AN innovative and evidence-based therapy service for children with learning difficulties including dyslexia, autism, sensory processing, ADHD plus other conditions is looking to bring its program to the Nelson Bay area.
Hunter Learning Clinic has only been open a short while, but the response and interest has been overwhelming in a positive way for Director and Founder Natalie Williamson.
The clinic is currently based in Newcastle and Maitland, but Natalie also has a few clients in the Port Stephens area.
If she can attract some more she will be able to open an office here.
Natalie uses a Multi-Sensory Structured Language (MSL), which is the recommended pedagogy (method of learning) by the Australian Dyslexia Association.
Synthetic phonics is used as well in this direct, explicit teaching method.
It is considered the gold standard by many in terms of tutoring for children with learning difficulties.
The main tenets of the therapy are that learning must be Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic, so that senses are engaged alongside movement during learning.
Natalie employs various methods to make learning fun, including using a jumping ladder, Nerf guns, as well as fun apps and videos.
Natalie is a qualified teacher, has trained with the Australian Dyslexia Association and is currently undertaking a Masters in Special Education (Learning Difficulties).
She has experience of dyslexia with her own child so can empathise with parents and children.
Natalie told News Of The Area, “I’m looking forward to expanding my practice out at the Bay and helping many more children that may have a learning difficulty/disability.”
There are many programmes that promise to help children with literacy but not all are equal.
MSL is peer-reviewed and evidence-based, meaning it has been subjected to the highest levels of scrutiny by leading international academics.
It does not cost a fortune and NDIS funding can be used for sessions.
One on one, small group or skype sessions are offered and she works with clients from age six to adult.
She urges parents not to wait if they suspect their child may have a learning difficulty.
Dyslexia can be diagnosed from the age of five-and-a-half and it is imperative that learning plans be put in place as soon as possible.
In an geographical area that is often lacking in therapeutic services, this will be a very welcome addition.
The Clinic can be contacted on 0421 796100 or via www.hunterlearningclinic.com.au.
By Sarah STOKES