We Learn Different, We Sometimes Struggle And That Is Okay.
I help ensure reading success for all students that learn in different ways due to Dyslexia and ADHD.
What Is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
-IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002
About Paula Williams
I spent 25 years in the public school system working with children by providing speech therapy and language intervention. In that time I discovered that there seemed to be a link between speech or language difficulties and reading development. According to many professional resources, speech or language difficulties was an early risk factor for Dyslexia. My interest in reading development was ignited and I soon learned that my true passion was teaching those who learn differently how to read.
Immediately after I retired from the public school, I began testing for Scottish Rite and tutoring students privately. I also provided contract testing for Greengate School, a private school for students with dyslexia, for approximately 15 years before going full-time into private practice. I have found my true calling and still consider myself a “team member” with the parents and students I test.
Questions About Testing For Dyslexia.
Parents often have questions about testing their children for dyslexia. I have provided some of the most common questions I get along with the answers to those questions.
A comprehensive evaluation is a critical first step in diagnosing dyslexia. Individual strengths and weaknesses vary within each child and identifying those skills will assist in creating an intervention plan during the optimal developmental period when your child is learning to read, reducing or eliminating years of academic frustration and struggles. I hope you will let me assist your family in taking this important first step.
What is your training?I have a masters degree in Speech/Language Pathology and have specialized in dyslexia assessment and intervention for 18 years. Prior to branching off into dyslexia, I worked for 25 years in a public school. I began testing children for dyslexia with the Alabama Scottish Foundation Learning Centers under the mentorship of Dr. Denise Gibbs. I have also received training in specific dyslexia intervention programs such as Language! Wilson Language, Project Read, Handwriting Without Tears and Spire. I completed over 120 hours of post-graduate training in the Orton-Gillingham method.
What licenses/certificates do you hold?I am nationally board-certified in Speech/Language Pathology and earned my Certificate of Clinical Competence in 1981. I also am licensed through the Alabama Board of Examiners in Speech/Language Pathology to practice privately in the state of Alabama.
How long have you been evaluating children?I have evaluated children for over 42 years.
What are some of the tests you use?I have a battery of standardized and non-standardized tests such as the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing, Test of Word Reading Efficiency, Gray Oral Reading Test, Test of Written Spelling, Oral and Written Language Scales.
Will you be able to refer us to a dyslexia or educational therapist?Yes, I have a list of area tutors qualified to help your child.
Will you meet with us and provide a written report after the testing?Yes, we will review the test results on the day of the testing and I will provide a comprehensive written report within a week.
If my child is diagnosed with dyslexia, what is the next step?The next logical step is to develop an intervention plan through the school and/or privately with an Orton-Gillingham trained tutor. This plan will include intervention goal and classroom accommodations.
Notice Early Indicators of At-Risk Children
The importance of early identification of children at risk for reading problems is well documented in the current research. Reid Lyon, chairman of the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) stated that at least 20-30% of young children are not identified as having a reading disability until after they have experienced years of failure and frustration. In many cases, remediation attempts occur too late for optimal progress.
Knowing the early indicators of children at-risk for Dyslexia could be potentially life changing for them.