We too have faced dyslexia's frustrations...
Kelly holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. She is a Certified Screening Specialist and a Certified Barton Tutor at the advanced level. She has tutored and screened for dyslexia since 2007. She is also a member of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and is President of Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of Montana. Kelly has successfully completed the graduate level course, Diagnosing Dyslexia, conducted by Susan Barton, who is recognized internationally as an authority in the fields of dyslexia and ADD/ADHD.
Kelly has 3 children and lives in Billings, MT with her husband. Her husband and 2 of her children are dyslexic. Kelly continues to help hundreds of individuals who are dyslexic take on the world.
Lesli holds a B.S. in Psychology from Montana State University - Bozeman. She is a Certified Screening Specialist and a Certified Barton Tutor. She is also a member of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and is featured in Learning Ally's directory as a dyslexia tutor and screening specialist. Lesli has successfully completed the graduate level course, Diagnosing Dyslexia, conducted by Susan Barton, who is recognized internationally as an authority in the fields of dyslexia and ADD/ADHD.
Lesli has two children and lives in Amarillo, TX with her husband. Both Lesli and her son are dyslexic, which peaked her desire to learn more about dyslexia and therefore changing her life from a full-time mom and substitute teacher to a spirited dyslexia specialist. She has tutored and screened for dyslexia since 2007.
We, Kelly and Lesli, became friends long before we ever discovered our passion for helping children and families with dyslexia. We first met while supporting our two young boys on the sidelines of the T-ball field, and an enduring friendship formed.
When two of Kelly's children began to struggle in school, we didn't know what to do or how to help them. Nothing seemed to make learning easier, so we began to investigate what could be causing their learning difficulties. When we found out that dyslexia was the culprit, we did everything we could to equip ourselves with the knowledge and tools needed to empower Kelly's children. This led us to become certified dyslexia tutors and subsequently enroll in a 48-hour graduate-level course taught by Susan Barton, a renowned dyslexia expert, that enabled us to screen for dyslexia. As a result of these experiences, Lesli discovered that both she and her son also had dyslexia.
Our drive to help our children transformed into a passion to help other children and families in our communities that struggle with dyslexia. Together, we started Dyslexia Screening & Tutoring Services in 2007 with the desire to help children with dyslexia reach their full potential, gain back their confidence, and excel academically.
Our Dyslexia Stories
I (Kelly) remember a day when I looked at my three children and felt so blessed to have such healthy, intelligent kids. Then when our son Reagan reached kindergarten, things began to change.
The teacher called to inform that us that he wasn’t learning letter names and sounds like he should be. She was concerned because he was very behind, and she needed my help. While I did everything I could to help my child, he continued to struggle to read, write, and spell. He repeated first grade, and upon finally entering third grade I learned that he still needed special reading help.
About this same time, our youngest daughter Berlyn was entering first grade. One day her teacher called to say that something wasn't right. She was intelligent but was being pulled from class to receive help with reading and writing.
As I struggled to figure out what was going on with my children, the word dyslexia came to mind. I had no idea what dyslexia was, so I began to research it. Bingo! Come to find out, dyslexia is hereditary. Not only did my two children have it but so did my husband.
Within two weeks I had access to an Orton-Gillingham based program (the Barton Reading & Spelling System) and began teaching my kids to read using this system. Before long, I was helping other kids from Reagan’s class. Eventually, I quit my job with Proctor & Gamble and became a full-time dyslexia specialist to screen and tutor individuals with dyslexia.
Once dyslexic, always dyslexic... and I wouldn’t want it any other way. My husband and dyslexic children are full of personality; they are articulate, intuitive, creative, and athletic. Their strengths are priceless. Yet my children are the lucky ones because we identified their learning disability early on. I hate to imagine where we would be today had I not identified the obstacle: dyslexia.
Now, I devote my time to working with the most intelligent, witty kids, helping them overcome this one weakness in their sea of strengths.
I (Lesli) began my journey into the world of dyslexia when I learned that my friend Kelly’s son potentially had dyslexia. While the word dyslexia was familiar, I knew nearly nothing about the learning disability.
One evening I began to casually research dyslexia and found it all incredibly intriguing. So much so that when I finally turned off my computer, the sun was rising! I found myself drawn to all aspects of dyslexia: the brain mechanics, warning signs, remediation, identification, and genetics.
My interest was partially due to that fact that I could see myself in all of the research… and my father... and my son. This was all so familiar to me, yet I had never encountered the word “dyslexia” in relation to myself. When Kelly began to use the Barton System to tutor her son, I watched and listened, becoming more and more passionate about dyslexia.
Soon after, I convinced Kelly to travel to California with me so we could take a course to master all that we could about this learning disability. We became professionals in the field of screening and remediating dyslexia, and in the process I discovered that my family tree was indeed scattered with dyslexia – my son and I both have it.
I began tutoring my son using this training, and in 2007 Kelly and I started Dyslexia Screening & Tutoring Services together. It has been my passion to identify dyslexia as the cause of frustration for so many individuals, and I am driven to help my students gain skills in reading, writing, and spelling. I love seeing their self-esteem restored!
Now, I embrace my own dyslexia, as it enables me to better empathize with my clients.