My mission:

To help children with learning differences become proficient readers.

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Meet Dr. Van Riper

Who i am

I’m an educator, an author, and an expert in education and professional development for individuals with dyslexia, executive functioning deficits, learning disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders.

My passion is working with children and helping them become successful in school and in life with compassion and understanding. I love my work, and I love making a difference in children’s and parent’s lives.

My experience

I have more than two decades of experience as a classroom teacher, Reading Specialist and Special Education Teacher. I earned a Master’s Degree in Reading Education at University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a Doctorate in Education and Cognitive Studies from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania in 2010.

Since 2010, I have been an Assistant Professor of Special Education and Literacy, teaching and supervising pre-service and in-service teachers. In 2014, I was certified as an Associate level tutor by the Academy of Orton Gillingham, and I have been working with students with Dyslexia and Sensory Processing issues since 2015.

Additionally, I am the host of the podcast Nature and Needs. To bring awareness of Dyslexia and other disabilities, I have interviewed specialists, parents, and educators to help explain the complexities of the nature of disabilities, and the needs of parents and individuals with disabilities.

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My Services

I have 15 years of experience in the K-10 classroom as a general education teacher, a Reading Specialist and a special education teacher, over a decade of experience as a Professor of Literacy and Special Education, and 35+ presentations around the country to school districts, teachers, administrators, parent groups, and speech-language pathologists. I love working with both individuals and groups!

Orton Gillingham Language Therapy
(in-person or remote)

Intervention for reading differences such as dyslexia, should begin as soon as possible to teach students to pave new neural pathways for fluency and comprehension. Orton Gillingham instruction addresses neurobiological deficits with explicit, systematic, diagnostic and multi-sensory instruction. It is the “gold standard” of intervention. Instruction is tailored to each individual, in a safe and comfortable environment.

(in-person or remote)

I provide single or multi-day interactive professional development workshops for teachers and/or parents. These events may be in-person or virtual, and could include any of the following topics:

  • Dyslexia
  • Orton Gillingham
  • Autism
  • Executive Functioning

Professional services partnerships

I work in collaboration and partnership with neuro-psychologists in the service of individuals with learning disabilities. These partnerships may include the following services:

  • Analyze data and write reports
  • Connect with parents
  • Grow relationships with schools or other institutions
  • Provide in-office OG tutoring 
  • Provide in-office academic and social-emotional support

ADvocacy Services

I am available to serve as a subject matter expert and an advocate for individuals with learning disabilities in the legal system. My services include – but are not limited to – attending Individualized Educational meetings and testifying in court or at a hearing.

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dyslexia blog

Below you’ll find guidance for parents and professionals to help them support their children, clients, and students. Enjoy!

Follow My Blog

Subscribe today to receive a copy of my free Dyslexia Guidebook, which includes information about the origin of the learning disorder, common interventions, and how I can work with you.

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Dr. Irene began tutoring our son shortly after being diagnosed dyslexic at age 9. She not only understood his dyslexic brain and his frustrations but also his strengths and how to harness those strengths to improve his most basic reading skills.

Her knowledge, experience and understanding of how a dyslexic child needs to be taught to read and what challenges they will face are so extensive that he never would have made the progress he did without her help, patience, knowledge and guidance.


Thank you for your investment of time and knowledge in our son. He corrected his youngest sister at breakfast this week using the “a” sound in the context of a phoneme. Needless to say we were impressed with his progress.

The structure and consistency you have provided is having a big impact on his confidence, and he shared he is the star pupil of his remedial reading class.