Woodland Hall Academy (WHA) opened in 1975 in Tallahassee, Florida, as a full-time (1st - 12th grade) school designed to remediate and prevent the learning and behavior problems associated with the dyslexic and ADD/ADHD student. Woodland Hall is operated by the Dyslexia Research Institute, Inc. (DRI), a non-profit corporation.

The primary goal of Woodland Hall Academy is the remediation or "re-teaching and catching up" of students so that they may return to regular classroom situations, able to work successfully at their own potential or I.Q. levels. Another goal is to teach social values and appropriate behaviors so that the students will have happy and healthy relationships with other children and develop proper social orientation for adulthood. In short, Woodland Hall Academy's goal is to give the individual the necessary tools to adapt and adjust to the demands of society without undue stress or loss of self-esteem. (Woodland Hall Academy does this in a medication-free environment. No student at WHA is on Ritalin, or medication to control their ADD.)

Parents are encouraged to observe their children in school and work closely with teachers and staff in problem solving and accelerating progress. Assistance is given to the parents in developing appropriate behavioral management and training for their child. Staff members aid parents in setting up a home schedule helpful to the child.

The early detection of dyslexic and ADD/ADHD children is crucial so that learning disabilities can be avoided as well as the low self-concept and behavioral problems that the child develops when he begins to have trouble in school. Diagnostic testing is available through Hardman & Associates.

Academic Program: The Hardman Technique, a highly structured, multisensorial approach to learning, is used by WHA and all programs of DRI. This approach was developed by Patricia K. Hardman, Ph.D. Classes include reading, reading comprehension, grammar, composition, mathematics, history, science, auditory discrimination, writing, typing, computers, and study skills. The student is taught how to compensate for attention concentration deficits in both visual and auditory processing. The school uses a total life approach to learning with special attention paid to helping the student develop self-esteem and self-control.

 

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Provide information on laws concerning the learning disabled
Provide court and hearing testimony
Mediate with schools and colleges
Determine appropriate accommodations required by law

 

Provide seminars for parents, teachers, counselors, justice department workers, social workers, drug/alcohol rehabilitation counselors, vocational rehabilitation counselors
Provide Consultations
  On dyslexia and attention deficit disorders
  On diet and allergy control
  With colleges and vocational schools
  With businesses and on-the-job training
  Concerning ADA laws affecting those who have dyslexia, ADD, or related disorders

 

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In order to have a proper diagnosis and proper plan of intervention and remediation, a thorough differential diagnosis should be administered, which considers the entire syndrome of dyslexia and attention deficit disorders. No SINGLE test exists that can identify dyslexia. No IQ test exists that can identify dyslexia.

Diagnosticians should give a variety of tests which examine the individual's learning, language, perceptual, and intellectual strengths and weaknesses.

Diagnosticians may be educational specialists, speech and language pathologists, or psychologists who are trained in the field of dyslexia.

Questions PARENTS should ask when choosing a diagnostician:

1. What do you know about dyslexia? What organizations/conferences concerning dyslexia have you been affiliated with?
2. Does your testing give a differential diagnosis or do you use the exclusionary model, which is used by the public schools? (A differential diagnosis is the most appropriate.)
3. Does your testing evaluate the entire syndrome (characteristics listed above) of dyslexia and attention deficit disorders?
4. Will your testing report present specific information on how to address my child's learning differences?

NOTE 1: If a diagnostician continually keeps shifting back to using the term specific learning disability, then the diagnostician probably does not really understand or know how to identify dyslexia.

NOTE 2: An excellent resource for parents searching for a diagnostician is Testing: Critical Components in the Clinical Identification of Dyslexia, published by the International Dyslexia Association, Chester Building, Suite 382, 8600 LaSalle Rd, Baltimore, MD 21286-2044, phone (410) 296-0232 or (800) ABC-D123.

Questions ADULTS should ask when choosing a diagnostician:

1. What do you know about dyslexia? What organizations/conferences concerning dyslexia are you affiliated with?
2. Does your testing give a differential diagnosis or do you use the exclusionary model which is used by the public schools? (A differential diagnosis is the most appropriate.)
3. Does your testing evaluate the entire syndrome (characteristics listed above) of dyslexia and attention deficit disorders?
4. Will your testing report present specific information on how my learning differences affect my employment and social/emotional behavior as well as my learning?
5. Will your report give me specific recommendations for obtaining my potential?

NOTE 1: If a diagnostician continually keeps shifting back to using the term specific learning disability, then the diagnostician probably does not really understand or know how to identify dyslexia.

I. Perception 1. Impaired directionality or poor right/left discrimination.
2. Poor performance on visual-motor gestalt test for age and intelligence.
3. Field dependent perception.
4. Impaired auditory discrimination.
5. Poor spatial orientation.
6. Impaired temporal orientation.
7. Impaired coordination or gross motor skills.
8. Impaired fine motor skills.
9. Impaired reproduction of tonal patterns.
10. Impaired reproduction of rhythmic patterns.
11. Speech irregularities.
II. Processing 12. Impaired concentration ability.
13. Short attention span for age.
14. Slow in finishing work.
15. Poor ability to organize work.
16. Variability in performance.
17. Impaired inhibitory patterns or perseverative behaviors.
18. Low tolerance to frustration.
19. Impaired activity levels.
20. Concrete thought patterns.
21. Possible secondary emotional overlay.
III. Intelligence 22. Spotty performance on intelligence test, achievement high in some areas while low in others, high on some types of tests while low on others. Depression in intelligence scores.
23. Mental age on Draw-A-Man test below mental age on individual intelligence tests.
IV. Academic 24. Reading disabilities. (Oral reading and/or comprehension)
25. Spelling disabilities.
26. Writing disabilities. (Dysgraphia)
27. Expressive problems. (Dysphasia)
28. Mathematical and/or calculation disabilities. (Dyscalculia)
29. Poor performance on group tests that require reading and writing.
30. Frequent perceptual reversals in reading or writing beyond age and instructional level.
31. Phonological awareness problems.
32. Poor retention of learned information.

V. Medical and Family Background -- Genetic 33. More susceptible to allergies and addictions.
34. Family or personal history of allergies, diabetes, alcoholism, arthritis, migraines, learning problems, thyroid disorders.

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For 27 years, Woodland Hall Academy and Dyslexia Research Institute has offered a summer program for Tallahassee and the Big Bend Area. Children have developed academic skills and made gains which have allowed them to become achievers.

Reading, The key to success: Each student has two classes of one-to-one reading instruction. Taking into consideration the child's abilities, phonics skills and visual and auditory processing strengths and weaknesses, multisensorial techniques are used to increase the child's oral reading and spelling abilities. Vocabulary and comprehension strategies are emphasized, along with basic punctuation skills.

One period a day is dedicated to language development. In a small group class (5:1) students are taught study strategies and comprehension skills. Outlining and oral note-taking skills are developed with the older students. Children have a new understanding of study skills after the summer session.

Math: Math skills (numerals-algebra) are taught each day for two periods. Classes are small (5:1) and students have the opportunity to learn at their own pace with direct teacher intervention. Math concepts are taught using multisensorial methods which assist in understanding and retention of the concepts.

Testing and Parent Conferences: Students are tested at the beginning and end of each session. A parent conference is held to discuss progress and future recommendations. Parent seminars are held throughout the summer.


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The Afternoon Reading Clinic is a 4 hour a week (two day) one-to-one tutorial for children (ages 6-13) who are weak and/or struggling with:

a) oral reading
b) comprehension skills
c) handwriting and spelling
d) test taking strategies

Prior to entrance in the clinic, children are screened to identify strengths and weaknesses. Should the screening indicate that the Clinic is the correct learning environment for the child, a program of teaching and strengthening the child's oral reading, phonics skills, comprehension, handwriting, and test taking strategies will be developed.

Parents receive training on how to use a daily 15 minute review for their child to reinforce the information the child is learning in The Afternoon Reading Clinic.

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The Study Strategies Tutorial is designed for the college student, or student entering college, who wishes to develop effective study strategies.

Working one-to-one with a tutor, the student will learn how to study using multisensorial methods. Instead of just reading text books over and over, the student will:

1. learn different ways to use textbooks more effectively
2. learn to organize study time
3. develop memory strategies (not tricks) that match the way he/she learns best
4. learn how to retain processes and formulas
5. learn and use correct study strategies for the different types of tests
6. learn how to ask questions of the professors or teachers

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Dyslexia affects 10-15% of the general population. Unfortunately, only 5 in 100 dyslexics are ever properly identified during childhood. DYSLEXICS GROW UP BUT THE PROBLEMS DON'T GO AWAY if they haven't been properly addressed.

Dyslexia Research Institute has tutored and advocated for adults since the early 80's but in 1997 the first full adult program was developed as the Dyslexia Research Institute Literacy and Life Skills Program. (See links to DRILLS)

The dyslexic child and adult requires the same systematic, multisensorial structured language system with which to learn, but adults have many more life experiences and issues which must be addressed. DRILLS was designed to address the adult issues of dyslexia (emotional, biochemical, employment, post-secondary accommodations).

DRILLS clients come from a variety of backgrounds: college students, students in vocational/technical classes, drug and alcohol rehab clients, vocational rehabilitation clients, welfare to work clients and older teens who have dropped out of high school.

SERVICES at DRILLS include: Diagnostic testing, advocacy and consultation, tutoring in the basic literacy skills, job coaching, tutoring in study strategies and support groups.

THE GOOD NEWS! IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO ADDRESS ISSUES CREATED BY DYSLEXIA!

 

 

 

 

 

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