What can you offer my child?

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. Research shows us that at the core of struggles with reading and spelling is a deficit in phonemic awareness skills. (David A. Kilpatrick PhD 2019.) 

When we target this deficit, early learners can more effectively and efficiently embrace literacy learning opportunities. In essence, BOOST Literacy is offering hope for a brighter future.

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How does BOOST Literacy differ from a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Speech-Language Pathologists offer a broad range of health-based services to assess and assist children and adults. This can include assistance with literacy difficulties.

BOOST Literacy specialises in early intervention for reading and spelling by targeting phonemic awareness and applied phonics with the benefit of the educational context as background.

At times BOOST Literacy may refer children to a Speech Pathologist or Occupational Therapist if there is a possibility that the child’s issues may be broader than spelling and reading. A Speech Pathologist may refer a child to BOOST Literacy if evidence suggests that a BOOST in literacy skills is necessary.

Optimal outcomes for your child are the priority.

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What are your qualifications and experience?

Aside from a whole collection of academic qualifications, BOOST Literacy was created and is run by a mum of a child who struggled with both sensory processing issues and the acquisition of early literacy skills. If you think you are going  ‘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 a parent 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 Wellbeing 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 CF2A1190for 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). I have used this training and other research based strategies to assist many children to resolve their phonemic awareness issues. My own son has started on his High School journey.

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.

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I think my child may be dyslexic. What does this mean and can you help?

Dyslexia is a wiring issue. 35% of children are not born with efficient wiring for reading and spelling. An identification of the deficits in skills in reading and spelling can be immediately addressed by filling these gaps and BOOSTing reading and spelling. Early is best. A diagnosis in NOT required for reading and spelling skills to be enhanced.

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.

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I’m worried that my child is not keeping up at school. Can you help? How do I know if there is a problem?

CF2A1150A 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. 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’.

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HELP!! My child doesn’t even want to listen to a story anymore they are so put off reading.

The only sensible emotional response to continuously finding something too hard is to disengage.  Our strategies include scaffolding skills 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 more pleasurable when your child learns how to ‘crack the code’.

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My child can read OK but they really struggle with spelling.

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. BOOST Literacy develops skills at the base level of phonemic awareness and teaches a strategy by which children can learn to independently spell any word they choose.

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I home school my child but I need some help with teaching reading and spelling. How can you help me?

BOOST Literacy works with home schooling mums and kids by working 1:1 with children or supporting mums in providing training in knowing how to help. Flexibility is key. You tell me what you need, I will find solutions to get you on the right track.