Dyslexia Tutoring

Getting Started with Dyslexia Tutoring

Looking to hire a private tutor for one on one reading instruction? Good idea. It's among the best ways to help your child improve their reading, BUT before you hire one, here are three important things to consider:

1.   Be sure to have completed a psycho-educational assessment or dyslexia assessment before you seek a tutor. Don't put the cart ahead of the horse! If your child is not properly assessed how will you know if you have a suitably trained tutor using the proper materials?

2.   Give some thought as to whether you might be the tutor! This can save a lot of money and be very rewarding in itself as you see your child progress, but be honest with yourself, do you have the time, energy and expertise to do dyslexia tutoring right? You may have to spend several days or weeks just preparing/training to deliver the first tutoring lesson.

3.   Do some research before selecting a tutor, including an interview of any candidates. You could literally be working with this person for years so be sure to carefully pick someone you enjoy working with. See below for questions to ask the prospective tutor.

Quick Links to Tutoring Centre Lists

UK Tutoring Centres

US Tutoring Centres

Canadian Tutoring

Finding a Tutor - The Hard Part

Too Many and Not Enough!

Here's the problem in a nutshell:

  • There are million tutoring websites and tutors available
  • Very few know how to teach a dyslexic student

Just try 'Googling' or 'Binging' the phrase tutoring services! There are so many services that there are now sites dedicated to reviewing tutoring sites.

So, despite there being lots of online options, finding a good tutor is still not easy. Especially if you're outside of a major centre. Regardless of where you live, here is our recommended path for finding a tutor:

Step by Step

  1. Ask for referrals from people you trust
    If you know someone who has had good luck with a tutor in your school or neighborhood, consider meeting with them to see if they might be able to help you as well.

  2. Ask your school for a recommendation
    Teachers often know very good tutors. (
    This is what worked for us)

  3. Ask the person who conducted your psycho-educational assessment or equivalent for a recommendation

  4. Search for local dyslexia tutoring centres in your area
    Some exceptional ones, like the Scottish Rite Foundation (Canada) and Children's Dyslexia Centers (US), offer free tutoring for students with dyslexia - in some area only though!)

  5. Try an online service for finding in person tutors in your area. In the US, one the largest and best tutor providers is WyzAnt.com. 

A service like WyzAnt can help parents and students find the kinds of tutors best suited for a dyslexic student. Specifically, they supply in-person tutors and specific details on the teaching methods used. For example you can search for a tutor trained in the Orton Gillingham approach. Finally, their tutors  have been pre-screened; the company is certified by the Better Business Bureau and you can read tutor reviews written by students or parents. That's not bad.

Even with such a service, there is no guarantee of finding a good tutor and you will have to do all the usual due dilligence in screening (see below for some suggestions). The Dyslexia Reading Well is not responsible for poor experiences or results from any tutoring. 

Aren't there already existing lists of great tutors at some dyslexia sites?

Yes, but we've scoured all the best sites that contain lists including the International Dyslexia Association Provider Directory  and concluded that they are totally inadequate for serving the huge need that exists. There just aren't enough tutors in those lists.

Remember, a dyslexic student needs intensive in-person tutoring, not someone on a phone or in a chat box! Wherever you search for dyslexia tutoring services, be sure to filter for in-person tutors with experience teaching dyslexic students with proven methods. 

What's a Good, Qualified, Effective Tutor Look Like?

Someone with suitable education and knowledge and experience of both the content and instruction methods required for dyslexic students This includes multi-sensory, systematic methods, usually based on the Orton-Gillingham approach and content that includes teaching phonemes, comprehension, fluency and spelling. For more details see our Dyslexia Treatment page.

Dyslexia Tutoring Centres

In some larger cities there are organizations that offer tutoring services for dyslexic students at a central location. In some cases they are even offered free of charge. Below are the Canadian, US and now UK list (at long last) as of February 2014.

Note: In assembling the lists below, we have endeavored to include only tutoring centres that include dyslexia among the learning disabilities the centre accommodates in their curriculum and teaching methods. But this does not mean the methods used by any particular centre are evidence based or proven to work.

Not all centres included here are dedicated to dyslexic students and may not agree with the label 'dyslexia tutoring centre'. Some centres serve students with learning disabilities more broadly. Finally, the UK list includes tutoring centres that may not properly accommodate dyslexia. Be sure to inquire about methods. 

The appearance of a tutoring centre in our list is not an endorsement by the Dyslexia Reading Well.

Dyslexia Tutoring Centres - Canada

ProvinceCityTutoring Centre
AlbertaEdmontonEdmonton Rite to Learn Foundation
AlbertaCalgaryScottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre
BCVancouverBC Learning Centre for Children with Dyslexia (Scottish Rite)
ManitobaWinnipegKC Dyslexic Learning Centre
New BrunswickMonctonScottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre
Nova ScotiaHalifaxScottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre
OntarioBarrieScottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre
OntarioLondonScottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre
OntarioOshawaPathway Education Services
OntarioOttawaHeritage Academy
OntarioWindsorScottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre

Dyslexia Tutoring Centres - United States

Alabama6 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Alaska3 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Arizona3 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
ArkansasFayettevilleScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
ArkansasLittle RockScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
ArkansasLittle RockAll Children's Academy
California27 locationsLindamood-Bell
California15 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
CaliforniaNewarkStellar Academy for Dyslexics
ConnecticutGlastonburyDyslexia Institutes of America
ConnecticutWaterburyScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Colorado12 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
District of ColumbiaWashingtonLindamood-Bell
District of ColumbiaWashingtonScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Florida14 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
FloridaJacksonvilleJacksonville Tutoring Specialists
Georgia13 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
HawaiiMililaniThe Dyslexia Tutoring Center of Hawaii
HawaiiHiloScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
HawaiiHonoluluScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Idaho4 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Illinois6 locationsScottish Rite Children's learning Centers
Indiana CarmelLindamood-Bell
Indiana IndianapolisFortune Academy
Indiana IndianapolisScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Indiana South BendScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Indiana IndianapolisDyslexia Institute of Indiana
Indiana BloomingtonPinnacle School
Iowa4 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
KansasTopekaThe Center for Learning Disabilities
Kansas4 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
KentuckyLouisvilleLangsford Learning Center (2 locations)
Kentucky4 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Louisiana5 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MaineBangorScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MainePortlandScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MarylandCumberlandScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MarylandBaltimoreScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MassachusettsNewtonvilleScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MassachusettsWoburnScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MassachusettsWorcesterScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MichiganAnn ArborLindamood-Bell
MichiganBay CityScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MichiganDearbornScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MichiganGrand RapidsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MichiganLansingThe Michigan Dyslexia Institute
MichiganBerkleyThe Michigan Dyslexia Institute
MichiganWyandotteThe Michigan Dyslexia Institute
MichiganHarbor SpringsThe Michigan Dyslexia Institute
MichiganFlintThe Michigan Dyslexia Institute
MichiganSt. ClairThe Michigan Dyslexia Institute
MichiganKalamazooThe Specialized Language Development Center
MichiganGrand RapidsThe Specialized Language Development Center
Minnesota3 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MinnesotaRochesterThe Reading Center/Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota

Dyslexia Tutoring Centres United States Cont...

Missouri9 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MissouriSt LouisChurchill Center & School
MissouriParkvilleEducational Therapy Center
MississippiColumbusScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MississippiJacksonScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MontanaBillingsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MontanaMissoulaScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
MontanaBozemanSage Learning Center
MontanaBelgradeGallitan Valley Learning Solutions
Nebraska3 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
NebraskaOmahaVoice Advocacy Center
Nevada3 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
New HampshireNashuaScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
New HampshireRochesterScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
New Jersey5 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
New Mexico3 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
New YorkOriskanyScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
New YorkRochesterScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
North CarolinaBooneScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
North CarolinaGreenvilleScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
North DakotaFargoScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
North DakotaBismarkScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
OhioWest ChesterLangsford Learning Acceleration Centers
OhioCincinnatiLangsford Learning Acceleration Centers
Ohio10 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Oklahoma7 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Oregon7 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
PennsylvaniaBryn MawrLindamood-Bell
Pennsylvania10 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Puerto RicoSan JuanScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Rhode IslandCranstonScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
South Carolina3 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
South DakotaRapid CityScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
South DakotaSioux FallsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Tennessee6 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Texas 7 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Texas San AntonioLearning Foundations
UtahHighlandThe Dyslexia Center of Utah
UtahOgdenScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
UtahSalt Lake CityScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Virginia5 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
WashingtonSeattle Hamlin Robinson School
WashingtonPuyallupScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
West Virgina3 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
WisconsinEau ClaireScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
WisconsinMadisonScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
WisconsinMilwaukeeScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers
Wyoming3 locationsScottish Rite Children's Learning Centers

Dyslexia Tuition Centres - United Kingdom

Despite far greater awareness of dyslexia in the UK compared to Canada and the US, there are surprisingly few dyslexia oriented tuition centres - at least ones that we could locate.  Most of the centres below do not specialize in dyslexia and some may not have dyslexia specialists on staff, but many do. Be sure to inquire with your specific centre.

Know of other centres that should be here? Let us know!

EnglandAldridgeAldridge Tuition Centre
 SolihullSolihull Prof. Tuition Centre
 StoneMaple Education
 Sutton ColdfieldChrysaslis Learning Centre
 SkiptonTailored Tuition
 AccringtonTarget Tuition Centre
 AltrinchamStep Up Tuition
 Barrow in FurnessFurness Professional Tutors
 Blackburn / DarwenTarget Tuition Centre
 BlackpoolTower Learning Centre
 ClitheroeTarget Tuition Centre
 LancasterLancaster Tutoring Centre
 PadihamFocus Tutoring
 PrestonTarget Tuition Centre
 Urmston / StretfordBetter Tuition
 CanterburyTuition Canterbury
 ClactonAce Tuition Centre
 ColchesterAce Tuition Centre
 CranleighSmithbrook Tuition
 DartfordThinkbig Tuition
 High WycombeMilestone Tutoring
 IpswichIpswich Tuition Centre
 SouthendJJs Tuition
 StorringtonTip Top Tutors
 CheltenhamCheltenham Tuition
 LiskeardCG Tuition
ScotlandAirdrie / CoatbridgeOut to Learn Tutoring
 CumbernauldCumbernauld Education Centre
 DundeeThe Dundee Tuition Centre
 PerthThe Perth Tuition Centre
WalesSwansea MorristonSwansea Tuition Centre
 Swansea MumblesThe Learning Curve

Interviewing a Tutor

You should always interview a prospective tutor to make sure they will meet your needs. Here are some questions we suggest you ask:

  1. Do you have experience working with dyslexic children/students?

    It's better if they do but more important is their training and their teaching method.

  2. What approach or techniques do you use for teaching reading?

    This is the most important question. They really must be trained in methods proven to help dyslexic students.

  3. Are you committed to working with my child/student over a long period?

    Dyslexia tutoring is not a quick fix and you should expect to be using a tutor for a long time. You don't want to switch tutors every three months. It can take a while for rapport between student and tutor to develop; once you have it, you want to keep it!

  4. How will you involve us (parents) in the process?

    Don't just turn the keys over to the tutor, expect them to work with you, even if you're simply reading to your child each night or providing encouragement for the ongoing work.

  5. How will you assess progress?

    Closing the gap between your child's reading ability and that of their peers is crucial. Be sure that your tutor is monitoring progress. But don't expect too much. Tutors are not trained assessors. Periodically you will need a professional re-assessment, ideally from your school.

  6. How much do you charge and how do you wish to be paid?

    Be upfront about costs and payment so everything is clear and understood.  Remember you're an employer now and your tutor has to buy groceries and pay rent. We suggest paying by cheque not cash, as this ensures a paper trail and  opportunity for tax breaks, depending where you live. 

The Big Picture

Be very clear on the objective of your dyslexia tutoring: closing the gap between your child's current reading ability and the average ability of their age equivalent peers, while hopefully learning to like or love reading along the way.

If your child is able to successfully close the gap and read at or close to grade level in terms of speed, fluency and comprehension, and enjoys some reading, then you will have reached your goal.

At that point, you can  reduce the number of weekly or monthly lessons or phase them out entirely.

The older the student, the longer tutoring will be required. This is why it's so important to catch reading problems early! 

Our Story

After training to be parent tutors, we taught the first Level of the Barton Reading and Spelling System (Orton-Gillingham based) to my stepson but our busy schedules (ok, and some procrastination guilt from not making the time for tutoring) lead us to hire a tutor in the fall of 2012. We were very lucky to find a wonderful teacher with a recent degree in education and a passion for helping kids read - she had been volunteering at our school - which is probably a good place to inquire once you start your search. 

Lessons we have learned so far:

  • Remember that life will regularly get in the way of dyslexia tutoring - the tutor can't make it, it's soccer night, Grandma's birthday, someone is sick etc. So, be sure to schedule more lessons rather than less, at least two per week, but three would be better. Figure on at least 1-3 cancellations/postponements per month.

  • My stepson hated it when the tutoring started right after school. Kids, just like any adult, appreciate a bit bit of downtime before more work. Schedule your lessons no earlier than one hour after school ends, if possible.

  • Keep a log/record of dates and times tutored, and ask your tutor to keep one too because it's surprisingly easy to lose track of how many sessions you owe your tutor for. Even they might not know!

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Photo Credit: Young Student (blue shirt) Studying With Teacher: © Sunabesyou | Dreamstime.com