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What is dyslexia?

There is not one definition of dyslexia. Several dyslexia definitions are quoted below.


The International Dyslexia Association defines ‘dyslexia’ as:

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and /or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduce reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

(Adopted by the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002)


TEXAS EDUCATION CODE, p.8 from the Revised 2014-The Dyslexia Handbook, states –[ “Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write or despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and sociocultural opportunity.”]


What is the best reading program to help my child read?

An evidence-based reading curriculum that is systematic, sequential, intensive, and comprehensive. This includes fidelity based instruction in the following areas: phonological awareness, sound-symbol association, syllabication, orthography, morphology, syntax, reading comprehension, and reading fluency.

Hill Country Dyslexia Services employs research-validated programs as part of our therapy plan.  For example, the Orton-Gillingham approach will be used for reading instruction. In addition, other various programs include Basic Language Skills or the implementation of the Wilson program.


Is there one-on-one therapy?

Yes, therapy will be provided in a one-on-one setting with an instructor that is specially trained on structured literacy practices.  Providing individuals that have dyslexia with one-on-one support is recommended for individualized, multisensory instruction.  One-on-one therapy also provides clients many opportunities for structured practice as well as immediate, corrective feedback to develop automatic word recognition skills.

Can our family come to your office before therapy starts?

Yes! We offer a Meet & Greet. This is a time to check the area that your child would be working. It is an opportunity to ask more questions as well. This is a free one (1) hour time.

What do you charge?

We will discuss those options during our “Meet and Greet” time.

Are the charges covered under insurance?

Unfortunately, not currently. If you have a Health Spending Account (HSA) the health provider might cover therapy under the terminology of Remedial Reading.

Does Hill Country Dyslexia Services (HCDS) have any other tutoring/therapy available?

Yes, we do! We also provide reading tutoring/intervention as well.  AT HCDS, we can also support struggling readers and build their confidence and comprehension skills with our explicit, literacy-focused instruction. Through our reading intervention, we can help develop student literacy skills, identify skills gaps, and target specific goals with best practices and research-validated strategies that focus on the following key areas:

  • Phonemic Awareness

  • Phonics

  • Reading Fluency

  • Vocabulary

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Math Tutoring

Does Hill Country Dyslexia Services also provide writing tutoring?

Absolutely!  At HCDS, we also provide writing tutoring and can help your child develop stronger writing skills.  Does your child struggle to put their thoughts on paper? Do they have difficulty with sentence/compositional structure and grammar?  We have the solution to help your child gain confidence with his/her writing skills.

It is important to note that developing strong writing skills has a number of benefits for students:

  • Improvement in in all coursework, not just language arts

  • Preparation for standardized testing

  • Thinking critically

  • Becoming an better overall communicator

At HCDS, we will work systematically through the writing process, by providing clients with engaging activities and immediate direct feedback, guiding them until they reach the point where they can write effectively and confidently. 

Is Math tutoring available as well?

HCDS has math tutoring (elementary - 5th grade) available for your child.  Please contact us if your child has math needs.

What areas do speech therapists treat?

Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists (SLPs), work with children in four main areas: articulation (speech sounds, intelligibility), language (receptive and expressive), pragmatics (social language skills), and stuttering/fluency. 

What is language therapy?

Language therapy is part of speech therapy. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) assess and treat a variety of language disorders. This can include receptive language disorders (what your child understands), expressive language (what your child is able to say) and pragmatic language (the social aspect of our language use). We can work with a child who has one or all of these language difficulties. Some specific goals a child with a language disorder may be:

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Grammar

  • Story Elements

  • Problem Solving

  • WH Questions (Who, what, when, where why etc.)

  • Vocabulary

How much of my child’s speech should I (and others) be able to understand?

Typically, a child should be 100% intelligible to unfamiliar listeners by age 4. For younger children, unfamiliar listeners should be able to understand roughly 25% age 1, 50% by age 2, and 75% by age 3. If you or others are unable to understand your child for any number or errors, a speech therapy evaluation may be needed.

What will a speech therapy evaluation look like at Hill Country Dyslexia Services?

An initial evaluation is required prior to starting treatment so that baseline data can be collected and goals can be created in order to track progress.  The appointment usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes. During the evaluation, your child's skills will be assessed through intake forms, information you provide about your child's developmental history, the use of standardized tests and informal observation of play.  When the evaluation is completed you will receive a short verbal summary of the results. The therapist will go over some basic components of what was found in the evaluation.  You will later receive a written evaluation report of the test results and recommendations for therapy.  If therapy is being recommended, the report will include treatment goals, recommendations for duration and frequency and duration of therapy and home programming.

What will speech therapy look like?

Speech therapy at Hill Country Dyslexia Services is highly individualized and tailored to the communication needs of the client. Each session will target your child's specific needs while incorporating their interests. Therapy sessions are usually 30-minutes long, one to two times per week, as needed. Therapy will utilize evidence-based strategies to work on the needs identified in your child's evaluation. Emily, our speech-language pathologist, will model techniques and explain how you can incorporate them into your daily routines. At the end of each session, Emily will provide education on what was worked on in the speech session.

How long will my child be in therapy?

The length of time a child spends in speech therapy is dependent on the severity of the delay/disorder, the frequency and duration of treatment, attendance, the practice of therapy goals outside of sessions, and the individual.  One child with a minor delay in articulation may require therapy for less than 6 months, but another child may need multiple years. HDCS’s speech therapist will implement a treatment plan with goals and objectives that are specific to your child's needs. Goals and objectives can be changed and updated as the child makes progress. Progress reports will be created every 6 months to monitor the child's progress.

How can I implement what's worked on in speech therapy at home?

Emily will provide homework periodically to help enforce concepts taught during session. In addition, she will provide any important information at the end of every therapy session.

How often are re-evaluations completed?

Every year a reevaluation will be completed using the same tests as the initial evaluation to help inform Mrs. Straw on your child’ progress. This evaluation will determine if there will be new therapy goals or discharge from speech therapy.

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