Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently asked questions

What is your tutoring all about?

We don't have a ready-made program. There is no such thing. We observe the child and assess how he or she is learning. We look at the visual and auditory perceptual areas. Then, we decide on a remedial course of action. We use a multidisciplinary approach. Our goal is to administer to the cause(s) of the child's problems and not to teach around them. In selecting reading curriculum, research tells us that combining programs is the best way to teach reading. We are not a chain tutoring facility and therefore can use any materials we believe will help the child or adolescent.

We also offer compensatory tutoring in math and the sciences.

How much does your tutoring cost?

This depends on the assessment findings and rate of learning. We (It's Academic and the Parents) decide how much time is needed for tutoring on a weekly basis. It also depends on each family's finances and the child's availability. Two to three times per week seems to be the average.

Who is our child's tutor?

All teachers are supervised by Dr. Howard Wiedre. Dr. Wiedre has over forty years of experience as a teacher and administrator. He owned and directed a private school for children with learning disabilities.

Each teacher has a degree(s) and a credential(s) in the area he/she teaches. In addition, all teachers are trained by Dr. Wiedre. They attend seminars and are required to keep up with current research.

What is the student to teacher ratio?

All our tutoring sessions are conducted on a one-one basis. We have no group tutoring.

When do we know when our child no longer needs tutoring?

First of all, your child's progress will be quite evident. Most importantly, we check with his/her teacher to see if he/she is meeting the school's requirements. Based on our assessment, your feedback and your school's comments, we decide to stop the tutoring process.

Is there a contract to sign?

There is a contract that states that you will pay your tutoring fees in advance on the first of each month and notify us of cancellations 24 hours in advance of a scheduled tutoring session for a full refund of the cancelled session.

What do we know about kids who are struggling?

What is the most effective form of instruction? Again, it must be clear, systematic and explicit. Kids shouldn't be guessing from pictures or from context. The program should be well scaffolded with new information being linked explicitly with concepts already learned. If kids are asked to guess words they don't pronounce well…by looking at a picture or reading around the word using context, those aren't strong strategies at all. Good readers don't use surrounding context, they use decoding skills to figure out words. Context is used to confirm if it makes sense. We are "here", but I also can" hear". Many programs continue to use guessing or "cueing" strategies as the primary tactic to decode unknown words.

Unfortunately the converging evidence indicates that this is an inefficient and counter-productive instructional element.

The above paragraph is an excerpt from an interview with Dr. G. Reid Lyon. Dr. G. Reid Lyon received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico with a dual concentration in psychology and special education. He served as a faculty member of Northwestern University and the University of Vermont. He has practical experience as a learning disabilities teacher, third grade classroom teacher, and school psychologist for 12 years in the public schools.

Perhaps Reid Lyon is best known for his role as a research psychologist and an advisor to President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush on child development and education research and policies He was one of the architects of Reading First – a Federal legislative initiative to improve reading in grades K through 3. He recently resigned his position as the Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institute of Health to take a position with Best Associates as a senior vice president for research and evaluation.

What is vision therapy?

Vision training/therapy (VT) is a subspecialty of optometry that strives to improve, enhance and develop visual skills through a prescribed treatment program. Patients learn to use their visual abilities in new or more efficient ways by participating in various vision exercises that utilize the use of lenses, prisms, patches and other materials and equipment. The overall goal is to alleviate signs and symptoms of vision problems, maximize visual and overall performance and comfort, meet the patient's needs and improve the patient's quality of life.

Vision therapy is commonly used for (but not limited to) the following:

  • Accommodative dysfunctions
  • Ocular motor dysfunctions
  • Visual motor disorders
  • Visual perceptual disorders
  • Learning related visual problems
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Sports vision
  • Strabismus
  • Amblyopia
  • Myopia control

Do we recommend vision therapy?

No. We recommend that students who are either screened with the Visagraph (and demonstrate areas of concern) or state that they are having reading problems that appear to be perceptually related, be further examined by a Developmental/Behavioral Optometrist. The optometrist recommends the course of action. We support the concepts and philosophy of Vision Therapy.

Students who have gone through vision therapy demonstrate improvement in perception that assists them to be successful in reading. For more information on this topic, please email

Why do some physicians choose not to recommend vision therapy?

There is no one answer to this question. However, there is a frequent response. First of all, Vision Therapy is not a fad. It has been around for many years. The fact that it has become a topic of discussion appears to be political.

A physician's response may be based on the Western Model of Medicine. Western medicine follows the ancient Greek model. The mind and body are separate and are treated separately. We have physicians who treat the body and psychiatrists who treat the mind. The Eastern medical model states that the mind and body are an integrated system and needs to be treated in an integrated manner.

Do you recommend one particular developmental/behavioral optometrist?

We like to work with Running Creek Vision because we believe that they do a comprehensive assessment and have a well-rounded therapy program. We do not receive any compensation for referring to them. We provide a room for vision therapy on our premises at no cost to Running Creek as a convenience to the families we assist.

The optometrist you choose is completely up to you. It is important that the perceptual issue be addressed. We want to see your child get the assistance he/she needs in order to have learning a smooth process. If you decide not to do vision therapy, we will continue to do our very best to remediate and provide compensatory skills to your child.

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