Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if The Reading Clinic is the right program for my child?

When you call the clinic and leave a message, we will get back to you and take the time to discuss your concerns about your child's difficulties. If an assessment is warranted, we would recommend that an appointment be set up. Through testing we can determine if an Orton-Gillingham approach will likely benefit your child. If we don't feel we can help your child, we will try to refer you to other professionals in the community.

Why do you offer intensive remediation during school hours, as well as after school and evening slots?

Learning to read is hard work for our students. They need to be rested and alert, and able to give us their full attention. This is why we continue to offer day-time teaching in the morning in addition to afternoon, after-school, and evening sessions. We also believe that children need time after school and in the evenings to relax, to pursue other interests such as sports or music, and for their overall well being and self-confidence. However, for those families unable to transport their children during school hours, we have expanded our programs throughout the day and evening.

How long will my child need to come to the clinic?

We recommend starting with 50 hours of treatment. Depending on the age of your child, these sessions would typically take place daily from Monday to Friday for 1 hour each day. If appropriate, 2 hour slots may be arranged for older students. A reassessment will tell us how much has been gained. Our goal is to attain grade-appropriate reading ability. Students with a large gap (eg. two or three grade levels) or who make slower progress, will require a longer treatment time to reach this goal.

The following flowchart demonstrates the standard process for our intensive remedial reading program. Instruction to improve only spelling or math ability is determined on an individual basis based on the results of testing and the student's needs.

flowsheet

If I take my son out of school for an hour everyday for five weeks, won't he miss out on important classroom teaching?

Because reading determines success in all subject areas, it is crucial for children to develop this skill first, even if it requires time away from other subjects for a short period.

"Reading is the most important academic skill and the foundation for all academic learning. If our children cannot read, they are on the road to academic failure. Teaching children to read must be our highest priority."

(California Task Force on Reading, Every Child a Reader, 2003)

Do you offer a summer program?

Yes, we run a summer clinic for a five week period of daily intervention sessions in our reading, math, and written expression programs. This is a good option for parents who are concerned about taking their child out of school.

Is there a lot of homework with this program?

Review material from the day's lesson - worksheets, books or games - generally takes approximately 10 - 15 minutes to complete. These materials are carefully selected to reinforce content that has been taught at the clinic so that your child will be able to complete the homework with confidence, either independently or with minimal help. This is a good time for parents to achieve an understanding of what their child is learning and provide lots of praise!

We are, however, aware that schoolwork places an additional demand on a child's time and energy at the end of the day and we don't want to overload our students. Parents are encouraged to discuss any concerns they have with the homework that is sent home.

Will I be taught how to work with my child?

We strongly believe that parents have an important role in supporting their children's reading. Be reviewing what is sent home each day, parents become familiar with the methods used at The Reading Clinic and can support their child's reading and spelling. Parents are also welcome to stay for any of their child's lessons to see first hand what is being taught and how their child is responding. We encourage questions and are happy to provide additional information to parents who request it.

What does a typical lesson consist of?

Throughout the lesson, our reading therapists are continually assessing your child's ability to remember concepts that have been previously taught to ensure that this foundation is not compromised by the introduction of new concepts. Some students can learn something new every session. Others require more review, so we would build this into the lessons. The goal is to progress our students as fast as we can without overloading them, and we are always on the lookout for signs of fatigue or frustration. We want our students to feel good about themselves and their ability to read, therefore having the flexibility to individualize each student's program is important.

Is your program expensive?

 While working one-on-one with trained reading therapist is costly, it is comparable to fees charged for small group tutoring of 3 children, where your child receives only a third of a tutor's time and attention.  At the Reading Clinic, all sessions are conducted on a one-to-one basis to ensure that every minute is focused on direct teaching appropriate to that child.  This allows therapists both to individualize instruction on a daily basis and to progress as quickly as possible, as they are not held back by the needs of others in a group.

We can arrange affordable monthly payments over time to make it easier on families. Helping your child to become competent in core reading, math, & writing skills is a crucial investment in their future.

How does the Reading Clinic's program differ from other commercial tutoring programs?

Unlike other tutoring centres,all of our therapists have undertaken training in an Orton Gillingham based, Multi-Sensory Structured Language (MSSL) instruction and are specialists in remediating dyslexia and other reading problems.  So too, we are committed to an intensive remediation approach of five days a week instruction (where desired) in order the maximize the fastest gains for struggling readers.  This involves 55 minutes of one to one interaction where your child repeatedly hears, speaks, reads, spells and has sounds modeled for him. Our therapists have logged thousands of hours of individualized instruction, and are committed to treating the whole child with care, creativity, and respect.

  Likewise, the starting point for all of our remediation therapies at The Reading Clinic is based on the results of a battery of six standardized assessments rather than in-house designed testing materials.  Rigorous and unbiased assessment and reassessment tools depict reading levels and gains with unbiased accuracy and provide a profile of your child's reading abilities in relation to thousands of their peers at the same age and grade level.

    The Clinic strives to provide information about dyslexia and has built strong ties to the Ontario Branch of the International Dyslexia Association,(ONBIDA).  As well, we provide support and educational materials to parents and connect them to other resources in the community.  We have also had a very positive response to our ongoing teacher training courses designed to broaden a basic understanding of Multi-Sensory Structured Language (MSSL) instruction for all students in our community.