Every student deserves the feeling of success.
We help make that happen!

Learning & Behavior Specialists, LLC offers an array of quality services specifically designed to maximize every student's education. We lead Southwest Virginia in comprehensive, specialized education and tutorial programs, assessment services, and parental assistance services. Helping learners grow, learn, and flourish is our joy and our mission. With your convenience in mind, we bring our exceptional services to your home.



We're no ordinary tutoring service.
Our clients love us that way!

We are the right service for you if:

  1. You want to see your child progress academically because he or she seems to struggle or fall behind in skill development.

  2. You want your child to have support with homework, organizational skills, and study habits.

  3. You would like to introduce your child to concepts in a specific subject area ahead of time, so he or she will feel confident and free of anxiety when new skills are taught in the classroom.

  4. You want to enrich learning for a gifted or advanced student.

  5. You want to understand your child's learning style, strengths and weaknesses, present level of performance, and specific skill deficits.

  6. You want the highest professional grade of testing completed on your child to gain a profile of him/her as a learner, to help determine if disabilities exist, to evaluate academic growth, and to provide school professionals with results that will be most valuable to them in making educational decisions.

  7. You would like help with making informed educational decisions (including kindergarten readiness, school placement, grade retention, and most appropriate programming).

  8. You need to understand school policies, procedures and laws (including those related to special education).

  9. You need someone to explain test results and various types of instructional methods and approaches to you.

  10. You would like someone skilled and knowledgeable to help you work in a positive way with your child's teachers and other school professionals (whether it is by speaking with the schools, consulting with you, or attending school meetings).



Every student deserves the best.
  We believe we have the ideal formula
    for providing exceptional programs
      to our students and their families.


We make sure:

  1. Our tutors and specialists have at least a master's degree, successful experience in the field, a love of teaching and learning, and a heart for children.

  2. We strive to recruit and retain the best tutors and specialists possible in the area for the benefit of every student we teach. We make an effort to pay our tutors and specialists more than any other tutoring service in the area. We believe in the adage, "You get what you pay for."

  3. We utilize the highest level of tests for identifying student skills and needs.  The types of tests we conduct require extensive college level coursework in tests and measurements. The tests we use are also interactive. We provide written reports that are thorough, specific, and written in such a way that they are readily used by schools for making significant student placement and instructional decisions.

  4. We utilize acclaimed systematic teaching programs for students who have special needs. Such programs include Orton-Gillingham, Touch Math, Sing, Spell, Read, & Write, and Words Their Way.

  5. We recognize that learning is a dynamic process and that learners meet us every session with differing task demands, approaches to the tasks, skills, and needs. A strong tutor or specialist knows curriculum, teaching and learning strategies, various research-based and best practice teaching methods and materials, and how to read the learner to provide instruction and intervention appropriately. We do not set up rigid programs for every student who comes to us that shows a certain weakness in a given skill area (e.g., We wouldn't say, "All students who come to us and who aren't subtracting with regrouping should complete page 15 of the yellow book. When they're finished with that, they need to move to page 12 of the red book.") That is because every learner is different and every learning situation is different. We recognize that effective teaching is both an art and a science, and we believe that flexibility and knowledge are essential to excellent teaching.

  6. We provide one-on-one instruction. Unlike many learning center models that have a child sharing the instructional hour with other students (who may or may not be learning the same skills or even be at the same table from week to week), the entire session is devoted to the individual student. We have found that students are able to focus better and teachers are better able to concentrate on the flow or steps of appropriate instruction when there are no other students competing for attention.

  7. We provide our services in the student's home. We have found that this model best allows us to meet the needs of our students and their families. Because parents are in the home, they are aware of exactly what we are doing. We end every session by conferencing with parents and providing a written report. This step allows us to educate parents, help parents work with their children and the schools, and stay relevant to the needs of the child as a whole person--not just as a learner. The in-home component of our service has shown itself to be a critical piece in the provision of high quality services. It has also made life easier for families because they are not taking time to drive their children to a tutor. The convenience is one thing our clients frequently say they appreciate.

  8. We match tutors and specialists to students, and we strive to keep the same tutor or specialist with the same student for as long as the student is served.  Consistency allows us to understand the student well, the types of instructional demands individual teachers tend to place on him/her, and educate him/her optimally. Consistency also allows students and parents to establish a rapport with the tutor or specialist. For many of our clients, the tutor or specialist becomes "part of the family." That relationship seems to encourage open lines of communication, parents to share concerns about learning, and tutors to advise parents, students, and teachers with a solid understanding of the learner.

  9. We are experienced and knowledgeable about how schools set up programs, the demands on teachers, the laws that guide practice (especially in special education), and the range of instructional methods available.  This information helps us advise parents and best instruct/prepare students.

 

Our focus is on being a better business, not a bigger one. 

Our tutorial and educational therapy sessions address:

  1. The needs of learners who are receiving instruction in general and special education settings. 

  2. Skill areas for all ages and grade levels (through college) such as: 

  3. Reading Decoding/Phonics

  4. Phonological Awareness Training

  5. Reading Comprehension

  6. Written Language

  7. Spelling

  8. Handwriting

  9. Mathematics

  10. Foreign Language

  11. Study Skills

  12. Organizational Skills

  13. Test Taking Strategies

  14. Specific Test Preparation (SAT, GED, etc.)

  15. SOL Skill Reinforcement

 

Our variety of current, reputable, and comprehensive assessments: 

             

We love helping parents help their children.

We know that parenting is a wonderful, yet sometimes challenging responsibility. We also recognize that many parents would benefit from help regarding educational and behavioral concerns. Therefore, we are pleased to provide these services:

           

Frequently Asked Questions: 

How much do your services cost?

We offer services at competitive rates to other services in the area. Call our office to learn what the current rates are for tutoring, testing, and consultation. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Is there a certain number of hours per week my child will need?

Every learner and every situation is different. Factors that impact the number of tutorial sessions per week include: the student's level of skill development, the number of subject areas needing to be supported or taught, the level of additional support provided by the schools, how well the student responds to instruction and the type of instruction given in the classroom at school, and the ability for families to pay for services. We have seen students make great gains with only one hour per week. We have seen students who require daily assistance. Generally, our clients choose one to two hours of tutoring per week. Often, our assessments help parents decide what their children need. Sometimes we find ourselves agreeing to a certain number of sessions per week but need to increase or decrease the number of sessions based on the needs of the learner. Again, flexibility is essential.

How long is a tutoring or educational therapy session?

Sessions usually take 60 minutes. Fifty minutes are devoted to intensive instruction, and the remaining ten minutes are spent completing and reviewing a written report describing what we've done, where we're heading, any comments about the student's performance, and any assignments given to the student with parents. Sometimes, we have families who choose to have 90 minutes or two hours of tutoring at a time; it truly depends on what the child can withstand. Generally, given the intensity of instruction and the amount of time students can attend, 50 minutes is ideal.

Does my child have to be tested?

We believe that appropriate programming begins with a thorough assessment. Most parents want this sort of testing to be completed. We like it because we can make good instructional decisions and plan appropriately with this information. However, we understand that there are situations where a student has recently been evaluated, and children do not need to be over-tested. If we receive that report and feel there is enough information in it to direct learning, we do not require an assessment. We are also cognizant that assessments do require a financial investment. For cases where a child needs general support or parents need to make the assessment as economical as possible, we offer a screening test that gives us a general idea of where a child is performing. (The screening test takes under one hour to complete.) For parents who want to make the investment, a more in-depth, comprehensive assessment is chosen because it yields the most information and is in a format that can be readily used by the schools for making decisions. (This test may take anywhere from 2-4 hours, which may need to be broken down over a period of two days, depending on the child's ability to focus and perform.) We do not require anyone to have testing, especially if the family budget is tight. We do expect parents who opt out of testing to know that we may be spending instructional time trying to get an understanding of where the student's skills lie from informal measures, and this may prevent us from using the first few sessions helping the child master concepts.

What's the difference between a tutor and a specialist?

Our tutors have master's degrees in an educational field or specific subject area. Our specialists have master's degrees and experiences as special educators or reading specialists. Our specialists have had professional training in their college coursework on adapting instruction and utilizing various methods, and, because of the skills they have, they work well with students who do and do not have disabilities.

What if a tutor or specialist is assigned to my child, and it doesn't work out?

This is a rare occurrence. However, we recognize that this could happen. If this is the case, we will do the best we can to assign your child a different tutor or specialist as quickly as possible. Parents will be reimbursed for any tutoring sessions missed due to the transition or inability to find a tutor or specialist with matching credentials.

Does someone have to be at home when the tutor comes to work with my child?

Absolutely. We do not provide instruction if an adult is not in the home. This is for the protection of students and tutors/specialists. We will never be in the position of supervising or transporting students. If no adult is present, the tutors/specialists will leave the home, and the client is responsible for paying for the entire session. In special circumstances, we may provide services in other approved locations (agreed upon by the office, the tutor/specialist, and the parent) if and only if an adult is present to supervise the student. ("Present" does not mean sitting at the table and interfering with learning. "Present" means positioning oneself within a reasonable distance to supervise the student.)

How do I make payments?

All services must be paid for in advance. Tutoring fees for the entire month's sessions are paid by the first of the month. Payments are made to the office, not to individual tutors or specialists. We accept Visa, Mastercard, checks, and cash. We expect our clients to be prompt in making payments. In the event that parents are late with payments, late fees apply and services can be terminated. We have many people wanting our services, and it is unfair for our tutors and specialists to reserve spaces in their schedules for students whose parents are not diligent with payments (or inconsistently being present for services) while other students are on a waiting list. We ask that all parents consider this before they sign a contract with us for services. We are serious about what we do. We expect our clients to be serious about services, too.

How do we begin?

Click here or at the bottom of this page to download our Request For Services or Information form and mail it to our office or call the office to describe your child's needs (You may need to install the free Adobe Reader to open this form). We will make arrangements with you as soon as possible to schedule a free initial interview, provided that we have a tutor or specialist available (who matches your child's needs, has time in his/her schedule, and can travel to where you live) for your child. Our service is in high demand, so we sometimes need to put students on waiting lists. If this is the case, you will be informed of this situation.

The initial interview takes about an hour and a half to complete per child in the household. We come to your home to complete this. During this interview, we gather data from you regarding your child's medical, educational, and social history. We also ask you to complete a form where you evaluate your child's behaviors. If you desire, we will provide report forms and behavior checklists for you to give to your child's teachers. We will provide information to you regarding our policies and procedures. If services are desired, we will complete a contract. We would appreciate your having copies for our review and/or files of your child's school records, particularly report cards, any testing reports, school meeting records, or IEP's, if applicable.

After this meeting, your child's profile will be submitted to a tutor or specialist, and he/she will contact you to set up days and times for tutoring.

Do I have to agree to a certain number of months of tutoring?

No. Parents notify us thirty days in advance of their desire to terminate services. They can do so for any reason. Further, we reserve the right to terminate services with a notice of thirty days as well.

Do you serve only in the Roanoke area?

We have provided services to students in Pulaski, Giles County, Blacksburg, Shawsville, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem, Botetourt, Fincastle, and Franklin County. If we have a tutor or specialist who is qualified and available in your area, we can set up services.

How long has your service been in operation?

We've been doing great things and loving every minute of it since 2001. We have had many clients stay with us all these years--not because their kids didn't improve, but because their kids have done so well that they just don't want to let us go. It's wonderful. We love what we do, and our clients show us they love us, too, by referring us to their friends and neighbors. This is why we rarely do major advertising in the media; our clients keep us busy via word of mouth.

I would like to be a tutor or specialist. How do I apply?

Click here or at the bottom of this page to download our Tutor or Specialist Application form (You may need to install the free Adobe Reader to open this form). Print out this application and complete it. Also, print out 4 copies of the reference form and submit those to the individuals you wish to have evaluate you. Mail your application to Learning & Behavior Specialists, LLC, P.O. Box 4206, Roanoke, VA 24015. Please do not call our office or visit the office. We will contact you if the need for your skills arises (when we feel that your experiences and skills match what we require and students' needs), and we will arrange to interview you. Please remember that we do require master's degrees in the field and successful teaching experiences.

Who runs this service and what is her background?

Wendy Wall is the Director of Learning & Behavior Specialists, LLC. She received her undergraduate degree in Learning Disabilities from James Madison University in 1991. She received a merit scholarship for being the top student in her major at the time. She graduated with honors and later received a merit scholarship to the University of Arizona where she received her master's degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation in 1994. Her training at these universities was under the tutelage of many renowned experts in the field of special education (e.g., Dr. Esther Minskoff, pioneer in the field of Learning Disabilities, Dr. Nancy Mather, co-author of the Woodcock-Johnson tests, and Dr. Candace Bos, one of the nation's strongest contributors to research and teaching practice in the field of Learning Disabilities to name a few). She studied in a program designed by Dr. Samuel Kirk, who is recognized as "The Father of Learning Disabilities" for coining the term learning disability and pioneering the field. While at Arizona, Wendy assisted Dr. Mather in the process of writing Informal Assessment and Instruction in Written Language: A Practitioner's Guide for Students with Learning Disabilities. She has extensively studied advanced assessment, reading and written language instruction, oral language disabilities, multicultural-bilingual disabilities, special education, consultation, and assessment. She has completed field work as a diagnostician, oral language therapist, and prescriptive educator. Her many years of experience include assessing and educating students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders (grades K-12) in the public schools and in the private sector. She has mentored student teachers and has guest lectured for teachers in training for University of Arizona, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Virginia Western Community College.  She is married and has two sons and a daughter. (At the time this website was constructed, Wendy's biography could be found on James Madison University's website--in the Special Education Department's Alumni section at http://coe.jmu.edu/SpecialEducation/Alumni.htm.)

Contact Information:

Our Address: Learning & Behavior Specialists, LLC, P. O. Box 4206, Roanoke, VA 24015

Our Phone Number: 540-985-0876 in the Roanoke area or 1-866-TUTOR2U outside of the Roanoke area.

Request For Services or Information  |  Tutor or Specialist Application

Last Updated:  08/14/06