Literacy & Learning

Assessment, Planning & Intervention for children with reading difficulties.

Is your child struggling in the classroom?

Does your child have any of the following;

  1. Difficulty identifying letters and saying their sounds?
  2. Difficulty decoding (sounding out) words?
  3. Poor knowledge of letter combinations, eg. ch, ph, ai, ou, igh?
  4. Lack of fluency, accuracy and/or comprehension when reading?
  5. Inability to clearly express ideas in writing?
  6. Poor spelling?

Our staff at Hills Literacy & Learning are qualified teachers and occupational therapists using evidence based learning programs to help your child develop literacy and numeracy skills.

At Hills Literacy & Learning our aim is to develop the whole child. We recognise their talents while systematically filling in any gaps in their skills. We believe it is vital that students experience success and have the opportunity to learn in a calm, nurturing environment. 

Our team specialises in providing evidence based MSL (multisensory structured language) therapy to children and young adults experiencing considerable and consistent difficulty in reading and writing. This includes, but is not limited to those with dyslexia and dysgraphia. MSL therapy is explicit, direct and systematic phonics instruction.

We offer:

Assessments

  • To determine the child’s strengths and gaps in literacy and/or numeracy development,
  • To determine which type of intervention is best.

Intervention

  • MSL (multisensory structured language) / OG (Orton Gillingham),
  • Spelling/Writing/Comprehension programs based on individual needs,
  • School readiness sessions which focus on phonemic awareness with a multisensory language (MSL) approach,
  • Math U See,
  • Assisted Technology instruction and support

Starter Sessions/Structured Start toolkit

At times Hills Literacy and Learning is fully booked. When this happens families may wish to book a ‘Starter Session’.

The student and parent attend a 60min appointment where immediate needs are determined and the parent is instructed in some strategies and activities that may be used at home in the short-term. Further, a comprehensive, individualised ‘Structured Start’ toolkit can be provided. These are developed to target specific literacy skills and can be implemented at home over a 6-8 week period.  A follow-up session can then be booked and further activities provided if appropriate.

In the meantime, students are placed on a waiting list for a permanent position at HLL. ‘Structured Start’ toolkits are only available to students who have attended a ‘Starter Session’ and where parents are committed to implementing the toolkit in the way in which it was intended.

Lee Doyle

Lee Doyle

B. Teach; B.Ed; M.Ed

Lee joined The Children’s Doctor in September 2014 and established Hills Literacy & Learning in early 2016, due to her strong desire to assist those who really need it! Lee has 17 years teaching experience in local primary schools in different roles such as classroom teacher, librarian and learning support.

She specialises in supporting students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD and other related learning differences. Lee has completed her training with IMSLE, qualifying her as an MSL educator. She is also an AMADA (Associate member of the Australian Dyslexia Association) and is a recommended SPELD NSW tutor.

Lee has developed a multisensory Structured start toolkit to use in conjunction with MSL/OG instruction. She is a firm believer in individualised, targeted programming and only uses evidence based practices.

Lee has also created and teaches a ‘Tech Tools’ class that is designed for students in grades       5 – 8.  Students learn to use a variety of assistive technology apps, tools and tricks – things such as getting their devices to ‘talk to them’, using dictation functions, note-taking and organisation strategies in OneNote, as well as intuitive and predictive keyboards. These ‘tech tricks’ are combined with literacy tasks focusing on research, writing, spelling, editing and presenting and are highly valuable as students progress towards and through high school.

 

Karen Ekstrom

Karen Ekstrom

B. Teaching

Karen has 25 years teaching experience in local primary schools and currently teaches 2 days per week. She is highly experienced in working with children with special needs and in developing individualised learning programs.

She has a passion for numeracy/dyscalculia and is also trained in Rip it Up and MSL.

Karen has been with The Children’s Doctor and Hills Literacy & Learning since July 2016.

Tanya Pivcevic

Tanya Pivcevic

Occupational Therapist

Tanya graduated from the University of Sydney in 2002 and has worked as an Occupational Therapist for 10 years, specialising in Paediatrics for 5 years.  Tanya’s experience lays in assessing and treating children aged 3 to 18 years with a range of development needs including fine and gross motor, handwriting skills, visual perception, developmental play, learning delay and self care skills.

She has worked with children to achieve school readiness goals and is trained to identify the underlying causes of difficulties with handwriting, and provide therapy to specifically target and strengthen skills to improve a child’s handwriting.

Tanya has worked with varying difficulties that children present with such as low muscle tone, hypermobility, developmental disabilities, ASD, ADHD, motor coordination and planning difficulties, and sensory processing difficulties.

 

Tanya is an experienced and highly successful MSL educator with a passion for improving reading and spelling outcomes for students experiencing difficulties.

 

Emma Ray

 B.Ed; MA Ed

Over the last 25 years Emma has taught children from Kindy to Year 12 as both a mainstream classroom and support teacher. She has held school leadership roles and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Hills Literacy and Learning team.

Emma is passionate about helping her students gain a firm foundation in literacy and has completed MSL/Orton Gillingham training to specifically target the additional learning needs of students with dyslexia or a related learning difference.

Assisting students transition from primary to high school as their learning environment changes is one of Emma’s specialties. She has previously run a business helping students improve their executive functioning – organising their time, space and study strategies.

Emma is currently completing her Masters of Sensory Disabilities – Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She has a keen interest in auditory processing and literacy connected with speech perception and production.

Emma loves being part of her students’ growth and development in literacy and language skills.