My son, Brandon, began working with Linda when he was struggling with reading in elementary school. His kindergarten teacher noticed that although he was very bright, he was really struggling with reading and his pre-reading skills. It was then identified that he had dyslexia. We worked with a variety of programs and tutors in order to help him succeed in school. These interventions worked to some degree. Then, through a recommendation, we found Linda.
What happened with Linda was almost magical. Prior to working with Linda, Brandon found that it was so hard for him to read that he would avoid any and every opportunity to read. This, of course, was making a bad situation worse. Yet, somehow, Linda was able to engage Brandon in a way that no one else could. He enjoyed going to the tutoring sessions with Linda. He truly enjoyed working with her and he performed for her.
Linda eventually brought Brandon to a level where he was able to move into a mainstream classroom for high school English. During his freshman year, the school was discouraging him from moving to the mainstream classroom because he was still testing very poorly. They assumed that he needed remedial work. However, Brandon was willing to embrace the harder work in a mainstream classroom as a result of the confidence he had gained working with Linda. Whereas before Brandon had been a solid “B” student, he was now getting an “A” in English.
She gave him the reading and learning skills, but it was even more than that. She really gave him the confidence to feel that he could do the work. Linda was able to create a wonderful connection with my son.
Sara has ADD and we began working with Linda after she finished second grade. Sara was doing well with her reading, but she was really struggling with writing. I wasn’t finding the right person to help Sara, so I went online and Googled “writing tutor Newtown PA” and found Linda. Her site talked about ADD, learning disabilities and dyslexia. The site basically was talking about my daughter.
After evaluating Sara, Linda said that some of Sara’s basic decoding and encoding skills were not as strong as they should be and she was going to work on reinforcing these skills. It became clear that the difference in working with Linda is her ability to draw from many different teaching methods which she customizes for each student. Linda primarily used multisensory techniques and the Orton-Gillingham principles of language. Linda also taught Sara to orient herself to the paper properly so that she could form letters more easily. Sara began to learn quickly and I could see her gaining confidence.
In the meantime, Linda had told me about the kinesiology muscle testing work she was doing which worked on improving learning difficulties. Since I was very interested in alternative treatment techniques, I decided to give this a try. When Sara started 3rd grade, we started the kinesiology work and I immediately saw a difference. Her visual memory improved and she dropped to the lowest dose of Concerta. Sara has an IEP for math but after working with Linda, Sara was superseding the class with her multiplication facts. Her confidence improved and everything was going more smoothly. Writing is still somewhat of an issue, but it is not affecting her emotionally or negatively impacting her self-esteem, as it did last year. This year is a complete 180 degree turn from last year. Sara is very confident and she is back in the regular classroom for math.
What Linda has done for Sara is life changing and I am eternally grateful.
Daniel had been getting help from tutors (with graduate degrees) both in and out of school since he was in kindergarten, but something just wasn't clicking. The school was about to pull his IEP, and I was desperate because I knew something was seriously wrong. Linda completed a quick screening and pinpointed that the problem was dyslexia. The good news, Linda told me, was that she absolutely could improve Daniel’s reading. She added that Daniel’s spelling was never going to be 100%, but that it would improve (which it did). We began tutoring sessions two times per week. Daniel improved so rapidly that Linda actually finished up with him a month early.
The change was amazing. This boy went from being unable to read, to reading and fully comprehending the DaVinci Code less than a year later. There came a point, after the diagnosis, when the school offered to help Daniel with a Wilson certified tutor who would work with him during the school day. I thought that Daniel would have loved this idea because it would have freed up two afternoons per week. I suggested this to him and his response surprised me. He said, "What do you think? Mom, Mrs. Gross is really helping me. I can even see how I’m improving. I don't think we should take a chance on anybody else." My sentiments exactly!
What I really appreciated about Linda was her confidence that she could help Daniel to reach his full potential. I always knew he was a bright boy, and it turns out that he’s probably gifted, too! But, who would think that a child who wouldn't (actually couldn't) do his homework and acted up in class to avoid being called on was gifted? Daniel is now 16 and is ranked 3rd in his high school class because Linda came into his life. Daniel is a straight-A honor student and next year he will be in “invitation only” AP classes.
Linda changed the trajectory of Daniel’s life, and for that I am forever grateful.
Tiffany has worked with Linda since the middle of 6th grade after we discovered she could not sound out words. Tiffany was always so smart at school that she was able to fool her teachers into thinking she knew what she was doing. She actually memorized every word she was able to read. After working for just a few months with Linda, Tiffany’s improvement was amazing. Linda helped her immensely with a tactile approach to reading.
Linda suggested kinesiology for Tiffany because, knowing Tiffany, Linda thought she would respond positively to kinesiology. Tiffany was open and excited about trying it. I don’t usually blindly trust what people tell me and so I researched kinesiology as much as I could. I found no studies that told me it would help or hurt Tiffany. My feeling was that Linda had helped Tiffany so much, that I would trust her knowledge and experience to help Tiffany as much as possible. Knowing that kinesiology is not main-stream, I figured I had nothing to lose and decided to give it a try.
Tiffany began kinesiology with Linda at the end of 7th grade and completed it the beginning of 8th grade. Much of the comments below can be attributed to the maturity process, but the speed with which she matured has been a matter of a couple of months. I really can say that we noticed these differences over a very short period of time, too short to discount how kinesiology helped Tiffany in the variety of ways described above. She has changed significantly over the summer going from 7th to 8th grade.
We have noted the following differences since beginning kinesiology with Linda:
More focused — Tiffany can sit down and complete tedious steps in algebra and is getting complicated problems correct. She would never have been able to write out every step before. She can sit down and complete a couple of hours of homework without complaining and stopping for multiple breaks. Before she would set a time for herself every 5 or 10 minutes to stop and take a break.
Can pay attention for longer periods of time — Tiffany started field hockey this year and sometimes doesn’t get home until 5:30. She is now able to sit down and do her homework without a problem. She can focus for a couple of hours after a full day. She used to have meltdowns when there was too much work at one time and/or not enough rest periods. She would not have been able to play a sport before due to the time commitment.
Less moody and fidgety — Tiffany is actually happy and enjoys school now. She used to be argumentative, moody and often miserable. She has made a complete 180° turn and she is now a pleasure to be with. She says she does not play with things as much while she sits in classes. She still fidgets a little.
More energy — Tiffany used to come home from school and have to decompress for hours. She now is able to go straight from school to sports and then home late and then even complete her homework at night. The amount of homework in 8th grade is much larger than ever before. She would have had a major meltdown but now approaches it with a positive attitude and completes it on her own without complaint.
Takes her time — She tries to take her time doing her work. She knows she has a tendency to work too fast and finish too quickly. She is much better with this. She still doesn’t like to proofread but we’re working on that. She took a reading essay test, her worst nightmare before, and recently got an A!
Less impulsive — Tiffany has always been quick to react to everything. This is definitely better; she is learning better self-control.
More comfortable — Tiffany seems to be more comfortable with her abilities and things are coming more easily to her. She doesn’t struggle and take as much time to complete tasks. She does however note that she still needs more time to process things. Tiffany has all A’s at school despite this obstacle.
Less anxious — Tiffany used to be extremely anxious at school and has relaxed considerably. She would never go on school trips before and she would melt down when she had to take the standardized tests. She is now going on the bus with her field hockey team to different schools. We’ll have to keep you posted on the standardized tests because they are not for months yet, but she seems to take regular testing more in stride. She would never go to the movies without her mother before and recently asked to go by herself with a friend. She is more comfortable and independent.
Tiffany now reads at or above grade level with ease, comfort and confidence.
I initially contacted Linda to have her complete a reading assessment for my 12 year-old daughter, Sierra. Sierra had just completed a neuropsychological examination and one of the bigger issues that the assessment had flagged was Sierra’s lack of organization and difficulties with executive function. Multitasking never came easy for Sierra, nor did common sense expectations, such as putting something away after use or hanging up a coat. There was no general processing of this type of information. Linda asked to see the report.
Linda thought the kinesiology would help and asked if she could evaluate Sierra for kinesiology. It was my understanding that this technique could “put some pieces back in place for Sierra that may be out of sync.” Linda explained that kinesiology works by helping to eliminate stress in the learning process, which then facilitates the learning process.
Linda worked with Sierra over the course of about 8 sessions. At first, I didn’t see a great deal of improvement. Shortly after the sessions ended, it was as if an epiphany came over Sierra. All of a sudden she was doing things on her own that she never did before (without my telling her). To some it may have seemed to be a gradual change. But to me, as her mom, the change was very obvious. The “pieces” did seem to be coming together.
When we went back to Linda a few months later for a follow up session, I told Linda about the changes in Sierra. Sierra is more organized and even writes her own reminders and to-do lists. These were the types of things that had been suggested to help Sierra for many years. Now, she’s doing them all on her own.
Sierra struggled last year in school and this year I moved her to a smaller school with a self-paced curriculum. Sierra is now a mostly “A” student when she used to be a “low B” and “C” student. This is pretty amazing. To say that this was time and money well spent would be a drastic understatement. As a result of Linda’s help, Sierra is a new person.
I have always struggled with reading. I was a dyslexic who never mastered phonics, yet I successfully compensated for my decoding and encoding weaknesses in school through memorization. During my junior year in college, I had to take a course in anatomy (with a lot of new multisyllabic words) and I knew these words were going to be very difficult for me to decode and memorize. I decided to do something about it and find a reading specialist.
I was unable to find a tutor who was willing to work with an adult, until I found Linda. Linda was so patient with me, and I felt that without Linda it would have been almost impossible for me to have succeeded in that course. With Linda’s help, I was able to receive a grade in my anatomy class that I was pleased with.
It was during our tutoring sessions that Linda introduced me to the kinesiology technique. It took me a little while to warm up to the idea, since kinesiology is an alternate technique that is “out of the box”. In hindsight, I feel a bit foolish that I waited at all. Kinesiology has helped me tremendously, not only with my reading but also with many aspects of my life. My memory just seemed to have naturally improved. I took my GRE exam for a second time after the kinesiology sessions, and my score increased by 200 points. Everything seemed to be easier after the completion of the kinesiology technique. I am currently pursuing my graduate degree.
We came to Linda when my daughter, Kirsten, was about to enter 4th grade. I came to Linda because I had a feeling that something was not working right with Kirsten from a reading perspective. Beginning in kindergarten through first grade, we worked with a regular reading tutor who was recommended by the school district.
When Kirsten was in second grade, we tried the Kumon program. In third grade, we tried another tutor who would help with reading and math. Eventually, I started working with her on my own. Through this time, Kirsten was doing OK by the school district’s standards. She was getting B’s and even some A’s. But, my observation was that this was very, very painful for her. And it didn’t seem to me that all was right. The level of effort she was putting in -- compared to what she was getting out -- just seemed disproportionate.
My husband has dyslexia, which we had raised up to the school district throughout the entire process. We thought that perhaps Kirsten had dyslexia, but their assessment was that she was progressing and was doing fine. When I began to work with her and not getting outside support, I realized that something was definitely wrong. Kirsten just wasn’t grasping concepts for reading. She hated to read. At that point we went and got an independent test done because I was anticipating that I would have to fight with the school to get her what she needed. We also got the results of the PSSA which showed that she was right on the borderline for reading and math between basic and proficient, but just over the line. This was a concern to me, but I knew it would not be a concern to the school, so I decided to take action on my own.
I then met Linda. Linda is a very powerful, charismatic person and she really believes that the kids have the ability to read. She is amazing. She’s tough in the sense that she’s going to tell you what is going on and is going to push you as a parent -- just as much as the children -- to do what needs to get done. Her level of confidence in the children and enthusiasm for teaching, all while loving them through the whole process, is absolutely amazing.
That first summer was our dark time. It was a very hard time for us – and especially for Kirsten. Linda was the light for us at the end of the tunnel. We grabbed on to her and hung on – through the ups and downs. Kirsten didn’t always want to do the work and challenged Linda by pretending she didn’t know something. This was a tactic that had worked for her in the past with her teachers who would then give her extra help. This was a technique Kirsten also used with her peers and even with her mother. Linda called me on it and said you have to let her do this and you have to back off. I had been covering Kirsten’s bases for so long that that was really difficult for me to hear her say, but in my heart, I knew Linda was right.
Kirsten saw Linda that first year twice a week because she was so far behind and we had a lot of work to do. Kirsten, at the same time, did get assistance from the school in fourth grade. They would pull her out for reading and math. In fifth grade she had caught up with her peers and we made the decision not to have her pulled out of class. We continued with Linda all through 5th grade including over the summer.
Kirsten moved up into proficient at the end of her fourth grade year. When she tested last year for the PSSAs in fifth grade, she was solidly in the advanced section for reading and even math. It’s crazy how far Kirsten went. She went from needing a math tutor in 3rd grade to being asked to participate in the advanced math program in 6th grade. Though we decided it was best for Kirsten to continue to build her confidence by participating in the advanced class, for her just to be asked was the most amazing thing– a true mark of her own personal success.
Linda also worked on some Kinesiology with Kirsten. So far, Kinesiology has helped Kirsten significantly. I also made some changes to clean up our diet which has always been pretty organic and natural, but now Kirsten does not have any food dyes, additives or preservatives. This is a far cry from the days when she was in third grade and and would throw herself on the floor and cry when she did her homework, to having a sixth grader who comes home, opens the books, does her homework, and if she has questions, she asks. If she is struggling with something, we work together to look it up. It is a 180-degree turnaround from where we were.
If a person learns something about one particular subject area, generally speaking, she can apply that knowledge to other areas. With Kirsten, my observation was that she had a hard time connecting the dots. The Kinesiology has really helped her to pull that together. She can take learning that she has had in one area and apply it somewhere else. She was not able to do this before. I think the Kinesiology was a huge factor for her and enabled her to make those connections.
I also felt that Kirsten previously had a word recall issue. She would pause before she would say a word. This wasn’t really noticeable to other people, but it was certainly noticeable to me. That has gone away, which I think can also be attributed to the Kinesiology. Previously, Kirsten would simply zone out. We would be trying to work on schoolwork and her brain would just not be working. She would try to focus and couldn’t do it. I am so happy to see that this behavior is also completely gone. She is focused and on-target. Her brain is working all the time now.
From the time that Kirsten was in kindergarten through third grade, every single year I had a teacher tell me that maybe you should have her tested for ADHD. This happened every year. And every year I would get the books and I would read all the knowledge base there was on ADHD, and I would conclude that Kirsten does not have ADHD. It is frustrating because I feel that so many children are being medicated and being misdiagnosed. Kirsten is a high-energy person, but she is focused and full of creativity and spirit. It makes me so sad for parents and children who don’t have the luxury of having a Linda in their life, or have the time to do the research that they need to do. As for Kirsten, she did not have ADHD – my child’s energy level, enthusiasm and lust for life was – and is -- not gone. She is still her wonderful, spirited little self.
Kirsten is now 11 years old and has been working with Linda for the past two years. Kirsten went from never wanting to read aloud to volunteering this year to do the morning announcements in school. She also ran for student council (which involved a public speech), volunteered to be hall safety and participated in other school activities. I believe this is because her confidence has increased dramatically as a result of the reading improvement.
My recommendation is this: you need to go and talk to Linda because she is going to show you another path that is going to lead to success for your child. The hope that you thought you did not have – you are going to find when you talk to Linda.