The Missing Links offers a range of services to help people with learning difficulties.
Tutoring using the Orton-Gillingham Approach
Our primary service is individualized tutoring sessions using the Orton-Gillingham Approach. This includes some initial assessment of the student’s situation and current skill levels. This is to find what is the best approach to use and what skills need to be taught, and provides a starting point for the instructor.
Tutoring sessions are usually 50-60 minutes and are fairly intense. Tutoring is one-on-one with Anne Hazelton, with an individualized lesson plan for each session. All lessons are presented in a multi-sensory format using direct instruction, to the extent that even taste and sense get their turn during the “‘i-e’ says ee in ‘piece’ and I in ‘pie’” session.
It is recommended that students attend tutoring sessions at least twice a week. Reading outside the tutoring sessions is strongly encouraged, and suitable books are available to support reading development at each level of attainment. Students may be asked to read certain parts of books for the next class, and parents are encouraged to support their child’s reading efforts.
Because of the flexibility inherent in the Orton-Gillingham Approach, issues that a student may have with school can be worked into the sessions, some assignments can be supported through the tutoring sessions, and a good connection with school established. Home-schooled students are also supported, together with their parents.
The Missing Links also offers one-on-one tutoring in math at a wide range of levels. In keeping with the philosophy of the Orton-Gillingham Approach, a pre-packaged program is not used, but the student’s particular issues are explored and addressed. The objective is to have the student comfortable and capable with mathematics at each level of development. By getting to the core of each area of math and ensuring the student’s understanding, the student can gain confidence and skills.
Homework may be assigned from time to time. While the core concepts in mathematics are usually straightforward, it does take time and practice to move from understanding to mastery. In addition, students have sometimes adopted methods that may work at one level, but are counter-productive at a more advanced level, so some unlearning may be required.
While many pre-packaged math programs work almost completely in the abstract, or use other simplified tools, math has a better chance of coming alive for a student if it is applied to things they care about and that interest them. Therefore we try to find practical applications to engage the student more fully in the mathematics, and it helps that Bill Hazelton has a strong background in applied mathematics. Continuing practical application of mathematics outside tutoring sessions is strongly encouraged.
The testing that The Missing Links undertakes is solely to guide the instruction process. Progress is monitored by regular testing, and additional testing may be done to find specific problem areas that need to be addressed.
The Missing Links is not a testing service, and we cannot offer diagnoses of dyslexia or any other condition. We work closely with various clinical psychologists in the Anchorage area who can provide diagnostic services.