Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities

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A group of professional and credentialed Speech Language Pathologists have been trained in teaching the Uniskript Reading and Writing system. All of these individuals have been impressed with the ease of the system and some decided to teach it to several children who presented with poor reading skills. The anecdotal reports suggest that the children who learned Uniskript while they continued to learn English reading, evidenced a significant improvement in their English reading skills. Reading can be described as an auditory event. Uniskript adds an additional visual, kinesthetic and tactile component to the learning process. The new and groundbreaking Uniskript Writing and Reading system of learning, introduces new and never before used graphic representations that give students a multi-sensory approach (VAKT) that immerses children in the crucial practice which builds phonemic awareness skills.

Quite by chance, four children diagnosed with dyslexia presented with a rapid grasp of the UniSkript system and after only a few hours of exposure to UniSkript, were able to read and write. In one case, a young 2nd grader, who was not able to read the simple pre-school primers, not only grasped the UniSkript system and was able to read in UniSkript but also was able to go back to the pre-school booklets in latin characters and was able to read them the following week. As a result, UniSkript Research and Literacy Institute is launching a scientific study targeting 100 children previously diagnosed with Dyslexia in an attempt to study why UniSkript is unlocking a a rapid ability to read in children who before struggled desperately to read in latin characters.

The San Francisco Bay Area Study will attempt to answer the following questions and others:

Does the addition of a visual, kinesthetic and tactile component (Uniskript) improve phonemic awareness skills in children who previously have utilized the more auditory (traditional English reading) approach?

Does the use of Uniskript facilitate the development of English reading in children who have reading disorders? Does Uniskript improve the speech production skills of children who are challenged to develop intelligible speech?

UniSkript Research and Literacy Institute is developing a pilot study to further explore the impact of teaching Uniskript as a bridging tool on reading development for children who are at risk or present with a reading disorder while they continue to be taught English reading with traditional methods. Additionally, we will explore the impact of Uniskript on the articulation skills of children who present with speech production difficulties. It is expected that the targeted population will include children who are having difficulty learning to read including children with dyslexia, children who have apraxia of speech, and children with hearing loss and autism.

MaryKay Therres
M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

MaryKay Therres is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Auditory-Verbal Therapist who has over 20 years of experience working with children who have a cochlear implant(s) and/or hearing aid(s). She had worked at Children’s Hospital & Research Center, Oakland, CA.  for 13 years, previously as a member of the cochlear implant team and Management Coordinator of the Speech/Language Center and recently as the Educator, Researcher & Outreach Liaison for CI. She was a Clinical Specialist on The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia cochlear implant team. She is currently the Manager of Education and Therapy for MED-EL. She co-authored “AuSpLan: A Manual for Professionals Working with Children who have a Cochlear Implant or Amplification”. She co-developed and co-instructed the Professional Preparation in Cochlear Implants program. She has presented on the topic of cochlear implants nationally and internationally. She specializes in working with children who have hearing loss.

Kris Baines
M.A., CCC-SLP

Kris Baines earned her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She completed her CFY at Children’s Hospital Oakland Speech and Language Center, after completing internships at The Children’s Hospital Denver Speech and Language Clinic and Park Hill Elementary School in Denver, CO.

Kris has more than 18 years experience working with children and adults with speech and language disorders. She has worked as a speech-language pathologist for Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, in private practice in the East Bay Area, as well as in East Bay Area school (both public and private) with children ages 2-18, as well as adults.

Kris has expertise and experience in evaluating and treating pediatrics with a variety of speech and language disorders resulting from cleft palate, resonance disorders, stuttering and cluttering, reading disorders/dyslexia/LLD, articulation issues, speech apraxia, language and auditory processing disorders, autism, Down Syndrome and other syndromes, selective mutism, hearing loss, delayed speech and language development, and voice disorders. She also has expertise working with adults with reading disorders, stuttering, cluttering and training in accent reduction therapy and Lee Silverman Voice Therapy.

In her private practice, she specializes in working with articulation disorders, early intervention, reading disorders, pre-reading and pre-academic development, auditory/language processing disorders, fluency disorders and general communication disorders.

Mary Gage Herman
M.A., CCC-SLP

Gage Herman attended the University of Oregon where she received a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Speech and a Minor in Speech Pathology and Psychology. She obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Special Education with emphasis on Speech Pathology and Audiology from San Francisco State University. Gage has worked for over thirty-three years as a licensed and certified speech pathologist, most recently at Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland. She has specialized for over 40 years in the pediatric pre-school and school aged population with children who present with a variety of communication disorders. Gage is currently working for Word Works Speech Pathologists Inc.In Oakland, CA.

Gage has provided both diagnostic and therapeutic expertise encompassing a wide range of communicative disorders. She has served on multidisciplinary teams for Craniofacial and Cleft Palate, Neurofibromotisis, Fragile X, and most recently, on Katie’s Clinic for Rett Syndrome. Gage has enjoyed serving as a supervisor for graduate and post graduate students in speech-language pathology, and continues to train interns and clinical fellows. She served as an instructor at Cal State East Bay during the summer sessions of 1994,1996, and 1998.

Gage received the Outstanding Achievement Award for District Three of the California Speech and Language Association in 2000, and Employee of the Month Award at Children’s Hospital Oakland in May of 2005.