Dyslexia Coach of N.J., LLC

Jennifer K. Slaight

Certified Dyslexia Specialist
Monmouth County, N.J.
Bergen County, Somerset County, Ocean County, Middlesex County

Private tutors for children & adults

JenSlaight@gmail.com
(732) 882.9695
Best Reading tutor in NJ 

Meet Our CREW!

  • Jennifer Slaight
    -
    Certified Barton Tutor-
          Advanced Level
    -Certified Remote Tutor
    -Dyslexia Testing Specialist:
        Graduate Level Course
    -Proprietor
    -Dyslexic
  • Amy Gibbs
    -Barton Reading and Spelling Tutor
    -Dyslexia Testing Specialist
    -Owner
  • Meg Wise Lawrence
    Adjunct Lecturer - Hunter and City Colleges
    Program Director

Meg Wise-Lawrence believes that, while it may not come easy, there is a good writer in all of us.  Becoming a good writer is a process that is ultimately liberating because we are discovering clarity. Everyone can learn differently but everyone can learn.

Meg Wise-Lawrence:
Adjunct lecturer and Tutor
Forest Hills, NYC
MWiseLaw@gmail.com

  • Jennifer Slaight
    Certified Barton Reading and Spelling Tutor
    Certified Dyslexia Specialist
    Proprietor: Dyslexia Coach of NJ, LLC

 

About Me-Jen Slaight
Certified Dyslexia Specialist

"My objective is to make sure that no one with dyslexia goes through 18 years of self teaching, learning through trial and error, like I did." ~Jen Slaight

Professional History and Education

My old office on Broadway at the top of Wall Street in NYC

Jennifer is a graduate of 
Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School.

She attended college at Salve Regina University, majoring in Accounting and Biology.

She continued her education at
Brookdale College where she studied psychology and human growth and development to learn more about how the brain works and develops. 

Later she joined the workforce as a Staff Accountant and worked for Fortune 500 companies, including TIS Worldwide in lower Manhattan.

Then she worked for Kushner Companies as an Operations Manager where she oversaw the daily financial operations of over 45 apartment communities.

Currently, Jennifer is a Private Reading & Spelling Tutor specializing in dyslexia.

She is a Certified Barton Tutor and Dyslexia Testing Specialist.

Jennifer also volunteers her time in the classroom, at her daughters school,
and sits on the Executive Board Committee and PTO.

Jennifer is the Associate Producer of:

Embracing Dyslexia
Imdb

click photo to watch on you tube

best reading tutors in nj

She is also a member of the British Dyslexia Association and is an active advocate in educating new members of Congress on dyslexia and helped pass the 3 new dyslexia bills into law. As a result of these efforts:

  • The term 'dyslexia' is now recognized in NJ

  • Teachers through 3rd grade will be educated on dyslexia

  • Early screening for students in 2nd grade is now required

Jennifer is published and recognized by the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity.

She has also been published in the Asbury Park Press, Morning Tribune and Monmouth County Woman. She also does guest speaking engagements for local schools and adult literacy organizations.

Jennifer is now qualified to screen students for dyslexia and our office is the only location in NJ that offers this dyslexia screening service.

 
Read below for Jennifer's personal story on growing up with dyslexia and how school should not be something you 'survive'...


Overcoming Dyslexia
by treading my way through school

by: Jennifer K. Slaight

Inside the classroom

I grew up in the 'one way' education system. Back then, schools had a single method of teaching and it was either their way or... you were placed in the special education class, where I remained from 3rd through 10th grades.

I have struggled with reading since the 3rd grade. Often, teachers would tell me that I did not "work up to my potential". It was a polite way of calling me lazy. I was not lazy at all, but I sure was stubborn. If I did not want to read, I was not going to, regardless of the consequences.

In 6th grade, my class had 20 minutes of daily solitary reading before we would go to music class. I dreaded those 20 minutes. It seemed like the clock would stand still. In order to get the clock moving faster, I would genuinely try to read. However, when I reached the end of the page, I had no idea what I had just read. Most of my time was spent re-reading. Too much energy was used just to decode each word on the page. I would get stress headaches and my eyes would hurt from staring at the white rivers on the page. I would often need to look out the window just to "stretch" my eyes. 

The challenges of dyslexiaMy 6th grade teacher took note of my frequent glances out the window and the fact that I had not turned a single page. She confronted me in front of the class for not reading and I simply did not say a word. My punishment was to stay behind for the last half hour of school while everyone else went to the pizza party in music class. Even my teacher stepped away for the last 10 minutes to go grab a slice, leaving me in an empty, silent classroom with just the ticking of the clock to keep me company. I welcomed the break when she stepped out. I sat up with my arms crossed and both feet dug into the floor. If she thought I was stubborn before, now she was in for a rude awakening.

The only lesson I learned from this "tough love" approach was to read even less! It was when I would actually try reading, that I would get caught not reading. From then on, I made an art out of staying below the radar. I learned how to bury my face in a book, with my hand on my forehead, and keep my head down. If I did not even try to read, then there was no need to look up as often. I simply mastered the skill of the timely 'page turn'.

I was basically being punished for trying to read, so I was not going to make that same mistake again.

Whatever my 6th grade teacher was trying to teach me that day did far more harm than good. I was no longer only frustrated, but now I was angry as well. It was then that I developed a shear hatred for reading and everything associated with it.

The very next year, in 7th grade, I was finally diagnosed with dyslexia. The guidance counselor told my parents that I had a "left/right" problem and that my brain needed to be "re-wired".  The general understanding was that I needed to work harder, and that was it. That was the extent of my dyslexia remediation.

Fortunately, I am a survivor of the system. I succeeded despite a system that did not accommodate my learning style. The same stubbornness I acquired on that 'pizza party' day in 6th grade, supplied me with a strong determination to succeed. I simply was not going to let something that I hated stop me from achieving my goals. 

I developed a "live and learn" philosophy

Is the glass half empty or half full

I ended up with a C average in high school, which is funny because I rarely ever got a C. I was more of an A/D student, which gave me a high C average. Math, Science and Accounting were my strengths. History and English were my worst subjects, for the obvious reason. 

It was not until my senior year of high school when my English teacher finally taught me to read. I began with an F in his class and not many people scored better than a C historically. He was a highly demanding teacher. The second half of the year, I received all A's. Only a few people, from all of his classes, earned A's. Of course, I ended up with a C average when I never actually got a C!

Bell Curve  
   "I hated the Bell Curve.
    I was at one extreme
   or the other." ~Jen

    


I excelled at Shakespeare. I was really good with symbolism and loved the detective work regarding the underlying stories in Hamlet. One word in a whole paragraph, when not taken literally, could change the whole plot of the story. Of course, I loved the imagery because there were no words! I was a magnet for finding those suggestive words that Shakespeare threw in for a double meaning.  One Flew Over The Cuckoo's nest was another favorite filled with symbolism.

I was 18 and for the first time, reading was actually fun and worth the effort! Reading was no longer two-dimensional as I learned how to get the words off the page and attach them to my three-dimensional learning style by using imagery. I also learned how to link new information I read to stored experiences so I could recall the information faster.

Thanks to my high school English teacher, my reading skills went from seeing just letters on a page to recognizing words with meaning.

linking stored information for rapid recall

How did I succeed?

I accepted the fact that not reading, was not an option. So I quickly developed short cuts:

  • I read in silence and took numerous breaks.
  • I highlighted important passages right in the book. Sometimes an entire page would be highlighted, which for some people does not make sense, but for me, anything highlighted in bright yellow, stuck in my mind. I could easily recall anything I highlighted. No, I was not supposed to write in school owned books, but I was willing to pay the price.
  • I taught myself my own version of shorthand when taking notes because my handwriting and spelling were horrible. I wish I had known real shorthand! That would have saved a lot of time!
  • I learned that I did not actually hate History or English, I just avoided those subjects solely because of the amount of reading involved. I learned to differentiate my disdain for reading from my interest in the subject, so I strengthened my listening skills and learned when to pay the most attention in class. The more I retained in class, the easier it was to remember what I read. 
  • I was never without a pencil. I would often make notes in margins or write directly on the desk to help me recall things. I never wrote words, it was always a symbol or my "shorthand". Part of dyslexia is the poor ability to recall specific words or thoughts so I used symbols.
  • It also helped having a pencil when we would grade each others papers. I hated it when I would get a paper with multiple choice answers and they wrote in lower case. I would write a capitol B on the desk, then a lower case b next to it. This would help me to avoid confusing the b with a lower case d, since both look the same to me.
  • Recently, I received a typed article that I had to input into a Word document for my daughter's school newsletter.  It was typed in all capital letters. Since dyslexic people tend to read the shapes of words, having all caps gave each word a uniform shape which slowed me down. Now, I finally learned why I hate ALL CAPS!
  • I learned that I needed plenty of sleep. When I slept 9 hours per night, I was much more astute in class.
  • I learned that stress and fatigue made dyslexia worse and that it was a waste of time to even try to read under those conditions. It was a great excuse to take a nap or go out and play ball!
  • I learned that the Special Ed classes did not teach for dyslexia.  It was usually a group of 6 students, from different grades, reviewing subjects at their own pace.  I also learned that none of us had the same learning difficulties.  Yet, we were still taught as a group.
  • I learned that when it came to reading, I was really bad at the easy stuff (sounds of language) but really good at the hard stuff (comprehension, different languages and dialect).
  • Most of all, I learned that there is no "A" for effort.

None of these adopted skills were taught to me and there were no books on the subject that would have helped at the time. It was a shear determination to succeed.  I didn't let reading inhibit me.

So, in the end, I did in fact work harder by developing my own shortcuts and utilizing my strengths (which I did not even know I had). I never used dyslexia as an excuse or crutch and I still do not believe in labeling. It would have been nice, however, to know the benefits dyslexia has instead of just knowing it as a disability.

My objective is to make sure that no one with dyslexia goes through 18 years of self teaching, learning through trial and error, like I did.

Today, neuroscience has taught us the many benefits that come with dyslexia. Utilize your strengths to overcome your weaknesses. Thankfully, dyslexia provides many strengths.

Dyslexia might have kept me from a pizza party back in 6th grade, but that was the last time I was going to let it limit any achievements. I just wish I did not have to do it all on my own.

And 'they' thought I was average ;)  Success an achievement of something desired

Jen Slaight
    Reading & Spelling Tutor
    Certified Dyslexia Specialist
    Orton Gillingham Provider
                Monmouth County, New Jersey
                732.882.9695
                JenSlaight@gmail.com


Dyslexia and the challenges of reading print

9/21/2013
Attended Seminar w Ben Foss
His new book is great!

The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan

Attended: 1/31/2013

Learning Ally Decoding Dyslexia NJ

Exclusive Screening:
The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia w/ Dr. Sally Shaywitz


 

Member of:

British Dyslexia Association

 

(IDA) International Dyslexia Association LOGO

 


 Published:

The Yale Center
for
Dyslexia
& Creativity

Asbury Park Press

Morning Tribune

Monmouth County
Woman


 

Join Us!

 

Links


 


What happens to struggling readers who don't get help? 

They are left in classrooms at every grade level with their bad spelling, illegible handwriting or uncertain reading skills to get by as best they can. This was certainly my story!

Students who struggle with reading early on....

 

WILL struggle when they are adults.

Unsuspecting parents might exhort them to "work harder," or criticize them for "not focusing." Teachers often ascribe their reading or comprehension problems to laziness or lack of intelligence.

These children often develop strategies or subterfuges to help them get by in the classroom.  Without the right interventions, though, many of these "invisible" dyslexics must repeat grades, sometimes multiple times.  Little that is provided in the classroom, summer school or after-school tutoring programs for these students is going to help.  Those programs simply provide more intensive or individualized versions of classroom instruction that has already not worked.

These students needs a different learning approach.

Can all of these children be helped? 

Yes, and at every grade level.   It is unacceptable to keep writing off generations of students if they are not reading adequately by third grade, as has been the case for too long.

It is also unacceptable that the task of finding and sorting through the available reading interventions is left to the vigilance of parents, leaving out those who cannot marshal the time, money, tenacity and emotional resources to ferret out such programs.

If compulsory education forces children to attend school, shouldn't we guarantee that they are able to participate in what we are compelling them to do...like being accomplished readers?

With so much research, so many solutions, and even federal dollars at hand, legislators and education officials have the opportunity and obligation to move decisively into the 21st century by first guaranteeing that the nation's schoolchildren have that most basic of skills: the ability to read.


There is systematic discrimination against right-brain dominance, of a sort that would be regarded as outrageous were it directed against skin color rather than neuronal wiring.

Our values are overwhelmingly, crushingly, conditioned by the presumption that it is good to be regular, systematic, ordered and literal. Anything else is diseased, and the diseased want to be cured, don’t they? So dyslexics are compulsorily treated. They have educational therapy forcibly administered to them against their will for years and those programs don't work.

It’s because the educational system, and the world of work beyond it, sees everything from its own left-brain perspective. It will try to turn a holistic dyslexic learner into a linear left-brainer, whether he likes it or not, and regardless of the value of the right-brain stuff.

After all, dyslexic learners with their holistic thinking and right brain dominance, innately have what can't be taught. They can however, enter the left brain world of reading if taught with the right program.  Left brainers aren't that versatile as they can't be taught intuition, holistic thinking, or 3d visualization to name a few.  Yet, we don't support the learning styles of 20% of the global population that are known as dyslexics. 



"Today, neuroscience has taught us the many benefits that come with dyslexia. Utilize your strengths to overcome your weaknesses."

~Jen Slaight