By: Courtney Tolinski, Ph.D., LP, NCSP
As a psychologist, one of my most frequently asked questions from parents is about local resources. While parents often appreciate learning about their child’s strengths as a learner, they want to know the best places to take their child to help them improve their reading. While we’re fortunate to have some amazing local resources in the Colorado area, it can be hard to figure out which ones are worth your time. Here are my five best local recommendations for children with dyslexia:
- Rocky Mountain Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (www.idarmb.org). The International Dyslexia Association is an amazing resource to help you discover local and national supports. On the Rocky Mountain Branch’s local site, you can download a list of highly vetted providers, including reading tutors, therapy supports, psychoeducational testing and specialized schools for children with dyslexia, as well as information about upcoming events for parents and children.
- EXL Learning (www.exllearning.com). If you are looking for tutoring support to help your child improve their reading skills, then check out eXL Learning. They offer year-round academic support in reading, writing and math and executive functioning coaching to help improve study and organizational skills. If tutoring during the school year seems unmanageable, then I would recommend checking out their summer camps, which utilize the evidenced-based Orton-Gillingham method to help train struggling readers.
- CO KID (www.Cokid.org): Colorado Kid is a local parent organization that helps provide support and advocacy for parents of a child with dyslexia. They have local branches throughout Colorado that are highly worth exploring.
- Havern School (www.havernschool.org): Havern School is a specialized school for children K-8 with learning disabilities in Littleton. Havern offers low student to teacher ratios (4:1) in all core academic subjects and therapy supports for speech, motor skills and social skills. All of Havern’s teachers are highly trained in the Orton-Gillingham method, which is a multi-sensory, evidence-based intervention for children that’s been proven to be effective for children with dyslexia. For more information on Havern, contact the admissions team here.
Learning Ally (www.learningally.org): Although Learning Ally is a national resource, many local school districts offer free accounts through the otherwise paid service to offer children with dyslexia access to audio books. Listening to books on tape is a great way for children with dyslexia to engage in reading, as it helps to improve comprehension. Check with your child’s school to see if Learning Ally is available to them.
Courtney Tolinski, Ph.D., LP, NCSP
Dr. Courtney Tolinski is a clinical and educational psychologist and the Director of the Learning Evaluation Center. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and her Master of Arts in School and Community Psychology and Doctorate degree in Educational Psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. Courtney has been working with children and families as a clinical and school psychologist for the past ten years. She has worked with children, adolescents and young adults, ages two through 25, in a variety of settings, including schools, outpatient mental health clinics and psychiatric hospitals. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and an active member of the National Association for School Psychologists as well as the Colorado Society of School Psychologists.