Natalie is trained in IMSE Orton Gillingham, an approach accredited by the International Dyslexia Association. Her educational therapy sessions utilize strategies proven by recent research to close dyslexic students' gaps. Initial assessment of each student's skills leads to the creation of short and long term goals, with each session targeting a specific goal. Concepts are explained in common-sense language that is easy to access, and repeated review and hands-on activities are built into each session. To see sessions in action, go here.
How a student responds to an activity determines what happens next in the session, not a given curriculum or set-in-stone scope and sequence. Because student need guides sessions, Natalie introduces concepts in a slightly different order, using differing materials and strategies, for each child. Educational therapy is NOT a one-size-fits-all approach!
As a therapist, Natalie is concerned with students' social-emotional state. She educates students and parents on the strengths and difficulties that come with dyslexia, helps students form positive impressions of learning by tracking and celebrating their progress, provides high interest materials and games, and builds a relationship with each student.
parents as partners
Parents are critical in Natalie's team-based approach. They know what happens during each session (often observing or participating) and lead at-home practice activities that spur progress. This all-hands-on-deck approach leads to large gains. Natalie also advocates for her students with their parents at IEP meetings to establish appropriate supports at school.
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
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. Natalie offered a 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 4th Grader & a WCI 6th Grader
We came to Natalie a little over a year ago. My daughter was struggling in math. She has a learning disorder that affects her rote memory, and makes it hard to memorize facts. Natalie was instrumental in the progression of her math skills. Our daughter now has her facts memorized and utilizes Natalie's strategies daily in class and on homework. She is a great resource and we cannot thank her enough for all she has done. She really cares about her students and went above and beyond for our daughter!
Parent of a Mount Diablo 4th Grader
Natalie has really impressed me with her level of expertise in working with children with learning difficulties. My dyslexic daughter loves her and loves reading, spelling, and reviewing math facts with her. Natalie is very organized in her work; she clarifies the child's needs-- both academically and emotionally, and then sets goals and works on them carefully-- with plenty of fun and encouragement along the way! Natalie is a gem!
Dr. Elea Bernou, Neuropsychologist and Parent of a 5th Grader
Natalie has been a reliable and valuable member of my God-daughter's educational team. She provides detailed and focused educational instruction, and offers well-informed summaries of our child's strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, our child loves her time with Natalie and looks forward to their weekly sessions. Natalie makes learning fun. I offer my highest recommendation for her services.
Dr. Michael Torres, Clinical Psychologist and Godfather of a Silverwood 5th Grader
Our sixth grader has always been a great student. She had a big vocabulary early, so we were surprised when spelling became a problem. She was still spelling phonetically for everything. We couldn't understand how to help her "learn" to spell versus memorize quickly just to pass a test. Natalie figured out HOW she learns and the results are amazing. She also is helping us understand other behavioral/educational issues and is guiding us through more extensive testing. Natalie is a priceless partner in helping our daughter become her best self. And best of all, she loves Natalie and is always excited to see her.
Parent of a Pine Hollow 6th Grader
Our daughter struggled for years in many academic areas. We had her tested outside of the school district in 3rd grade. Nothing was discovered as 'a learning disability.' Years passed, and the tears, frustration, and struggles continued. It was a nightly battle to complete homework and study for tests. But our child still tried and tried to succeed. Finally, at the end of 6th grade we knew we needed to do SOMETHING!! Through a friend, we met Natalie. She was able to identify critical learning issues for our daughter. She observed her in the classroom, spoke with teachers, and devised an individual plan for her. Natalie suggested we test her again with an outside agency. Sure enough, our daughter had been battling a complex learning disorder all along!! Natalie even worked with the agency to get a better understanding of our child. In a few short months, we have seen a huge improvement academically and emotionally. Our child feels much more confident in her abilities. Natalie makes learning fun and even though our daughter is in middle school, she welcomes Natalie's help. I only wish we'd found her earlier! We are looking forward to 7th grade thanks to Natalie!
Parent of Diablo View 7th Grader
As a parent of a gifted child with learning disabilities, I was left on my own to find appropriate services to help my child. I feel so fortunate to have found Natalie Powell. From our first meeting, I knew she would have the energy and patience needed to help my son. Since she began working with him, his academic skills have improved immensely. He is no longer anxious about writing work at school. In addition to her lessons with him, she has also made numerous suggestions for therapeutic tools he can use at home to increase fine motor skills. She also has been an incredible help to us in communication with the teacher. She is enthusiastic about her work, and very knowledgable. I highly recommend her to anyone with a twice exceptional child.
Parent of a Walnut Acres 1st Grader
My daughter is a 5th grader who was having a hard time with a large, loud classroom and seemed to be falling more and more behind. Natalie Powell has been a God-send for my daughter. With Natalie's recommendations and guidance, my daughter was finally diagnosed with ADD and processing speed/sensory processing disorder. She has not only brought her to a place of being comfortable with math concepts, but has been instrumental in building her self confidence with her school work and test taking. Natalie is constantly researching ways to help our family appreciate how our daughter learns, what her struggles are, and ways to help her succeed. She is a wealth of knowledge and my daughter looks forward to their sessions together.
Parent of a Tabernacle 5th Grader
My daughter had struggled with reading, spelling, and handwriting since the first grade. After 3 years, her public school finally tested her and said there was no problem, so I hired tutors and figured she just needed to work harder. But I always had a nagging feeling we'd missed something, as tutors were not able to provide what my daughter needed. I knew we needed to find a higher caliber person to help my daughter. I am so grateful we found Natalie. She reviewed all the testing the school performed, researched, and utilized all her resources to come up with a game plan. She gave me very helpful advice on how I could assist my daughter. She immediately opened up a line of communication with my daughter's teacher and regularly checks in. Within a year, my daughter now receives A's on her spelling tests, likes to read, has a favorite author, and is meeting her reading goals. Her confidence is the highest it’s ever been. Natalie encourages my daughter and celebrates all her victories. We can really see that Natalie is rooting for our daughter and cares very much about her and her future success.
Parent of Mount Diablo Elementary 5th Grader