Key To Reading, Spelling, Handwriting, & Number-sense

Key To Reading & Writing, LLC

Improving your child's tomorrows, 
           For more information, email:  
                phone:  540-550-7628

"Our son has made more progress in reading, spelling, and handwriting with your specialized instruction in just 3 months, than he has in 2 years of public school!"
        - Jennifer Lapresto    
                  Gainesville VA 
The right instruction, right now!
Contact Us

 You can give your child the key to a lifetime of success!
Much more than a reading tutor or a general reading specialist, a Certified Academic Therapist  has the IMSLEC accredited training, understanding and experience to teach your child reading and spelling using the proven, science based methods recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.   Dyslexia - specific reading and spelling instruction is available on site, or at your child's home or private school in the Northern Virginia communities of  Gainesville, Haymarket, Manassas, Bristow, Nokesville, Warrenton, and surrounding areas.  

Without such highly specialized instruction, most students who are behind in reading and spelling at the end of first grade will remain years behind their peers. They will face a lifetime  of  demoralizing  frustration because   every test is a reading test 
                                   before it is anything else!

Children with untreated dyslexia may be labeled with "specific learning disability," or "ADHD," but most schools are not able to provide specific solutions. 

      Key To Reading & Writing, LLC can provide: intensive, individual, Multisensory Structured Language Therapy for reading and spelling that meets the dyslexia recommendations outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the International Dyslexia Association, and the International Multisensory Structured Language Council.
​      We thought you might be happy to hear about the long-term results of all your hard work... our son was below grade level in reading, and after your intensive work with him he gained the skills and and interest in reading that has launched him into the highest reading group in his class!
                                                                                    -The Murillos, Fredricksburg VA


How To Teach My Child To Read: Start with WHERE

by Susan Louchen on 08/17/14

If your child's academic skills are not consistently average or better, then he is unlikely to learn to read with independence through the efforts of most schools. Schools are experts in average, but rarely have either the training or resources to provide the many months of intensive, individual, highly specialized instruction that some students require to achieve independence. In these cases, parents must take charge.

Parents of struggling students have two options: either send their child to school daily, and then spend many after school hours trying to teach an exhausted and frustrated child what the schools couldn't, OR invest in one or more "therapeutic year"   at which time their child focuses on mastering fundamental skills which set the stage for academic independence. In the future I'll make recommendations for those who have to do the torturous school-then-home scenario, but today I hope you will consider the possibility of giving your child a "therapeutic year."

An experienced educator and parent who has transformed her child's life by taking charge, is Kathy Kuhl. Her guide to homeschooling a struggling student has been helpful to many parents: Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner.  When parents recognize in Kindergarten/First Grade that a therapeutic year is needed, students can often gain the skills for academic independence. When students spend grades K-3 struggling mightily and accumulating years of failure, fear, and frustration they desperately need a chance to gain fundamental skills, or will remain left-behind. [The colored text provides an affiliate link to the recommended material.]

Most struggling students will not miss anything of significance, to step out of the "school system" for a year or more. Science and social studies revisit the same topics repeatedly over the years, and can be easily covered through homeschooling. However to remain in a situation where a child participates in a charade of "education," unable to read and write independently does have dire consequences that is a strain on the entire family. To spend time enabling a child to develop strong skills in reading, writing, and math fundamentals is key to independence!

Just as an "at home mom" or dad is actively engaged in the community, a "home school" student has a wide variety of educational and social opportunities.  Parents often teach the academics that are their personal strength, and students also participate in individual and group lessons offered throughout the area depending on the topic and situation. Look to local news and social media sites for links to home-school networks in your area. There you'll find information and the simple guidance to starting the process.
By the end of Kindergarten many parents know
if their child is within the range of "average" in basic skills needed for reading, writing, and math. Those who are not comfortably within the "average" range are at tremendous risk of never catching up --because while public schools provide a PLACE for every student, they do not have the professional and financial resources to PROVIDE EFFECTIVE SERVICES for every student. Legislation cannot ensure effective delivery of services. Consider your alternatives!

What's in a name? Certified Academic Therapist, or Reading Specialist

by Susan Louchen on 08/05/14

"Effective instruction" enables students to achieve independence in reading at their age appropriate grade level. For dyslexic learners, effective instruction meets the standards of the International Multisensory Structured Language Council (IMSLEC) and the International Dyslexia Association.

A Reading Teacher (or classroom teacher who teaches reading) generally has training in "guided reading," which fosters reading through facilitated learning: students are given picture books and letter/picture manipulatives and encouraged to listen, repeat, memorize, guess, and generalize. Based in Humanities theory and tradition, this is effective for many students, but is often harmful to dyslexic learners.

A Reading Specialist in Virginia is a Reading Teacher with additional training in managing general school-wide curriculum and standardized testing.

In contrast, a Certified Academic Therapist has advanced Multisensory Structured Language training. It is based in neuroscience and Orton-Gillingham methodology, proven effective for the dyslexic learner.
MSLT is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Pediatrics 2011) for students with dyslexia, beginning as early as the end of Kindergarten.

Why Does My Child Need A Dyslexia Specialist?

by Susan Louchen on 02/24/13

Even the best general education teacher cannot give your child with dyslexia the one thing that is needed: the combined individual time (4-5 hours/week) and specialized expertise which is required to bridge some children from non-reader to independent, grade-level reader.

Would you expect your child to become a good tennis player by attending an aerobic class, or participating on a softball team (running and swinging arms are practiced, right)? Would you expect your pediatrician to do ENT surgery (they are both doctors, right)?  Should volunteers (anyone who wants to help, or teenagers who need service hours, or college kids who like to work with kids) deliver physical therapy so it won't cost so much?

Scientific evidence collected since the 1990's has identified the most effective instructional methods which enable those with dyslexia to read and write effectively. Multisensory Structured Language instruction (often called "Orton-Gillingham," after the pioneers who first identified the effective methods) has been practiced for over 80 years. However only in the past 20 years has f-MRI technology enabled scientists to quantify the effectiveness of instructional methods, and clearly identify the right way to teach reading and writing to those with dyslexia.

When students with dyslexia receive daily, individual Multisensory Structured Language Therapy (recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics March 2011) by a Certified Academic Therapist specializing in dyslexia, they typically become on-grade-level readers within 18-36 months.  Students with dyslexia who are reading "below bench mark" and do not receive such intensive specialized instruction typically do not reach independence in reading.

Ultimately, the least expensive and most effective instruction for students with dyslexia is individual, intensive Multisensory Structured Language Therapy provided by a Certified Academic Therapist. The younger students are when they begin this dyslexia-specific instruction, the quicker they can be working independently at grade-level.

Amazing! We are so proud of our son. We knew he was capable of this given the right instruction. We cannot thank you enough for all you have done to help us help him.

The harm of "waiting:" Dyslexia may not be evident in some until end of second grade, however most dyslexics can be identified before the end of Kindergarten.  Withholding the correct instructional method can cause learning disabilities, anxiety, behavioral and attention problems.

Don't wait. Get your child the right instruction, right NOW. It is an investment that will pay off immediately, last a lifetime, and influence generations to come!

  Key To Reading & Writing LLC

Certified Academic Therapist,  & Dyslexia Specialist:

Making independent readers and writers, right from the start! 

Specializing in intensive, individual instruction during the school day that typically results in independent, on-grade-level reading and spelling!  

                       International Dyslexia Association
             Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center 
        Virginia Home Educators Association