ISO Dyslexia Advice & Educational Therapist

We’ve recently learned that our 3rd grade daughter has dyslexia (and related eye tracking/convergence and gross/fine motor issues), and are looking for an educational therapist as well as any other resources or suggestions. 


I would love any experiences/recommendations on:

—choosing between Barton, Lindamood Bell, and Orton Gillingham methods for ET

—a specific educational therapist you recommend for dyslexia 

—a local FB group or other support/resource group for parents of kids with dyslexia

—any other resources or anything else you think would be useful for us to know or look into as we research and work through all of this 


We’re reading the books The Dyslexic Advantage and Overcoming Dyslexia, and we’re going through the long and arduous process of district assessment. She’s seeing an OT and the binocular vision center at Berkeley. 


Thank you!

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It was a long time ago, but my son went to three months of intensive tutoring at the Lindamood Bell center at 1625 Shattuck in Berkeley, and he had a wonderful experience there.  He was seven or eight years old at the time.  He went for two hours a day, five days a week.  His elementary school let me pick him up after lunch every day and miss afternoon classes, so he wouldn't get completely exhausted -- two hours of one-on-one tutoring is grueling, but it was effective.  Before he went, he couldn't read even the most simple easy readers, and after three months, he was more or less reading Harry Potter on his own.  

After Lindamood Bell, we hired a specialist to come into the school and work with him in his classroom a couple of times a week.  We kept her on through middle school (when she moved away, alas), and at that point I took over.  I had to reassess so many assumptions I had!  Through high school I often read instructions for assignments out loud to him.  For written assignments he would dictate his thoughts and I would write down what he said, and then we would go through and organize/edit/rewrite/proofread together.  It was a long haul, but by the time he started college he didn't even want me proofreading anymore.  

At his college he still gets extra time on tests, and he listens to most of the readings for his classes, using either audio books or the Optical Character Recognition program built in to his laptop, and with these two accommodations he is able to manage the work.  I would recommend starting to get your child used to listening to texts pretty soon, so that by the time they are in high school they're comfortable with it.  You can download audio books from the public library, and most computers now have OCR programs built in.  You can choose different voices and adjust the speed of narration.  

A laptop is so useful for a dyslexic student -- their own laptop if you can swing it. Spell-check of course is indispensable, and the OCR programs.  The Center for Accessible Technology in Berkeley has keyboarding classes especially geared towards kids with learning disabilities.  Also you can download a program for a typeface called Dyslexie that makes reading text on a computer/i-pad/phone easier -- my son never took to it, but my dyslexic sister swears by it. 

The two books you mention are the ones I would have recommended to you.  

There used to be something called the Parents Education Network that ran very helpful sessions for parents.  It has now been folded into Children's Health Services (www.chconline.org), a nonprofit based in Palo Alto, but I think they still do those parent sessions (maybe over zoom for now).   Their website has tons of resources and they run support groups.

Happy to chat about any of this!