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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

LindaMood Bell questions...

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 15, 2003 3:18:11 PM

I understand from a reliable source that they pay the tutors about $25 an hour and charge parents about three times that. I don't know how you define taking advantage of.....seems to me that is a pretty big profit margin.

But I also agree....the real problem is the schools that fail to implement sound teaching methods. If they did, there wouldn't be such a big "niche" for companies to fill.

Beth

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 15, 2003 3:33:23 PM

HI, haven't been on here in awhile, but my son did LMB with a tutor we trained last year when 6. He did 4 hours a day 5 days a week for about 6 weeks and ate it up. You might start at the slow parttime pace and see how he does. But the more intensive it is- the faster he will get to a place whre HE'LL see results. And that was what made the difference for my guy.When learning is so slow and a hard slog it's hard to keep motivated for these little guys but if it works for them you might find he's more motivated than he's ever been before. It wasn't just slogging thru because with LIPS my guy was really learning and could do things every day he couldn't do the day before. After spending a winter on as intense a course as LMB with almost no results he was exhilerated, relieved, intent on learning with LIPS. I can verify that it is not true any program applied intensively will work as well. The same tutor spent 6 months trying various methods with my son and the only result was that about 75% of the time he could recognize the letters of the alphabet. He could not read two letter words. He's now had a full year of 2-4 hours day tutoring with Seeing Stars and he's reading at a 3rd grade level. His spelling is probably about 2nd. His writing has improved in the last 6 months to where it's about at grade level. The only difference in last winter and this is the program. The time spent in one on one tuition and the tutor remain the same. That said we also found he had a focusing problem and went to a vision develoment expert who prescribed glasses for this.That improved his speed and accuracy when reading. The decoding was there but not the fluency nad the glasses improved that by about 100%.

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 15, 2003 5:32:15 PM

Your son's tutor gets $125 an hour???? I have forgotten where you are, but it must be in the highest cost of living area in the US. Wow, I am underpaid!

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 15, 2003 6:00:43 PM

Well, what I mean is that they aren't forced to work there in bad conditions, or for an unfair wage. I don't think $25/hour is a bad wage for a recent college grad - it beats working at the Gap, or waiting tables. I don't mean to be argumentative, but if they work a full time schedule (as many did when I was there) they are certainly making more money than the assistant teachers at my kid's school.

LMB, like any other company in this world, is going to pay what it has to to retain good employees, and no more. Likewise, they will charge as much as they can . If they try to charge too much, parents won't pay. Its supply and demand and I have no philosophical problem with that. (And I am actually a big fat liberal!!)

Listen, I didn't set out to be the defender of Lindamood Bell, but I am happy with the results, and would gladly spend the money again. And from a business perspective I don't have a problem with someone making a big profit if they really do what they say they are going to do.

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 15, 2003 6:02:41 PM

My son has a big problem with fluency, and has just started wearing reading glasses and doing vision therapy. So I was wondering if your son did therapy, or did he just get glasses? and just curious, what did he need glasses for? (farsighted?)

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 15, 2003 6:05:38 PM

Yup, and $125 isn't the highest I've paid. Last years tutor got $150. She worked out of her small 2 bedroom apartment that probably cost her $4000 a month to rent, so you can see how its all relative. Despite a recent NY times article stating that NYC isn't the most expensive place to live, it still ranks up there. So don't feel bad - our professionals may make more , but it costs more to live here.

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 15, 2003 6:22:53 PM

In that case, I may actually do better than that tutor! Our cost of livign is significantly lower than that! Thanks.

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 2:14:31 AM

Yeah, I charge way too little (30 Canadian, which is a drop in the bucket!); trying to build up a clientele and get the business going, and also to be available to ordinary folks.
But then I live in the handyman's special outside the city and my mortgage payment is under 400 Canadian. . . if only I could figure out how to pay the electricity bill after the -22F temperatures last winter . . . and the plasterer . .

My problem is that I use research based methods that work but don't have a brand name, so it's hard to convince people it's worth money without a shiny program package -- I often think of making up a whole bunch of fancy stuff and a special name to impress them, and then do the same tried-and true thing anyway.
Got any suggestions for the flashy marketing?

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 7:19:10 AM

Isn't that the truth? Its all relative...

Seriously, I wouldn't respond to an individual with a flashy marketing plan. There was one neuropsych. I spoke to that has a remediation center, complete with brochures. I was looking for a tutor for my son - and wanted someone who could develop a personal relationship with him and someone who could customize their approach. We ended up going elsewhere.

I think there is a distinction to be made between what you get from a Lindamood vs. a tutor. LMB is like Mcdonalds - its a franchise operation with a few things on the menu that they can cook up very consistently. For us , it was effective. Our tutoring relationship is much more like having a personal chef.

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 8:28:06 AM

Yes, I would like to know the answer to this too.

I have a friend whose son did great with the glasses but he already had his other vision issues remediated.

We have been through 2 sets of glasses (one from another doctor) and my son does not like to wear them. The doctor wants to try a third time. He insists the glasses are very important to promote binocular vision. He said the glasses bother him now that his eyes can do some of the work on their own.

I would also like to know if you both have bifocals for your son or just a regular lense.

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 9:19:51 AM

Victoria,

You need to network with other professionals that provide complimentary services. The dev optometrist takes care of the vision issue but he needs someone to provide the phonics piece. If you set up an arrangement of mutual referrals you would see more traffic.
You should also market yourself to the neuropsychs who do the testing. They make the recommendations. If you become the 'go to' tutor for even one neuropsych, you could have your hands full.
Also, don't sell yourself short. If you charge too little people tend to wonder why if your services are so good you are not charging more. Sometimes people will be more inclined to go to the person who charges more. It is a weird phenomena. You have to know your market. Find out what others are charging.
Another marketing tip is to have a clear message. If you give details about specific aspects of you tutoring like (help for dysgraphia through the use of yada yada yada ) that mom of the dysgraphic child will take a second look.


It really is all about marketing. There is no shame in having a good business sense as the LMB people do. I do like to see those who provide good services become the successful ones.

It really does come down to networking and marketing.

Can you tell I am an avid reader of Entreprenuer magazine;)?

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 10:11:22 AM

Victoria,
I agree with Linda about charging more--a lot of people have a "you get what you pay for" mentality. Also, they will value your tutoring more if there is an extra squeeze on their wallet--this subtly creates a higher commitment to having your product work for them. You can always charge below list for people you know can't afford the higher rates or even, like a lawyer, take on pro bono cases financed by the wealthy clients. (But don't literally charge nothing--people do not value free products.)

Linda F. and Karen N. have made good suggestions. I would also suggest getting in contact with schools to let them know about your services. You would not believe how hard it is to get any tutoring referrals at all from schools, even when they recommend that parents get one for their kids.

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 10:12:34 AM

All I was trying to do was separate out effectiveness from the cost....SAR seemed to think because they charged a lot, it was a scam. I don't agree with that assessment. Personally I'd rather have the tutor getting a lot more of the money than the company. But that has nothing to do with whether it works. I think it does for many kids.

Beth

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 10:19:28 AM

Victoria,

A few years ago I taught a course on power and influence. One of the books we read (Ciadini---I think is how it is spelled) has a chapter that talks about a woman who had a gift shop in the SW where she sold torquoise jewlery. Noone was buying it so she told her sales person to make it half off. Well, the sales person doubled the price instead and suddenly it was selling like wild fire. Price=value.

I would find out what people charge in your area. Here it is about $40-50 for tutoring. Therapy runs about $70. Personally, I feel like someone is trying to advantage of me if they charge too much more than that but if it is too much less, I wonder if they are any good. If your rates are too low, and I suspect they are, you may get people thinking that you can't be good or you'd charge more.

Beth

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 6:34:27 PM

and both were ineffective with our child!!! But it had to do with implementation probably more than the acutal program. How they thought they can be effective using a single program in a group setting, all kids of which were at completely different ends of spectrum is beyond me. And only doing the program 1x per week, 30min at a time(whole group included), no homework and no classroom reinforcment (the classroom uses whole language approach). Waste of everyone's time in my opinion.

If the program isn't working, it potentially could be who/how they are implementing??

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 8:13:50 PM

I appreciate all the kind thoughts and suggestions.

I've been doing this for a while, and there are several issues.

One is that prices vary *wildly*, with no apparently rational basis. The private center that operates more or less like Sylvan, maybe a little more efficiently, charges about 50 Canadian. The lady who sort of does Lindamood Bell -- she does the parts she likes and not the ones she doesn't, so the kids get a lot of benefit but not all of it -- charges 25 Canadian. The college students give "peer tutoring" for free. Of course nothing is what it's usually worth, but people don't know that until it's failed. Other college/university people offer tutoring anywhere from 10 to 40. The prices are simply all over the shop. So when people call and ask a price, one says "Wow! That's really reasonable!" and the next says "No thanks". I am hoping that, after I build up a clientele and word of mouth gets going better, I can raise prices somewhat.
I do have trouble making people believe that it is worth it, again because they see the flash from Hooked On Phonics and Sylvan and all those kinds of things, and it's hard to convince them that an old car full of books and a chubby blonde lady can be more impressive.

Then I get the bargainers. They call and try to chip away at the price. I used to try to help, thinking people couldn't afford it, but have learned that some people just want everything on the cheap and value it as such. So I've set up a strictly fixed-price basis, same for everyone. I tell potential clients up front that I need food and a roof too. With a fixed price, even if low, I can honestly stick to it.
A variable price for low incomes would make a lot of sense,. but I don't have the resources to check out other people's real incomes. Oddly enough, I'm getting a lot of kids with divorced parents this year. That makes their finances even more complex, and I can't really know.

Yes, I did try doing volunteer tutoring, once for the local schools, once for kids in the town, and once for adult literacy. One school and teacher were very appreciative and nice and took all the help I could give; my daughter's school and teacher treated us like interferences. The mother of the kids referred by the town social services and the adult literacy student found all sorts of reasons why they could never get to tutoring. I may do some more another time when I'm free, but won't hold my breath for people to value it.

I agree that too much is too much. I don't want to go the Sylvan route with more going on advertising than on actual teaching. But I do need a way to look serious and professional and businesslike without overdoing. I want to set up a really good web page but am not doing well on getting started -- partly my fault and partly nightmares with getting help from ISP's.

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 8:16:11 PM

You're absolutely on target. 30 minutes once a week with no homework or review is a joke. A total waste of time and money.

Whenever somebody says "phonics didn't work", I first look for bad/non implementation.

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 9:16:08 PM

One reason I liked this guy is that he didn't reccommend long course of expensive treatments. He has a website. Dr. Pirotte in Wichita, Ks. He said let's try the glasses it'll help the muscles which aren't quite strong enough to hold the letters still. If that doesn't work we'll go on from there. Well, the first month we didn't use them enough really. My husband picked up the glasses with son and forgot to tell tutor and I the instructions how to use. Like not reading when book flat on desk-which of course we'd been doing. Once he came up with the advice, and son got used to the bifocal effect he improved quickly. Now there is such a marked difference when he forgets to wear. When I hear him stalling on words-he reads to little brother a lot- I check and sure enough no glasses.

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 16, 2003 9:19:06 PM

They reccommended bifocals because since only for reading kids don't need to take off when looking around and doing other things. However, I'm not sure I wouldn't just get regular lenses next time. Though he's used to the bifocals for reading now he still complains about them.

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Anonymous
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Posted:May 17, 2003 3:39:41 AM

Hi Victoria:

My tutor in Vancouver (orton-gillingham/multi-sensory) charges $35 per hour and picks up my son and takes him to school too! We were her first clients, and she has proved to be nothing short of a saint. Many of my friends think that I am crazy for spending this..they hire students for a fraction of this.
So, for us cheaper Canadians, you are in the ball park. My tutor is getting most of her business through word of mouth, and she keeps her students. She has prepared a simple business card that I have seen at the local Family Resource Centre (advocacy centre/where they train tutors). She is also very involved in the local Learning Disability Association.
Victoria, you've sent me in the right direction before, so I hope that you stick with it!!! By the way, I do believe that us Canadians often are suspicious at anything that looks too fancy or too packaged.

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