BOOST Literacy has searched high and low to bring your child the most up to date and effective methods of elevating reading and spelling skills. Recent research shows us that the vast majority of struggles with learning to read and spell are related to the teaching methods that the child is exposed to. Speech to print approaches are key. BOOST Literacy uses the Speech Sound Pics Approach (SSP). This approach is based on all of the current research into the way the brain learns literacy skills. It is explicit, systematic and multisensory in its discovery or ‘cracking’ of the alphabetic code and covers all of the skills required for strong literacy skills. In essence, BOOST Literacy is offering hope for a brighter future.
Speech-Language Pathologists offer a broad range of health-based services to assess and assist children and adults with issues that affect speech and language. This can include assistance with Literacy difficulties. BOOST Literacy has a special focus on the skills involved with literacy from an educational perspective with some cross over into strategies used by allied health disciplines. Speech-Language Pathologists often use a speech to print approach to assist in reading and spelling difficulties. BOOST Literacy also uses a speech to print approach. When appropriate, BOOST Literacy works with Speech Pathologists to ensure optimal outcomes for your child.
At times BOOST Literacy may refer children to a Speech Pathologist if there is a possibility that the child’s issues may be broader than just spelling and reading. A Speech Pathologist may refer a child to BOOST Literacy if evidence suggests that a BOOST in Literacy skills is the highest priority.
If deemed appropriate, BOOST Literacy may refer a child to an Occupational Therapist if there is evidence that the issues are broader than spelling and reading. Optimal outcomes for your child are the priority.
Aside from a whole collection of academic qualifications, BOOST Literacy was created and is run by a mum of a child who ‘the system’ was happy to fail. If you think you have ‘been through the mill’ trying to find solutions, chances are I have been there too. This places me in a strong position to be able to empathetically assist your child whilst also guiding you as parents to unravel the complicated mass of information and misinformation regarding resolving reading and spelling issues.
I started my working life as a secondary teacher in PE, Outdoor Education and Health, Indonesian and Science. I returned to study and completed a Graduate Diploma in Adolescent Health and Welfare and a Diploma in Counselling. Further to this, I worked as a School Counsellor with a focus on proactive programs to enhance emotional wellbeing in schools. I have a particular affinity for boys who don’t fit the mould of traditional classrooms and children who are at various stages on the continuum of sensory processing issues. I have read widely in the area of Positive Psychology and Character Strengths. I began some more post graduate study in Managing Change and Innovation in Educational Contexts through Macquarie University. I am an advocate for change in literacy education in schools. The emotional wellbeing of our children must be the priority in the education of our children.
In a search for solutions for my child who struggled with reading, spelling and oral and written expression, I undertook a course in Multi-Sensory Language Therapy through the Australian Dyslexia Association (Orton Gillingham). However, it has only been through the completion of the Read Australia Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Conductors course that I found real answers to all of the issues that my child was presenting with. REAL progress is possible with speech to print (SSP). The core reason is that it makes sense to the brain and the brain is rewired for reading and spelling. When we expect our children to be immersed in written and spoken English all day at school, it is surely only appropriate that we ensure they have full access to all aspects of ‘the code’. Without such access, we create angry, frustrated, disengaged kids.
BOOST Literacy has at its core, the emotional needs of children. Like you, I want kids to reach their full potential by embracing the full curriculum through competence in core reading and spelling skills. It would be my pleasure and privilege to guide you and your child to such competence.
Dyslexia is a wiring issue. 35% of children are not born with efficient wiring for reading and spelling. Dyslexia can be reversed by rewiring the brain through a speech to print approach. In the first two years of school, SSP is used to prevent reading and spelling failure and in the middle and upper years it is used as an intervention to fill in gaps and BOOST literacy skills. BOOSTed self-esteem and confidence is a welcome side benefit. A diagnosis may or may not be useful. An identification of the deficits in skills in reading and spelling can be immediately addressed by filling these gaps and BOOSTing reading and spelling.
BOOST Literacy is very open to working collaboratively with psychologists who may have provided a diagnosis, by incorporating their recommendations and allowing results of assessment to guide practice. However, a diagnosis in NOT required for reading and spelling skills to be enhanced. BOOST Literacy is also committed to working collaboratively with classroom teachers who are open to a team approach.
A parent’s ‘gut feeling’ is accurate most of the time. Even when we resist ‘comparing’ our child to others, we usually have an idea if they are ‘where they should be’ or not. Dismissive comments like “boys are often a little slower to catch on”, “one day it will just click”, “we can monitor it and see how things go”, “they all catch up eventually”, “I wouldn’t be worried yet”, “nothing can be done before they turn 7 “, are just plain unhelpful. The above comments are consistent with a belief that learning to read and spell follow a ‘developmental’ theory. This theory has been discounted by research and we now view it as a skill deficit. As with all deficits in skill, appropriate teaching fills the gaps and removes the deficit. Result….happy, confident, competent children who can embrace the full range of the curriculum because they are all skilled up to ‘fly’.
The only sensible emotional response to continuously finding something too hard is to disengage. A speech to print approach will break down this resistance and show you child that reading isn’t too hard for them, just no one has shown them the way that makes sense to their brain yet. We go from speaking words to breaking them into sounds and then blending them back to words. This all happens through fun, engaging and game based activities aimed specifically at the deficits your child displays. Reading will become pleasurable when your child learns how to ‘crack the code’.
This is a common combination. For some children the ‘visual’ nature of print on paper gives them enough hint as to what the word is that they can read quite well. Spelling requires a whole different set of competencies due to the brain being required to hear the sounds in the word and then put them on paper with the correct letter choices. Many children have been expected to remember by ‘sight’ all words to spell and read. Again, this can break down at any point along the continuum as it relies on strong visual memory and recall of letters in the correct order. Often children rely on a strategy of asking “how do I spell….” which does not promote independence nor competence in written expression. Speech to sound approaches and SSP in particular develop skills at the base level of phonemic awareness and teach a strategy by which children can learn to independently spell any word they choose.
BOOST Literacy works with home schooling mums and kids by working 1:1 with children or supporting mums in providing speech to print via Speech Sound Pics (SSP) teaching experiences at home. Flexibility is key. You tell me what you need, I will find solutions to get you on the right track.
SSP works for all. Some non-verbal children have acquired amazing literacy skills through the teaching of SSP. They love the structure and predictability of the SSP strategy and that it gives them a voice. Currently BOOST Literacy is applying to be an NDIS Provider.