National Institute for Learning Development - NILD

Testimonials

What educators, parents and alumni say about their experience with NILD

A very practical, stimulating conference. I felt that this conference offered valuable seminars directly applicable to educational therapy as well as others that have a broader interest base.

Educational Therapist

Testimonials from Parents and Students

I really struggled with my attentiveness in the classroom. One teacher even suggested that I had ADD! My math skills were pretty much nonexistent and my reading skills were way below my grade level. [My cousin] also had struggled with her own learning disabilities while not having access to this sort of [NILD] program. Because of it school was incredibly hard for her and she hated it. She is very intelligent but her reading comprehension issues kept her from achieving what she was fully capable of. I know that if she was able to participate in the NILD program school would have been very different for her. College was too overwhelming and demanding with her continuing learning problems. While I, on the other hand, graduated with my Bachelor Degree in Psychology with a GPA over 3.0. I mention this only to emphasize the terrible need for this program to be in schools all across the United States as well as the rest of the world.

Former Student

After a lot of hard work and three years in the program I began to see a difference... I was no longer the slowest worker. I could understand new concepts much easier, sometimes quicker than my friends. This boost in confidence helped me to apply myself even more. By the time I was in high school I was no longer getting Cs and Ds on my report cards, I was earning As and Bs! School was no longer a daunting task, it was a challenge I felt ready to face. This program has helped me to face life's struggles differently. Instead of beginning with a defeated attitude I dive in and try my best, relying on the things I have learned, and because of the skills I learned there [NILD program] that I was able to earn a bachelors degree in Elementary Education.

Former Student

I began to improve right away. My coordination became better. (My cheerleading motions were now in unison with the rest of the squad instead of backwards!) My mom says my handwriting improved and I was even runner up in the Junior High Spelling Bee... NILD has helped me bring my grades up to honors level. Now I finish my homework quickly and have more time for SGA and basketball.

Student

Here in rural Oklahoma, very few people are interested in doing anything extra for a student who is struggling. Hence, I am working in a normal teaching position. However, my years working as an educational therapist were my favorite years in education. My family owes a lot to NILD. We were missionaries in Mexico for many years. Our children had learning disabilities, some of them quite severe. Thanks to NILD, all are doing well now. Our son is a Dr. of veterinary medicine and one of our daughters is in a doctoral program for physical therapy at Baylor University with the Army. Our other daughter, who had the most severe disabilities, achieved her associates degree as a medical interpreter for Spanish. However, that profession tanked with recent laws here in Okla. She now works custodial at Northeastern State University and is doing well in all aspects of her life and walk with God. None of that would have happened if it were not for the work of NILD. Thank you and keep up the good work!

Parent and NILD Educational Therapist

Hindsight is 20/20 vision. When I look back at my daughter’s school years, I can clearly see the signs of her learning disabilities: a kindergarten teacher reminding me to watch her letter and number reversals, the difficulties she had learning to read, a third grade teacher who seemed overly concerned with her SAT scores, and finally a sixth grade teacher who suggested testing. Six important educational years would pass before I would address my daughter’s learning disability. [T]est results showed a significant problem in her spatial perception, a problem that could be treated with medication. We were hoping for an alternative plan to medication. That alternative was provided. We did enroll Dannika [in NILD Educational Therapy], a very bright 7th grader who had a very real learning disability. We saw measurable improvement in her just in the first year. Math was her weakest subject. By the last 6 weeks of school, Dannika made all A’s on her report card, including an A in Pre-Algebra, an accomplishment she had never made before. These grades were earned in all regular classes with no modifications.

Parent

I would like to express how thankful I am for the tremendous progress my daughters have made at Park Place School during the 2007-2008 school year while they both received RX for Discovery Reading Therapy.

My youngest daughter, Atiah, began as a second grader receiving Educational Therapy at Park Place School last year. The previous year, she attended first grade at a public school in the City of Virginia Beach where she was struggling academically. Her teachers noticed Atiah's difficulties, but her specific areas of weakness were not being addressed. Atiah had difficulty reading very simple sentences and she could not remember what she had just read.

After receiving Educational Therapy for only one year, Atiah has made great progress in the area of reading. A child that could not read before now asks me to go to the library, even on her summer break! She has read three chapter books independently and practices her math using the skills she has been taught from her previous school year.

Atiah now receives RX for Discovery Reading intervention twice a week at school and I have continued to see amazing improvement in her reading skills in just the first few weeks of school. In only the first few weeks of school, Atiah has scored an 88 in reading and a 98 in spelling, subjects she once failed in. I can't believe the progress I can see!

My older daughter, Kyandra, attended Park Place School last year as a fifth grader and received RX for Discovery Reading for two full years due to her struggles in reading. Kyandra has always struggled academically, but she continues to persevere through the difficulties of learning now due to the strategies she has learned in Educational Therapy. Her teachers and educational therapists have been sensitive to her struggles with learning, but they challenged her to think and excel beyond where she ever thought she was capable.

The intervention she has received has built her self-esteem up in ways I never thought possible. Kyandra has not only excelled academically, but she was encouraged to participate in student activities due to the confidence she gained academically, which has allowed her to grow in her relationships with her peers. In addition, both of my daughters have made tremendous gains on their annual Kaufman Test of Achievement that is administered at Park Place School each year.

I can't thank the Lord enough for proving such an intervention program for my children. Both my daughters have made such tremendous strides academically and have grown in confidence. When children have struggles in learning it can cause low self-esteem. Many children do not like other children to know they struggle academically. The environment at Park Place School and the RX for Discovery Reading they receive each week provides a safe haven for children with learning disabilities and has allowed me to see more progress in my girls than I ever imagined!

Parent

I am requesting that my son ... be placed in the Discovery RX Reading Program this year. Last year, [he] was not mastering the reading skills from the Scott Foresman Reading series and was discouraged and frustrated with school. After placing him in this program, I saw an improvement in his Reading comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling scores. Also, he enjoyed the class and the instructor. I hope you will be able to accommodate this request. As a teacher, I know there are many ways to deliver instruction. The Discovery RX Reading Program was able to help my child with his reading skills and improve his self-esteem.

Parent and Educator

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Testimonials from Educators

During the first parent conference of this year for her son Takeyon, Sabrina Rodgers had tears in her eyes as she shared the progress she sees in her 3rd grader. Takeyon is receiving the intervention of Park Place School in addition to weekly RX for Discovery Reading educational therapy.

Ms. Rodgers sought the help of Park Place School because of the difficulty she saw her son experiencing in his previous school. For years now her teachers have reported his "lack of motivation" and "inability" to perform in the area of reading. Takeyon dreaded going to school and often cried and refused to read aloud when asked to read in front of others. At home, even in a safe environment, Ms. Rodgers could not encourage Takeyon to read successfully.

After only six weeks of intervention, Takeyon eagerly asks to read aloud in class, answers questions and even helps other students in his classroom. Last week at home while Ms. Rodgers was cooking dinner, she overheard Takeyon asking his older brother if he could please read to him. Ms. Rodgers said tears streamed down her cheeks because she never imagined hearing her child read aloud successfully, especially by his own choice. As he reads, she notices his use of strategies for decoding and understanding what he reads. She is overwhelmed with the difference she sees in Takeyon as a result of these new reading skills and she said she will continue to share this program with other parents in her neighborhood who have students that are struggling academically.

Vice Principal

The Discovery Rx Reading Program has been a successful remediation effort for struggling students at our school. The program provided well-validated reading instruction for some of our most at-risk students. Students who participated in the program were excited about the opportunity to receive small-group instruction that helped them feel more successful and confident about their reading.
At present, I am the only designated remedial reading resource teacher at Olive Branch Elementary. Since I serve six grade levels of over 300 students, the Discovery Rx program is a much needed program to help us reach those students who are continuing to struggle as we strive to help them meet personal, school and state reading goals.

Reading Specialist, Olive Branch Elementary School

It is with great pleasure that I speak on behalf of "Rx for Discovery Reading." For many years I sought a program that could help our students who were "declassified" from receiving special services, or didn't quality for special services, yet needed additional support in Reading. Discovery Reading was finally a solution for us.
The Executive Director was kind enough to take her time and meet with me at my school to explain the program, and I was just delighted. She then arranged for me to bring a team to visit a school where the program was utilized daily. We witnessed students who were failing at previous schools, be very successful at that school. My whole team was very impressed and now shared hope in receiving help for our struggling students.
The Community Services manager was very diligent and efficient in helping us begin Discovery Reading sessions, here at Westhaven. She not only helped us organize three groups (a 2nd grade, a 3rd grade, and a 4th grade group) during the school year, but also assisted us with a group during the summer. This was such a blessing! With the help of the highly qualified Reading therapists, each student in the group made significant gains in the area of Reading, including phonological awareness, fluency, vocabulary, decoding, and comprehension.

Assistant Principal, Westhaven Elementary School

During the 2007-2008 [school year], Crossroads Elementary 1st and 2nd grade students were selected to participate in the Rx for Discovery Reading, a subsidiary of NILD. The program results reflected significant gains for the students, especially in letter/word recognition and comprehension.

The Discovery Program staff was prompt, organized, professional, flexible, and developed a rapport with the students immediately. The lessons were fast paced and students were praised frequently for their progress. Classroom teachers also noticed a positive change in the students' confidence and academics.

We look forward to working with the staff again. Your investment in Rx for Discovery Reading will continue to provide disadvantaged students with extra support, academically and emotionally, and build the solid foundation needed in the lower grades.

Crossroads Elementary School

I am requesting that my son ... be placed in the Discovery RX Reading Program this year. Last year, [he] was not mastering the reading skills from the Scott Foresman Reading series and was discouraged and frustrated with school. After placing him in this program, I saw an improvement in his Reading comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling scores. Also, he enjoyed the class and the instructor. I hope you will be able to accommodate this request. As a teacher, I know there are many ways to deliver instruction. The Discovery RX Reading Program was able to help my child with his reading skills and improve his self-esteem.

Parent and Educator

This was the best convention I've ever attended (my first NILD convention). It was informative without being boring and everything was so organized and well-run. Thank you for an amazing, informative experience. It confirmed my desire to become an Educational Therapist.

Educator

Discovery Program, Inc. has worked with Westhaven Elementary's students since April 2008. Their intense small group approach to increasing phonological awareness, reading comprehension and fluency has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on our students' attitude and ability level. The students were always excited about attending the sessions and loved to work with the tutors. The Discovery staff had an excellent rapport with the students which led the way for an open flow of progress.

Because Discovery Program, Inc. worked with selected students, (several who struggled in reading for years), they have showed improved reading abilities. Westhaven Elementary is proud to have Discovery Program, Inc. as a partner directly impacting student achievement.

Principal, Westhaven Elementary School

For the past two years Discovery Program, Inc. joined in partnership with us to provide small group in-depth interventions for students who have deficits in various areas of reading. The program has been received well by our students, parents, and teachers. Teachers commented on the improvement of their students and parents were appreciative of the additional assistance for their children. The educational therapists were flexible in the time that they worked with students and always gave positive feedback.

Post-testing results showed that the students who received reading assistance scored significantly higher on tests following intervention. We look forward to a continued association with Discovery Program, Inc.

Principal, Norfolk Public Schools

Discovery Rx served 22 struggling students during the 2007-2008 school year. Students participated in small group sessions twice a week that targeted word attack, fluency, and comprehension skills.

The sessions took place before and after school, to avoid pulling tutees out of classroom instruction.

At the beginning of the program, students were given pre-tests to determine appropriate placement in needs groups and give therapists a beginning point for instruction. Tutees were assessed by Discovery Rx therapists again at the close of the program.

Once groups were formed, instructors closely monitored student attendance in sessions. They worked closely with the reading specialist and parents to ensure that students participated in sessions. Students reported enjoying sessions and classroom teachers remarked on improvement in participants' classroom performance.

Sixty-four percent of third and fourth grade participants who were determined to be at risk for achieving SOL benchmarks in Reading were able to achieve at or above benchmarks.

The program greatly benefited students in Norview Elementary because participants were able to learn in small group settings apart from their classrooms. They were not pulled from essential instruction and groups were focused on individual needs. Students were able to improve because they were working from their particular level of ability and moving forward.

Communication Skills Specialist, Norview Elementary School

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Testimonials from Educational Therapists

This was my first conference and I hope to attend each year. I loved every session I attended as each one was helpful and encouraging! The speakers in the general sessions and lunches were amazing. It was also great to meet other therapists from around the world. Thank you for putting together such an amazing conference!

Educational Therapist

Please just continue to encourage us to keep on keeping on! The conference this year was a great shot in the arm with the awesome speakers in Louisa Moats and Maryann Wolf. I could have listened to much more from them as they laid out the research and results of what they have learned that dovetails so well with what we do as therapists. I think having gone through all three levels of NILD training helped me to understand what these great authors shared of their knowledge in how our brain learns. Not only that, I am also better able to articulate and apply what I know to be true in how God created our brains. The biggest benefit of the conference, though, is I just really needed the refreshment, encouragement, knowledge, and time with other therapists to spur me on for the rest of the school year! Thanks for a great conference.

Educational Therapist

The conference was one of NILD's best in the past several years. The quality of speakers was outstanding. Our team received answers to concerns and was re-vitalized for the work ahead.

Educational Therapist

A very practical, stimulating conference. I felt that this conference offered valuable seminars directly applicable to educational therapy as well as others that have a broader interest base.

Educational Therapist

Here in rural Oklahoma, very few people are interested in doing anything extra for a student who is struggling. Hence, I am working in a normal teaching position. However, my years working as an educational therapist were my favorite years in education. My family owes a lot to NILD. We were missionaries in Mexico for many years. Our children had learning disabilities, some of them quite severe. Thanks to NILD, all are doing well now. Our son is a Dr. of veterinary medicine and one of our daughters is in a doctoral program for physical therapy at Baylor University with the Army. Our other daughter, who had the most severe disabilities, achieved her associates degree as a medical interpreter for Spanish. However, that profession tanked with recent laws here in Okla. She now works custodial at Northeastern State University and is doing well in all aspects of her life and walk with God. None of that would have happened if it were not for the work of NILD. Thank you and keep up the good work!

Parent and NILD Educational Therapist

Last fall, I began a M.Ed. with an emphasis on NILD educational therapy from Regent. Due to time constraints, I can only do one class a semester. The fall class and current class have been well worth the financial investment. Additionally, everyone I have needed to interact with at the school has been most gracious and helpful. I am pretty “technology challenged”. Professors, library staff, administration and help desk have gone out of their way to help me as needed. Education at a Christian school is such a blessing.

Professionally Certified Educational Therapist (PCET)

I really enjoyed the conference! The hotel was beautiful and the conference center well-run. The staff was friendly and very accommodating. I enjoyed all of the speakers and all the updated information that was shared. Thank you also to the NILD staff and all your hard work to put this together. The conference was very uplifting and encouraging. The NILD group is an extraordinary group of people and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Educational Therapist

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Testimonials from Professionals

NILD is ...a dedicated group of highly trained educational therapists who recognize the learning potential of every child. With compassion and competence, they provide explicit, differentiated instruction to address and resolve each child's unique learning challenges.

Professor of Learning Disabilities at University of Arizona, Co-author, Woodcock-Johnson III Test of Achievement, and author of several books

I have known the workings of NILD in its various forms since almost its inception. For the last 22 years, I have worked with Dr. Kathy Hopkins and several of the therapists as their professor and academic advisor. I have presented at and attended at their last major conference. In all of my interactions I have been extremely impressed with the NILD staff’s intelligence, dedication, and desire to do what really works to enhance the learning of those who may be academically challenged. They are skilled professionals who demonstrate integrity and who are determined to share the cutting edge techniques that have proven to be successful for thousands of students across the globe…

Dean, School of Education at Regent University

It is most satisfying for me to have an opportunity to endorse the work of NILD and the help they have provided for countless children. I have had the pleasure, not only of speaking at several of their conferences, but also of getting to know the human face of the organization. They are an exceptional group of individuals who can be counted on to maintain the highest personal and professional standards. NILD first contacted me because of Kathy Hopkins' interest in the science underlying the field of learning therapy. Since its founding over twenty-five years ago, NILD's methods and philosophy have mirrored solid findings about brain development and the complex process we call learning. While others have jumped aboard the various trendy bandwagons that afflict education from time to time, NILD has held to and expanded on their effective, and research-based approach. The many therapists they have trained and the many, many children with whom these therapists have worked are witness to their ongoing success...

Presenting workshops at NILD is always a pleasure because I find I can use words of more than one syllable and present complex concepts to a professional audience equipped to understand and apply what I have to teach. I most heartily recommend this organization for your favorable attention.

I do not think that I know an organization more committed to releasing the potential of all children with learning disabilities than NILD. In the short time that I have gotten to know the members of NILD, I have been very impressed by their knowledge and their desire for keeping abreast of evolving research, particularly in reading intervention. Perhaps more poignantly, however, I have been uplifted by the depth of their dedication to the children. They are a wonderful group.

John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service Director, Center for Reading and Language Research, Tufts University

There are many organizations that believe that Special Education is an “art” … still others believe that Special Education is a “science”. Few organizations have the wisdom to understand that Special Education is BOTH an art and a science. NILD understands this. My relationship with NILD has been an honor and a pleasure for me. Their devoted membership and their mission-driven leadership have made a tremendous impact on the field and have enabled countless of “God’s special ones” to reach their fullest potential. Quite simply, NILD “gets it”. They have made an immeasurable difference in the lives of many, many families.

Administrator, Adjunct Professor, Visiting Lecturer, Author, “It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success”

I have been fortunate to speak at several conferences sponsored by NILD, including having the honor of being the keynote speaker at their 25th Anniversary conference. One of the benefits of my participating in these conferences is to have had the opportunity to discuss in detail the activities of NILD with its leadership group as well as many members of the organization. I am very impressed with the thoughtful work NILD accomplishes in training educators to meet the learning and emotional needs of students. NILD members demonstrate an understanding of the learning process and an appreciation of the unique style of each child. They are a group that truly focuses on the whole child, touching both the hearts and minds of students, and reinforcing learning, hope, and resilience…

Faculty, Harvard Medical School Author, "The Self-Esteem Teacher" and Co-author, "Raising Resilient Children"

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