Tutors for Dyslexic Kids

Parent Q&A

Tutor wanted for sophomore with learning disabilities Sep 14, 2021 (3 responses below)
Dyslexia specialist tutor for a 9 year old? Oct 9, 2020 (3 responses below)
Reading tutor for 7 year old Dec 15, 2018 (3 responses below)
Writing Tutor for Dyslexic/ ADHD 5th Grader Mar 1, 2018 (1 responses below)
  • We are looking for recommendations for an educational therapist in the east bay (El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, Richmond, Hercules, Pinole, nearby areas) that specializes in working with young students (my son is in 1st grade) using tactics proven to help students with dyslexia and disgraphia. We are open to tutors trained in Linda Mood Bell, Barton, Orton-Gillingham, etc.

    Please let me know if anyone has any reco's.

    Greatly appreciated!

    Laura Hoffman 510-798-9576.    She does the younger kids and has loads of experience.  My son worked with her from age 7-10 and we've had friends who hired her for their kids.  She has this gentle vibe that little kids, especially the anxious ones, respond to.  Highly recommended.

    Multiple school community members have told me how much they appreciate the work of Jane Ashley with their children who are living with dyslexia. Jane's practice is in South Berkeley, near Ashby BART.

    Our son worked with Peg Bogle <pegbogle [at] gmail.com> from age 8-13. She's 100% why he is a good reader! She also worked w/ executive functioning/time management skills and attended our IEP meetings. Highly recommended.

  • Hi-I am looking for a tutor for my high school sophomore who has significant dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and dyslexia. She needs someone who can sit with her and help her with her homework, as it has been a big struggle for her, and it's getting progressively more difficult in high school. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thank you!

    Try Classroom Matters. We have used a tutor from there this year and last school year. Both tutors have been excellent. https://www.classroommatters.com/

    I recommend Classroom Matters in Berkeley on Sacramento @ Dwight.  You pay privately and I think they do a good job matching up students with tutors. It seems to me that most kiddos these days who need tutoring have ADHD and/or dyslexia or other LD’s. My daughter had tutoring 3x/week via Zoom last year and it really helped. Executive Functioning was the primary help.  They reviewed her Google classroom tasks together then worked on HW. Often it was reading, her biggest challenge. It is expensive. 
    Are you working with your school system for accommodations via an IEP or other avenue? In my experience the dyslexia support in Berkeley is extremely limited. For example, in reading my daughter tested at 15th percentile which they considered “average” therefore not requiring additional help. 
    So frustrating!
    Good Luck! 

    I highly recommend Tilden Prep for tutoring services. My freshman son has learning disabilities and their approach has worked wonders for him. They have campuses in Albany and Walnut Creek. www.tildenprep.com  

  • Hi all, my 9 year old was just diagnosed with dyslexia, and I'm searching for an educational specialist / tutor so he can get some extra support.  The school recommended a few educational specialists, but I've searched the BPN archives and haven't found any information on them.  They are:

    Arla Samuels

    Janet Stuhl

    Polly Mayer

    Betty Peterson

    If anyone has had experience working with one of them - good, bad, indifferent - I'd really appreciate it.  Thanks very much!

    Hi - My son also was identified at age 9 to have dyslexia. He worked with Jamie Keller, an educational therapist located in Berkeley. She taught him how to read and write. And he loved his sessions with her. They were fun, and she’s very kind and supportive. He’s now a sophomore at Oakland Tech and in their Padeia English/social studies program and is doing very well with advanced curriculum. You can get Jamie’s contact info on her website: www.learnwithme.com

    A very close friend and I raised daughters together and her daughter was also dyslexic and saw Toby Mickelson. When my daughter was diagnosed with clinical depression and ADHD, she also saw Toby. Toby was incredibly helpful to both girls and I highly recommend her. http://www.tobymickelson.net/

    Best wishes for a positive experience. 

    My son, a dyslexic, has worked with Polly and Janet and has enjoyed working with both. They are both educational therapists which is more than a tutor  - they really understand learning differences in children.  My son has been working with tutors and ed therapists since K and it makes a huge difference. Feel free to reach out to me with questions.

  • Reading tutor for 7 year old

    (3 replies)

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for a reading tutor for my 7 year old son. He is in 2nd grade and very bright but struggling with reading. I suspect he may have Dyslexia but I haven't had him formally evaluated yet. His teachers suggested that I look into Orton-Gillingham tutoring outside of school. Does anyone know of someone good in the East Bay? Thank you!

    Google the Barton Method, then use the contact page to emails susan barton.  She will send you a list of certified Barton tutors in the area.  We have used several different interventions for our dyslexic daughter and this one has been hands down the best.  Good luck!

    Jane Ashley did miracles for our Dyslexic son. Patient, kind, and successful! Thanks to her he learned to read. She used Sllngerland which is a similar research proven method for Dyslexia.She Iives in South East Berkeley. (510) 601-9780

    My 8 year old son is a bright kid and also dyslexic and I all too well understand how difficult it is to see your child struggle. Even if you haven’t had him formally evaluated for dyslexia, Orton-Gillingham based tutoring is the right way to go as it helpful whether a child is dyslexic or not. I found a great teacher, Heather Hamiliton, that works as a learning specialist by day and tutors during the afterschool hours. My son has made significant progress and now reads at grade level and the bonus is he LOVES to work with her. Before working with Heather my son attended LindaMood Bell, which helped somewhat but reading was still a struggle for him. She really makes learning fun and focuses on building their resilience to handle the work. Heather's email address is msheatherhamilton [at] yahoo.com.

  • I am seeking help for my daughter to develop her writing skills.  She already has an excellent reading tutor, and I feel like she is well-supported in that area.  However, I am at a loss as to how to help her get her brilliant thoughts out of her head and down on paper.  It is making us both miserable.  I would appreciate recommendations for a tutor that has a special education background/ experience.


    We had the same issue with my dyslexic son when he was in elementary school. Speech to text programs helped and learning to keyboard helped, but the best thing for him at that age was having me take dictation for him. In 5th grade his creative ideas and great use of language were so far ahead of his ability to get the words of on paper. After keyboarding classes and years of typing with spell check and word prediction software, he can get his ideas on paper quickly and does great in school! 

Parent Reviews

RE: 3rd grader with dyslexia ()

Hi - We used a marvelous tutor, who is an educational therapist in El Cerrito.Her educational background is in dyslexia but she also specializes in math for kids K-12. She is amazing.

You might give her a call - Leba Morimoto - 510-292-8822.  Wish you all the best!

RE: Dyslexia, Help!!! ()


My daughter has dyslexia too, was having great difficulty keeping up with reading assignments, and suffering from self-esteem issues related to hear reading struggles. She has been seeing a private tutor since 2nd grade. If you are looking for a reading tutor for your child, I would highly recommend Nancy Welt (nanwel [at] sbcglobal.net). Nancy has really helped to support my daughter turn around her skills and confidence. Nancy has extensive training and establishes an easy rapport with her students. She keeps it fun and focused. I’m really impressed with the progress my daughter has made. Can’t recommend Nancy highly enough.  

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Tutoring or ed therapist for dyslexic kids

Feb 2016

We have two dyslexic daughters - in 7th grade and 4th grade - and are desperate to find them some outside support. The 7th grader has performed well up till now, but now that she is in middle school and being called on to write more and express more complex ideas on paper, she is really struggling with getting ideas out. As a parent, its painful to watch! The 4th grader did okay but is suddenly getting behind in school, and needs help with both reading and math. Its like she is starting to tank in front of our eyes too!

While they each get 'accommodations' in school like extra time, we have realized that their teachers and schools don't really understand dyslexia or how to help our kids. Both kids need specific, and different, help from someone who understands the dyslexic brain and how dyslexic kids learn. We are hoping for some recommendations for educational therapists or tutors or programs that might be able to provide our kids with help! Thank you for any recommendations!! A worried mom

I can completely understand how you feel. I was in your shoes before. My son had similar challenges starting 4th grade. With the recommendations from school, he started working with Loryn Hudson, an Educational Therapist. She is excellent!! She not only patiently and effectively works with my son, but also reaches out to the teachers, attends teacher-parents meeting with us, shadows him in school, updates us on my son's progress, and guides us parents on how to provide support at home. Now, 2 years later, my son has become a confident, self reliant and motivated, well-rounded student. He is doing very well in all areas in middle school! I can not thank Loryn enough for the difference she's made in my son's life. Her contact: (510) 589-2442 or lorynw [at] yahoo.com. A relieved mom

Reading Tutor for Dyslexic 8 year old

Aug 2015

Hello, Contrary to what the teacher seems to think, I suspect my daughter (8) might be somewhere on the dyslexia spectrum, given many problems that seem to be common to kids with dyslexia. I was informed that the school won't screen for it, so I am taking matters in my hands. I would like to have her evaluated, and I am looking for recommendations for both professionals who can evaluate her and also for reading tutors. As I am trying to get more familiar with this new subject for me, I realize there are many different approaches and methods to help a child with dyslexia and I probably need professional help to figure out which would work best for my daughter. We are in the Castro Valley area, but I would consider traveling a reasonable distance for the right person. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. Thank you. Jenny

Heather Sweeney is an educational therapist. She has worked with my son since 5th grade on reading, writing, study habits, and organizing homework. She has also been extremely helpful in explaining to him how his brain works, so that he has held on to his self esteem through middle school. There have been times when Heather came with me and my husband to an IEP meeting to help us advocate for my son. My son will enter 10th grade next fall, and asks to see Heather when he has a longer writing assignment. They meet at a cafe after school to work together. We live in Berkeley. I can't recommend her highly enough. Heather Sweeney hthrsweeney [at] gmail.com Ruth E

Hi Jenny. Our youngest child has had dyslexia from an early age. When he was in the fourth grade we realized he had it so we started sending him to the Raskob Learning Institute in Montclair after his regular school day. He spent an hour there twice a week and was really helped, especially with his difficulty in reading. He stayed with their program through the eighth grade and did well enough to be on his own through high school. On the advice of a college choice specialist he attended Santa Barbara City College for two years then U C Santa Barbara for three more before graduating with a B.A. degree. Both of these colleges have really good tutoring programs for assisting students with learning disabilities and they were free when our son went there from 2003 to 2008. There are other colleges which have such programs and if your child wants to go to I am sure Rakob or other college selection specialists can help you with that information. Good luck.

If your child is struggling academically you can make a formal written request for an evaluation and the school has to evaluate your child. School districts often do not use the term dyslexia but they will diagnose what they call specific learning disabilities which include dyslexia. Once you have made your request the school district has 60 days to complete the evaluation. The clock stops over the summer, so if you made your request now the evaluation would not happen till fall.

Some children with dyslexia are able to perform at school within the average range, and so might not qualify for an IEP, but they are still well below where they could perform with help. If you feel your child falls in this category a private evaluation and private tutoring may be your best choice. The kind of evaluation you seek really depends on your resources and your concerns. A full neuropsychological examination which can cost $4000-7000 can tell you a lot about your child's cognitive and academic strengths and weaknesses, their mental health and diagnose ADHD.

Educational therapists are trained to evaluate reading challenges using both formal and informal tests and select programs for remediation and implement them. You are right that children struggle with reading for a variety of reasons and it is best to figure out exactly what is going on so that you can target the difficult areas. I work with children with reading challenges and would be happy to spend some time talking with you about your options for evaluations. Susan R

Academic Coach/Tutor for high school son with ADD and Dyslexia

July 2014

Hello, We are searching for someone who can help my sophomore son get organized with his studies, and to improve his skills in writing. He has some inattentive ADHD and very mild dyslexia, which combine to create antipathy towards school. This is particularly true for writing and research projects, and for orgqnanizing himself. He does fine in math. Due to his sports schedule, we would need someone who can come to our home in Berkeley. If you have someone who has helped your child with these issues, we would appreciate a post back. Thanks very much! Anonymous Parent of High Schooler

Our son as a teen was pathologically disorganized and could not focus on writing text. What helped him was behavior modification methods employed by an out-of-state special ed teacher who was temporarily working as an aide (astonishing luck for our family!).

The task-reward system worked like this: if he could stay on task with writing an essay for 45 minutes, he got 15 minutes of down time. He asked whether he could accumulate the 15 minute segments to have an entire afternoon off. She agreed to this. He was able to produce writing assignments and later did well in college.

As regards disorganization with regard to materials, time management etc, I'd advise that you pick your battles. Can he program an iPhone or one like it to remind him of deadlines? Then the trick is for him to input each assignment or appointment as it is mentioned, or to write it down by hand and first thing each evening enter it into the iPhone.

Both our special needs son and our neurotypical daughter struggle with organization. But both have improved with maturity. Remember to provide positive feedback whenever your son shows some incremental improvement. Amelia

Emma Pollin is a tutor who specializes in study skills and executive functioning scaffolding. She has worked with students like your son improve their general organization and writing skills, as well as motivate them to complete research projects. She can travel to your home in Berkeley and help him regularly throughout the school year. Because she engages with her students and their specific interests, their attitude towards school improves. She works for Aspire Education Project, a local nonprofit tutoring company. Our number is 510-658-7500, and our email is info [at] aspireeducation.org. aspireeducation

Below is the review I wrote or Heather Sweeney earlier this summer. She comes to your house for sessions and works with many students with ADHD. She constantly goes above and Beyond: Heather Sweeney has been working with D for two years now, and she is fantastic. I called her when my hardworking daughter with ADHD hit a bump in AP US History in her Junior year of High School. At first she said she had no room, but after hearing our story she showed, not for the last time, her level of compassion by saying,'' I want to help her''. She comes to our house, charges very reasonable rates, and has helped D with study and note taking skills, writing, test prep and much more. She is funny, patient, smart and caring. D sees her as a friend and looks forward to their sessions. Also enjoyable are the ''tribal dinners'' when many of Heather's students have a pot luck together and have a chance to share stories. My daughter made it into her dream college and we owe much of this to Heather. Contact info: hthrsweeney [at] gmail.com r2dean

2nd grader with suspected dyslexia needs tutor

Jan 2013

I have been looking for a tutor for my 7 year old daughter, who is struggling with memory recall issues. We moved from abroad only a few months ago, English is her mother tongue but she learned to read and write, painfully slowly, with a lot of private tutoring in Hebrew. Since she can speak English, she is not eligible for ESL group in her school, and is not thriving. The teacher is concerned that she will have to be left back, and suggests that we consider enrolling her in a private school for children with learning disabilities (not mental incapacity), which, at the moment we cannot afford. We do not have a car yet, so I cannot bring her to Linda Mood-Bell or the other tutoring centres. We live in Albany and I need to find someone who can tutor her either at the Albany library or at our home. She is sweet, shy, loves school and loves to learn, but is getting frustrated and starting to believe that she just cannot do it. A sad mama. Sarah

Hi - I'm a parent of an Albany 2nd grader with learning disabilities, and she is getting help from the district. You should write a letter to the district, either to the principal at your school, or to Diane Marie whose office is at the Monroe Street building. She is the Director of Special Education for Albany Schools. If you child has a disability and needs special services then she may be entitled to help from the school district. You need to request an evaluation for your child to see if she is eligible for special education services and/or a 504 plan, which can give her accommodations. The district is required to actively seek out children with disabilities (child find requirement), so I'm surprised that your daughter's teacher did not refer you for an evaluation or at least a ''Student Study Team,'' SST. But don't get caught in the SST merry-go- round, if you want help for your daughter ask for an evaluation. The district must comply or give you a reason for refusing. If they refuse (which they rarely do) you can appeal this decision. If your child really does need to go to a non-public school for children with learning disabilities, there are ways to try and get the school district to pay for it, if they can't provide the services your child really needs. I'll send you an e-mail directly so we can discuss it if you like. Albany is better than most districts at trying to help kids with disabilities, but you need to get your daughter evaluated in order to get any help. Albany mom with special kids

Tutor for 13 year old with dyslexia and ADD

Dec 2012

Looking for an educational therapist or tutor with experience with these two conditions to help our son with writing. We are looking for some who is skilled and kind--a sense of humor would also be great. Thanks in advance. Anonymous

I highly recommend educational therapist Ann Levinsohn. She's warm, patient and has a great sense of humor. My dyslexic 13 year old loves working with her! She is also great with parents. I know that she works with kids who have ADHD as well as dyslexia. Her number is (510) 233-0539 Good luck!

My 16 y.o. son has ADHD and has always struggled mightily with writing. Since he was in 8th grade - 13 y.o. - he has been working with Silvia Sikes, an educational therapist. She has been a great boon to him. From his first session with her, he liked her! which is key to his gaining help from her. She really ''gets'' his struggles, supports him and has high expectations for him. You can reach her at writeon50 [at] sbcglobal.net or 510 610 8910 Anon

My student, now age 19, had an excellent experience with (and relationship with) ''Ann Levinsohn'' levinack [at] hotmail.com, who lives & works out of her home in Richmond; it was very easy to get to, very close to I-80. She was also an excellent ''counselor'' to both my student and to me, e.g. some great advice, skillfully delivered. Peggy

I highly recommend Nancy Welt as a reading specialist tutor. My dyslexic son started tutoring with her in the summer between 1st and 2nd grade and continued with her until sixth grade. With her help and hard work in both knowledge of reading programs and patience with my son he became a proficient reader and read at grade level by fifth grade. In fact in 8th grade scored Advanced in English on the Star test. He now reads on his own for pleasure. Something I could never have imagined was possible. Nancy really knows what she is doing and reaches the child on his/her level. I can't say enough about the help she provided me as well. Navigating the public school system with a child that is severely dyslexic can be extremely challenging. She was great with advice on what to ask for in my son's IEP. My son enjoyed working with her and she was persistent in her approach with him. Her knowledge and advice has been invaluable to me and my family and I can't recommend her enough. gf

Tutor for Dyslexic 7 year old

Sept 2012

I'm looking for a tutor that has experience with Dyslexia. My son is in second grade and is way beyond his grade level in math, so his issue is reading, writing and spelling. We live in Pinole but I'm willing to travel a bit for a tutor that can really help him. Also, if anyone has experience with getting help from the public school system in regards to dyslexia, that would be great. The school district seems reluctant to test him for that even though every teacher he's had has been trying to get him tested. It's very frustrating and private school is financially out of the question. Thank You. Anonymous

Hi, If you write a letter to the school requesting that your son be assessed they have to do it within a certain period of time. No SST, just assessement. SST is a student study team, this means and does nothing because you dont know what is at the root of the childs issues. No reason to sit around and talk about whether or not there is a problem, you already know.

It would be good to have an IEP so that he has a SLD (specific learning disability). Dyslexia falls under this catagory.

Do you know what grade level he is reading at? They rarely want to tell you. Ask them for his sri scores, student reading inventory They do this 3x per year for the report card. If they do dibels then there is a specific report for parents, ask for that. Keep it all in writing.

Earlier the better, dont let them talk you into waiting. Its worse for your child. There is no such thing as a pop in development. Speak to the principal, ask for her/his help and if the reading specialist can help since your son is already behind. Dont let him be pulled out during core , math and english, writing, as that causes more falling behind. Some skills offer programs before school. Ask the reading specialist.

Scottish Rite offers interventions, ucsf offers assessments, also ucb. Intervention asap is the way to go. Make sure its specifically for dyslexia and done by someone who is trained.

Parents Education Network in San Francisco is also a great organization for parents. Parents helping parents. A movie is coming out called the 'd' word! hah.

Be kind, be clear, and be persistant. Keep in it writing. wishing you the best. More than just Dyslexic

I can highly recommend Ann Levinson. She is an Educational Therapist based in Richmond. My sons have dyslexia, and Ann has been an incredible support to them (and me!). Her phone number is (510) 233-0539. Although my kids work hard while they're with Ann, they love going to her! They've both made great progress.

In terms of help figuring out how to advocate to get your son tested, I recommend that you get in touch with DREDF (google them) They're a locally-based advocacy group for kids with special ed. needs. An advocate will consult with you by phone (for free!). S/he should be able to help you initiate the process to request that your son get tested by your public school. You're also welcome to get my info from the moderator and email me. I have lots of experience advocating for my kids in the public school system. If your son is really good at math, and has come this far without the school insisting on having him tested, it probably means that he's really bright and has a lot of academic strengths. All of that will help him compensate for his dyslexia, and probably help him know that having dyslexia doesn't mean that he's not a smart kid. Good luck to you!! Feel free to get in touch if I can be helpful to you. Been there

Writing tutor for dyslexic teen

Jan 2012

My daughter loves to write, especially creatively, but needs help with structure in essay/analytical writing -- using an outline, organizing her thoughts and editing. Part of this is due to being dyslexic and also to look toward higher expectations of college. Can you please recommend a tutor for after school - someone who's motivational is great close to BART would be a plus. Thanks writing tutor

My stepson worked on his college essays for about ten months--from the Spring of 2010 through December of 2011--with Lesley Quinn. By the time they were done with his Common App essay and all his supplemental essays, the kid could actually write! I suspect he learned more about crafting a persuasive piece of writing 1:1 from her than from all his English classes combined. She was warm and encouraging but held him to a high standard. She also taught him about how to meet deadlines. www.lesleyquinn.com Good luck. --No Arguments in Our Household

Math tutor for dyslexic teen

Sept 2011

We just moved to Berkeley and we are looking for a math tutor for a dyslexic learner. He/She needs to have experience teaching children with dyslexia and visual processing issues. Sylvie

We have used Jane Ashley in the past for our highly dyslexic leaner. He jumped up three grade levels because of her amazing teaching. She specializes in dyslexia and is Board Director (or on he board, not sure) of the Dyslexia Society. She is great with kids and also works in the school system. 1934 Fairview Street close to the old Berkeley Bowl (Ashby and Shattuck more or less), phone (510) 601-9780. Happy

I cannot recommend Bay Area Tutoring Center more highly. Their tutors train for 6 months before being allowed to tutor. They are personable, warm, and truly individualize their attention. They cover many subjects, but each tutor specializes in a content area. They are teen friendly, have snacks, and make sure your teen feels at home. It is a well-run center, and everyone should know about them. Plus, their prices are much lower than other private tutors. They are located on Rose at Shattuck (although the address is Shattuck) across from CVS. Call them today because they will fill up!!! They have discounts for several sessions. The phone number is 510-849-2700. my kids needed math support

Tutor for 3rd grader with dyslexia

June 2011

My son Ben is in third grade and has dyslexia. A couple of months ago we found a great tutor named Larry Towler. Since working with Mr. Towler, Ben has made significant (mind blowing) progress in reading, writing, spelling, and memorizing his multiplication tables. Mr. Towler is a retired elementary school teacher who received training from Ms. and Mr. Lindamood and Ms. Bell (of the Lindamood- Bell method). He has good rapport with Ben and challenges him with lively and effective teaching strategies. Larry lives in Berkeley and comes to our house in Alameda to work with Ben. Here is his info: Larry Towler 510-776-8599 sg

Tutor for dyslexic 2nd grader

Jan 2010

I am looking for an educational tutor for my 2nd grade child who may have dyslexia. While she meets with her school's reading specialist in a small group sessions, she needs additional help with math and writing. Does anyone have experience in working with Phyllis Koppleman and Strategies for Learning? And the Mighty Minds Summer Enrichment program for 7 year olds? We have also been referred to Ariel Lenchner; however, her focus is language arts and we would like a broader approach to include math skills. Any additional recommendations would be welcomed. We live in Oakland and would prefer to nearby locations. Thank you! Anon

My daughter is working with a truly gifted tutor, Ciara Sanker. Her presentation of material is excellent, clear and well organized. If my daughter doesn't understand, Ciara seamlessly presents another explanation, and another, until my daughter gets it! This entire process has a cheerful and tender tone; it is no surprise that tutoring is always anticipated with pleasure. Ciara works with students of all ages, and has experience accommodating learning disabilities and different learning styles. She is an excellent tutor for math and science as well as humanities. Her phone number is (510-520-6782) and email address (ciara [at] paideiatutors.com). She is part of a small tutoring collective that's based in Temescal/North Oakland. Margaret

To the parent looking for an educational therapist, I would recommend Dr. Ashley Coburn (510-384-6069). Our daughter absolutely loves her and her reading (she has dyslexia) and writing have significantly improved since working with Ashley. Good luck with your search!