I tutor children who are experiencing difficulties in regards to their progress at school. I am located in Australia and am a qualified teacher with a Bachelor of Education and a Graduate Diploma in Special Education. Having just read and re-read Maryanne Wolf's Proust and the Squid, I have been looking with interest at the RAVE-O reading program. It was while browsing I came across your site.

In working with my literacy students over the past 15 years or so, I have predominantly applied the Spalding technique (I did the Level 1 training in 1999). I also add in Alpha to Omega, with inclusions and variations according to the inclinations and development of the student. With one student his parents and I are using Toe-by-Toe.

RAVE-O would be a significant expense for me, but I have been so impressed by Wolf's Proust that I am strongly persuaded. I am interested in your recommendations or opinion.

Only seeing my students once a week for one hour is a handicap, however generally speaking, the parents are able to stay for the tutoring session and are effective in regards to follow-up and practice. I maintain contact with classroom teachers via email, although usually they are following a separate programme, however this contact creates a support to the student, and sometimes results in additional school attention to their particular needs.


Dr. Pierson's Response: 

I do not make recommendations for products on DyslexiaHelp. I do work to ensure that everything we put on the site is research-based, and RAVE-O is. Personally, I have not used Dr. Wolf’s curriculum, but, like her, it is highly regarded.

As you know, it depends on the individual needs of the client as to whether he/she would benefit from a particular intervention/technique/program. I have found that many times, professionals can come to rely on one program regardless of whether it is a fit for the particular client. At my private practice, we use a number of programs, but not any one program all of the time.

I think to help you decide whether to make the investment, you can look at the kids you see and determine how many are between 1st & 5th grade who would benefit. RAVE-O is also suitable for groups, and that might make it more cost-effective for you—to set up some groups. And, if a scripted program in fluency and comprehension would be helpful to your clients—given that these areas do need to be targeted along with learning to decode—you might find it beneficial.

Last, I appreciate how you are trying to build an intensive program for your students by working with the parents and teachers. This approach will optimize the work you are doing with your kids.