Find a Tutor
IDA Upper Midwest Branch maintains a list of qualified, scientifically based reading instructors. They have gone through an application process that reviews the certification or instructional program and supervised practicum (working with actual students during their training) that a practitioner has completed. If you would like to find tutors in your area, Click Here.
Choosing a tutor or academic therapist to work with your child or an adult can prove to be quite challenging. IDA Upper Midwest Branch wants to provide you with information that will help you make an informed choice, based upon the needs of your child, understanding what are evidence-based remediation and the knowledge and skills a well-trained tutor/academic therapist needs to work with someone dealing with dyslexia and associated reading, writing, and language processing issues.
Some dyslexic individuals may have minimal challenges, others severe, and most are somewhere along the continuum of this learning disability. Good instruction begins with a good assessment. This evaluation should pinpoint the specific issues the student has as well as identifying other factors (instructional gaps, executive function, and language processing issues) that are contributing to their learning difficulties.
As when choosing to work with any professional, it is important to thoroughly research the training and experience of the tutor/academic therapist. Titles such as dyslexia specialist, certified tutor, reading specialist, etc. can be used to describe someone who has had very little training (a few hours viewing CD’s or reading tutoring manuals) or someone who has extensive training in a scientifically based reading instruction curriculum.
It is also important to learn about the national certification organizations that IDA recognizes as accrediting quality training courses for the professional preparation of multisensory structured language education specialists. These are: International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC), The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Educators and Practitioners (AOGPE), and the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA). These programs do not follow a specific curriculum – they teach the skills needed to understand the structure of the language and the knowledge to teach reading and writing using evidence based methods. All of these organizations require comprehensive training, supervised practicums, and significant hours of practice under the supervision of an accredited training instructor. Additionally, there are training programs that follow a specific curriculum (i.e. Wilson Reading) and include the above training criteria.
As a consumer of remediation services, you may want to ask detailed questions about the training program, the method of instruction, how many hours of teaching are done under the direct supervision of the instructor (during and after training), what levels of skills the training covers, what additional professional development does the tutor participate in, and who has done the accreditation or certification of the training. To learn more about structured, scientifically based reading instruction, we have provided many fact sheets and resources throughout our website. Also, a highly recommended resource is Basic Facts About DYSLEXIA & Other Reading Problems (Moats/Hall) available at IDA.
If you are interested in discussing your needs with one of our volunteers, or have additional questions, call us at 612-486-4242.
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