I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
Dr. Seuss

Should you get private reading intervention when you find out your child is struggling with reading or has been diagnosed with a learning disability or do you seek the public reading intervention option (the school?)

Perhaps the perspective from an experienced Educational Therapist will help you. Listed below are the private reading intervention options listed on this page.

You will also find:


Often times, teachers moonlight as tutors. Private tutors will often be less expensive than if you go to a tutoring center like Kumon or Sylvan Learning Center. Sometimes these tutors will even come to your home.

CAUTION: Although she might be an excellent teacher, the one you select may not be trained in how to work with a LD student. You also want to make sure she is trained in the Orton-Gillingham method.


Pulling your student out of school, private or public, is a tremendous responsibility. Many learning disabled students find that they like this home school option. IF done correctly and with the student in mind, the "left behind" student can quickly catch up.

With this private reading intervention option, the LD student is able to move at their own pace.  Often times, the curriculum in the private and public schools is not conducive to what the LD student needs. 

Home schooling can be a haven to students who have been bullied because other kids make fun of their disability.

CAUTION: Home schooling is not for everyone! It is a lot of hard work. Parents who are going to do this need to investigate the process thoroughly and even attend a home school convention and curriculum fair. They also need to make sure that they have a good support system with other home school parents.

Read Sean's Success Story to find out how an educational therapist helps a home school student.


Another private reading intervention is to use a qualified educational therapist. An educational therapist is more than a tutor. She has been trained specifically in working with children with learning/reading disability.

An educational therapist doesn't do homework with the student. She teaches skills the student needs in order to do the homework. A therapist will evaluate what reading skills the student lacks and then proceeds to teach those skills so that the student will become successful.

The educational therapist helps the student become a more organized student. Study skills are also taught. Often times the reading foundation needs to be rebuilt. This is done not with a one size fits all program, but with individualized plans.

NOTE: An Educational Therapist will be more expensive than a teacher who tutors. It is worth the extra cost! An insightful therapist will be able to pinpoint the difficulties immediately and will waste no time in setting up a program.


These are companies who have teachers, or others, at a computer in a central location to answer homework questions as the students communicate their question via the internet.

Most students will not get the same person twice when sending in a question. This service is not free. Some costs as little as $5 a month with unlimited access.

CAUTION: Do you know the qualifications of these people answering the questions? Some are based in foreign countries. Is someone else doing your child's homework without you knowing?


Another private reading intervention would be to pick a franchised company. One of the best known franchised tutoring companies is Sylvan Learning Centers of America. Everyone is familiar with this name because they advertise so much.

A couple of others are Kumon and Kaplan.I don't know much about Kumon or Kaplan. Kaplan does have excellent ACT and SAT prep courses. They usually have centers in college towns.

I have never been to a Sylvan Learning Center. However, I have had students that did not do well there before coming to me. SO before signing up with them, make sure you know what is "guaranteed." You will hear the ads say that they guarantee your child's reading level to increase by one grade level in just 20 weeks.

Sylvan is fine for children who just need a little coaching. Some students have never learned good study skills and that is what is causing them to fall behind. For the average student, Sylvan Learning Centers will be just fine.

IF YOUR CHILD has a reading disability which may be caused by ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, Asperger's or any other condition, BE cautious with promises that guarantees a grade level in a specific number of weeks. There is NO WAY anyone can predict how fast any child will progress and that is especially true for a child with a learning disability.

Children with a learning disability that is causing a reading disability need to be taught reading in a sequential, systematic way. If you enlist a franchised company as your private reading intervention for your child, make sure they have qualified personnel that will teach using the Orton-Gillingham method.

Make sure the teaching sessions are one student to one teacher 100% of the time. This is critical!

Some other programs that are based on the Orton-Gillingham are Wilson Reading System, Alpha-phonics, Barton Reading and Spelling System, Lindamond-Bell (LiPS) Program, Sonday System.


Deciding what intervention option to use should not be made lightly. It will take much contemplation on what is the best for your child, what your finances will allow, and if you are willing to carry through with any of these choices.

Because these are private sources of intervention, the sessions will probably be expensive. Also remember that reading intervention is NOT an overnight cure. In fact it may take a year or two.

The length of time depends on time spent in therapy, the commitment of both the student and the parents to do what is necessary and the severity of the problem.


There is GOOD NEWS! Even though there is no cure for some learning disabilities like dyslexia, autism and Aspergers, most children who learn the reading strategies can learn to read at or above a 10th grade level.

This is enough to allow them to have a job and even be able to go on to college for an associate's degree. Some of these students may even go on to get a Master's degree.

No matter what option you choose, the private reading intervention option or continue with school intervention, THERE IS HOPE. AND AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THE COMMITMENT TO STAND BY YOUR CHILD, they will be a person of character.

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