In 1984, Laura Reisler, MS, CCC-SLP, founded Park Slope Speech Therapy and, since that time, she has been serving Park Slope and the surrounding community, providing Speech Therapy, Language Therapy, and Reading Intervention. Over the course of her 30+ year career, she has has helped, or supervised the help, of thousands of children and adults, with every conceivable speech, language, and reading issue, and her wall routinely becomes plastered with photographs, kids' drawings, and thank-you cards. Prior to founding Park Slope Speech therapy, Laura, who graduated from Columbia University, served for 6 years as Director of the Speech Department at the Stanley S. Lamm Institute at Long Island College Hospital. If you'd like to speak with Laura, to talk about yourself or your child, or to set up an appointment, please call 718.768.3526 and ask to speak with her, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During approximately this same period of time, Steve Siegel, systems analyst and software developer, was developing systems and software in a variety of areas, including: operating system level software; scientific software; device-control software, and robotic software. In 1994, understanding the defects in reading instruction in our educational system, he started thinking about ways to improve upon this. Ultimately, he discovered a synergy between a human characteristic (the ability of children at around the age of 4 - 5 to recognize the initial and final sounds of words), and a mathematical formulation: the mean average of the number of words corresponding to any two speech sounds was small enough that, if the words were presented in a multisensory-selectable environment (i.e. a word grid, where the words "talk" when moused over, and are transferred to a text box when clicked), children, even as young as 4 or 5, could select one or more of the presented words, and find information about it. Effectively, this meant that a 4 or 5 year old could encode (spell) any words he or she could think, use those words in a database (dictionary, encyclopedia, Internet) to locate information of interest, learn about it, write about it (encoding words via initial/final sound) and, in the process, increase skills in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, spelling, fluency, and all the areas that comprise language arts. This became the basis for the Phonic Engine® patent, and 6 subsequent patents, each providing techniques for children to learn reading.
These techniques effectively solve a "puzzle" (phonics vs. whole language vs. basal reader approach) that literally dates back across generations: how to truly help children learn to read. The Phonic Engine Method solves this by providing for the teaching of the structural aspects of reading without sacrificing motivation, using intriguing material — material well beyond grade level that would normally be unavailable — that is genuinely interesting to children, in the way children (not adults) define "interesting." In other words, learning to read while reading to learn.
In 2006, Laura and Steve founded Park Slope Communication & Learning Center, renamed due to the increased focus on reading using the assistive technology the Phonic Engine Method software provided and, since that time, along with continued focus on Speech and Language Therapy, have been providing service along all aspects of the Communication Continuum: Speech, Language, and Reading.
The results have been nothing short of remarkable, with children who had, in many cases, failed to achieve results via all other means, making steep improvements in reading, at a reasonable cost, since the software may be used at home as well as in our center, and have transitioned from "hating to read," to "loving to read." Children truly enjoy coming to our center, and we are dedicated to the improvement of all our clients.
We have a small staff of 3 - 4 speech therapists/reading specialists, and enjoy providing personalized help to all our clientele.
If you'd like more information about our methodology, please have a look at our White Paper: The Phonic Engine Reading Method: Learning to Read in the 21st Century — A Transformative Advance in the Teaching of Language Arts and General Education, where you will be able to see screen shots of KidsVoyager® Online (the Phonic Engine® Method software), read a detailed explanation of how the Method was developed, have a look at our patents, see the results of standardized test scores, and learn more in general about our methods and guiding principles.