Desert Willow was initially created to work with students with learning differences such as Learning Disabilities, Aspergers Syndrome, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Our goal is to provide high quality instruction while developing confident and independent learners. It is very important to us that students enjoy learning and laugh while doing so. Students are encouraged to identify and use their strengths and talents in the learning process.

Diagnostic teaching is used while working with every child. This is a common technique used to decide if a student is learning the specific skill being taught. It simply means that the instructor observes to see that a student is mastering a skill. If the skill is not being mastered adjustments are made to the program, methods, or materials.

We use a variety of programs, methods and materials developed for students who have difficulty learning to read, write, spell, and understand math. Using formal and informal evaluations along with parent, student and teacher input we determine which skills on which to focus our instruction and select methods and materials to be used in order to improve the targeted skills.

For students who require homework support, we are able to teach a variety of study techniques and organizational skills while kids complete classroom assignments. Many of these techniques and skills are designed to target specific processing problems.

All of our instructors have a background in elementary or secondary education, and have an educational background in special education and/or are certified to teach specific reading, writing, and math programs.

Programs, methods and materials used are based on what are considered the best practices for addressing specific skills and disabilities. These include reading programs such as Orton-Gillingham, Wilson Reading Program, the Lindamood Phonological Program, and Nancy Bell’s Visualizing/Verbalizing Program. We use materials that include Great Leaps for reading fluency, When They Can’t Write for writing complete sentences and well organized paragraphs and essays, and a large variety of manipulatives and games for developing math concepts and calculation skills.