Dyslexia Help by Tricia Cook

  • Since I’m a dyslexia interventionist, I do a pre-diagnostic eval./screening to see if testing needs to be done or if there is another underlying problem that needs to be addressed. This is not a diagnosis, more like pre-planning or first steps. The Complete Elbert Evaluation including social/emotional domain, grade level, and complete… https://link.medium.com/CKp9KGN95cbWhat will be taught?
  • What topics will you cover?
  • How is your class structured?
  • How will you teach?
  • What’s your teaching style?
  • How much will learners get to interact with you and each other (mention specifics like: lecture, games, slides, video clips, discussion)?
  • Any required experience or knowledge learners need?

Maria Montessori defines “spirituality” as one of the domains of Early Childhood Education and Development. I’ve been a Montessorian since around 2006 and teacher trainer since 2008. The thought of adding “spirituality” to kids’ education was in my Montessori training and practice of methodology. It’s also embedded in her Montessori philosophy. What’s interesting: About eight years ago, I also attempted to add “spirituality” into the domains of development into one of my ECE teachers’ training; not surprisingly, it was “shot down” by my supervisor instantly. I can not let go of even the yearning and need to add “spirituality” to the way I teach those with dyslexia and other neurodifferences with, of course, meeting their other needs such as cognitive and sensory-motor needs. I just published Preview of Nurture Their Nature and is now getting internationally recognized (link below) which is now the basis of my Elbert program. Looking to Heal Our Own [Learning] Difference Through Our Very Own DNA is placed in the link HERE: https://link.medium.com/HEg2Ccz8Gcb

Does your child struggle to learn or have reading struggles (writing and speaking too)? Do They Have Phonological Awareness?

Image for post

Phonological Awareness Should Be Done In the Emergent Stage Before Beginning and Early Literacy (5 or Less Letter Sound Knowledge)

Summary of Stages of Literacy Development Of Intervention




Phonological Awareness: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2021/01/05/dyslexia-help-phonological-awareness-should-be-don-simultaneously-with-working-memory-and-alphabetic/

Does your child remember what your teaching them one day but for get the next?


What is sound word knowledge? Sound word knowledge is recognizing and recalling how many letters and how many sounds are in each position of a word. It helps students with dyslexia because they have the tools to help them when they omit letters/sounds in the middle of the word. For this: they need a strong working memory along with categorizing and sequencing skills!

Working Memory: Sequencing & Categorization Cards-Before you begin even alphabetic, I suggest doing activities of phonological awareness, including language and listening. For language and listening, you need to develop their sound word knowledge (described above) as well as their categorization and sequencing skills. (Note: the opportunity to teach ordinal numbers: first, second (next), third (last)).

Working Memory: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/10/29/dyslexia-help-looking-to-heal-our-own-learning-difference-by-developing-working-memory-of-sound-word-knowledge-processing/

Does your child struggle with reading, writing, and even speaking?


The students will develop their own “word attack” strategies, vocabulary, and sentence structure. The students will learn reading and writing strategies as tools to take them the rest of their lives by using hands-on technology (Whiteboard.chat), systemic (Quizlet presentation) and individualized learning methods. Have you ever heard of “out of context, out of mind?” The definition of language, itself, refers to the ability of someone being able to decode/encode symbols and creating meaning behind the symbols. I use “the students” own words/language along with their visual-spacial skills, background knowledge to teach them reading, writing and speaking skills. Again, hopefully, change the literacy students’ lives by adding confidence and future learning for your family (I encourage families to listen-in, ask questions, and sometimes participate)! Homework includes reading for pleasure, sight words, and writing down vocabulary words with-in the reading.

Phonics: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/11/07/dyslexia-help-phonics-cook-t-2020/

I have been tutoring since 2001; for about five years since my O-G training, I have been working heavily with students with dyslexia. I was blending Montessori and O-G methods and even came up with a program named, Oh Good Golly. To me using multi-sensory, individualized, sequential methods etc.. are key to helping students with learning differences; but a year ago, I was getting the guilt feeling of not “meeting the needs of the whole child”. Therefore, I started on writing my new Program Named ELBERT™ which is an intervention program to help students and training programs to help parents and teachers to better understand learning differences and challenges. This  ELBERT™ program is a hybrid of elements from Montessori and Orton-Gillingham and based on my own inductive reasoning and a detective sense contributed to my own gift of dyslexia, certifications, credentials, and experiences including countless hours of student observations, educational research, and studies along with my perpetual care for children. Similar to the Montessori philosophy, the Free The Literacy International Online Course by Dr. Vincent Goetry, Course Director, and Dyslexia International, based off of his recommendations, the dyslexic students need to be provided a safe, secure and happy environment by bearing in mind that children with dyslexia usually need several approaches in order to (Read on 7/17/20, https://www.dyslexia-and-literacy.international/ONL/EN/Course/Intro.htm):

·Encourage risk-taking in class, by persuading them to raise their hands even if they have doubts about their answers

·’Help’ them to give correct answers

·Avoid putting them in situations of failure in front of the others

·Reinforce self-esteem in class

·Preserve their self-esteem when marking their work

Self-regulation: Reinforce self-esteem in class

Independence and self-regulatory behavior are in direct correlation to gaining and keeping one’s self-esteem.  In Montessori, we don’t use any outside reinforcement and believe all self-esteem and regulatory behavior needs to be positively internalized. I try to give my students tools and strategies to self-regulate. I don’t use prizes, sticker charts, and such. I ask them, ‘how did it make you feel when you completed such and such all by yourself’. At the same time, I do want them to know that I am proud of them!! This again takes balance!!

I am not a fan of ABA because it shows immediate changes/results in a child’s behavior and actions. It is not long-lasting like self-directed neuroplasticity. To help save their self-esteem, they need to know that they are in control independently as it relates to their actions and behavior by having self-directed neuroplasticity. Going along with Montessori again, I trust the child in their actions and behaviors- I try very hard sometimes in being open to understanding why they chose to do what they do. In turn, I help them to think positively about themselves and their actions which is the biggest self-esteem saver!! Read on 7/17/20, https://amshq.org/About-Montessori/Inside-the-Montessori-Classroom/Early-Childhood

Dr. Shults (2015)  states, “The S in the De-Stress Model has to do with Speculate. And for me, that means, sitting down with the child and speculating with the child, what do you bring to this learning task that’s going to help you be successful? A child might say, I don’t know what you mean by that, and you can say, you know what? When you take things apart, you do a really good job at that. Or when you get in front of people and you do your comedy routine, you’re really great at that. Those are all strengths” Also, “S means success. And success means once you build a foundation for success by reducing stress and building confidence and building competence, success builds upon success. That’s an important part of the model. The final S in the De-Stress Model has to do with strategizing, thinking ahead. You’re saying to the child, now that you know these things, you know what’s going on in the brain, you know the impact of stress on your learning, you’ve been taught strategies to work on these things, take what you’ve learned here and try to apply that to the very next thing that you’re going to be asked to do. You can do it. And you know you can do it. And I hope that this.De-Stress Model helps kids get to that point of success.” Read on 7/17/20 https://www.kidsinthehouse.com/special-needs/learning-disabilities/the-de-stress-method-to-help-kids-succeed; https://dyslexiaida.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DITC-Handbook.pdf

Is s/he frequently irritable?

Does s/he overreact to small problems?

Does s/he have intense, angry outbursts?

Does s/he have outbursts for little or no apparent reason? (specify situations in which outbursts occur)?

“What are some ELBERT™ Holistic Alternatives for Self-Regulation?” 


— — — — — — — — — — Physical Ruled by 2nd chakra — — — — — — — — — —

(suggestion: consciousness begins around age 2 years)

-1st chakra (base) Shame/Empathy

-2nd chakra (sacral) Peace, Bliss and Joy (happiness)- motivation

-3rd chakra (solar plexus) Anger/Strength (can do 1 & 3 together- gaia gate)

Does your child or yourself have low resilience when it comes to learning?


Reading IN Research: Includes Reading, Vocabulary, Comprehension and Background Knowledge! Cross Reference: Dyslexia is a neurological reading disability that is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities [49]. Secondary consequences include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede vocabulary growth and background knowledge. (web view 11/17, link)

For example (below), this is my online class (Animal Myths, Tales, & Legends: Dyslexia Help Discovering Research In Literacy; https://myth-lord.tumblr.com/post/170086352044/most-creatures-per-country) for unique learners with learning differences and those who take pride in interest-based learning. The students will listen and be encouraged to read famous (and not so famous) animal/nature-related myths, tales, and legends. For text analysis, I will ask open-ended questions and discuss vocabulary after each paragraph in order to facilitate an analysis of the text and background knowledge (For which, I have found always deficient in those with dyslexia). These are questions that will have more than one right answer and encourage students to make a judgment call- they are then encouraged to write down or say one possible research question to answer their “why” question related to the text. Their discovery and inductive reasoning will be discovered when using this technique of text analysis along with such hypotheses along with questions that can foster in-class debates! They will take their observation, hypothesis and further questioning to do the research in-class and possibly outside of the class. This technique again will create what’s natural to all unique learners’ which is inductive reasoning and topics of nature/animal orientation and using mind maps. Then, the students will discover the explorations of data and delve into the real data to decide how best to use, interpret, and display it. Therefore, this will increase their comprehension naturally.

Attention and Executive Function: Preserve their self-esteem when marking their work

I have not used red ink in probably 20 years. I literally threw away all my red ink pens!! No joke..I have dyslexia and other learning differences. As a child, It killed me more than any to see my creative writing all marked up with a red pen with a frowny face or test for that matter. One year, I went into an already established and set-up PreK classroom, I threw away all the red pens that I found!!

I use learning conferences instead of marking their work. This way we are a team. They are directed by using rubrics that we make together!! Now, the rubrics are key along with the learning conferences. This way they know my expectations and what I “believe in” them that they may not even know yet that they can accomplish. If they think something is impossible, I will listen and take into consideration and “meet them where they are”.

If they think they can’t do something, then they pretty much can’t because I know, “you create your own reality’. I talk to them about envisioning what they want to see happening in their work and share it with me. This is where goal setting is absolutely key!! During learning conferences, it is so important to revisit those goals and recognize their self-esteem when goals are met then set new goals!! Read on 7/17/20, http://www.moedu-sail.org/lessons/developing-using-learning-rubrics/

Is s/he easily distractible; does he act without thinking?

Is s/he restless, not able to sit still; is he overly active?

Does s/he have difficulty initiating or finishing tasks such as homework?

Does s/he have difficulty finding things in his/her room or desk?

Is his/her written work poorly organized, does s/he have difficulty planning ahead?

Does s/he forget to hand in homework?

“What are some ELBERT™ Holistic Alternatives for Learning with Attention and Executive Function Issues?” 


The proprioceptive system is located in our muscles and joints. It provides us with a sense of body awareness and detects/controls force and pressure. The proprioceptive system also has an important regulatory role in sensory processing as proprioceptive input can assist in controlling responses to sensory stimuli. By learning, it’s a developmental OT/PT for dysgraphia.

What are some ELBERT™ Holistic Alternatives for Learning with Attention and Executive Function?

Lower Personal Self: The Gifts

Concrete Thought (conscious develops around age 2)

  • Physical Self (chakras 1–3)
  • Vestibular & Somatosensory Senses & Proprioception, Tactile Senses= RAS (body and brain)
  • dysgraphia, dysaphsia, cp

God, what’s my (Your) reality? What are my gifts? (physical, emotional rational mind, personal power and will- Ego Center)

Note: “The proprioceptive system is located in our muscles and joints. It provides us with a sense of body awareness and detects/controls force and pressure. The proprioceptive system also has an important regulatory role in sensory processing…” https://link.medium.com/HEg2Ccz8Gcb

Oppositional and Aggressive Behavior: Avoid putting them in situations of failure in front of the others

I’m a fan of Dr. Shultz and reading about his work in the IDA Handbook!! Dr. Shultz (2015) puts those with dyslexia on even “playing ground” which will set them up to succeed. “The R in the De-Stress Model means Reduce the threat. That means take the fear out of the environment for the child. If the child, for example, is intimidated by working in a large class filled with 26 or 30 kids, provide some time for small group instruction. However, if a child is stressed by being in a small group because all the attention is focused on him, then think about that when you create the space in which learning is supposed to occur. “

He also talks about, “The T in the De-Stress Model means to Teach the child the skills that she needs to be successful. We’ve talked about looking at her strengths and her weaknesses. But unless she has tools she can use consistently and regularly that are going to allow her to be successful, she won’t’ be, it’s random. So if there’s a particular method of reading instruction or math instruction or social skills interaction that you know from experience will be helpful for this child, teach her how to do those kinds of things. Let her rehearse those kinds of things in a safe environment. Don’t put her on stage without any preparation. Otherwise, she’ll experience yet again another failure. We don’t want to have that happen.” Read on 7/17/20 https://www.kidsinthehouse.com/special-needs/learning-disabilities/the-de-stress-method-to-help-kids-succeed; https://dyslexiaida.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DITC-Handbook.pdf

I “follow the child” in my lessons and informal observations dictate what they learn. Likewise, my instruction is systematic, direct, and sequential in manner. I work on levels with 90% mastery!! They can only move on when ready, not based on where others would consider them to be or need to be. https://greenspringmontessori.org/montessori-mastery-a-learning-process-for-life/; https://www.dyslexia-and-literacy.international/ONL/EN/Course/S1-1.htm & https://www.dyslexia-and-literacy.international/ONL/EN/Course/S3-1.htm

Lastly, I personally pair them with students who will mentor and uplift them. I carefully set up my small and individual pairs for collaborative work. They can grow in connection with these other students because again the careful pairing will set them up for success.

Is your child destructive to toys or other objects?

Does s/he say “no” or refuse to comply when asked to do something?

Does your child regularly argue with you (parents), teachers?

Does s/he tease or bully another child? Has s/he been teased or bullied?

Is s/he aggressive with siblings, peers or adults, e.g., hits or pushes?

Does s/he swear, call names or make threats?

Does your child have problems getting the words out and onto the page (writing)? Do want to find out why “poetry is a stepping stone for other forms of writing”?


Poetry is a stepping stone…I use poetry and pictures usually of nature to help my students with dyslexia. Poetry speaks to both sides of the brain like music in the fact that it includes language/rhythm (yes…rhyme too); mainly, It’s like music- it has language and rhythm which is healing. Likewise, poetry has rhyme, meter which has a pattern just as in music. The main thing for dyslexia is that poetry being a stepping stone for other forms of writing such as short stories and journaling; mostly; it includes list-form thinking, creativity, and text simplification (depending on the complexity, of course). Also, through writing poetry, it rewires the brain and connects us to our subconscious! Speaking of the subconscious, poetry is a great outlet for the emotional and mental bodies which can be intense sometimes for the dyslexic brain. Read more here.

Poetry includes the ability to use our list-form thinking abilities in a creative outlet…Poets??? Well check some out HERE.

I use poetry and pictures usually of nature to help my students with dyslexia. Poetry speaks to both sides of the brain like music in the fact that it includes language/rhythm (yes…rhyme too); through writing poetry, it rewires the brain and connects us to our subconscious! Speaking of the subconscious, poetry is a great outlet for the emotional and mental bodies which can be intense sometimes for the dyslexic brain. Read more here.

Note: high-quality writing depends on good transcription skills (see HERE), working memory (HERE), and executive function — all of which can be difficult for children with dyslexia and result in poor spelling (HERE) and low overall writing quality (HERE) (see HERE).

How does poetry help along with with productivity?

  • creativity and imagery
  • expressive and receptive language
  • confidence and completion
  • vocabulary and grammar
  • emotional intelligence
  • ARAS connects us to our consciousness
  • speech and handwriting
  • phonological and phonemic awareness
  • visual-spacial skills and list-form thinking
  • social-emotional skills
  • creative writing and figurative language
  • simplicity of content & text simplification
  • visual-graphic design opportunities

Writing: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/10/29/dyslexia-help-writing-looking-to-help-our-very-own-learning-difference/

Does your child or yourself have trouble inferencing when reading someone else’s writing or writing a fluid paper of their own?


Inferring/Predicting Strategy

Linking words and phrases (aka Transition words) are used to show relationships between ideas to classify, serialize, categorize, and analyze information (break-down for comprehension) which can be difficult for those with dyslexia. They can be used to join 2 or more sentences or clauses (a clause is a group of words which contains a subject and a verb). This creates fluidity of thinking and thoughts for the reader, as well as, the writer. Linking words/phrases can be used to add ideas together, contrast them, or show the reason for something when reading someone else’s writing or writing their own!!!! I HAVE USED THEM TO MY ADVANTAGE!!

Fluidity and Comprehension: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/08/27/ctrl-f-search-linking-words/

Does your child or yourself have problems comprehending what you read? Here are some skills, strategies and tools.


1) Introduce 3: before, during, after reading strategies (I do)

2) Practice Strategies (We do)

3) Students Practice (You do)

Goal: Students use the strategies independently.

Comprehension, Vocabulary, and English: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/08/26/cooks-reading-strategy-summary/

When is doing math word problems, does your child or yourself ever wonder why am I learning or teaching this?


Let me give the background of logical-mathematical word problems and those with nuerodifference such as dyslexia and autism. The biggest problem in math is that is presented as an abstract concept and due to logical-mathematical/language deficits students struggle with word problems specifically. We will pre-read real life problems that effect our world as it relates to their interest people, animals and nature. We are going to take that data, discuss it and develop a potential word problem and formulate a workable equation, figure out the best graphic organizer to analyze the data, do a real read, revisit the word problems and relate to the equation and compute, and, lastly, discuss and evaluate our findings and solutions to their very own word problem. As you read above, students with neurodifferences can have logical-mathematical/language deficits. They also have strength of synthesis, this is pulling out key information due to their interest. But, they can have problems logically breaking down that information and putting that information into a logical sequence and category. I have have found visual-graphic organizers are key to conquering word problems.

Math: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/11/02/dyslexia-help-math-word-problems-based-on-real-world-needs-and-desired-solutions/

“What are some ELBERT™ Holistic Alternatives for Learning with Oppositional and Aggressive Behavior Issues?” 


— — — — — — — — — Mental Ruled by 8th chakra (RAS) — — — — — — — — — —

(suggestion: starts to develop around age 7, big jump age 12+)

-4th chakra (heart) Hatred/Courage

-5th chakra (throat) Grief/Compassion (can do 4 & 5 together-earth star)

Anxiety: Encourage risk-taking in class, by persuading them to raise their hands even if they have doubts about their answers

In my mind, a child who is coached by an adult to be their own advocate- won’t care what others think of them and do what’s best for their own learning. As Dr. Shultz (2015) reminds us to educate them on dyslexia and being their own advocate by telling us about: “The E in the De-Stress Model means to Education. And by that, I mean to educate the child about his or her condition. Until the child understands that she has a learning disability or ADHD and it’s having this or that impact on learning, you don’t engage the child in his own self-care. And that’s a problem. Otherwise, it’s adults doing things to kids, for kids, about kids. I think we’re missing the boat because we don’t educate kids well enough. They don’t advocate well for themselves. They don’t get it. They just think there are a lot of adults hanging around them making them do stuff that’s too hard for them. Once they get it, it’s wonderful. It’s a great thing to see.” Read on 7/17/20,  https://www.kidsinthehouse.com/special-needs/learning-disabilities/the-de-stress-method-to-help-kids-succeed; https://dyslexiaida.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DITC-Handbook.pdf; https://amshq.org/About-Montessori/Inside-the-Montessori-Classroom/Early-Childhood

Personally, I talk to my students about being their own advocate and educate them on their capabilities and their own brain. They learn to speak out because they know that their thinking is unique and just as important as anyone else’s viewpoint/ideas. I actually write in my evaluation that the students and their parents give and encourage them opportunities to develop agency for something that they believe in whether it be animal rights, racial injustice, disability rights, advocacy, and dyslexia awareness/education!!

Lastly, I give them tools and strategies such as “thinking maps” because it’s not their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas that are so much shamed by others but the way in our disorganized communication that gets others to shame us. The thinking maps are done visually in their heads that help them to organize their own thoughts, beliefs, and ideas in an analytical way for others to understand better!!

Do you think your child worries more than other children?

What does s/he worry about?

Does s/he ever have problems falling asleep because she is worrying about something, can’t turn his/her mind off?

Does your child have many fears?

Is s/he easily scared?

Can s/he be easily comforted by reassurance?

Spelling & Dyslexia

People with Dyslexia have a sound and language processing problems. They will struggle to connect letters to sounds and, mainly problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words Dsyphonetic; as well, those with visual processing problems struggle to understand visual information such as letters, shapes, or objects and, mainly problems processing graphic symbols Dsyeidetic (visual-surface) Dyslexia . Related to the absorption and processing of sounds [sounds especially can be omitted from the middle position of words the most because it’s the last sound to be processed; even though, it’s in the middle position], Therefore, students with dyslexia most commonly omit letter sounds, words, phrases in the middle position, then the end, and least commonly the beginning. When they omit, they might do sounds confusions such as repetition(s), substitution(s), addition(s) or delete altogether, on the other hand ; transversal and reversal are more common in students with a visual processing problem- have them remember: if it doesn’t look or sound right reread or rewrite till you’re brain feels like “it’s just right” [trust your brain- you are smart, you can do it, and you are love].

Furthermore, people with dyslexia have a sound and language processing problems and struggle to connect letters to sounds as well, those with visual processing disorder struggle to understand visual information such as letters, shapes, or objects and graphic symbols. Because dyslexia cannot be cured, students can develop tools and strategies to help their working memory, phonological awareness, reading, and spelling. Read More Here: https://myelbert.com/2020/09/09/dyslexia-help-dysphonetic-phonetic-vs-dsyeidetic-visual-dyslexia/

Phonics II: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/11/07/dyslexia-help-phonics-ii-cook-t-2020/

Can you build on you child’s strength of knowing sight words to fill in some of their reading gap? Favor?


When I’m helping your child with their Sound-Word Knowledge & Processing, Can you help them by doing these systematic, explicit, sight word activities (mentioned below)???

Also, For Dyslexia Help: Is your Comprehending BUT struggles with Reading Fluently??? They may need Sight Word Knowledge (ask me about nonsense word knowledge too).

What are Sight Words? Sight words are words which are usually high-frequency that do not fit standard phonetic patterns and must be memorized.

Sight Words: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/10/15/favor-helping-those-with-a-learning-difference-enjoy-learning-again/

Does your child have problems with spelling (appears as Grammar Too)? Do there sentinse louk [like] This


Writing analysis of sentence above: (Does not do) deletion of letters in the end position, (their not there) struggles with sight word knowledge, (sentence not sentinse) have i/e sound confusion so a substitution in the middle position of a word, (look not louk) tries write most words out phonetically, [like] the word like is deleted for the middle position of the sentence, (this not This ) the t is capitalized for either reason, they compensate for reversals, or VPD and processes better in larger print, grammar is an abstract concept/along with formal rules).

Spelling: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/08/26/free-morphology-for-spelling-matrices/

Does your child struggle with handwriting? My suggestion for handwriting help is to teach your child Cursive because ‘It’s easy on the hand; It’s easy on the mind’!


CURSIVE- Always lower case at 90% mastery first! Begin with dry erase- teach cursive first, always get lower case to 90% until upper case. if doesn’t go well see below for block. For CURSIVE: learn the ”c, l, i, n” then you can learn many other letters. Start with marker and dry erase…easier for students. Note: Upper case is not written into this program, but you can be as fancy as you want as long as it resembles others uppercase. (google uppercase- cursive, pick font and stick with it). Practice on computer using https://www.whiteboard.chat/ (go to grids, or press primary lined) with her particular color overlay (I find students are either light yellow or blue-see which works best): https://www.aurelitec.com/colorveil/windows/download/.Thanks, Aurelitec & WhiteBoard.Chat.com (if surface dyslexia use grid page for practicing).

Is your child’s reading not very confident nor automatic? What goals can we set to help them read better?


Goal: 1) The students will listen to their own recorded fluency including prosody, rate, and expression/intonation objective. 2) The students will read independently, with speed, accuracy, and expression, as they will asses the recording of text being read fluently by themselves. Find books on their level here: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/bookwizard/

Building Fluency: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/11/02/dyslexia-help-building-fluency

Does your student or yourself still struggle with grammar?


Grammar is actually an abstract concept. How should you intervene for grammar in tutoring sessions? I can tell you right now; it is not two denominational worksheets. It usually is a three denominational related image produced in the mind due to strong visual-spacial reasoning. Can you imagine being described very plain a room but inside your own mind you’ve filled every dimension of room with every detail such as: color of curtains, size of the lamp shades, dimensions of the coach, color and size of the plant in the corner with-in seconds of being told about this very plain room? If you have dyslexia, like myself, you actually create a 3D image looking down at the room the room. The creativity, imagination and innovation is through the roof with someone with dyslexia. The logic of-evaluation of size, shape, color and dimension is a known strength. This is why common occupations of those with dyslexia include the following: cartographers-map makers; artist; interior designers; chefs; actors; VG technology and IT- internet/web development; print and broadcast media; marketing and advertising; athletes; manufacturing; assembly and industry; commercial driving; and skilled trades. Grammar done with Whiteboard.chat includes a “work space” to interact as you work on Grammar the ability to use our list-form thinking abilities in a creative outlet with color, shape, size and dimension are possible.

Grammar: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/10/30/dyslexia-help-grammar-made-with-color-shape-size-dimension/

“What are some ELBERT™ Holistic Alternatives for Learning with Anxiety Issues?” 


— — — — — — — — — Emotional (mind and cellular level) Ruled by 8th chakra (RAS)

-6th chakra (third eye) Grace (freedoms-abundance, devotion)

-7th chakra (cosmic) Mercy (forgiveness-release fear/unconditional love)

-8th chakra (crown) “high heart-mind=soul chakra”- Glory-gratitude/Victory-harmony (Includes the vagus nerve (thymus), in turn includes alta major and soma chakras

Depression: ‘Help’ them to give correct answers

First, being a Montessorian, Maria’s philosophy is all about facilitating the child’s learning. This means that you trust and respect the child. I think they may know more than myself and I’m in their service. I serve the child not in the mindset that because I’m the adult that I necessarily know more- BUT, I do have them feel safe, secure, and happy at the same time. This takes a balance and an uncanny open-mindedness!!

Secondly, in the Montessori philosophy, there is a cycle of activity. “This cycle respects individual variations in the learning process facilitates the development of coordination, concentration, independence, and a sense of order while facilitating your child’s assimilation of information.” Read on 7/17/2020, https://amshq.org/About-Montessori/Inside-the-Montessori-Classroom/Early-Childhood

Third, I ‘help’ them to give correct answers by not saying, ‘no or that’s not right’ when referring to an answer to a question. In my classes, the students are also safe and secure amongst their peers because I never discourage any thought, belief, and idea. If I have questions about it, I will ask to have them think. In turn, It usually persuades me to rethink my own thoughts, beliefs, and ideas!!! Love my kids and their “outside-of-the-box thinking”! On the other hand, I can take their answer and work with their answer by assimilating what I know that they have in their background knowledge and experience to the new skill, the content of the question that I’m presenting to them.

What is your child’s mood like most of the time?

Is s/he often unhappy, sad or tearful?

Does your child’s mood change abruptly for no apparent reason?

Have you noticed a change in his/her interest in things s/he used to enjoy?

Have you noticed a change in his/her energy or activity level?

Is s/he more quiet than usual?

Have you noticed a change in his/her sleep patterns or appetite?

“What are some ELBERT™ Holistic Alternatives for Learning with Depression Issues?” 


The Senses Lower Personal Self: The Dreams

Abstract Thought (spiritual conscious begins develops around age 7, makes a jump at 12)

  • Mental Self (chakras 4–6, cognitive brain)
  • Visual, Auditory Senses= Pons (body & mind)
  • dyslexia, higher functioning autism


Lower Personal Self:The Wishes

God, what are my (Your) dreams? What are my gifts? (creativity, visionary, aspiration, wisdom- Dream Center)

  • Social/Emotional Self (chakras 6–8, soul mind)
  • Olfactory & Gustatory Senses= Thymus (high heart & mind)
  • all learning difficulties

God, what’s my (Your) purpose? What are my wishes? (Higher Purpose & Will- Acceptance of Christ Center and His Will & Purpose)

Do you get angry by showing frustration when you are teaching your child? Do you have shame by weeping when you are teaching your child?



Does your child or yourself get angry or sad when you try to help them? Have you ever wondered about the nature and nurture related to learning differences?


If you have anger, you can have hyperarousal and become frustrated, reactive, impulsive, irritable, anxious, etc. and if you have shame, you can have hypoarousal and become “shut down”, sluggish, needy, weepy, avoidant, etc.. You could have these responses normally! This is why it would be important to practice PYAM (Prayer, Yoga, Affirmations, Meditation), along with them!! Also, ask me below about the complete adult ELBERT™ program!! If you know someone with a learning difference and or stress responses, I’d say focus on releasing anger and strength and shame and replace it with empathy. Let’s then talk about the nature-nurture of a learning difference and see other steps for contacting me below!!

One of the major goals for self-directed neuroplasticity and epigenetics includes holistic alternatives and activities like PYAM daily is to block or ease the production of specific inflammatory proteins (toxicity) excreted by the vagus nerve and align and balance the seven chakras (soma/alta major also) including RAS & ACC/HPA areas of the brain to regulate our own electromagnetic fields. When you activate the chakras (major 7 and soma/alta major- HPA/ACC) and normalize, balance the vagal tone & electromagnetic field, it will stop the negative proteins and allow the body to calm, gain positive attitudes and make learning more pleasurable and effective; therefore, also the Reticular Activating System (RAS) needs to be activated via the Vagus nerve.

What is epigenetics related to child development & learning?

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I understand the impact anger and shame that a negative social environment has on those who have learning differences, or as I prefer to say “neurodifferent”, ELBERT™ is a program that employs a positive attitude and positive environment towards learning for those who have difficulty with learning. Instead of allowing shame and anger to overwhelm the learner, I focus on bringing in positive emotions and teaching methods that help the learner with their learning difference.

Please take time today to read this article and think about: How students with learning differences perceive the universal emotions which are the following shame, empathy, anger, strength, hatred, courage, grief, and compassion when it comes to their learning!! I have a suggestion for those students who have emotional intensity and/or major empaths. For students with dyslexia, the goal is reducing shame and anger which will help them in perceiving their existence as well as learning with strength and empathy by using PYAM: http://tcookedu.blog/2020/03/04/speaking-of-the-whole-child/

Does your child get angry by showing frustration when you are teaching them? Do they have shame by weeping when you are teaching them?


[This article is based off my just published book Nurture Their Nature preview here https://link.medium.com/HEg2Ccz8Gcb]

If you have anger, you can have hyperarousal and become frustrated, reactive, impulsive, irritable, anxious, etc. and if you have shame, you can have hypoarousal and become “shut down”, sluggish, needy, weepy, avoidant, etc.. You could have these responses normally! This is why it would be important to practice along with PYAM (Prayer, Yoga, Affirmations, Meditation) with them!! Also, ask me below about the complete adult ELBERT™ program!! If you know someone with a learning difference and or stress responses, I’d say focus on releasing anger and strength and shame and replace it with empathy. Let’s then talk about the nature-nurture of a learning difference and see other steps for contacting me below!!

Nature– is maturation of brain and body: ability to perceive, give meaning, learn, and act including motivation and resilience. Speaking of the “whole child”- the vagus nerve connects the brain stem to the body. Vagus Nerve- The vagus nerve is one of the cranial nerves that connect the brain to the body. This vagal balance allows the triune brain to monitor and receive information from our environment; The triune includes the brain stem, midbrain, and frontal lobe. The brain stem helps us receive information from our environment. The midbrain helps us to process information from our environment. The frontal lobe to perceive the universal emotions which are the following: shame (sadness), empathy, anger (frustration/anxiety), strength, hatred, courage, grief, and compassion. The vagus nerve (thymus- vagus nerve chakra) can be deactivated, underdeveloped, hypoactive, or going inactive in children (adults-too); therefore, releasing specific inflammatory proteins at the gut-brain axis which can be toxic to the triune brain. The vagal balance is when all chakras are aligned!

The vagus nerve also is connected to RAS including the ACC/HPA. Reticular Activating System (RAS)– The reticular activating system (RAS) is a network of neurons located in the brain stem that project anteriorly to the hypothalamus to mediate behavior, as well as both posteriorly to the thalamus and directly to the cortex for activation of awake, desynchronized cortical EEG patterns (RAS info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYlpZ5F4668). NOTE: ‘The RAS is said to be the gas pedal [slow, accelerate or varied speed processing] that ignites the diencepha-lon (the hypothalamus and thalamus) as well as the cortical areas [where all long-term memory/storage takes place] of the brain’ (Petty, 1996).

More specifically, the RAS is the connection between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. Likewise, the vagus nerve has two bunches of sensory nerve cell bodies, and it connects the brainstem to the body and vagal nerves carry somatic and visceral afferents that can alter the activity of brainstem reticular centers. Remember it also allows the brain to monitor and receive information about several of the body’s different functions including the parasympathetic (shame) and sympathetic (anger) response system at the point of the brain-gut axis by activating the seven chakras including the soma/alta major via the vagus nerve, it can continue doing its job of helping us connect our brainstem to the body; lastly, (ARAS) will be activated on the cerebral cortex which is responsible for the achievement of consciousness.

Nurture– is the adaptation of children responding to the demands of the environment in ways that meet their own goals and function in a safe and secure way. It’s also the organization to integrate particular observations (patterns first) into a body to form coherent knowledge; primarily, It’s the basis on the child’s need for meaning and motivation. Lastly, they need to be provided a safe, supportive, healthy, and loving environment to prevent kids from learning from primarily either their mental or emotional body (anger/shame) nor solely etherical (total). Relative to epigenetics (see below), my specific emphasis in the paper and program is the heart for instance: anger being replaced with strength, shame being replaced with empathy and both with love: therefore, they will increase their connection, trust, and love for themselves and others. There’s a lot to be said for Maria Montessori’s observations of trusting the universe along with ‘the child’. If we love and trust our children, this becomes their inner thoughts, feelings, ideas, and perspectives. When they trust their own brain [and heart], they can experience the “gifts of dyslexia” and learn anything the way they learn best.

Speaking of the “whole child”- if they have feelings of anger they could be hyperarousal, this affects their breath and ability to think (making logical decisions) especially when doing a stressful task such as reading. They might exhibit responses of impulsiveness, aggressiveness, and agitation (along with hyperactivity). NOTE: go to emotion chart to see if anger or shame occurs when they’re reading!! You might be surprised what you find.

If the child has gone beyond the perception of anger and has internalized filters of shame, this also affects their ability to breathe. They might exhibit responses of “shut down”, ruminating on the negative, and even depression (along with hypoactivity). Likewise, one thing of having a learning difference is physiological problems- such as headaches, stomach aches, allergies, hives, inflation, etc..Do you or your child have hyperarousal, hypoarousal or balanced?

In my book Nurture Their Nature also touch on the safe, positive learning environments, toxicity and other environmental factors for instance you can view some of the activities and exercises like PYAM DAILY. In my classes and sessions, I cover the affirmations of strengths [remember trust your brain and heart: I am smart, I can do this, I am love]. A neurodifference can be perceived as having “gifts” such as: We are highly intelligent and have the ability to use tools and strategies to compensate for struggles to read, write, or spell. We may excel at thinking of “outside the box” solutions, seeing a problem from many different sides, and spatial relationships along with the ability to think in 3 dimensions. We often have intuitive and insightful, well-developed social awareness and emotions while possessing a lexicon of words to help with the synonymous “whys of dyslexia”. We also have deep and holistic list-form thinking, problem solving and building/constructing abilities, computer skills and gaming strategies. Lastly, we seek out endeavors of creative, imaginative, visual, artistic and visionary skills, inventing and innovating pursuits.

Universal Emotions: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/10/08/universal-emotions-looking-into-the-emotions-of-learning/; https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/12/10/dyslexia-help-understanding-universal-emotions-further/; https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/12/10/dyslexia-help-understanding-universal-emotions-of-learning-a-step-further-cook-t-2020/

Does your child read too fast or too slow and loose fluency? Do they skip over small words, commas, or periods?


Effects of ADHD: ADHD- Impulsive & Hyperactive Type

What to Look For…

–reads too fast, they skip over words and lines (slow down reading)

-skips over small sight words and/or reading the end position of a big word- Tends to be a better phonetic word reader- needs heavy, distinct, and systematic for sight and nonsense words (see column far right).

-do run-on reading (skipping over commas, periods), read robotically with less intonation- see beginning of this article and listening to perfectly modeled reading rate, intonation, etc..

  • to overthink/get overwhelmed- they need to remember calm, be able to fidget/move, and work with the universal emotion of anger.

Effects of ADHD- Inattentive Type

What to look for…

-reads too slow, they skip over words and lines (slow down reading)

-skips over large phonetic words and/or reading the end position of a big word- Tends to be a better sight word reader- needs heavy, distinct, and systematic for phonetic words (see column far right). Also, ask about dyslexia.

-does less confident reading (large words), read with intonation until confident- see beginning of this article and listening to perfectly modeled reading rate, intonation, etc..

-to daydream/get underwhelmed- they need to remember attention and stay “present’

Effects of ADHD: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/12/17/dyslexia-help-reading-effects-of-adhd/

Does your child struggle to learn? Have you wondered if it’s dyslexia and what recommendations or accommodations are best for them?


Recommendations & Accommodations: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/11/12/dyslexia-help-recommendations-accommodations/

Have you ever wondered about the nature and nurture related to learning differences?


To Learn more about the nature and nurture go here: I just published Nurture Their Own Nature: Helping Those With A Neurodifference Enjoy Learning Again (Cook, T., 2020) (short version) https://link.medium.com/QCu1Cz5S9bb; (longer version) https://link.medium.com/eZNM4y9R9bb

Works Cited

Tcooktutoring. “Preview of Nurture Their Nature.” Medium, NURTURE THEIR VERY OWN NATURE: Helping Those With A Learning Differences, 30 Jan. 2021, medium.com/nurture-their-very-own-nature-helping-those-with-a/preview-of-nurture-their-nature-c5b7fee0340a.

Even More Information: www.myelbert.com Share and Contact for classes: https://lookingtohealourownlearningdifference.org/2020/12/18/helping-parents-teachers-tutors-on-using-technology-for-online-tutoring-class-sessions/

More References: Bailey, E. (n.d.). How Multisensory Classrooms Help Children with Dyslexia. Retrieved July 18, 2020, from https://www.thoughtco.com/multisensory-approaches-for-dyslexia-3111175

To read more about Maria Montessori: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fully-human/201910/one-the-20th-centurys-greatest-educators

Montessori Methodology- read more here: https://kindredspiritslearning.com/2020/01/27/bite-sized-montessori/

Published by Tricia Cook, MEd., Online Dyslexia and Behavioral Interventionist, RSP, AA O-G Tutor & Montessorian

My interest is in helping parents and teachers to understand learning and behavioral challenges and to love learning again. I graduated from Auburn in ECE in 1998. I have been a Montessori teacher here in Birmingham for almost 12 years and have lived in Birmingham for the past 19 years. As an early childhood teacher, I want continue to grow and develop as a constant learner. In 2012, I graduated from Secondary Education with a P-12 Reading Specialist certification the University of Alabama. As a Reading Specialist, I train on diversity and literacy development; I have a specialized knowledge of assessment and diagnosis that is vital for developing, implementing, and evaluating your literacy and neurodiversity behavioral, character development programing. Also, I have varying experiences designing instruction and environments for Montessori and Non-Montessori (OSR-Pre-K) environments. Therefore, I can consult for any environment or setting! In 2013, I attained my highly qualified status in ECE and Reading. In 2013, I also got my Orton-Gillingham AA tutor certification. I currently tutor full-time along with consulting. I have actually been tutoring since 2003. Along with other independent tutoring/interventionist experiences, I have brought dozens of students from an emergent to an advanced reading level! In addition to tutoring, I have provided the reading strengths and needs of my students and share that information to classroom teachers, parents, specialized teachers, and other stakeholders.  Lastly, I have also been a trainer/presenter, since 2008 and really enjoy this aspect of my career. As an experienced trainer, I have trained on many topics including: literacy (the five components), classroom management, positive discipline, diversity character development, Montessori Philosophy, policies and procedures, child development, and Alabama's Pre-k. Take note: Schools and families are desperately looking for an alternative type of affordable multi-sensory, hands-on, and interesting instruction. Currently, I am training and interested in writing on the following topics: A Comparison of Pre-K to Kindergarten; Adolescent Literacy (7th+); Assessment; Developing Readers; Children’s Literature; Classroom Management Techniques; Comprehension; Montessori Philosophy; Environmental Print & Early Writing; Family Attachment; Language and Literacy; Outdoor Classroom; Poetry Writing (7th+); Positive Guidance; Fine-motor Development; Cursive Writing; Creative Writing; Comprehension: Study Skills/Test Taking Strategies; Morphology; Phonics Instruction; Diversity Education; Neurodiversity Education; HandWriting; Reading Strategies; Best Practices P-12. Thank you, Tricia Cook, MEd., RSP, AOG; https://linktr.ee/tcooktutor

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