The New School in the Heights is pleased to share news about an exciting new addition to our program: a Neuhaus trained Academic Language Specialist who works on campus to help dual diagnosis children who have both dyslexia and an anxiety-based disorder that contributes to their learning difficulties. Now bright children with a diagnosed learning disability plus diagnoses like ADHD, sensory integration, OCD, and bi-polar disorder can be helped with both under one roof. Executive Director Diane Manning, Ph.D., said, "Having an Academic Language Specialist is particularly appropriate at our school because of the chicken-and-egg relationship between having a learning disability and the strong emotions that come with feeling different from your peers. When I was head of the Reading and Learning Disabilities Clinic at Tufts University, I dreamed of a school that could break that cycle. Today we are closer to reaching that goal."
Jenny Skjonsby was trained at the Neuhaus Education Center in Bellaire which has a national reputation for its highly successful programs for preparing academic language specialists. The curriculum Jenny uses is based on the well-researched and highly regarded Orton Gillingham program. She works with each child, usually 1:1, on a very individualized program to meet their specific needs and pace. She works with the students on handwriting, reading, spelling, and vocabulary. More specifically, she stresses phonological awareness activities that have to do with sound-symbol correspondence. Her approach is systematic, with a multisensory approach to teaching reading. Because she is on-campus every day, she is able to coordinate with the child's "regular" teacher for the rest of the child's day.
Jenny says of her experience with us, "I'm having a great experience here at The New School in the Heights. The students are all different, but I am seeing much progress."