Academic Learning Solutions is operated solely by Susan Farmer, a licensed teacher in the state of Oregon, and formerly in the state of Tennessee. She home schooled her own children and the children of 3 other families. Her three daughters are now grown, and she has three grandchildren, and lives with her Bichon Frise, "Charlie."
In 1977, Susan graduated from George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee, one of the nation's most distinguished teacher-training institutions. Peabody merged with Vanderbilt University (1979), and continues to be a leading U.S. Department of Education research center, particularly in the fields of reading disabilities and intellectual disabilities.
Susan taught kindergarten four years in both public and Christian schools, and grades 1- 6 writing and music for two years. She has considerable experience as a substitute teacher in grades K-12 for both regular and special education, including a 3-month position for preschool children with developmental delays, severe autism, and behavioral needs.
She has taken extensive continuing-education courses in reading and math instruction, including graduate-level training in special education with a focus on learning disabilities, dyslexia diagnosis and remediation, and administration of special education academic assessments.
Susan has experienced first-hand the parental frustration of feeling helpless and hopeless. In spite of having a teaching degree, she was not having success in teaching her youngest daughter to read. After discovering her daughter had dyslexia, her passion has been to learn the characteristics, causes, diagnosis, and remediation of dyslexia so she could help not only her own daughter, but also other parents and children.
If her daughter had gotten the proper intervention when diagnosed at age 8, her daughter would have been spared years of struggling to learn. All of the dedication, love, and nurturing of special education teachers were simply inadequate. The teacher simply had no clue how to teach a child with the most common reading disability in the nation, dyslexia, which requires a multi-sensory type of instruction called the Orton-Gillingham approach.
Susan has now learned what types of instruction will and will not work for children with dyslexia. She also knows how to identify children at risk, as early as preschool and kindergarten.