About Me

Welcome to Nature and needs!

My name is Dr. Irene Van Riper. 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 have more than 15 years 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 trained at Kildonan School in Amenia, New York and was certified as an Associate level tutor by the Academy of Orton Gillingham.

I trained for 90 hours and engaged in 100 hours of practicum tutoring individuals with Dyslexia. I have been working with students with Dyslexia and Sensory Processing issues since 2015. I am qualified to administer reading assessments and deliver explicit, systematic instruction, aligned with Dr. Samuel Orton’s research.

Published Works

I am co-editor of three books published by Rowman Littlefield. The first book, published in 2016, examined the best practices for teaching graduate students to work with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. My expertise in that field derives from two years of classroom experience with middle school youngsters with autism. My doctoral dissertation studied strategies to support those youngsters in reading.

Public Speaking engagements

I have presented over 30 Professional Development sessions geared toward supporting teachers, administrators, parents, librarians, and other professionals in the education field. I specialize in Dyslexia, Orton Gillingham, Executive Functioning, Learning Disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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.

I love my work, and I love making a difference in children’s and parent’s lives.

need support from a
learning disorder expert?

Email me today to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your goals and next steps.