How to Help Struggling Readers

We hope your children have had a smooth start to the school year! Now is the time that teachers are getting to know students better and might express concerns about your child's learning. We understand the stress this might cause your family, but we are here to help! Your child may benefit from our new reading tutoring service.  Or if you want to explore other school options that might better meet your child's needs, there are many school fairs coming up soon and we would be happy to answer any questions you have!  

-Leigh Ann, Cathy, Mary, Hayley, and Lena


October 2
7:00 pm

Brown Academy 


October 12
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

ASCE HQ Bechtel Conference Center
1801 Alexander Bell Drive
Reston, VA 20191

October 19, 2019
8:00 am - 4:45 pm

Universities at Shady Grove
9630 Gudelsky Dr. Rockville, MD 20850

November 17
11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Katzen Arts Center
American University @ Ward Circle
Massachusetts & Nebraska Avenue NW
Stay Connected
It takes having obstacles to learn and grow and be better. The challenge of dyslexia-the challenge of climbing that mountain-is something that you can make your own and make it a reason to be a winner in life. 
-Orlando Bloom
What do all of these successful people in the image above have in common? They all have dyslexia.  It is a common learning disability that may impact as many as 1 in 5 children. Although dyslexia is not something that children can grow out of, when given the right support, they can learn to read and be academically successful. We are excited to now offer reading tutoring and other learning support services for children who are having academic challenges. In this newsletter, you will learn more about dyslexia from our expert, Hayley Oser and how she can help support your child. 
Meet our new Reading  and Learning Support Specialist, Hayley! 

  • Hayley joins the ISO team as a Learning Needs Specialist and an Orton-Gillingham trained Reading Tutor. She loves working with elementary and middle school students who have language based learning needs and will hold tutoring sessions in the student's home, school or at our office in Old Town Alexandria.
  • Hayley holds an undergraduate degree from Middlesex University in England in Elementary Education and a Masters in Special Education from American University. Hayley began her teaching career in England as a fifth-grade teacher and then moved to the US in 2014 to further her education. After completing her Masters, Hayley began teaching in the Lower School at The McLean School, Potomac, MD. Hayley lives in Rockville, MD with her husband Ethan, their son Max and Border Collie, Brody.
Ask Hayley!
  • What are the early signs of dyslexia?
    • Speech delays in preschool can be an indicator
    • Difficulty with decoding, sound and letter recognition and rhyming
    • May reverse numbers and letters when reading
    • May have trouble with handwriting tasks 
  • What activities do you use to support children with reading difficulties?
    • Multisensory activities, such as writing big letters in the bathtub, shaving cream, and rice 
    • Playing games with letters, such as  Chutes and Ladders and Old Maid
    • Going on treasure hunts with letters and sight words
    • Using sidewalk chalk to write letters and words 
    • Making writing hands-on and fun!
  • What other accommodations can be used?
    • Using a highlighter to highlight words or sentences
    • Listening to Audio Books or Learning Ally
    • Using speech to text, rather than typing out words
    • Allowing children not to read out loud during class and not entering competitions that may be challenging for them (such as a spelling bee)
    • Extra time and quiet space to complete tasks
  • What programs can you use to help children with spelling and reading?
    • Multisensory sequential approach to reading
      • For younger children, letters and sounds are introduced in a fun way "Let's look at magic E" (make, shake, and bake)
      • Words are introduced first, then phrases, sentences, and passages
      • Initial assessments are administered to identify where the gaps are and what to work towards
  • What are the biggest misconceptions about dyslexia?
    • Reading and writing letters backwards is the main sign of dyslexia
      • Some kids with dyslexia write letters backwards and some don't
      • Some students in second grade may still write their letters backwards - letter reversal isn't necessarily a sign that your child has dyslexia
    • Dyslexics are not intelligent
      • Dyslexics have average to above average intelligence, but are unable to read at a level equal with their intelligence level
      • Many gifted people at the top of their fields are dyslexic
    • Most children will outgrow dyslexia
      • Dyslexia is a medical condition that cannot be outgrown 
      • Dyslexics can be taught how to manage their disability and which accommodations will support their learning
      • Intervention does help remediate their ability to read, spell, and write
    • People who are dyslexic are unable to read
      • Children and adults with dyslexia do learn to read. However, it is harder for them and takes more effort.
  • Why do you like providing reading intervention with children?
    • Reading can be extremely challenging for children and words are everywhere! Reading can be overwhelming and difficult for many children, but I love knowing that I can make it a little bit easier for them. I love knowing that with my support, children don't have to fear reading and that however hard it is for them, they can still enjoy it. I love seeing that once they develop self-confidence , children start reading through choice. I particularly like providing children with strategies that they then use to make their daily lives easier. It is particularly fulfilling when a child chooses to read aloud independently or when a parent tells me that their child read something that previous had been hard for them or that they had avoided.
  • Who are your favorite celebrities with dyslexia?
    • Walt Disney
    • Orlando Bloom
    • Albert Einstein
How can Hayley help?
  • She provides reading tutoring services to students in Kindergarten-8th grade. 
    • The sessions can be held at your home, your child's school or at the ISO office in Alexandria.
  • Hayley is an Orton-Gillingham trained Reading and Learning Specialist. 
    • Uses a fun, hands-on approach when teaching reading to her students
  • Sessions Offered: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9am - 3pm and Saturday and Sunday hours - 9am - 11am
  • For more information please contact Hayley at 703-671-8316
For some people_ this is how they could see a text
For some people with dyslexia, this is how they might see the text 

Helpful Resources
 218 N. Lee Street, Suite 323
Alexandria, VA 22314
       Phone: 703-671-8316     
Fax: 703-997-8438