About Dyslexia School Search
Sheridan Steen - Founder of Dyslexia School Search
I think it is very important for clients to understand my background. I am first and foremost the mother of three children, one of whom, my daughter, is very dyslexic. I know from first-hand experience the pain, frustration and loneliness of being the parent of a bright child who is totally failing academically and for whom there is very little support from the teaching world. I was fortunate, in that I was working in the world of education when my daughter was diagnosed, and even more fortunate that one Headmaster out of many approached was “willing to have a go”. The final outcome for us was successful with a daughter gaining both GCSEs, A Levels and eventually after a huge amount of effort on her part a degree in the subject that she was determined to study. The outcome for other children with dyslexia and other SpLD needs is not always so successful.
Having travelled extensively both in Europe, China, Korea, Japan, the Gulf States and Africa recruiting students for boarding in the United Kingdom, it has become apparent to me that although there are some exceptionally good international schools, many of them have limited resources to help children with dyslexia. For more information please look at the case studies page. Not only do they have limited resources in their learning support departments, often a fast turnaround in teachers, and importantly often the child’s stay in any one school is relatively short dependent on the parents posting, in addition the size of the school plays a significant role for children with SpLD needs. A dyslexic child often has issues of anxiety, and a large school with in many cases a school population in excess of 1000 students can have serious implications for these children. Children with dyslexia need more than most continuity of care and education, without it they are unlikely to thrive.
Determined to offer my parents a first class service, I have spent a great deal of time and miles building up my knowledge base. I make it my mission to visit as many schools as I can, ensuring that wherever possible I meet not only the Head teacher, Admissions Registrar but most importantly spend time getting to know the schools’ SENC0 (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).
You may question why you need the services of Dyslexia School Search? Yes, there are plenty of guides and websites to view, however, the only real way I believe that you can assess how well and successful a school’s Learning Support/Enrichment Department is by visiting them and this is my role. I am continually visiting schools across the UK in order to ensure my knowledge is always up to date. My role, with the backup and support of my team of specialists is to help give parents the best possible choice.
The Associates Team
Prior to launching Dyslexia School Search, I built a team of both Educational Psychologists and Learning Support teachers whose knowledge of working with children with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and other learning support needs is invaluable.
Mrs Diana Alderson
Mrs Diana Alderson, is a highly regarded and experienced consultant for special educational needs. Having trained initially under Beverley Hornsby at the Hornsby International Dyslexic Centre she has continued to train using The Sound Reading System, ‘the right to read’ and the use of visual technologies.
Providing remedial teaching for failing students in both the independent and maintained sectors as well as teaching for ten years in a juvenile prison. Diana Alderson is particularly experienced with students aged between twelve and eighteen.
“Self-confidence is king” and Diana has a true talent in finding the key to help the young learn to believe in themselves.
Mrs Nicola (Ning) Fulford
Mrs Ning Fulford gained her certificate for the Hornsby course in Dyslexia and literacy in 2007 and was immediately offered a teaching position at Emerson House. Emerson House is one of London’s leading specialist centres catering for primary aged children with dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia. Whilst there, she taught literacy and touch-typing, both on a 1:1 basis and also in small groups for six years until moving to Suffolk in 2013.
Ning specialises in teaching literacy to students with dyslexia, covering reading, spelling, high frequency words, comprehension, sequencing, memory skills, creative writing and handwriting and is a certified TTRS (Touch type read & spell) teacher. Prior to entering the world of dyslexia Ning was a top-flight PA, making her extremely well qualified to teach the important life skill of touch-typing.
Ning is the mother of two children, one of whom has dyslexia; resulting in an wonderful empathy with the students she works with.
Julia Jennings BSc (Hons) PGCE Med Chartered Educational Psychologist
Julia has 30 years of experience and a proven record of achievement in working within nurseries, schools and colleges with children and young people.
Julia’s has worked as an Educational Psychologist, teacher, teaching assistant and residential support worker and began her professional career teaching in Herefordshire and Cheshire before qualifying as an Educational Psychologist in 1990.
Julia has worked for 10 years at a senior level as an Educational Psychologist within a local authority. She is well respected for her psychological skills which she applies to both strategic work and individual assessment. Julia has been involved in innovative practice which has been recognised at national level and published in professional journals.
Julia is very happy to travel to carry out tests for families overseas.
Rebecca Hill BmedSci (Hons) Speech Science
Rebecca qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 1989 and has since worked in America and UK for health authorities and in independent practice. She has extensive experience working with children, young people and their families with a variety of needs – speech difficulties, language delay and disorders, social communication and autistic spectrum disorders and children or young people with severe learning difficulties or brain injury.
Rebecca works alongside parents and schools to understand children and young people’s speech, language and communication needs and then to provide an holistic child centered programme. Rebecca draws upon her training and knowledge of a range of interventions including: Somerset Total Communication (signing and symbol system), Makaton, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and Social Stories.
During the last 22 years Rebecca has had the opportunity to work in nurseries, mainstream and special schools and within specialist resource bases. She has proven success in intensive therapy for children with Specific Language Impairment, Working alongside parents and teachers, Rebecca has developed interventions and training which have been considered to show excellent practice and then been incorporated into strategic planning. Currently, as part of her role Rebecca is the clinical lead for autistic spectrum disorder within Somerset.
Rebecca has trained as an intermediary to the court and as an expert witness.
Dr Jennie Guise MA(Hons), MBA, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD, PGCPSE, AMBDA FE/HE, MEd, CPSychol, CSci, AFBPsS, FHEA, SpLD APC (Patoss)
Dr Guise has 30 years of experience working with children, young people and adults and is highly qualified in the areas of psychology, education and business. She is a Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Chartered Scientist and Member of Health and Care Professionals Council. Dr Guise is an Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) and Member of the Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (PATOSS). She has a PATOSS Specific Learning Difficulties Assessment Practising Certificate. She is also a registered CogMed Coach.
Dr Guise has developed a unique approach to assessments, making them accessible, understandable and fully focused on the positive. The principal aim is to help people realise their potential.
Carole Grandin BA BSc MSc ChPsych
Carole Grandin offers a confidential and personalised psychological service both for children and adults. She has worked for many years for both parents and schools as well as Local Education Authorities and the Courts, and her reports and advice is highly regarded by all those who have worked with her
Carol is very happy to carry undertake the assessments either in the home or at the child’s school. Her assessments are very thorough and comprises both of tests and interview, lasting approximately 3 hours. Following the assessment a full and detailed report will be submitted to the parents outlining the child’s strengths and weaknesses and suggesting measures and resources to be put in place to assist in the child’s learning skills.
Carol is always very happy to carry out classroom observations, examinations of work, and to discuss in depth with teachers and staff at the child’s school.
Annie Mitchell BSc(Hons) PGCE, MSc CPsychol
AM Child Psychologist
Annie trained as an educational psychologist in 1997 and has worked for three London Education Authorities in a range of nursery, primary, secondary and special schools. She held positions of responsibility working with pre-school children, supporting schools with managing children and adolescents with behavioural difficulties, and supporting children in public care. She was also a senior educational psychologist for two years before leaving in 2004 to work in private practice.
Annie specialises in providing assessments for children aged 18 months to 13 years. Annie advises on a range of areas from learning, behaviour social and emotional difficulties.
Elizabeth Thomas BSc (Hons) PGCE Dip Ed Psych
Elizabeth is an experienced Educational Psychologist and Dyslexia Consultant. After graduating with an Honours Degree in Psychology in 1968, she completed a four year post-graduate course in Educational Psychology. Elizabeth worked in primary and secondary schools in Surrey until 1979 when she established a private practice specialising in providing help for dyslexic pupils and their parents.
Since 1991, she has been working with Mark Mathews and the Sunflower Trust researching new techniques and methods that enhance learning skills. In 1994, she qualified as a Sound Therapist and provides both Auditory Integration Training (AIT) and Samonas Sound Therapy at the Reve Pavilion. She has provided In-Service training for schools and has worked on research into the role of complementary therapies and dyslexia.
Kathy Contaris BA(Hons), PGCE, M.Ed, M.Sc., C.Psychol.
Kathy is a Chartered Educational Psychologist registered through the British Psychological Society and the Health Professionals Council. She trained as an Educational Psychologist at Exeter University, gaining her MSc in 1996, following a 14-year career in secondary teaching, primarily in special educational needs (more latterly as a SENCO).
Initially Kathy worked for Somerset Education Authority, providing primary, secondary and special schools with psychological assessment, support and training, as well as being the seconded Educational Psychologist to the Somerset Youth Offending Team.
In 2004 she started working privately and has since established a busy practice, covering much of the south and south-west of England, working with children, students and adults, who are seen at her consulting rooms or their home, school, college or university, or in the workplace. Kathy also works with a number of schools on a regular basis, carrying out assessments, supporting teachers and offering training.
Whilst Kathy is a generic Educational Psychologist and works with people with a wide range of difficulties, she has particular interests in Speech and Language Difficulties, ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, Dyspraxia and Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.
Dyslexia School Search is an educational consultancy,
specialising in finding schooling for children with specific learning difficulties. We work with families whose children have a wide spectrum of learning difficulties from mild dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia and dysgraphia to children with more profound needs.
Dyslexia School Search was founded in 2011 by Sheridan Steen: following a year of extensive research and the building of a highly qualified team of experts from across the United Kingdom.
Read more about the Associates team
BSc (Hons) PGCE Med Chartered Educational Psychologist
BmedSci (Hons) Speech Science
Dr Jennie Guise MA(Hons), MBA, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD, PGCPSE, AMBDA FE/HE, MEd, CPSychol, CSci, AFBPsS, FHEA, SpLD APC (Patoss)
BA BSc MSc ChPsych
Dr Jennie Guise
MA(Hons), MBA, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD, PGCPSE, AMBDA FE/HE, MEd, CPSychol, CSci, AFBPsS, FHEA, SpLD APC (Patoss)
BSc (Hons) PGCE Dip Ed Psych
BA(Hons), PGCE, M.Ed, M.Sc., C.Psychol.