows that for students with dyslexia, this structured literacy approach is what’s needed.
- Are you certified? This confirms that the instructor has completed special testing by the developer of the system that they’re using it properly. You can find a directory of certified tutors on the Barton System website.
WHEN & WHERE – The details of how we partner with parents and students
In-person or online sessions are available. In-person sessions can be done at our offices or at your child’s school. Sessions at school typically take place when the student would be in special area class (i.e. Spanish). They can also be scheduled for before school or during After School Care. A minimum of two sessions per week are required. Summer sprints are available to expedite progress while students aren’t in school. Because of the number of Dyslexia Instructors we have on staff, we’re able to accommodate schedule changes more easily, ensuring your child’s instruction isn’t disrupted.
“We had explored many other avenues, none of which we felt were a good fit for our son. I think as a parent you just know when something is right, this team was the right team for us, hands down!!! Thank you Wright Psychology and Learning Center!! You gave us such light for a long road ahead!!”
– Parent of a 10-year-old
Interventions are based upon your child’s individual needs, using any evaluations previously conducted or our own comprehensive assessment (we do not require your child to have another evaluation at our office to receive academic intervention)
As part of your back to school prep, add us to your contacts! We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502.807.9551.
Our Learning Center would love to partner with you and support your patients as they embark on this journey. (Click here to meet the team.)
With more credentialed instructors than any other practice state-wide, we are passionate about our mission of helping kids succeed in school and in life.
Thanks for your consideration,