Northern Stars tutoring has tutors who specialize in working with students with learning differences such as dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, Autism and Emotional and Behavioral Challenges. Every student is welcome at Northern Stars, and we will design learning programs that sensitively accommodate the learning style of each person with whom we work. Some of our tutors are living with learning differences themselves, and are able to be excellent role models of academic success for children and adults who struggle to learn when taught using conventional teaching styles. We say this: The best that a classroom teacher can do is make sure that most of the students receive most of the information most of the time. We will make sure that all of our clients receive all of the information all of the time.
Special consideration is given to students with ADD or ADHD. Students may keep something in their hands at all times. They are welcome to move around while learning. If necessary, we take breaks to allow the student to refocus. We repeat information until the student has retained it, regardless of his or her ability to pay attention for long periods of time.
Special consideration is given to students with the various forms of dyslexia. Math is taught inductively and with extensive word cues to students with dyscalculia. Students with symbolic dyslexia have the option of having assignments, and even whole books, read to them by their tutors. At times the tutor will write for the student, allowing the student to dictate his or her answers.
Special consideration is given to students with Asperger's Syndrome and Autism. We make sure that the learning space is consistent, that the student sits in the same seat and has access to the same learning materials throughout each session. We make sure to grant students a great deal of personal space, and we understand and accept that Autistic rage might happen while the student is with a tutor. We recognize when a student is no longer going to be able to go on, and prepare to pick up where we left off at another time rather than force the student through a stressful experience.
Special consideration is given to students with emotional and behavioral challenges such as Bipolar Disease, Clinical Depression, Schizophrenia, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and so on. We are sensitive to the students' situations without allowing their challenges to control the session. We are trained to work with students who might be unable to get out of bed one day and who are capable of producing a ten-page paper in two hours the next day. We assist students with planning their work around their down times, if those times are at all predictable.
We work with schools to stay within the guidelines of a student's IEP or 504, and, if necessary, assist parents in stating their expectations for further accommodations for their children. We assist students in learning to self-advocate and politely ensure that the conditions of their IEPs and 504s are met by their schools. At times, tutors have attended IEP and 504 meetings with parents so that those who work closely with the student during the school day are aware of a student's specific needs and to ensure that the student is not boxed in by a standard set of accommodations generally placed upon someone with a certain learning difference.
If you personally have a learning difference or if you are the parent or guardian of a child with a learning difference, please know that we do everything in our power to work with our students in the best way that they are able to receive information, not necessarily in the standard way that information is distributed. We are happy to accept any student into our program, and we shall work to meet the needs of even the most challenged student.