Natalie believes a dyslexia assessment is only as good as the plan of action it sets in motion. Her comprehensive assessments have a problem solving approach guided by two goals: 1. empower parents by demystifying each child's learning profile and provide a detailed plan to address weaknesses; 2. establish a concrete starting point for intervention by identifying the specific gaps in each child's knowledge.
The assessment process takes place over two sessions. The length of each session depends on the child's age and ability level, but each session is generally an hour and a half. Parents are strongly encouraged to observe both assessment sessions. Natalie provides a comprehensive report within two weeks of the last session and then meets with parents to review the recommendations and help develop a game plan. Parents end the assessment process feeling empowered and hopeful.
Natalie assesses all aspects of literacy, including phonological awareness, phonological memory, rapid naming, oral reading fluency, comprehension, phonics, decoding, sight words, spelling, and handwriting.
Natalie is a sought after dyslexia assessor and has worked with families all over Northern California, from San Francisco to the Sacramento suburbs. She has assessment locations in Walnut Creek and El Dorado Hills and also offers virtual screenings for out-of-state families. Areas served:
San Francisco Bay Area: Walnut Creek, Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Benicia, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Berkeley, Oakland, Point Richmond, Albany, El Cerrito
Greater Sacramento Area: Sacramento, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Rescue, Cameron Park, Shingle Springs, Diamond Springs, Placerville, Auburn, Camino, Pollock Pines, South Lake Tahoe
Natalie Powell has our highest recommendation for academic assessment (language arts) and educational therapy for dyslexia. Our daughter is a bright and articulate third grader that has struggled with reading and spelling. Natalie came recommended by our pediatrician. Natalie’s language arts assessment begins with a comprehensive record review and detailed questions for the parent/caregiver. The assessment took place at two one-and-a-half hour sessions. Natalie creates a caring, supportive, no-pressure testing environment. Our daughter really enjoyed the assessment and testing process, which is a testament to the atmosphere that Natalie creates. The language arts assessment confirmed that our daughter has dyslexia. The assessment report was fantastic: detailed, but with actionable, easy-to-understand recommendations. After the assessment, we met with Natalie to discuss the results, and develop a shared game plan for using the results to help our daughter. Following our meeting with Natalie, she joined us for a meeting with our daughter’s teachers to share the assessment, and answer questions about dyslexia. Natalie is competent, confident, and a phenomenal resource for understanding learning differences. We appreciate that in both the assessment recommendations, and in educational therapy, Natalie focuses on preserving, and enhancing, the strengths of your individual child. Natalie empowers our daughter to overcome the hurdles presented by her dyslexia and encourages her to pursue her passions (science and art). We could not be more fortunate to have Natalie on our daughter’s team!"
- Parent of a Palmer School Student, February '18
First off Natalie Powell is an amazing Educational Therapist and comes highly recommended by us! We have been very pleased with our son's accomplishments this past school year. He seems to have always struggled academically in multiple subjects but it only became more obvious to us about a year ago. His school teachers never suggested any learning differences but we came to Natalie at the end of last summer after exhausted efforts on our own. Natalie suggested doing an assessment to try and pin point if there were any underlining learning difficulties going on. Her evaluation concluded he has multiple learning difficulties. While this news was hard to take at first, it was the start of a magical school year. Natalie helped us get the school involved right away, open communications and have accommodations put in place. We took her recommendation to also have our son privately evaluated by a neuropsychologist; this helped us with the school. This report confirmed what she had already uncovered. With the help of Natalie, we now have a 504 in place. I have to say Natalie is the best resource for our son and we are so very thankful to have found such a gem!
Parent of a Highlands Elementary 5th Grader, June '17
My daughter has always been a bright, sweet, happy child who loves to learn. Sometime around 3rd grade, I started to notice that she was struggling with homework. I brought up my concerns with her teachers at every parent teacher conference for three years but no one ever saw what I saw. They just saw that bright, happy student that loves to learn. But I saw the 9, 10, then 11 year old kid who cried because she had been doing homework for 4 hrs and as much as she wanted to, was just too tired to continue. Or I simply wouldn't let her. When a friend of mine shared her praises of Natalie's services on Facebook, I decided it couldn't hurt to see if Natalie could help. After our initial phone call, Natalie brought on Lauren and the two of them spent time assessing my daughter. Natalie and Lauren both instantly were able to pick up on little things that they could do or say to make my daughter's testing experience as relaxing and fun as possible. The results of their assessment showed learning disabilities that would qualify my daughter for services through the district. Not only did Natalie and Lauren explain how to ask for everything that is within my child's right to receive, but Lauren was even able to attend my first SST meeting with me... a meeting that surely would have been a repeat of every prior parent teacher conference, had Lauren not been there to support me. This had me holding back tears at some moments. I would not hesitate to recommend either of these two wonderful, kind, knowledgable women to anyone with a child struggling with learning differences.
Parent of a Foothill Middle School 6th Grader, December '16
Both of my children have been working with Natalie Powell for about 3 months and in that short time we have seen tremendous improvement in each of their abilities. She offered a very thorough assessment to understand exactly what their needs are and was very informative in breaking it down for us. Natalie quickly made a connection with our kids while being engaged and making the hard work fun. She has gone above and beyond, reaching out and even meeting with teachers and aids to help structure the right support for their needs. She is a tremendous asset for our family!
Parent of a Buena Vista Elementary 4th Grader & a Walnut Creek Intermediate 6th Grader, February '17
I can't begin to say how happy we were to find Natalie. She provided us with so much more than just evaluating my son. Upon learning that my son was at the bottom of his class in reading, I decided that I needed to get my child assessed by a professional. I requested having my son evaluated by the school as well, to hopefully get him accepted into the IEP program, although his chances of qualifying were looking bleak.
When Natalie came to our house to meet with my seven year old son, he responded very well toward her kind and cheerful disposition. She was able to do a lot more assessments than she originally anticipated given our time crunch situation, with another IEP meeting coming up. Natalie was very thorough and professional. She typed up a wonderful overview of where she felt my son was struggling and what his needs were as far as remediation. She recommended that I hire an advocate and gave a list of referrals. I had never heard of an advocate until Natalie mentioned this, and I'm so glad we hired one. Natalie also provided referrals to other professionals such as neuropsychologists (who can give diagnoses for learning disabilities) in case I had to go that route to get my son accepted into the IEP program.
Natalie helped our family in a huge way. Not only did she respond to my many emails about roadblocks within the school system, giving me endless advice, she also spoke with my son's teacher regarding my son's learning differences and what the testing results meant. His teacher was fascinated by her wealth of knowledge and was inspired to try to help more of her students who were struggling.
Natalie was a Godsend to my family and to my son's teacher. Natalie was able to suggest programs that would be beneficial to use in a classroom setting. Between Natalie's advice regarding programs and her referral to an excellent advocate, not only did the school accept my son into the IEP program, but the school has adopted the multi-sensory Wilson Fundations Program she recommended. I can't recommend Natalie enough! You will be very pleased.
Parent of a Martinez Elementary School Student