Educational Services at Fullarton House
22 Gordon Street
Phone 0433 399 767
Mentoring and Education Services
For young people who are doing it tough at school, at home or in other aspects of their lives, an adult taking a steady interest in them through a mentoring relationship can make all the difference. Bill offers sessions to young people from 5 years of age to assist them to deal with difficulties such as (but not limited to):
General schoolwork difficulties - any subject (Maths to year 9)
Learning difficulties (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia etc.)
Social difficulties (making friends and keeping friends)
Tricky feelings and emotional difficulties (home and /or school)
Organisational difficulties (poor organisation - often attached to learning issues)
Parenting Challenging Kids
Bill works with parents who looking for sound theory and strategies to better support their children, particularly through more effective discipline and home routines. Helping parents understand the hidden messages in their children's behaviour is a key part of Bill's approach.
Bill's popular parenting book:
Raising Beaut Kids: Recipes for Parents on When to say Yes and how to say No written with Mark LeMessurier is packed with humorous, in your face ideas, strategies and thought provoking scenarios to give current thinking on raising happy and well-adjusted kids a well-overdue shake up!
Bill uses programs and approaches to help students who struggle with specific learning disorders.
Bill teaches to the Playberry (Playford and Hansberry) structure that uses Direct Instruction to teach phonology, sound - letter associations, spelling rules, syllable types, morphology, syntax and semantics. These key areas are taught in a systematic, cumulative multi-sensory way. This way of teaching is recognised by the International Dyslexia Association as best practice in teaching students with dyslexia, and is the gold standard in proven programs for dyslexic learners.
Despite the leading reading researchers agreeing on best practice in teaching students with dyslexia, there is an overwhelming range of so-called 'treatments' or 'cures' for dyslexia that cause confusion for parents looking for ways to help their children. Researchers now know more than ever about the functioning of the dyslexic brain, thanks to FMRI and other imaging technologies that allow researchers to see inside the brain at it reads. Although this has shown researchers what types of remediation works best, sketchy treatments continue to flood the market that are based on questionable assumptions and poor research that claim to re-wire the brain and offer fast results, even overnight cures for reading disorders.
Although it's important to keep an open mind to new ways and approaches, it's also important to check that these programs have independent, controlled, randomized and peer reviewed research proving their efficacy. At this point in time, there is general scientific consensus that the best we have to offer students with dyslexia are programs with a strong emphasis on developing phonemic awareness and the alphabetic code (synthetic phonics) in a way that is highly structured, cumulative and multi-sensory. These programs rely on an experienced and well trained teacher or tutor who can teach at the pace of the student, can teach diagnostically and provide students with lots and lots of revision, taking them to the point of over learning.
Bill's experience in educational counselling and his understanding of the emotional impact of Dyslexia ensures that emotional and academic needs are supported.
Effective remediation for students with disorders of reading requires not only an understanding of what to teach and how to teach it, but also an understanding of the emotional damage that has been done to young people from being in educational settings that don't understand their difficulties.
By the time young people get the help they need, non-evidence based teaching of reading and a poor awareness of dyslexia has often done damage to their self-concept as learners and taught them poor reading habits. As a result, they are often well entrenched in blaming themselves for their difficulties with reading and spelling. Young people with reading difficulties need both skilled intervention and understanding as they come to grips with their learning differences.
When with Bill, students learn in a variety of ways ranging from pencil and paper work in books, to work on individual whiteboards, or make use of a range of programs on PC and tablet.
Bill believes that young people must have fun and laugh to learn best, this is why laughter is commonly heard coming from Bill's room!
Bill belongs to (and oversees) the South Australian Literacy Specialists (Dyslexia) (SALS(D)) register, which contains the names of specially trained, multi-sensory specialist dyslexia teachers who teach using evidence-based methodology that we promote.