233 SW Wilson Ave

 Suite 2

Bend, OR 97702
Phone: 541-385-6002
Fax: 541-385-6090

Email

Hours by Appointment

Evening appointments available

Insurance Accepted

 
Welcome              
 
Bend Language & Learning provides expert diagnostic and treatment services for learning disorders.  Language is the underlying foundation of reading, writing, and all aspects of academic learning, and we are uniquely qualified to understand and treat both language and learning.  We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia, a language-based learning disability that causes problems with reading, writing, and spelling.  Please read more about our area of expertise and approach to treatment below, or call for a consultation.
 
 
    
Language and Reading/Writing
Reading, spelling, and writing are language-based skills.  They require the ability to process speech sounds and language in written form.  If a child has weaknesses in speech or language, they are more likely to struggle with these language-based skills.  Research has found that children with early speech or language delays are at greater risk of later learning problems in school, particularly with learning to read, even when those early speech-language delays have been remediated.  Even children with no history of early speech-language delays often experience difficulty learning written language forms.
 
Children who have trouble learning to read frequently have poor phonological awareness or phonological memory, meaning they have trouble hearing and distinguishing or sequencing the individual sounds in words.  Early reading problems may also be caused by visual sequential memory/processing deficits or inefficient linguistic retrieval.   Dyslexia, a language-based learning disability, is the most common cause of problems with reading, writing, and spelling.  It is a genetic disorder that is rooted in phonological processing deficits, and it affects an estimated 15% of the population.  Many children with dyslexia are unusually bright, and are able to get by for a while with memorization and use of context to decipher unknown words.  They typically "hit a wall" when they reach second or third grade.  At that point the number of new words they need to read increases exponentially and easily exceeds their memory capacity, and they do not have the word attack skills or linguistic pattern recognition needed to decode longer words.   A diagnostic assessment of your child can determine whether they have dyslexia, or another type of learning disorder. 
 

Even after children have acquired basic reading skills, they may experience problems with reading fluency or reading comprehension.  These problems are also due to specific language-based weaknesses.  By third or fourth grade, children must transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn".  Reading problems affect all academic subjects, and can cause children to fall behind in school, even when they are trying their best.  Research shows that children who are reading below grade level in third grade rarely "catch up" to their current grade level, and they typically read well below grade level throughout their academic education.  We can diagnose and treat the problems that are holding your child back.

 

 

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Treatment Approach for Dyslexia and Other Learning Disorders
We use only evidence-based research proven best practices for the treatment of learning disorders.  For example, Orton-Gillingham based methodologies are widely considered "gold standard" research-based best practices for the treatment of dyslexia, and are endorsed by the International Dyslexia Association.  We also incorporate aspects and techniques from other  evidence-based treatment programs.  However, we do not use a "cookie-cutter" or "recipe step" approach to intervention.  Every person has a unique learning profile and style, learns at a particular pace, and needs different amounts of work in specific target areas.  We provide individualized 1:1 multisensory treatment specifically tailored to address each client's particular learning differences.  We also seek to identify and build upon their learning strengths, to help compensate for weaknesses.  
 
We believe that self-confidence in learning is crucial, to prevent children from becoming discouraged learners.  We will design treatment so that your child is always moving forward and gaining confidence, without a sense of being overwhelmed.  We will actively seek opportunities to recognize and positively reinforce learning success, and to celebrate small steps and accomplishments along the way to bigger goals.  When appropriate, we will educate your child about their learning strengths and differences, so that they can better understand their unique learning profile, and why some areas of learning may be more challenging for them.
 
Children must be actively engaged in the learning process, rather than passive recipients of instruction.  We believe that treatment is an active partnership and collaboration between the child, parents, and clinician.  We will create a team for your child that will help him or her to become a successful, independent learner.
 
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Difference from Tutoring 

Tutoring is an educational service that involves group or 1:1 teaching and homework support for particular academic subjects.  It is focused on helping a student to learn grade level material in a particular subject or curriculum.  Approaches and materials are similar to those used in the classroom.  Tutors typically do not have the qualifications or certification needed to administer and interpret formal norm-based standardized tests for the diagnosis of learning or language disorders.  They also do not treat the underlying processing deficits associated with language-based learning disorders such as dyslexia.

 

Treatment is an intensive remedial approach that addresses specific identified skill deficits which underlie learning difficulties.  Treatment is individualized for each client's particular learning profile, and their strengths and weaknesses.  The process begins at the level needed to fill in gaps in skills and knowledge, and proceeds systematically.  For example, a first grader who is struggling with reading or spelling may have deficits in any of a number of basic phonological skill areas:  phonological awareness, phonologic memory, visual memory, or phonemic sequencing.   A fifth grader may have poor reading fluency that is due to underlying deficits in rapid linguistic retrieval,  phonological awareness, memory, or word segmentation skills.  Because of these weaknesses, they may have failed to learn vowel rules and linguistic patterns that are critical for success in reading and spelling.  If these foundational skills are not acquired, reading and writing will become increasingly burdensome, and academic learning will suffer in higher grade levels. 

 

With treatment, the focus is not on teaching a particular academic subject, but on building and strengthening the underlying skills needed for success in all subjects.   For example, if a child struggles with reading comprehension we may use their social studies textbook in a treatment session, but our focus will be on building skills in parsing, processing, comprehending, and organizing the written language in that book, rather than on mastery of a specific subject.  This results in improved reading comprehension across all subjects.

 

We work to improve spelling not by drilling on specific word lists, but by strengthening underlying skills in phonological awareness and visual sequential memory, and by increasing knowledge of vowel patterns, syllable types, morphology, common word  patterns, secret spelling rules, and prefixes and suffixes.

 

If your child has difficulty tackling written assignments, they may be overwhelmed by the myriad of tasks involved in producing written language, rather than with the subject matter itself.  We can teach your child how to pre-plan their writing, brainstorm and organize their ideas, write cohesive paragraphs and reports, create descriptive sentences with sentence pattern variety, improve their writing mechanics (punctuation, spelling, etc), and how to systematically proof their work for errors. 

 
Many children fall behind if they are not able to keep pace with increasingly complex and rapid verbal classroom instruction.  We build skills in attending and listening, processing and comprehending spoken language, and auditory memory.  We will also provide strategies and recommend classroom accommodations that can be used to compensate for listening or attention weaknesses. 
 
Finally, we work to build strong higher-level language and cognitive skills that cross all academic domains - such as critical thinking, problem solving, analysis, and inference. 
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