"Teaching begins with the basics and rebuilds the learning continuum step-by-step. Academic Language Therapy starts from ground zero so that no gaps remain in the student's understanding of language structure. Students learn systematic strategies for decoding (word identification), encoding (spelling), and letter formation."
Marvelous Kidz employs Academic Language Therapy through a multi-sensory language approach, namely "Sounds in Syllables" developed by Sandra Dillon.
Academic Language Therapy is diagnostic and prescriptive. Students' successes and challenges during one lesson inform the planning of subsequent lessons. Academic Language Therapy is cumulative, systematic, structured instruction that is written and planned for a particular student, or group of students, and is delivered by an educator with comprehensive training.
In structured literacy, teachers review previously taught concepts in each lesson and introduce new material to keep the student stimulated and engaged.
Following the advice of Margaret Rawson, a pioneer in the field of dyslexia education, academic language therapists guide their students to progress "as fast as they can but as slow as they must."
...substitute some words for others, such as house instead of horse or saw instead of was?
...confuse vowel sounds?
...use lowercase and uppercase letters inconsistently?
...have poor spelling?
...take a long time to write?
...find it difficult to smoothly blend words?
...have poor comprehension?
...display misuse or absence of punctuation?
These may be typical indicators of dyslexia in school-aged students.
"Ms. Katherine works as a reading specialist/coach at the school where I work. I had known and worked with Ms. Katherine for several years in this capacity. Last year I had a student that struggled with reading. He had difficulties sounding out words. His decoding skills were slow and laborius. His reading level was 'A' which is way below First Grade reading level. I tried to help him for some time and when I saw no improvement, I referred him to Ms. Katherine. Ms. Katherine worked with him 3 times a week for 7 months. After 2 months, I started seeing a huge improvement in his reading. He was able to sound out words and read sentences. Ms. Katherine was able to develop and implement a remediation plan that focused on fundamentals and helped my student get to grade level. After 5 months, my student's reading level was 'J.' Ms. Katherine improved his self-confidence and instilled in him a love for reading. Now he is in Grade Two and every time I see him, he has a chapter book in his hand. Ms. Katherine's experience and knowledge base regarding instruction is impeccable. She is a valuable resource to both teachers and students in my school."
Monthly tuition is based on frequency and location. Please complete the contact form for an initial consultation to determine your child's needs. Sessions are normally fifty minutes to one hour in duration. Tuition is paid monthly and due on the 1st day of each month. (For example, October tuition is due October 1st). Therapy commitment and payment run month-to-month.
Formal progress reports are provided to parents every six months to one year, depending on the student. Curriculum supplies and consumables, benchmark assessments, all parent conferences, and yearly reports are included in each student's monthly tuition. Marvelous Kidz, LLC, will also consult with your child's teachers, and other specialists with written parent permission, if necessary.
The significant, interdependent elements that make Multisensory Structured Language Therapy (MSLT) so effective for reading and writing are MSLT methodology, intensity (1 to 1), frequency (average 12-16 sessions/month), and duration (often 24-36 continuous months). Sessions typically occur daily: Monday through Thursday, year-round , on a set schedule for a minimum of 12 sessions each month.
Therapy can be provided in a number of locations: The Marvelous Kidz office, located in Herndon, Virginia, as well as a private or public school setting (additional travel charge of greater than 10 miles).
Katherine conducts community-based workshops and professional development for teachers. During the workshop, parents and teachers alike will:
Ms. Dickens is a licensed veteran teacher of twenty years. Ms. Dickens received her Bachelor's Degree in Communication from North Carolina A&T State University. After earning her Master's Degree in Teaching, with a reading endorsement, she went on to enjoy years of classroom teaching.
Her passion as an academic therapist came from feeling frustrated with not being able to fully engage those students whose reading challenges were beyond her scope of work. In order to find a remedy, she went above and beyond her line of duty as a classroom teacher to pursue powerful and effective strategies to be able to help those struggling readers as well as those struggling in math. Because she is an avid reader and ardent student, she learned how to effectively teach elementary math and reading using the same tried and true Orton Gillingham methodology.
She has over 1,000 certified one-on-one documented hours working with struggling readers as well as children diagnosed with dyslexia. She is now networked with local psychologists in order to provide services to a diverse population of students.
She enjoys storytelling, hiking, trips to the mountains, exercising, and most of all, time spent with her family.
We welcome any questions or comments!