All therapeutic services offered by Brenda are available throughout the residential areas of the city of Charleston, West Ashley, Wadmalaw, Kiawah, Seabrook, James Island, Johns Island, and Rockville, South Carolina. However, assistance is offered to any parent/student/trainee in establishing a connection between an Orton Gillingham practitioner/educator anywhere in the US closest to the residency of the parent/student/trainee seeking services.
Services Offered for Students:
Multi-sensory, individualized, diagnostically driven, prescriptive, direct, and explicit instruction to students who have learning challenges in reading and writing. Instruction is set up in an emotionally supportive environment and structured so that the student is successful.
Services do not include homework support. Services are directed towards therapy for those who learn differently from many of their peers in the typical academic environment. It is a therapy in the sense that weaknesses are identified with basic sounds to symbol, symbol to sound associations in the alphabet. Often students with dyslexia have challenges with those associations, which is often the basis of their struggles with reading and writing. Therefore, therapy begins with a strong introduction of phonics. No progress can be made in reading or writing until this strong basic structure of the language is learned to a level of mastery. Therefore, services do not include support for reading, writing, or spelling content that is presently required at their academic setting in the grade that the student is currently enrolled in. The basics of the alphabetic code must be established in a highly structured manner, and the student is exposed to specifically ‘controlled’ reading passages (words within the passage are only those decodable words that have been explicitly taught) and writing material in a sequential way designed to build on previous skills. Within time, which depends highly on the responses of the student, the hours spent in therapy, and the support of the family, the student will begin to generalize their new reading and writing skills to the regular academic demands and requirements of his or her private or public school with renewed confidence and accuracy.
Services Offered for Teachers or Trainees:
As a Fellow of the Academy, I can instruct teachers, parents or interested adults in the Orton-Gillingham approach. At the present time I am only training those who are interested in attaining the Subscriber and Associate levels. I can also provide assistance in creating connections between trainees and Fellows of the Academy who are offering instruction at the Certified and Fellow levels. This connection depends on the place of residency of the trainee and the nearest residency of the Fellow who is offering training at these two levels. There are four levels of Orton Gilllingham training; levels begin at the Subscriber and advance to Associate, Certified, and finally to the rigorous demands of the Fellow, with recently created positions of Clinical Supervisor and Classroom Educator.
Details on this process and requirements necessary for each level is extensively described at the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators web site itself: www.ortonacademy.org, Telephone No.: 845-373-8919, Address: 4950 Route 22, Suite 8 PO Box 234, Armenia, NY 12501.
Services Offered for Parents:
Services include consistent communication of child's progress during therapy. A conference following each lesson between therapist and parent or legal guardian is available, as well as prompt phone calls and e-mail communication to ensure that all information concerning the lesson plan, goals, and progress levels are understood by parents. Services also include my attendance at special education meetings at public and private schools to inform the teachers/supervisors of detailed information as to the instructional content and progress of the student. I provide assistance with understanding terms and details of a student's IEP. I maintain records of assessments, communication, lesson plans, goals, and student's work, which is available for parents at all times.