Hello Ms Mackaness,
Thank you for your update! I have to share with you how elated I am with Julian's progress and share with you an at home success story. On two occasions Julian and I were talking-- I can't remember the subject matter. But I used two words that I knew that he wasn't familiar with. I asked if he knew what I meant. In one instance he did, the other not so much. I then asked him to spell the words that I used and to my amazement in both instances he was able to spell the word CORRECTLY out loud. He said that he was able to put the sounds together and make out the word. I could hardly contain my excitement.
Thank you thank you thank you. I told him how proud I am of his accomplishments and encouraged him to continue to work hard. Most of all, Julian and I, reflected on the work that you do and how blessed we are to have met you. I know that you can appreciate how wonderful it was to have a teenage boy recognize and say how much he appreciates his
teacher! You are wonderful and I can't thank you enough.
D. Gadsden (parent) James Island, S.C.
We got Garrett's PASS scores today and he did fantastically. Thank you so much for your fantastic teaching and special attention you gave Garrett last year in 5th grade! I wish you could have seen Garrett's smile and pride today when he showed me his scores. Through elementary school, Garrett gave all he could give and rarely saw accomplishments he wanted to be proud of. It brings me to tears to see him this way.
Julia D. (parent) Mount Pleasant, S.C.
"I came to James Island Charter High School 3 years ago, almost 4 years, with no knowledge of reading and writing or spelling. It was horrible not knowing what the words meant. I was afraid to be picked in class to read out loud, but thanks to Ms. Mackaness, the third most important person in my life, now I can read aloud to anyone. She helped me a lot over the years. Teaching me how to read, write, and spell.
I mean, look at me now, I wrote this story by myself to explain that it's never too late to learn. I came to JICHS as a Junior with no reading skills and because of Ms. Mackaness, now I'm leaving high school proud. She helped me, she showed me how to read. All I
want to say is THANK YOU Ms. Mackaness because of you I wouldn't be the person I am now."
A. Rivera - Senior at James Island Charter High School in South Carolina
Brenda was such a help me to during my training for the Orton-Gillingham Associate's level. I went to her frequently so she could review my lesson plans. Her background and expertise in teaching students with learning difficulties was such a resource for me as she offered many suggestions on how I could make my lessons more thorough and individualized for my student.
Suzanne K. (AOPGE trainee) Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Just wanted to update you on Lucinda's continued progress. Each time a report card comes home, I think of you and the expert care and guidance you provided her and our family at a time when she really struggled. Lucinda is now in third grade and was placed in SAIL (Gifted & Talented) at Orange Grove Elementary Charter School. She loves to read and I actually have to make her stop at times---like when she continues to read while getting out of the car and walking in a parking lot! She started the Harry Potter series at the beginning of the school year and is just finishing book 4. It is funny to hear her comment on how the books are better than the movies. She is very excited about getting the Terrific Kid award for the month and being on the Principal's List for this marking period.
Thanks again for all each of you do and the help you have been to our family!
Jacqueline B. (parent) West Ashley, S.C.
An outstanding Orton-Gillingham trained professional who teaches teachers and students using this unique multisensory approach. Brenda adheres closely to the sound principles of the OG approach to offer a seamless delivery of support to students of all ages.
I have had the opportunity to refer students to Brenda, observe her teaching and supervise her practice when associated with the OutReach Program at Trident Academy in Mt Pleasant, SC.
Brenda’s students earn the gift of knowledge through their development of reading skills so vital to all of us.
BJ Warner, M.Ed., M.S.
Certified Reading Specialist;
Orton-Gillingham Certified Teacher
Educational Evaluator in Private Practice
Instructor, Graduate School of Education, The Citadel
I'm Greg D. and you had my young daughter, Vicki D. as a student at Trident Academy several years ago. You helped her with reading issues at the time. Vicki is a voracious reader now and doing very well at the School of the Arts (rising 8th grader).
Best Regards from Greg and Donna D. (parents) Mount Pleasant, SC
Orton-Gillingham intervention was the only program that gave our son the foundation he needed to improve and build strong reading skills. The OG advantage seems to be in the extensive training of the instructor to narrow in on a child's unique deficiencies and specifically addressing those deficiencies by cooperating with the child's particular learning style. To me, it seems to be the only method that really works.
Parent in West Ashley, South Carolina
Completing the Orton-Gillingham Associate training has changed my practice! I am a licensed and certified Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). Before beginning this training, I worked strictly in the pediatric population with children that ranged in age from 1-18 in an outpatient clinic setting. My daily work was arduous and varied. The scope of my practice ranged from severely delayed or disabled children, often with a medical diagnosis, whose goals were to communicate daily wants and needs with his/her caregivers to children who stuttered or had a lisp. The transition from home to school life was a tough one for these families, and they frequently relied on me, as their SLP, to help with the change. One thing that was clear as these children became school-aged is that, even with an Individualized Education Plan in place, the majority had difficulty learning and retaining academic information at the same rate as their peers. Specifically challenging to them, were literacy-based skills. Although SLP’s have the specialized knowledge and experience needed to identify and help children with communication problems build critical language skills, my training for literacy development and treatment in graduate school was not extensive. In practice, though, I was expected to appropriately treat children with wide-ranging issues to develop their literacy skills, and I felt completely lost at how to go about that. I was experiencing frustration and incompetence. One of the mothers of a 12-year-old dyslexic student I was treating noticed my frustration, and she referred me to the Academy of Orton-Gillingham website. After some brief research, I knew that this was an approach that would be fitting for a Speech Language Pathologist. After the completion of my Association training, I can say that I feel much more confident and competent in providing the necessary intervention for the kids on my caseload experiencing language and literacy deficits. The Associate education has also helped me to specialize my practice as an SLP and focus on treatment of school-age children. As the field of Speech-Language Pathology continues to grow and expand, the expectation and responsibility for SLP's to provide literacy intervention will only grow. I think that more specialized instruction, as is provided by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham, is necessary to ensure that the most evidence-based practices are employed when helping these kids succeed at school and later in life.
Associate in Training AOGPE in Johns Island South Carolina - She is now an Associate Member of AOGPE - trained by Brenda Mackaness, Fellow AOGPE
My youngest son was diagnosed with dyslexia in the 3rd grade. As a parent, we knew something wasn't right when he couldn't grasp the concept that letters and numbers represented something more than a squiggle on a piece of paper. At first I thought because he was the youngest I had just forgot to teach him his "ABC's" but it soon became apparent that it didn't matter how many times we played with flash cards or how many times we tried to help him make the sounds the letters represented, nothing was triggering his brain to get this concept. After extensive testing and a diagnosis we got the prescription of OG. We hired Brenda Mackaness after receiving recommendations from the doctor. It wasn't overnight that everything clicked but it was the repetitive building of letter skills over months and months that our son finally was able to recognize printed text and began to read. After struggling for years it was amazing to see my child able to actually read. OG is great system for someone with a reading disability when applied correctly. Brenda Mackaness is an amazing tutor who patiently makes sure that a child has mastered a skill before going to the next level. She has been so amazing in our journey through grade school to middle school. Thanks to OG and Brenda Mackaness!
J. K. parent in Charleston, SC