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« Dean Edell Reports on Education | Main | Schools for Dyslexic Learners »

Saturday, December 03, 2005


michelle churchill

Hi there, I don't know if you can really help me, but we are shortly due to relocate to Florida, (Bradenton/Sarasota) area. We have concerns for our 11 year old son, who is severly dyslexic and we are trying to find schools in our chosen area, (or a website, that could inform us of the most appropriate schools.)

We have a full educational pyschological report outline all of his test results, and cognitive reports, so we would like as much info as possible as to who/where to go to in obtaining info about the most suitable school for him.. We are from Birmingham, England. We hope to be in Florida by September of this year.

thanks and regards, Michelle Churchill.


This is the email I sent to Mrs. Churchill:

Welcome to the United States (and the somewhat bewildering educational system). You are talking about moving to either Bradenton (Manatee County) or Sarasota (Sarasota County).

Here's the link to the Manatee County School district:

Here's the link to a respected source that reviews schools that will give you a by-school snapshot: GreatSchools Manatee

Here's the link to the Sarasota County School District:

and from Greatschools: GreatSchools Sarasota

I live on the other side of the country from Florida, so I am at a loss. In the world of learning disabilities (which in the US means kids of normal intelligence but barriers to learning) there are a lot of charlatans and so on. I am referring you to people I know are on the correct track. Your best bet is to contact ALL of these folks for help & guidance:

Florida Branch of International Dyslexia Association
Carole R. Repensek, President
Address: 10770 SW 84 Street McGlannan School Miami, FL 33173
Phone: 305 252 3474
Fax: 305 274 0337
E-mail: identify IDA in your email subject, please

Zach Osbrach, Founder
Einstein Montessori School
5930 S.W. Archer Road
Gainesville, FL 32608

The Scottish Rite Masons have many resources, including tutoring, esp. for dyslexic kids. If you are persistent, I think you can get some help there in advance of your move.

Scottish Rite Clinic for Childhood Language Disorders*
Speech Language Pathology at All Children’s Hospital
33 Sixth Street,
South St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Telephone: (727) 892-4141 or:
(800) 888-9794

Scottish Rite Clinic for Childhood Language Disorders*
All Children’s Specialty Care of Sarasota
5881 Rand Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34238
Telephone: (941) 927-8805

this one I am not so sure about, as they don't have any info on their website about specific programs or how they teach dyslexic students.
Dreams are Free
The School for Kids with Learning Difficulties
4380 Fruitville Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34232
phone: 941-366-4010

BTW, one of the best helps I got for my daughter was signing her up for Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic--it has improved her grades and her enjoyment of reading for recreation.

link here for words from kids on RFBD:

membership info:


Two more resources that are American, that I'd order soon if I were you:

Overcoming Dyslexia for Dummies (part of the "for Dummies" series of books)

While she endorses treatment modalities that I think are useless, the information on testing, "individual education plans" (IEPs) -- all presented in an easy to understand format:

Wrightslaw has a wealth of resources for a parent with a child with disabilities, especially learning disabilities, and how to negotiate the school system.

They've published a book, From Emotions to Advocacy.

Write back if I can be of any more help.

Jean "Holly" King

We live in Kissimmee, Florida My grandson 11, from what I've read and from what his teachers say is Dyslexic.He has had the whole child study and has been documented with a reading disability,and has an IEP.He does well in school and the teachers all say he tries hard but his reading is very poor.He goes to a charter school which follows the Osceola county curriculum.They don't recognize Dyslexia as aspecific reading problem,just say that he has a learning disability and give him extra reading practice ,phonics,etcHe was retained in first grade and again in third.It is very likely that he will fail the F-cat again and be retained again. If a way to teach him to read isn't found soon I'm afraid he will get discouraged and give up trying.He's had a good teacher this year who has helped some.Is there any place where we can have him tested to show he is Dyslexia? Where in Orlando will the Einstien charter school be locatedand when will it be ready?Would you have to live in Orange county to attend or get tutoring there?I've heard that the book The Gift ofDyslexia has agood method to teach reading ,have you read it? We want to get him help but want to be sure where we take him can actualy help. Thank you for any help or imformation you can give us

Jennifer Grendel

I just had my daughter tested for dyslexia at University of FLorida's speech and hearing clinic. They did a full battery of tests and were able to give me a diagnosis at the end of the day. It's a frustrating battle to get your child help in the state of Florida! This FCAT is a nightmare!


The Florida Department of Education has no research to back the use of FCAT. Read the letters from the FLDOE at this site:

joshua alford

hey its me joshua alford can you email me later

franklin Ramos

We have two dyslexic children. Ages 7 and 13. We are looking for schools geared to helping our children in the Palm beach and broward area of florida.

thank you


This is the email I sent to Mr. Ramos.

If you aren't yet a member of SchwabLearning, I'd urge you to join (free). Lots of good resources and the message board for parents is a great resource.

I posted a request to the board asking if any of the Schwabbies knew of any more resources:

request to Schwab board

Other than the Einstein charters

The Depaul School for Dyslexia
Grades: ungraded
Type: private
Enrollment: 36
701 Orange Ave
Clearwater, FL 33756
Pinellas County
Phone: (727) 443-2711

LD Resources report

DePaul School History

Helping Hands for Parents of Children with Learning Differences
Parent support for a range of learning issues.
Tracy Bem

Mark Palomino

The Ford Center for Reading is in the Tampa Bay area and offers therapy for children with Dyslexia among other learning difficulties. Their site is:


Mark Palomino

The Ford Center for Reading. Here is their information.

1413 S. Howard Avenue, Suite 215
Tampa, FL 33606

Tel: 813-254-8393
Fax: 813-251-9290



Offering one-on-one individualized and structured multisensory therapy utilizing research-based programs, such as Lindamood-Bell® and Phono-Graphix™.

Specializing in phonemic awareness, reading, fluency, comprehension, spelling, writing, attention difficulties, math, vocabulary, following directions, expression, handwriting, test-taking, organizational, study, and social skills.

Experience with Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, hearing impairment, speech impairment, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Areas of expertise: Dyslexia, LD remediation, advocacy, IEPs, college counseling/preparation, strategies, educational program design, consulting, and evaluations.


My son is 9 years old and is dyslexic, I need help, I been searching for disability schools around central florida. Please help. Iam home schooling him and also doing a pace program, please help

Kayleen Henderson

We live in Idaho. I have a 14 yr. old daughter who has a reading disability, (high intelligence/low performance). She has an IEP. We have been searching and struggling for years. Now she will begin High School. I am very worried. I have taught her through Middle School years, at home enrolled with Virtual Academy, a state funded online school. Middle school was uncooperative and would not provide accommodations. She was failing even in resource room classes. Is there any way to access the Einstein Montessori Model? I am a certified Teacher with the State of Idaho, but have chosen to stay home to raise my children. We are miles from Florida, but I want to help my daughter how ever I can. Her weaknesses are in the area of reading and spelling. Can you help us?

Sincerely, Kayleen Henderson

cynthia rodriguez

i need help my brother is 21 years of age he does not know how to read or wright he graduated highschool but still he does not have those skill i need to find a school here in California that can help him. We leave in Compton CA

Olga Vazquez

I want information about a good therapist in Haines City or Polk County area, Florida 33844. I think according to various articles I read about dyslexia my son is possble has this condition. He has ADHD. I want an evaluation for a professional. Thank you.


we havw two children with dilusia is there a school in gainesville



Jeannine B.

I am a single mom with a 15 year old daughter who has all but quit school due to dyslexia and ADD symptoms. I have set up appointments for testing. The problem is FINANCIAL!!!! HELP! I am getting ready to send her to a Public High School after attempting to homeschool her out of desperation. She is extremely behind in every subject. Do you know of organizations or scholarships, or grants that could help with tutoring and testing. Thanks

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Hello! My 13 year old dyslexic daughter has been in the private school system since she was in the first grade. We are moving back to Palm Harbor, Florida from the Tampa area, and are in need of help in finding a school that would best fit her needs. She is so far behind in every subject. I was considering Quest Middle school in Tampa. She has attended DePaul in Clearwater, and Interactive Education Academey in Valrico, but is still very much behind. Can you give us any suggestions?

Michelle cole

My daughter has dyslexia as well. Please help us find grant money in boca raton , Florida area The public schools will not help nor do they care because she does not fall into a category for help. She must fail in order to get help.
Desperate in Boca Raton

bruce paxton kitchell

yes my name is bruce p. kitchell and i have dyslexia i was tested for it in miami florida i would guess in 1964 i went to a school in a jewish synague at the time. i was wondering how i could find out who tested me and what type of dyslexia i had, i am now 51 years old, i then went to a school in carol gables named deerborn

Lynda McDermott

I have a 9 year old son who is severely dyslexic. I'm looking for a school in the Orlando area that has a program for him. He has been held back in 1st grade and is in danger of failing again. Please if anyone has information I can use to get him the help he needs. I feel like I'm going in circles.


i have a 10 year old 5th grader and i may be moving to florida. he has been diagnosed with dyslexia and some processing issues .... he is a bright kid... lots of struggle reading and math... he is really losing his confidence... i want to save him before he completely believes "he can't achieve in school" ....i tell him all the time how smart he is but i am going in circles.

Debbie Copple, M.S CCC/SLP

My name is Debbie Copple. I live in Lake Wales, FL. I am a speech-language patholgist and certified dyslexia tutor. Please view my web-site at and contact me if I can be of help to you and your son. I've been where you are. My son is dyslexic as well.

Debbie Copple, M.S CCC/SLP

I do not know if you are still looking for dyslexia tutoring for your son or not as your post to this site is old. I am a speech-language pathologist and certified Dyslexia tutor. I live in Lake Wales, FL. Please view my site at and contact me if you are still in need of help.


Lynda email me please

Jennie Turk

I have a second grader whom I believe may have dyslexia. I live in Lake county FL. The school system doesn't specifically test for dyslexia. My daughter is working so hard in reading and spelling and not getting anywhere. I am really worried about the fcat in 3rd grade. I am not sure if I need to retain her this year. Any suggestions in actually getting a diagnosis that is not to expensive?


You posted the following on Saturday, December 03, 2005
Dyslexia In Florida: New Hope
In 1999, Zack Osbrach founded a charter school, Einstein Montessori, in Gainesville, Florida, for children with reading and spelling delays. EMS found a curriculum that worked:
I don't see why the Einstein model cannot be scaled nationally. That is to say, there are private schools for dyslexia -- why not the charter model?

Why not the charter model you ask - well, here is the answer. Because of "least restrictive environment" it is legally impossible to have a charter school for dyslexia as it would place the child in a restricted environment. I researched this quite a bit because I had envisioned trying to start a charter school for dyslexia, and discovered that it couldn't be done because of this. However, it is ok to have charter schools for gifted children, emotionally disturbed, etc. I think I am at the end of my rope with the educational system, and I have a MsEd English and license in spec ed and have two dyslexic daughters, one who was declared mildly mentally retarded in first grade (that was my baptism into the system) but I was able to enroll her in an Orton Gillingham based private school. That school was a dream.


I have a 16 yrs old son with borderline dyslexia.

Please advise where close to Miramar FL or what school is best to send him to, so that he can get help with reading and writing.

He can recall information but it is difficult for him to put on paper.


I am asingle mom with low income.pls help to find the right school for my 11 years old daughter who has severe dyslexia.
I live in Boca Raton and tge school she attend now,doesn't help us much.

Theresa George

Hello everyone,

My name is Theresa George and I work on behalf of the American Dyslexia Association, a non-profit organization headquartered in Sarasota, Florida. The ADA offers free online printable learning aids based in the Attention Function Symptom (AFS)-Method to help children who are dyslexic or dyscalculic. This method has been very successful in helping these children worldwide for over 15 years.

If you would like to view our information please go to Have a great day!




We need to foun school for child with dilexia in Miami Fl.
Tank you

Zach Osbrach

Not legally possible you say! How is that? I started a charter school in Gainesville, Florida and another one in Cocoa, Florida. Your statement is ironic because it is the Florida Public School Model that is illegal for the language impaired student, because they have a phonemic awareness disability which inhibits them from making adequate gains in reading, writing and spelling. They do not receive the therapies or modifications needed to be successful. This prevents them from receiving a free and appropriate education. We would not be having this conversation if the public school offered the therapies and curriculums it takes for a language impaired student to be successful. The fact of the matter is that Einstein Montessori School (EMS) and Einstein Montessori Academy (EMA) offer the therapies, modifications and curriculums that dyslexic students need, to make appropriate gains in communication, language and literacy. This makes it the only public school model that is free and appropriate. Since charter schools can specialize in specific needs of different populations, charter schools and McKay schools can provide a much better instructional model for populations that do not fit into the traditional educational models. At EMA I have made a special effort to foster the dyslexic student’s innate natural abilities. I believe dyslexic students have the highest levels of Creative Intelligence. So in conclusion these are schools specifically designed to be consistent with ESE Laws that provide an appropriate education to the dyslexic student in the “least restrictive environment“.

Mary’s concerns are realistic and I understand her frustration. Charter School Applications must consider the educational relevance laws such as but not limited to least restrictive environment. And since charter school applications can be tricky it would probably be best if Mary contacts me to help her with the charter school application. The initial purpose of charter schools is to serve a unique instructional model especially for populations that are being underserved. It makes no sense for charter schools to merely copy traditional educational models. In the case where EMS and EMA are championing the communication, language and literacy needs of the children that are the most at risk in the American school system, makes it completely consistent with the intent of Charter School Laws and one should not be confused, by such statements as the lease restrictive environment. Anybody could make the argument that any specialize curriculum for a specific population could be misconstrued as a restrictive environment. It is important to me to support schools that help students in their educational endeavor... Please do not hesitate to contact me I am willing to help design instructional models for children that do not fit into the traditional educational models.


My name is Nancy; I have two sons that attend Einstein Montessori Academy in Cocoa, Florida. My boys are 11 and 6 years old. Both of my boys are dyslexic, one more severe than the other.

I fought a long hard battle getting help for my older son from the time he was 3 years old. We did private testing and private language and OT therapy. The nightmare began when he entered the public school system. They did very little to help him. His grades were good, but could not pass the reading tests. He was retained in 1st grade, and they threatened every year after to retain him.

His life and our family’s life changed when he started school at Einstein. He entered Einstein in 4th grade and everything changed. He wanted to read and the reading instruction he received gave him the ability to decode words, build up his fluency, and comprehension with out the pressure he had to pass the FCAT.

I would highly recommend the school and the curriculum. If you need more information about Einstein you can contact them at:

Director: Zach Osbrach
Phone Number: (321) 631-9876
Web page:


Please advise contact numbers for the Florida Dyslexia Association. I have not seen much on the website.



I am not sure we are headed but we just started our journey here:

I wish there was more help for dyslexic students. My daughters teachers blame a lack of study in the home and get aggravated with her. They are ignorant to the fact that these students need help.. not criticism. My pleas for testing and claims that she had a disability fell on deaf ears. I refuse to take responsibility for the shortcomings of these teachers and faculty staff. I will look outside of the inadequate public school system for help.. even though I have very limited funds.

single dad

Hi there I just drop by your post because I'm searching some information to help me out with my situation. Anyway, I'm a single dad of 2 age 5 and 3 I'm so glad to drop by your blog. I really enjoyed reading your every post. Thanks for sharing this I really appreciate the effort.


i also have two children that have deslexia and find that i am getting no help in the private school they attend in winter haven. and have also learned they i am their voice i have to tell each teacher every year about my childs problems i am very sad that there is not alot of help for children with this problem

Kristy Worden

I am a Barton Tutor and I just quit the Pinellas County school system over the issue of dyslexia - which according to them I am not allowed to say> Instead I am opening a Dyslexia screening and tutoring business in Largo. I was trained by Sue Barton in screening last summer and have done several so far.

Delores Wright

I am a teacher who has a student with dyslexia and Can someone share how I can help him read? He is eager to learn and he can become frustrated when he tries to read. His memory is short term but he tries to use skills to unlock words. Can someone help me help him?

Liz Ditz

Hi Delores,

Thanks for your comment. I see from your email that you are in Florida.

You don't say how old (or in what grade) your student is. You also don't say how you know the student has dyslexia.

Most (95%) of students with dyslexia can learn to read. Most children with mild to moderate intellectual disability can learn to read.

Several points:

1. if your student is in 2nd grade or above, he should be provided with the material he is expected to read in audio format. In other words, the academic content acquisition should be separated from the reading challenge.
2. There are a number of resources in Florida on how to teach dyslexic children to read:
3. (Southern Florida College's Robert's Center)
4. (Florida Center for Reading Research)
5. (Einstein Montessori in Coco and Gainsville, specializing in children with dyslexia)

Anyway, those are some starters. Feel free to write back for more information.

Laurie LaSota

Is there a support group for parents who have dyslexic children here in Orange County, Florida? My niece's IEP team just doesn't get it. They pull her out for reading and speech and she misses a lot of instructions from her regular lessons. Then the teacher expects her to do the same amount of homework as the other students. If she turns her homework in late she gets a penalty. She is doing homework for two to three hours a night. There has got to be a way to get Orange County School Board to realize that these kids need different types of teaching and their IEP's need to have trained teachers who understand dyslexia.

andrea fernandez

I live in Broward county, Florida. I have strong suspicions that my 10 year old is dyslexic. Over 90% of her fathers family is known to have this. Of all the known symptons she hits on at least 75% of them. Trouble with reading comprehension, Still flipping letters, always tests much better orally, inconsistency in spelling & handwriting, late speech, & many, many, more. I have 2 other children close in age & there is definatly something different about her. Because she is a B average student, however, she never warrants help. Therefore she cannot get an IEP to get help. All I hear is that theres "nothing they can do about it". Due to financial situation we cannot afford private testing at this time. She is currently on the list to be tested for gifted but I cannot get anyone to take me seriously about testing for dyslexia. I see her slip just a little each year & struggle just a little bit more. Anyone in Florida knows the FCAT situation and this is what worries me. Does anyone know how I can request and get testing in Broward County? Do I have any rights as far as getting my child tested?

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