Frequently Asked Questions
Do you follow the school term calendar?
Our Orton-Gillingham lessons are offered from September through June and group programs are offered in the summer and throughout the year. Our school term calendars for our Langley and North Vancouver locations are available here on our calendar page.
What are your hours?
School Term: Our center is open from approximately 10:00am until about 7:30pm Monday through Thursdays. We are open from approximately 10:00am until about 5:00pm on Fridays, and from 8:45am until about 3pm on Saturdays. We are closed on Sundays and statutory holidays.
Summer: Our centre is open weekly from Monday through Friday for morning programs and afternoon 1:1 sessions from about 8:30am until 3:30pm for five or six weeks in total during July and August. Our centres may also be open for training during some of the summer. We are closed on weekends during the summer. Our weekly schedule is available here on our calendar page.
The school support team is preparing an IEP for my child. I'm confused about this process. Can you help?
An Individualized Education Plan is an important tool for the school team of many of our students who struggle with learning. Parents may find the following website helpful as an overall guide when beginning the process: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/specialed/iepssn.htm
Our current families may request additional support from our directors. Please contact us for details.
Can you provide references from families you've helped in the past?
We are pleased to be able to provide testimonials from some of our past and current families. Please click here to go to our testimonials page.
How do I set up tutoring lessons?
If you have been referred to REACH or if you would like to register with REACH without a prior referral, call our centre to see if there are openings available. Once a tutoring time is available, an appointment is made to discuss the particular needs of your child and review any previous assessments that may have been conducted and ensure that REACH will be a good fit for your child.
What happens after I register for tutoring?
Once a child is registered for one-to-one OG tutoring, they will meet with one of our directors who will conduct one or more standardized tests to determine a baseline for your child’s reading and spelling abilities. The following lesson will be with their tutor, who will conduct an Orton-Gillingham diagnostic lesson to determine where your child is in the scope of sequence of language skills as taught by an OG practitioner. From these base lines, the tutor and the director will determine where to best begin with your child, developing a course of action to help your child with their literacy skills.
How much does it cost for one-to-one lessons?
Fees for tutoring sessions vary dependent on if the tutoring is in a small group or 1 on 1, and on a scale depending on how many days per week and which days the tutoring is scheduled. Fees are charged for school term tutoring for scheduled hours during the school year, then prorated and withdrawn monthly on pre-authorized debit from a chequing account making the school fees easier to budget.
Please call our Langley centre (604-888-8831) or our North Vancouver centre (604-987-6760) for specific information based on our availability to support your child.
Are there grants available to help pay for lessons?
Some of our families have been successful in receiving generous grants from Variety, the Children's Charity or from CKNW Orphan's Fund. Sometimes, families participating in homeschooling or distance learning have been supported by some funding through their homeschool or DL group. Students who receive funding through the Autism Funding unit are able to direct some of their AFU funds to REACH.
Can I sit with my child while they're doing their lesson?
We believe in open communication. Therefore, families will find that our centres are designed so that families can see or hear lessons from the waiting area as they are occurring. That said, we find that our students benefit most from their tutoring hour with the least amount of distraction. Since having a parent or other family member sit nearby may cause some performance anxiety, we encourage parents to listen to lessons from our open parent waiting area. If you would like a closer observation on a particular day, please connect with your centre director prior to that lesson so that we can arrange a good observation point for you.
What happens if my child is sick on their lesson day?
If your child is ill, they should not come to tutoring as they will not be able to fully absorb the content of their lesson, while risking both their own health along with the health of their tutor.
We are happy to provide three make up days each year that you may take advantage of. To take advantage of these make up lessons, simply call our centre. Please see our current school year calendar for our upcoming make up days.
What is Orton-Gillingham?
The term “Orton-Gillingham”, or “O-G”, refers to an approach to teaching, rather than a set program. The Orton-Gillingham approach grew out of the work of Dr. Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948) and Anna Gillingham (1878-1963). Dr. Orton, a professor of neuropsychiatry and neuropathology at the Neurological Institute of Columbia University, was a pioneer in focusing attention on language differences by bringing together neuropsychiatric information and principles of remediation. As early as 1925, he had identified the syndrome of developmental reading disability, separated it from mental defect and brain damage, and offered a physiological explanation with a favorable prognosis. Anna Gillingham was a gifted educator and psychologist who worked with Dr. Orton. Ms. Gillingham trained teachers in this remedial approach to teaching students with dyslexia and compiled and published instructional materials with Bessie W. Stillman. The Orton-Gillingham approach, first introduced in the 1920’s, is still widely in use today across Canada, USA and other countries.
Specifically, letters which represent the single sounds of familiar speech are presented to the student, then immediately synthesized into words that carry meaning. By introducing the letters simultaneously through hearing, seeing, and feeling, the student's weaknesses are lessened by integrating all of his learning pathways. This multisensory approach helps to ensure automatic memory which is so difficult for those who lack natural facility in language learning. Progress is made by going from the simple to the more complex tasks, building in much reinforcement, and proceeding as fast as possible but as slowly as necessary to master the basic elements. Careful pacing, structured but not programmed procedures, and a sequential presentation combining reading, writing, and spelling will help the student succeed.
The structure of the approach often helps to organize the student's general way of learning and working. Its logic helps him where his memory fails and when he encounters unknown words. Its step-by-step progression leads to a sense of mastery and competence.
Are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) learning disabilities?
ADD and ADHD are behavioral disorders. Many students with attention difficulties also struggle with learning due to "missing" the information when it was taught to them. An individual can have more than one learning or behavioral disability. In various studies as many as 50% of those diagnosed with a learning or reading difference have also been diagnosed with ADHD. Although disabilities may co-occur, one is not the cause of the other.
How common are language-based learning disabilities?
- 15-20% of the population are affected by a language-based learning disability.
- Of the students with specific learning disabilities receiving special education services, 70-80% have deficits in reading.
- Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties.
- Dyslexia affects males and females nearly equally, and people from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds as well.
Will REACH diagnose my child for dyslexia?
We are privileged to be affiliated with Dr. Gavin Reid, who is a world-renowned expert in dyslexia and learning styles. When Dr. Reid is in the country, he is willing to conduct a limited number of assessments. If Dr. Reid is not available or if you wish to consult with other psychologists in your area, we may be able to help you with contacts. Please contact our office for details.
Why can't any teacher read about OG and tutor/ teach my child?
The Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching and remediation of a learning disability is scientifically sound, research-based and involves intensive training and practice. It is firmly supported that prescriptive, multisensory, research-based remedial teaching can not be "picked up" by simply reading a book or two on the subject.
Our specialists have all undergone intensive training from a recognized Orton-Gillingham training academy in Canada or the USA. In addition to their other university work, our Practitioners are certified Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and also benefit from ongoing support from our founder, who is a respected international Orton-Gillingham/ MSL expert. Our centre was the first fully accredited Orton-Gillingham centre in Canada.
Families come to REACH by referral from a psychologist or teacher, or when it is important to them to provide the most knowledgeable and experienced individuals to help with their child's learning difficulty.
- Basic Facts about Dyslexia: What Every Layperson Ought to Know - Copyright 1993, 2nd ed. 1998. The International Dyslexia Association, Baltimore, MD.
- Learning Disabilities: Information, Strategies, Resources - Copyright 2000. Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities, a collaboration of the leading U.S. non-profit learning disabilities organization. Used with permission.
- Research studies sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.