Angela Brillhart - Learning Specialist

About Angela’s Experience

Angela Brillhart is a leader in working with students diagnosed with dyslexia or other learning disabilities and the behavioral issues stemming from them. Drawing on twenty years of experience, Angela brings learning tools to students, allowing them to transform the way they learn.

She uses the Slingerland ® Approach or other Orton-Gillingham methods to help students overcome limitations in their ability to process language and meet their academic needs. Angela gives students tools to succeed. Highly personalized and student-focused, her approach provides one-on-one intervention that works.

Get to Know Angela Better

Reading Comprehension

The human brain was not mean to take in words the way we do. There are specific parts of the brain for sight, hearing and touch, yet there are multiple areas of activation when people read. Reading at its most basic level is word identification and language comprehension. Language comprehension refers to a student’s background knowledge, vocabulary, syntax (word/phrase order), semantics or word meanings, verbal reasoning, the ability to make inferences and understand metaphors and literacy concepts such as genre. As our brains process the written language, we sometimes get our wires crossed and need help re-organizing the way we interact with information. Understanding how text is structured can also greatly benefit comprehension.

Unable to Decode Words

No matter how many times you tell a child to try and sound out an unknown word, without automatic decoding strategies, they simply won’t be able to identify the word. Many students need explicit and direct instruction to decode words. Accurate decoding involves identifying vowel patterns and a clear understanding of the alphabetic principle of phonologic awareness. This type of awareness is demonstrated when students know the sounds of letters or groups of letters and can manipulate those various sounds in our language. Students need to know a variety of academic and content words to succeed in school and to develop a robust vocabulary. Beginning in typically fourth grade, students begin to encounter more multi-syllable, academic words with Greek and Latin origins. These content or academic words typically contain multiple prefixes or suffixes that affect the meaning of them. For example, the prefix con means with or together, yet it’s related to words such as collect, committee, coordinate, and many others. The prefixes in those words still refer to being together or with, but their spelling has been changed or assimilated.

Writing

Getting thoughts out of our heads and into the world is difficult for many people. When children struggle to express themselves in writing, they tend to have lower self-esteem and often have production issues. Writing involves much more than deciding if the pen or pencil is mightier than the keyboard. It involves generating and organizing content, spelling choices, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. All students can experience success in writing when using research-backed strategies. Together, we can build a foundation for success, as writing skills are still crucial in today’s world.

Math

Like reading, math can be frustrating when a student encounters a difficult new concept. Working with the right tools and strategies provides your child with the best chance of success. Students will have more ability and confidence when identifying numbers, their meaning, and will develop an ability to manipulate them successfully.

Handwriting

Handwriting is about much more than coordination. It requires legibility or accuracy of letter-forms and fluency or the automaticity and rate of formation. Ensuring the messages are getting from the brain to the pencil and down on paper is a key part of writing and communication. Keyboarding instruction is NOT a substitution for creating or aiding in context with writing.

Executive Function Skills

Parts of the human brain are not fully developed until an individual is in their twenties. Students are responsible for a great deal of organizing, planning, and time management today than ever before. Allowing students to practice these skill sets with appropriate coaching gives them ownership of their studies.