Frequently Asked Questions
What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a weakness in processing phonemes, which are the smallest parts of spoken and written words. The English language consists of just forty-four phonemes.  These forty-four phonemes are combined to produce the tens of thousands of words in the English language. Dyslexia is frequently referred to as a deficit in phonological processing.  Dyslexic children and adults have difficulty recognizing and manipulating these phonemes to accurately read words. People who have dyslexia often struggle with spelling.   

How can you help your dyslexic child?

In addition to identifying and addressing your child's decoding difficulties, it is very important to recognize, honor, and build upon your child's strengths in thinking and reasoning.  Many very bright people have difficulty reading.  Unfortunately, our public school system has traditionally been focused on the written word for both instruction and assessment.  This has led to many bright children struggling needlessly. Children who struggle to read often need direct, systematic, and explicit instruction in reading and spelling using Orton-Gillingham, Structured Literacy methods. in reading and spelling. Unfortunately, this instruction is typically not provided in schools, even in K-2 reading lessons, and even in special education.  

How can you connect with other parents of dyslexic children?

Decoding Dyslexia is a grassroots movement driven by families, educators and professionals.  DD strives to raise dyslexia awareness and improve resources for students with dyslexia in public schools, and has been instrumental in the passage in many states of legislation mandating screening for dyslexia in the public schools.  DD has regional offices throughout the U.S. which offer monthly informational and support groups, as well as social media parent support groups.  Many regional groups are beginning to offer children's and family activities so kids living with dyslexia will know they are not alone.

What is an IEP?

An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a legal document created by a School District after a child has been found eligible for Special Education Services.  An IEP consists of a specific goals, and states a specified amount of 'Specially Designed Instruction' to be given to a child in order to meet these goals.  The School District is not required to state what methods, programs, or curriculum will be used to help your child meet their IEP goals.  In practice, multiple children with reading goals in a particular grade are usually grouped together for their "IEP time," whether or not they have the same learning issues and needs, and whether or not they are at the same level.  

Because schools are currently not legally required to provide the best type of service for each child's needs, many parents choose to obtain the reading instruction their child needs privately.

An IEP may also include accommodations the school will provide to help your child access content and be successful at school.


What is a 504 plan?

A 504 Plan is a legal document created by a school district.  A 504 Plan can include accommodations the school will provide to help your child access content and be successful at school.  A 504 Plan does not contain provision for Specially Designed Instruction.  

How does tutoring work?

Close the Gap Reading provides one-to-one reading instruction using science-based programs that have been proven to help struggling readers become accurate, fluent, and confident readers.  Sessions range from 50 to 55 minutes.  In order to be effective and to make desired progress, tutoring must occur a minimum of 2 sessions per week throughout the year.


I can tutor your child online using the Susan Barton Reading & Spelling System.  Online tutoring is an excellent solution for many families, and is being done successfully throughout the world.  

Let's talk about your child!

Contact me for a free consultation!