Marissa is a certified educational therapist through the Association of Educational Therapists, and has completed extensive training with a focus on structured literacy, including LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, IDA Accredited), as well as over 60 hours of Orton-Gillingham coursework through the Orton-Gillingham Academy.
Marissa holds a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from Oregon State University, as well as Multiple Subject and Education Specialist credentials from the California Commision on Teacher Credentialing.
With seven years of experience as a special education teacher in the public school system, ranging from transitional kindergarten through fifth grade, Marissa has considerable experience working with children with language based learning disabilities, dyslexia, struggling readers, and neurodiverse students. Marissa is an active member of the Association of Educational Therapists and the International Dyslexia Association.
Marissa provides engaging, individualized educational therapy sessions with a dyslexia-specific approach intended to help all struggling readers, including those with dyslexia or other language-based learning disabilities. Synthesizing her Orton-Gillingham and LETRS training, Marissa implements evidence-based practices to provide multisensory structured literacy instruction. Sessions are tailored to each child’s individual needs and based on continuous assessment and progress monitoring. Marissa provides engaging instruction and materials, and strives to build a strong relationship with each of her students.
Preschool & Kindergarten
The approach utilized for dyslexia-specific educational therapy sessions is beneficial to all students, not just struggling readers. Jump-start sessions implement evidence-based multi-sensory structured literacy strategies to prepare children for school. Prevention is better than intervention - if you have concerns about your child’s readiness to begin school, or simply want your child to start school with foundational literacy skills, schedule a free phone consultation to discuss how Cooper Literacy Solutions may help to prepare your child.
My child doesn’t have dyslexia, will this approach be a good fit?
In short, yes! Regardless of if your child has dyslexia, another language-based learning disability, or no disability at all, multisensory structured literacy is effective for all students. Sessions are tailored to the individual, so each session will be based on your child’s strengths and areas of need, regardless of a disability.
What is the frequency and duration of sessions?
Sessions are 50 minutes unless otherwise agreed upon. The frequency of sessions will depend upon the level of intervention needed as well as the amount of time the family is able to commit to sessions. The Orton-Gillingham Academy recommends at least two, hour-long sessions per week, held on non-consecutive days. However, this is a decision that will be made with the family to ensure services suit your needs and lifestyle.
Are sessions in-person or virtual?
Both! Sessions are offered in-person at our San Diego office as well as virtually, via Zoom. Clients are able to choose one or both options to suit their specific scheduling needs.
What is your process for beginning services with a child?
Free Consultation Phone Call - first, you will speak with Marissa for an intake phone call to discuss your goals for your child, as well as any concerns you may have.
Assessment and Relationship Building - the first one to two sessions will be spent gathering data to determine your child’s baseline abilities and to get to know your child.
Review of Data - following assessments, there will be a brief phone call or in-person meeting to review your child’s performance on assessments and discuss the plan for remediation .
Individualized Instruction - multisensory structured literacy interventions begin, either in-person or virtually.
Collaboration and Consultation - as needed, Marissa will collaborate with parents/family, school, and/or other service providers to ensure everyone is working towards a common goal.
What is educational therapy?
According to the Association of Educational Therapists (AET), educational therapy is “intensive individualized intervention for students with learning challenges that may be a result of neurological, cognitive, developmental, language, and emotional issues.” Though it may be confused with tutoring, educational therapy differs in the level of training of the service provider, the approach, including goals and strategies, and the services provided. Educational therapists are highly trained and have extensive experience working with students with learning disabilities, and address both academic and social-emotional aspects of learning. Educational therapists may also conduct formal and informal assessments, provide case management for the student, and coordinate with parents and other service providers. At Cooper Literacy Solutions, we provide educational therapy with a dyslexia-specific approach, catering to students with dyslexia or other reading difficulties.
Are you available to attend school meetings or participate in the IEP process?
Yes. Marissa’s years of experience as an education specialist in public schools offers a unique lens when working with schools to support students with disabilities. Having been on the other side of the table, Marissa is able to assist parents in collaborating with schools and service providers. Though she does not provide advocacy services, Marissa is able to share your child’s strengths and areas of needs, as well as recommend accommodations and supports. Fees will be assessed for reviewing school reports, writing reports, and attending school meetings.