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Specialized Reading and Writing

Our therapists at SLS have special expertise working with students who have learning disabilities, including but not limited to; Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Language-Based Learning Disabilities, and Executive Function Disorder.

Some students may need specialized instruction because they learn at a different pace or have different learning styles. We further work with students who need to refine their writing skills, learn strategies for standardized test taking, or master note-taking skills.

We implement multisensory strategies and direct, sequential instruction. Our highly skilled teachers continually adjust the teaching style to suit the learner’s needs. We continuously seek out proven programs for students who struggle to learn from traditional curriculum materials.

We are excited to offer group instruction as well as 1:1 instruction in the area of reading and writing. 

Sessions will be provided by a teacher with a Master’s degree in Special Education (all grade levels) and a post-graduate certificate in Behavioral Intervention in Autism. This candidate is BCBA-eligible and has several years of experience working with individuals with autism and other disabilities. Sessions will be individually tailored to help students build the necessary foundational academic and readiness skills they will need to prepare for the upcoming school year. Additionally, SRA Language for Learning will be utilized using a multisensory approach in order to familiarize students with the language of classroom instruction, as well as provide the building blocks for both reading and verbal comprehension. 





The Orton-Gillingham method, based on sound theoretic principles, is a systematic, multisensory, and phonetically based approach that is highly effective for teaching reading, spelling and handwriting to learners of all ages. This diagnostic method analyzes a student’s strengths and weaknesses and can help those who have not succeeded using other reading methods. It can be used to teach both beginning readers and those who have some “holes” in their knowledge and skills. Structured and sequential teaching ensures that the individual experiences continuous and visible success.

The Orton-Gillingham approach to language instruction addresses the simplest sound-symbol relationships and logically integrates the auditory, visual and kinesthetic elements to reinforce optimal reading and spelling skills. Students learn the basic building blocks of the English language – the phonemes – and then progress to syllables and word parts such as prefixes, roots, and suffixes. In spelling, they learn the many spelling rules that govern the language. The Orton-Gillingham lesson plan integrates reading and spelling skills and builds in continuous practice and review. Students progress from the smallest elements of the language to reading books and applying their spelling skills when writing sentences.



Wilson Reading System


The Wilson Reading System is a twelve-step reading and writing program based upon the Orton-Gillingham philosophy. The program was designed to increase a student’s reading and spelling skills to a mastery level. The ultimate goal is for students to be able to independently apply these skills to their academic studies.

The Wilson Reading System’s twelve steps are direct, sequential, and multisensory, and go beyond the scope of traditional phonics. Students start with sounds and progress to syllables, words, sentences, stories, and finally to books, learning from constant review and practice. The steps follow the six syllable types found in English, and we teach the sounds that relate to the syllable being studied. Each lesson introduces new concepts while reinforcing those already learned. Students experience success because they read only text that contains what has been previously taught.



Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program

The Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing™ (LiPS®) Program provides specific instruction for students with weak phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to process the individual sounds, or phonemes, within spoken words. Students who cannot judge the sequence of sound units within spoken words cannot grasp the alphabetic principles upon which English reading and spelling are based. When reading, speaking, or spelling, they often add, omit, or reverse sounds in words. Research indicates that strong phonemic awareness is the foundation for reading and spelling success.

The LiPS® program teaches students to feel the actions of their lips, tongues, and vocal chords, and to notice and label them. Using this new ability to “feel sounds,” students learn to count, identify, and order sounds within words. They then use this “motor kinesthetic feedback” to read and spell. The LiPS® program enables children and adults to think, often for the first time, about how to read and spell.




Visualizing and Verbalizing® Program

The Visualizing and Verbalizing® Program for Language Comprehension directly teaches students how to better understand and remember language. Many students who experience difficulty with language comprehension (oral or written) are not forming mental images from the words they read and hear. They only grasp “parts” of oral and written language, such as a few facts or details, rather than the main idea. This is referred to as weak concept imagery.

The Visualizing and Verbalizing® Program strengthens an individual’s concept imagery. The student begins by verbalizing descriptions of pictures and then progresses, as mastery is achieved, to imaging words, single sentences, multiple sentences, whole paragraphs, and finally, to entire sections of text. The program improves student’s reading comprehension, oral language comprehension and oral language expression. The ultimate goal of the program is for students to transfer these skills to their academic studies. To help ensure this transfer, we also teach note-taking and critical thinking skills.


Call now to schedule an initial consultation 508-757-6981.