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HELPFUL INFORMATION

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Referrals for Intervention and Evaluations

At this time, we are not accepting new clients, but are maintaining a wait list for intervention. Families and school districts can contact us directly at (860) 556-3925 or by using the contact page above. Please allow up to 4 business days for a returned call.

Please note that we are currently scheduling evaluations for the fall of 2023.

Insurance and Billing

 

A.L.L. Diagnostics & Consulting, LLC and the Language & Literacy Lab are committed to providing the highest quality care without the constraints set by managed care, and therefore, we do not bill insurance companies directly nor do we act as a participating provider for any insurance plans. Some insurance companies will provide out-of-network reimbursement for these interventions; however, there is no guarantee your insurance company will reimburse any or all expenses for direct services. You will be provided a statement of services that can be submitted to your insurance company should you choose to request reimbursement.  Please remember that reimbursement is a matter between you and your insurance company, Payment is due at the time of service and we also accept HSA and FSA cards. 

Click here for our No Surprises Act Disclosure: Your Rights and Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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What are your COVID policies?

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Why work with a speech-language pathologist on literacy?

Just like oral language skills (speaking and listening), reading and writing are language skills as well.  The reciprocal relationship between oral language and written language (reading and writing) evolves as a child develops their literacy skills in school. In the early grades, the development of reading and writing is very dependent upon a child’s oral language abilities (e.g., phonological skills form the foundation for decoding skills). As students mature, that relationship changes as they begin to depend more on written language to extend their oral language development. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have specialized training and expertise in the assessment and intervention of the full range of language modalities- speaking, listening, reading, and writing. SLPs who specialize in literacy use their expertise in language along with additional training and continuing education in the science of reading (e.g. orthographic mapping, morphological awareness, structured literacy approach) to provide targeted interventions that address each student’s individual reading and writing challenges. To read more about how SLPs support literacy development for students with dyslexia and other reading and writing challenges follow the links below:

What are the signs of dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a common reading disability that is language-based and impacts a student’s ability to decode words accurately and fluently. Dyslexia symptoms can look different across ages and grades. This is not an exhaustive list but includes some common signs. Please contact us to discuss your concerns.

 

Preschool:

  • Was considered a “late talker” or has trouble saying words accurately

  • Often tells stories that are hard to follow or has trouble sequencing events in a logical order

  • Has trouble learning a new word, even it was taught many times

  • Has difficulty learning and remembering the letters in the alphabet

  • Has difficulty recognizing rhyming patterns or learning nursery rhymes

  • Unable to recognize the letters of their own name

Kindergarten-Second Grade:

  • Has difficulty learning letter names and remembering the sounds they make.

  • Struggles to read familiar words (e.g. the, cat), especially when there are no pictures or other context clues; often skips over or confuses small words like “to” and “of” when reading aloud. 

  • Often substitutes words when reading aloud, like saying the word “house” when the story uses the word “home”.

  • Doesn’t seem to know how to approach unfamiliar words, such as focusing on the sound of the first letter or looking at the vowels for clues to pronunciation.

  • Has trouble hearing the individual sounds in words and/or blending sounds to make a word. 

  • Has trouble remembering how words are spelled and applying spelling rules in writing. 

Third-Fifth Grade:

  • Often confuses or omits small words like for and of when reading aloud.

  • Frequently identifies a word incorrectly, even after having just read the same word correctly earlier in the same text. 

  • Has trouble sounding out new words; if a long word comes up when reading, often omits part of it or skips over it. 

  • Has trouble with spelling, such as quickly forgetting how to spell many of the words he studies or spelling the same word correctly and incorrectly in the same exercise. 

  • Avoids reading whenever possible or gets frustrated or agitated when reading. 

  • Takes a very long time to complete reading assignments.

Middle School-High School:

  • Often reads slowly, omitting small words and leaving out parts of longer words when reading aloud. 

  • Makes lots of spelling errors, sometimes misspelling words in ways that a computer spellchecker doesn’t know how to correct.

  • Has trouble expressing ideas in an organized way or supporting an argument when doing writing assignments.

  • Avoids reading whenever possible or gets frustrated or agitated when reading. 

  • Takes a very long time to complete reading assignments. 

  • Seems to read at a lower academic level than the one at which they speak; may have a smaller vocabulary than other kids their age because they don’t like to read.

signs

What are the signs of dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia is a disability that impacts the process of writing. Students with dysgraphia have difficulty automatically remembering and mastering the sequence of muscle motor movements needed to write letters and numbers. They might struggle to get their thoughts out onto paper because it can be hard to write and think at the same time. This is not an exhaustive list, but includes some common signs of dysgraphia. Please contact us to discuss your concerns. 

  • Generally illegible writing (despite appropriate time and attention given to the task)

  • Difficulty spacing things out on paper or writing within margins 

  • Frequent erasing, especially due to faulty letter formation

  • Poor spelling, including unfinished words or missing words or letters

  • Slow or labored copying or writing

  • Has much stronger oral expression skills that aren’t conveyed equally in their writing

What is the structured literacy approach?

“Structured Literacy is an umbrella term that was adopted by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) to refer to the many programs (e.g., Orton Gillingham) that teach reading by following the evidence and research behind the science of reading.” -journal.imse.com 

 

The core teaching principles of structured literacy dictate that instruction must be:

  • Explicit- Each skill is directly taught without any assumption that the student will learn the skill on his/her own. 

  • Diagnostic- Assessments provide evidence that students have mastered skills before moving on. 

  • Systematic and Cumulative- There is a well-defined scope and sequence of the structure of language, starting with the easiest skills and building to more complex skills, with cumulative practice included as the lessons progress.

 

Implementing a structured literacy approach, students will learn the following key reading elements in the Lab:

  • Phonemic awareness

  • Sound-symbol associations

  • Syllable types

  • Meaningful parts of words

  • Patterns and conventions of the writing system 

  • Sentences, paragraphs, and discourse with longer texts 

What are some of the programs or tools you use for intervention?

Only well-vetted and research-based intervention resources are used in the Language & Literacy Lab. Intervention plans are carefully developed to address each student’s unique learning profile to target specific goals and maximize their response to intervention. Along with cutting-edge instructional techniques and strategies, these are some of the commercial resources used in the Lab:

 

  • S.P.I.R.E.

  • Sonday System

  • Reading Horizons

  • Language! The Comprehensive Literacy Curriculum

  • Equipped for Reading Success

  • Phonics Word Warm-Ups

  • SOR’ing to Summer Success

  • Secret Stories

  • Visual Phonics

  • Writing Matters

  • Inside Writing

  • REWARDS Writing: Sentence Refinement 

  • Vocabulary Through Morphemes

  • Wordbuild

  • Word Wisdom

  • SPELL-Links Wordtivities

  • Touch, Type, Read, & Spell

  • All About Spelling

  • Signs for Sounds Systematic Spelling

  • Spellography

  • Six Minute Solution for Fluency 

  • Read Naturally Live

  • REWARDS Multisyllabic Word Reading Strategies

  • Content Area Reading Success

  • Common Core Comprehension

  • Reading Comprehension Kit for Hyperlexia and Autism

  • Corrective Reading Comprehension

  • Language for Thinking

  • Language for Learning

What is a strengths-based approach? 

Students who struggle with language and literacy skills, often also struggle with self-esteem, confidence, and motivation for learning. A strengths-based approach shifts the focus from what they can’t do to what they can do well by drawing upon their strengths, interests, aspirations, and experiences to collaboratively tackle the challenges in front of them. At the Language & Literacy Lab, we firmly believe in the following core principles of strengths-based practice:

  • Every person has potential and the innate urge to succeed. It is their unique strengths and capabilities that will determine their evolving story as well as define who they are - not their limitations. 

  •  What we focus on and the language we use creates our reality. By focusing on strengths, not labels, and seeing challenges as skills to develop rather than deficits we can’t overcome, we work with students and families to develop individualized plans that help students reach their goals through a lens of positivity and optimism. 

  • Positive change occurs in the context of authentic relationships - people need to know someone truly cares about them and will be there unconditionally for them. For change to be effective it must be a collaborative, inclusive, and participatory process with everyone taking ownership of the student's learning.

strengths based approach
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