By Mrs. Leah David, MS
I was a mother with a problem. Now I am a woman on a mission.
No child should suffer in school. No child should feel like a failure because they haven’t learned to read. No parent should have to go through this alone. I’ve been there.
My name is Mrs. Leah David and I founded Ohr HaLimud–The Multi-Sensory Learning Center in 2003. I did it because my bright daughter, then seven, was not learning to read. I cried myself to sleep every night with worry of what would happen to her. We tried everything. She was not getting the English, and she was not getting the Hebrew.
She learned some, but that was not considered reading. I spoke with my rebbe, Rabbi Chaim Pinchus Scheinberg, zt’l (how I miss him today) and sought his sage advice. Hours were spent with my rebbe guiding me. With much siyata d’Shmaya, I was guided to a professional team of Orton-Gillingham language therapists. Almost immediately, my daughter started to read. I realized that she could not go back to her previous school. They could not teach her in the way that she needed to learn. Where was I supposed to send my child to school? The only logical answer was to open an Orton-Gillingham Bais Yaakov School.
Ohr HaLimud is filling a specific need in the community. Our paradigm of education is unique. We are Orton-Gillingham language therapists who are supervised by Fellows of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. This assures a diagnostic, prescriptive, and successful learning experience. This method allows the language therapist to focus on specific areas of reading and language development.
Dyslexia does not mean seeing backwards! Dyslexia makes it extremely difficult to read, write, and spell—despite average or even above-average intelligence. According to the International Dyslexia Association, it is characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent letter or word recognition, poor spelling, and decoding difficulties. It can result in reading-comprehension problems and can impede the growth of vocabulary and basic learning. Children with dyslexia usually do not respond well to traditional reading programs. This multisensory approach is taught in a 1:1 setting, and follows the guidelines of the National Reading Panel, which assesses scientific literature on reading instruction and makes its recommendations based on scientific evidence. The lesson is broken down into at least five parts designed to help the brain of the child with dyslexia absorb information in a different way. Though early intervention is best, this approach works for all readers of any age. Dyslexia affects many parts of a person’s life: school or work, daily routines, family life, and friendships. Dyslexia is a “glitch” that can be easily remedied.
Ohr HaLimud’s Bais Yaakov Girls School is now accepting applications for its 11th year. The school offers a complete Hebrew and English curriculum for girls who are falling behind because traditional teaching methods have failed. The students at Ohr HaLimud, ages 6–14, receive a complete Orton-Gillingham Multi-Sensory education in both Hebrew and English subjects. Yiddish is also taught in the one-to-one sessions for those students who require it. Ohr HaLimud is opening up the minds and hearts of students to the joys and challenges of learning. The students are bright girls who just need to learn in a different way. Not all minds are alike, and these girls have to be taught in a manner that meets their unique educational needs. With an educational cycle at Ohr HaLimud, we expect our students to go back to a traditional school.
Our success speaks for itself. In just 10 short years, we have sent our girls back to their home schools with all the skills necessary for educational success. Today many of our alumnae are in mainstream high schools and professional programs. Our girls are working towards careers preparing for their future husbands and families. We just celebrated the engagement of our first kallah. Our alumnae are happy to visit and share their successes, and many return on a regular basis to offer support for parents and students. Our girls come from all communities: Flatbush, Far Rockaway, Woodmere, Lakewood, Lawrence, Monsey, Williamsburg, Boro Park, Kew Gardens Hills, and even Denver, Colorado.
We haven’t forgotten the boys. We have taught over 200 boys and girls to read in our afterschool/Sunday reading center. Many of our students are in advanced learning programs both here and in Israel.
We hope our efforts to educate the community about dyslexia will result in educational success. Early remediation is the key! Ohr HaLimud is now accepting applications for the 2013–2014 school year. We are here to help you with any questions you may have concerning your child. We are located in Brooklyn and can be reached at 718-972-0170 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Ohr HaLimud, our children say, “Yes, I can” . . . and they do! v