Frequently Asked Questions


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How is 3LI different?

Drs. Katz and Pierson have a unique skill set: not only are they certified speech-language pathologists, but they have doctoral degrees in education with a specialty in literacy and learning disabilities - a rare combination. Few reading specialists have specialized training in spoken language, which underlies reading, spelling, writing, and ultimately, success in learning. It is also unusual to find speech-language pathologists who have additional expertise in reading and writing. This is what sets us apart.   


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Who would benefit from services at 3LI?

At 3LI, we provide clinical services to pre-schoolers through adults (and their families).  People who would benefit from our services may have problems with ...

  • Learning vocabulary

  • Retrieving words

  • Understanding directions, stories, and questions

  • Understanding and correctly using grammar

  • Formulating sentences, telling stories, and explaining procedures

  • Making and keeping friends

  • Learning to read

  • Learning to spell

  • Comprehending written text

  • Getting ideas on paper

  • Developing effective study skills

  • Managing homework assignments or job-related activities

  • Producing speech sounds

  • Being understood


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What is a language disorder?

A language disorder is diagnosed when a person has substantial difficulty in understanding and/or expressing one’s self orally, in reading, and/or in writing. These difficulties must be significantly impacting a person's ability to successfully communicate, and they cannot be the result of learning a new language. In other words, someone who has strong communication skills in his/her native language but weak communication skills in his/her non-native language, would not meet the criteria for a language disorder. A person of any age can be diagnosed with a language disorder. Some examples of difficulties that can be signs of a language disorder are listed below, but not all of these difficulties need to be present in order to receive a diagnosis of a language disorder.

  • Delayed onset of babbling or first words

  • Limited vocabulary or trouble learning vocabulary

  • Trouble retrieving or finding words

  • Difficulties in understanding nonliteral language (e.g., metaphors, idioms, proverbs, sarcasm)

  • Difficulties in understanding abstract language (i.e., words or expressions that are not easily defined)

  • Problems with understanding complex grammatical structures

  • Difficulties in using correct grammar

  • Trouble with formulating sentences, telling stories, explaining procedures

  • Difficulties with pre-literacy skills (e.g., phonological and phonemic awareness, print awareness)

    • Trouble with recognizing and learning letter names and/or sounds

    • Trouble with rhyming

    • Trouble with perceiving sounds or discriminating between sounds

  • Difficulties with word reading and/or spelling (including dyslexia)

  • Problems reading text fluently (i.e., with appropriate rate, accuracy, and intonation)

  • Problems with reading comprehension

  • Problems with writing

    • Spelling

    • Grammar

    • Mechanics – punctuation and capitalization

    • Knowing how to get started

    • Getting thoughts/ideas on paper

    • Organizing ideas at the sentence-, paragraph-, and whole-document- levels

  • Problems with social aspects of language

    • Appropriately entering into conversations, maintaining topics, changing topics, terminating conversations

    • Awareness and understanding of others' perspectives

    • Using appropriate tone and word choices for given audience

    • Ability to recognize and respond to conversational cues (when conversational partner needs clarification, wants to end conversation, etc.)


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Does 3LI diagnose dyslexia?

Yes. Both Drs. Katz and Pierson are qualified to diagnose dyslexia and more general reading disorders in children and adults.


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Does 3LI work with children and adults who have dyslexia?

Yes. We are experts in reading disorders, including dyslexia.


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Does 3LI diagnose learning disabilities?

We do not test for learning disabilities or administer IQ tests, but we can refer you to professionals in the area who do.


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Does 3LI work with children and adults with learning disabilities?

Yes. Although we do not diagnose learning disabilities (LDs), we do provide individualized therapy services to those who have LDs. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 80% of LDs are “language based,” meaning that the difficulties experienced by these individuals involve understanding, speaking, reading, and/or writing. These are exactly the kinds of difficulties that we address.


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What does 3LI test for?

Dr. Katz and Dr. Pierson are certified speech-language pathologists with particular expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of language, reading, and writing disorders. We conduct comprehensive assessments and diagnose language, reading, and writing disorders, including dyslexia. 3LI does not provide neuropsychological testing but will provide appropriate referrals for such testing.


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My child has trouble pronouncing certain sounds. Does 3LI test for articulation disorders?

Yes. In some cases, trouble with producing speech sounds is very limited, and the individual will either grow out of the problem without intervention or will need some intervention in order to correct the productions. In other cases, problems with speech-sound production can be more severe and can interfere with learning to read and spell.


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Can 3LI identify whether my preschool child is at risk for a reading disorder?

In many cases, yes. First, there are specific early literacy skills (e.g., phonological awareness, print awareness, letter/sound identification, etc.) that can be examined in pre-school children and that can uncover those at-risk for developing reading disorders. Second, when parents and teachers have concerns about preschool children's later literacy skills, it is important to also evaluate their broader spoken language skills. Evidence clearly shows that spoken language disorders can develop into written language disorders (reading and writing disorders) without early identification and proper intervention. If there are concerns about a toddler or preschooler’s spoken language skills, it is important to have them evaluated sooner rather than later. Spoken language skills, including a child’s understanding and use of vocabulary, length of utterances, ability to follow directions, and ability to tell stories can be formally assessed in preschool and can provide important information about their language functioning and their risk for developing reading disorders.


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Does 3LI provide services for teenagers?

Yes. Unfortunately, language and literacy disorders are often persistent, and as academic demands increase, more difficulties can manifest. We provide comprehensive assessments as well as individualized therapy services to adolescents who are struggling with language, reading, and/or writing demands. We believe in developing strong partnerships with our adolescent (and adult) clients so that their goals and priorities are taken into consideration. Additionally, although we are not tutors, we recognize their overwhelming academic demands, and we try to incorporate their academic materials into our therapy sessions so that they can see the relevance of the work we are doing and so that there can be better generalization of skills and strategies.


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Does 3LI provide assessments and therapy for college students and other adults?

Yes. We welcome adults who are just encountering literacy and/or language difficulties for the first time or those who have a history of literacy, language, and/or learning difficulties. Dr. Katz has worked extensively with college students both clinically and as part of her research program. We can conduct formal assessments and provide individualized therapy for adults with literacy, language, and learning difficulties.


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Does 3LI see children or adults with autistic spectrum disorders?

We do provide literacy and language assessments and therapy for children and adults with Asperger's syndrome. However, we do not have the professional expertise needed to provide high-quality services to children with autism. If you are in need of a recommendation for someone who does provide high-quality services to this population, we are happy to recommend some providers in the area.


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Does 3LI accept insurance?

We do not accept insurance; however, we can provide you with the labels and codes necessary to file for reimbursement on your own.