“What began at the age of 18 as a passion for working with children with dyslexia and many different kinds of disabilities has culminated with me running a full-time private and small-group learning disabilities tutorial service as a dyslexic tutor in Atlanta. My post-degree training, which included Orton-Gillingham phonics, came directly from David Schenck, Atlanta’s resident scholar and leading expert on dyslexia and founder of the Schenck School. Mr. Schenck was courageous enough to hire me in 1978 when I was fresh out of college to teach a 2nd-3rd grade classroom and to be the music instructor for grades 2 through 8. Many of my students had ADHD, which prepared me to be an ADHD/ADD tutor.
The same year that my son graduated from Emory University, my daughter was accepted to and received a partial academic scholarship from a fine liberal arts college, where she studied psychology. This same child—who in grade school could not string words together to create a logical, meaningful sentence—is now a prolific songwriter, poet, and the author of over 400 songs. The experience of successfully guiding her to adulthood makes me uniquely qualified to educate parents about their children.
An update on my daughter brings news of great accomplishment. After seven hard years, she graduated on the Dean’s List by working and attending class part-time. Upon celebrating her graduation, she told me that this diploma represented her greatest achievement to date and that it would have been impossible to accomplish without the support of tutors, accommodations, and my help editing papers. As I have always believed, our kids are special and very often in need of ongoing support during many stages of their lives. There is no quick fix as they are a long-term project.
Because I am a special needs tutor who has tutored many children with special needs on-site at their schools during the school day, I have an insider’s view of the school’s curriculum and philosophy. I can ascertain the teachers’ flexibility and willingness to make accommodations for different learning styles. I use this knowledge to help families determine which school would be the best fit for their child.