Aug 022013

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Q: I’ve heard the Lindamood Bell is good, but it is so expensive. Is it worth the money? Can you provide a Lindamood Bell review?

The Lindamood Bell platform is a well-respected set of programs that help kids with learning disabilities learn to read, comprehend, and do math (depending upon the program used). The Lindamood Bell programs have proven research behind them to document their effectiveness.

SO, Let me share with you my experiences with Lindamood Bell in this Lindamood Bell Review for you. My answer to the question is part Lindamood Bell Review, part personal experience, and partly an answer to the question about the cost/worth of the program.

Lindamood Bell Review : Our Evaluation Experience:

We had our child evaluated by the Lindamood Bell Center near us. We looked at the possibility of enrolling our son in the program. The environment was very friendly and the center director was quite knowledgeable. I actually LOVED the Lindamood Bell center and would have placed my son there without hesitation.

We paid a fee to have our son evaluated by the center. The results were clearly explained, and specific programs were recommended based upon the Lindamood Bell review of my son’s learning needs. I had no complaints about the evaluation and results explanation whatsoever. All of that was very professionally done.

Unfortunately, the cost of the program was well over $10,000 dollars and I felt somewhat like I was in a “hard sell” situation as they tried to convince me the program was worth the cost.

It’s not that my child’s learning needs wouldn’t be WORTH the money. His learning needs were priceless. Rather the price was far out of our reach. It was suggested we could take out a second mortgage on our home. Um. No. They do offer a financing program too, which is good because most ordinary families would have to finance the program.

There were also no guarantees that the Lindamood Bell programs would work for our child in the average time frame. If it took longer, that would cost more. SIGH.

Any individual child’s timeframe could be shorter than average, or it could be longer and cost more. There is no real way to gauge ahead of time how long it will take your child to complete the program. Again, the programs do have solid research behind them, so it could be worth the money if you have enough to pay for the program.

My Lindamood Bell Review Surprise:

I was also going to college at the time, getting my Master’s Degree in Instructional Design. That same summer, I saw a job posting on the college’s job board for an opening at the Lindamood Bell Learning Center. I went to check it out.

The job was temporary summer employment. The training was for 7-10 days. Then the new hires begin working with kids in the center. One week of training and you’re ready to teach kids. Somehow, I thought the people working with my child would have more experience than that. I didn’t expect there might be a college student who had been trained for a week providing a $10,000+ program for my child.

The Lindamood Bell centers do have people who work there year-round. They are no doubt highly knowledgeable and excellent at implementing the programs. If your child was placed with a well-experienced person, that person could probably provide excellent results in a shorter period of time.

In any case, when I read the notification and researched the job, I lost all interest in paying the hefty fees for someone at the Lindamood Bell center to work with my son. I figured I could get the instructor’s manuals and figure the programs out myself.

For your reading and Lindamood Bell review, I took a screenshot of this year’s similar job announcement. They have openings all over the country. You can read the announcement and decide for yourself whether you would meet the job criteria–In other words, could you learn how to use the program and implement it?

lindamood bell review

CLICK to see larger image.

Lindamood Bell review – My Personal Revelation:

If you wonder whether you can handle implementing the Lindamood Bell programs yourself: I’d say, “If you can read and follow directions, you can probably provide the program(s) to your own child.” πŸ˜‰

With what I knew at that point, we decided to take a Do-It-Ourself approach with the Lindamood Bell programs my son needed.Β They have teacher’s guides.. So I bought a couple of them!!

I ordered Lindamood Bell Teacher’s Guides and Program Materials and implemented some of the programs at home. We also used materials from the Seeing Stars, LiPS, and Visualizing & Verbalizing programs.

LiPS and Visualizing & Verbalizing were the Lindamood Bell programs we used most heavily. We had good success with them. Some moms have had difficulty with the LiPS program. That generally seems to happen when the parent and child have difficulty working with each other. In such a case, paying a private tutor or the Lindamood Bell center might be a more effective solution.

I will also be totally transparent and let you know, I had already had Orton-Gillingham training.Β If you feel like you need training, Lindamood Bell does offer training, and it might help you to take their training.Β The training is a lot cheaper than the full-fledged program. Plus, if you get trained, you can make money working with other people’s children too.Β 

If you think you might like to arm yourself with their training, go to the Lindamood website and get on their mailing list.Β  They will send you brochures about upcoming training events as well as a catalog of their products. As I mentioned, you can order Lindamood Bell Teacher’s Guides and Program Materials online.

Trust me, using the Lindamood Bell programs and materials based on the Teacher’s Manuals works well enough if you can’t afford their first-hand services. The programs are not rocket science. If you can read and follow directions, you can probably provide the program for your child.

I’m sure the quality of our drill and practice wasn’t as intense as it would have been provided at the Lindamood Bell center. However, it was a WHOLE LOT cheaper for me to work with my own boys.Β We had good success using the programs.

Lindamood Bell Review Summary

I WOULD definitely recommend the Lindamood Bell programs to anyone. I am particularly fond of the LiPS program for any child who struggles with phonemic awareness.Β I continue to recommend LiPS and other Lindamood Bell programs to other moms for home use. I would give a positive Lindamood Bell review for any of their programs.

That’s my Lindamood Bell review based upon our experiences. Truly, I believe the Lindamood Bell programs are well worth the at-home cost if you have the time and ability to work with your own child. In terms of a child’s lifetime, even the center’s cost could be “worth it.” However, If you can’t afford the center’s program, don’t let that stop you from providing a Lindamood Bell program to your child!

I hope this Lindamood Bell review is helpful to you in making decisions on behalf of your child. If you’d like to leave a Lindamood Bell review of your own, feel free to leave a comment below. If you post a review, please be aware you are responsible for your own Lindamood Bell review content. Please remain FACTUAL, respectful, and maintain the privacy of individuals. πŸ˜‰

Best Wishes,

Return to Questions

  30 Responses to “Is Lindamood-Bell a worthwhile or effective program?”

  1. Dear Sandy,

    First and foremost, thank you very much for your highly informative insight on the Lindamood Bell program.

    I am a 27-year old graduate student recently on Leave of Absence from my program due to personal struggles I’ve been having with reading comprehension and “keeping up.” I’m considering the Lindamood Bell program to help myself with reading comprehension, memory, and ‘mental mapping’ issues.

    While I understand that your particular scenario was built for your child, would you have any insight on the use of Lindamood Bell for adults? Thanks in advanced.


    • HI Harris, I would THINK the programs would be beneficial at any age. The methods for helping anyone would remain the same, but the material might have content that would seem simplistic to you. However, If you’re fully aware the programs are primarily made for use with children, then I’d think you’d be just fine using the programs! Wishing you the utmost of success!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have purchased V/V teachers guide and Stories on amazon. I’m just wondering what other materials are necessary to implement the program with my 14 yo son. He had an evaluation LMB center and v/v is what was recommended. He’s tested at 5th grade reading comprehension. What materials would you recommend? They are all so expensive. Thank you!

    • Since V/V is a methodology, it can really be done with any reading materials you have available. However, it is extremely helpful to use the LMB publications to get used to the types of questions they use and ask for the guided imagery. The workbooks will help with the overall process of V/V, and the stories help a lot because they have good visualization questions within them. Basically, I’d recommend reading the teachers guide carefully to understand the concepts and process. Then, use as many of the LMB materials as you can reasonably afford. When you are used to the process of guiding your child’s reading with visualization, you can really use ANY reader as a foundation for practice. πŸ˜‰ GOOD LUCK!! I hope it goes fabulously!

  3. Thank you for the helpful review.

    What is required if one wishes to become a Lindamood Bell certified? Is it only necessary to take one of their workshops and then practice, practice, practice?

    • I haven’t really investigated Lindamood Bell certification. You’d probably find the best information by going to their website to learn more about their certification.

  4. If I understand the posts above, if we can’t afford or don’t live close enough to a LMB facility, you recommend we have our daughter evaluated by LMB, but then you can recommend instruction that a parent can do based on a child’s needs where we’d pay hundreds of dollars for materials vs. thousands for LMB intensive tutoring? Please confirm if that’s something you can help with once an evaluation is complete. Thanks so much!

    • Actually, with the LMB evaluation, they will tell you exactly which of their programs your child needs. Then you can go on a quest to find alternate providers. OR, if you feel like you could handle it, they have courses, instructor’s guides, etc. where you can learn how to provide the program(s) to your own child. It isn’t rocket science.. it just requires administering the program properly. Therefore, if you’re trainable or are able to read and understand their instructor’s guides, it really isn’t too difficult to provide the instruction. The Lindamood-Bell program materials can be purchased new or used on or new through Gander Publishing.

  5. Hi Sandy
    hats off to you for giving it a go.
    Sometimes its easy to think just throwing money at a program, will solve all of your problems.
    Interestingly enough after looking at ‘Glassdoor,’ a website that reviews companies from an employees point of view. It seems they pay minimum wages and employ mainly unhappy part time staff with a high turnover then charge them out at $113 USD /hr. All of that aside the commentry regarding the quality of the program was mainly very positive.
    I am based in Melbourne Australia, I have 4 kids 3 of which present in the adhd/add dyslexia spectrum the other one tells me she learnt to read texting her girlferiends!

    Shortly I will be in the states for work and was thinking of bringing the two youngest 8 and 11 with me and advertising for a lindamood-bell trained tutor to do an intensive 8 weeks with them. I would love to know your thoughts as I do not have the $30-40k required to put two kids through an intensive program.

    • The quality of the Lindamood-Bell programs themselves is stellar! The suitability of the intensity of instruction to an individual child can be a factor, as well as the happiness of the person providing the instruction. The programs can be 6 hours per day of intense instruction, which can be really difficult on a child. Not to mention, the expense of it, as you say. As far as other ways to provide the Lindamood-Bell instruction go, you can certainly advertise for someone to provide instruction. Alternately, you could look for a local tutor to provide the needed program(s) over a longer period of time to reduce the intensity for your children (making it easier for them to handle). For example, having 2-3 hours of intense instruction per day is usually a lot more “doable” for any child than spending 6 hours receiving intense instruction. Personally, I think it’s important to look at the affect of any program on a child as to whether it will help the child in one way, but hurt him in another.

      Another option would be to get Lindamood-Bell training yourself. You could work directly with your children over the course of a more typical school year. Our goal, when we started homeschooling, was to bring our boys home and work on reading for 2-3 years, then send them back to public school.. We ended up LOVING homeschooling, so they never returned to the public school. However, I found that getting myself trained and working with my boys worked well for both our budget and their learning.

      So, I guess the key is to figure out what will work for you, your kids, and your budget. Think creatively about how you can meet the needs of everyone in a manageable way. A parent is really the one who knows what their kids need, but they’ve never been through it before, so they’re unsure about what the “best” answer might be. The bottom line for me is always that any parent who is actively involved in seeking solutions will bring about a better outcome for their child(ren), no matter which solution he/she picks! I hope that helps some, even if it isn’t a clear answer about what to do. Sincerely, the fact that you’re working towards solutions for your kids will help them a great deal!

  6. Hello, my daughter is 13 and will attend a private school in the fall as a 9th grader. She has ADD/HD. Her test scores measured her oral reading at 9th grade level, but her language comprehension is at 4th grade. Which materials would you recommend I use with her this summer to prepare her of the fall. I will be the one instructing her. The Lindamood-Bell program is just too expensive for us. Thanks

    • It’s difficult to tell you specifically what to do or use, since difficulties with comprehension can stem from a variety of issues. Reading Comprehension for Kids can help you go through the various causes and figure out which solutions will work best for your daughter. And don’t rule out Lindamood-Bell completely. Their materials are available for sale through Gander Publishing. If you get the teacher’s guide and read how to use their program materials, you can work with your daughter at home. πŸ˜‰

  7. I am in need of help in picking an intensive summer reading program for my child who has dyslexia. I am looking at an Orton-Gillingham program and LMB Seeing Stars. How do I know which one would be best for my 11 year old? I would be interested in your coaching to help me find the better program for my child.

    • The key to picking the best program for your child is having a comprehensive evaluation, so you know specifically and exactly what your child needs. Also, going through the learning styles inventories to figure out your child’s primary learning style(s) can really help you in finding materials that will make it easier for your child to learn. While picking the right program can seem difficult or tricky, if you seek to know exactly what your child needs and how he learns best, you can match the type of program to your child’s needs.

  8. How does this program compare to the Barton Reading and Spelling System?

    • They are both Orton-Gillingham based programs. They both use multisensory instruction that is provided in a direct, step-by-step manner to the child. The main difference is that Lindamood-Bell is a company that has multiple programs for addressing different aspects of reading difficulties. For example, if a child has problems with phonemic awareness, then using the Lindmood-Bell LiPS program is an excellent choice for directly teaching a child the sound-symbol relationships. For reading comprehension issues, Lindamood-Bell has their Verbalizing and Visualizing program. They have several other programs as well.

      The Barton reading program addresses phonemic awareness, and teaches reading skills in a step-by-step manner too. The Lindamood-Bell LiPS program is perhaps more intense, and focused on speech-language issues, so it might be better for a child who has speech-language difficulties. For a child who doesn’t have speech-language issues, the Barton program’s phonemic awareness instruction would probably be sufficient.

      Lindamood-Bell’s programs are designed primarily for school personnel, so there isn’t as much detail in the information about how to use the programs. Barton is heavily scripted (it tells parents what to say, what to do, and when to do it), in order to make it easier for parents to use.

      SO, there is a certain level of depth to the LMB programs, which is needed by some kids. An intelligent mom can use the instructor’s manuals for the LMB programs and/or go for their training in order to implement the LMB programs at home. If a parent can afford it, they can go to one of the LMB centers and have them provide the program for your child can be the easiest solution. Additionally, some schools use LMB programs, or you might be able to find Speech-language pathologists or tutors to implement the programs with your child.

      The Barton program has instructions for the parents to go with the program, so it is an easier out-of-the-box type of solution for a parent to use.

      That said, which is better really will depend upon the individual child’s specific needs. A parent wouldn’t want to short-change her child by choosing Barton simply because it’s easier for the parent. The key is to know your child’s specific needs, and pick the program that will best meet the child’s needs. πŸ˜‰ I hope that makes sense!

  9. I have researched for so long if I can work with my 13 year old child at home with purchasing the Lindamood bell program. I had a neuro psych finally done in April and although many things were discussed. One for sure was he needs a language base program in school to increase expressive language and comprehension. He can’t increase language skills if doesn’t have the tools. I want to badly to have him express himself more not just wants. So that we can have a conversion and have him understand comprehension. I was thinking to start with Talkies which can help with visualization to connect the words. I guess my questions is can I purchase the program and teach him myself.

  10. Sandy, thank you for your input and review. I just started reading your parent handbook as I have a 10yr old daughter who was diagnosed last year with SLD Dyslexia by the process of a neuro physiological evaluation. Having that confirmed diagnoses by a medical dr. What advise or recommendation can you provide for me to do remediation intervention at home..I too looked at Lindamood Bell but the expense is too much unless I finance it. Therefore I would like to look for alternatives I can do at home. Do you have a recommended starting point or program to try?

    • The starting point and picking programs that would work for your daughter are going to be specific to her needs and her type of dyslexia. The Dyslexia Help Handbook for Parents has a lot of information about alternatives for helping your daughter at home. After you’ve read The Dyslexia Help Handbook for Parents, if you still have questions, feel free to ask. That said, picking a program for a child is based on highly individualized needs, so it’s impossible for me to make good recommendations off the top of my head. I offer coaching to help parents work through picking programs for their child. Since the parents know their child best, they are more likely to make a good choice when they have a comprehensive evaluation they can work with in addition to knowing their child. πŸ˜‰

  11. Thank you so much for this review! I have searched the web for a week to see if anyone felt the same way as I did about their proposed plan. My son had intense therapy as a toddler and even if I wanted to do that to him again – which I do not – he wouldn’t go for it because he did it for so many years. I think I would be more inclined to drive 5 hrs for an evaluation if my son didn’t have special needs and very few strengths in reading. Well, not enough to make me think we are going to skip over any programs, but I could be wrong….lol… I just have one question.. did you do one program at a time? That is my only question. I know I need to do Talkies (pre V&V) but wasn’t sure if I needed to finish it before starting Seeing Stars or start them together… I will be doing it with him at home.
    Thanks for any advice you have on the order you found most helpful when completing them.

    • Generally speaking, I like doing one intense program at a time in basic speech/language or pre-reading skills at a time. If a child needs help in basic math concepts and skills, I will do an intense program in that area during the same span of time.

      Basically, the way I like to work the programs is to do one reading-skill program with one-on-one, intense instruction along with a computer-based practice program for reinforcement and faster progress. I’ll do the same thing with math.

      Working on additional programs at an intense level can often lead to the child feeling overwhelmed. That can cause the child’s mind to shut down and be inaccessible for meaningful learning. πŸ˜‰

  12. Your review was very helpful, I have always wanted my 9 year old to join Lindamood bell program but they’re prices are way above our budget. My son has ADHD, it’s very hard for him to focus and stay still for a long time. He’s very behind on reading and writing. What is your advice to me, would you recommend us to order the Lyndamood bell materials to work with our son?

    • Whether or not the Lindamood-Bell programs would work for your son will totally depend upon his specific reasons for struggling with reading and writing. The biggest key to success is to have a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation to determine exactly which processes are an issue for your son. Kids can have problems with memory, recall, sequencing, planning, processing, comprehension, etc. SO, it’s really difficult to make any specific recommendation for a child I’ve never met, especially without comprehensive evaluation information. If you have an evaluation, the key is to pay close attention to your son’s learning strengths and weaknesses, then match his needs to specific programs. I know that’s not the most direct answer, but I do hope it’s helpful.

  13. Hi! I stumbled across your post today while I was hunting for information on Lindamood-Bell. I was trained by Lindamood-Bell in the LiPS program last fall at one of their training workshops Prior to the workshop, I did purchase a manual to implement the program with students I had who were in need of the program. My feeling after using it for almost a year with many, many students is that is is not really an intuitive open and go program that just anyone can use successfully. I’ve had to go back several times and speak with my workshop mates along with the presenter to get answers to varies parts of the program implementation. I just wanted to add a little more to the perspective from someone who has been through and used the program.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. Training and/or observation of an experienced provider is definitely beneficial. How well anyone can do with the program out-of-the-box will depend a lot on the person’s education and experiences, and how well they can follow or understand the instructions. πŸ˜‰

  14. I’m curious, the cost would have been over $10k for how many hours of instruction?

    • We were looking at a summer program, and if I recall properly it was 6 hours per day, 5 days per week for most of the summer. I don’t recall exactly though, so that’s about as good of a guestimate as I can give. πŸ˜‰

  15. Thank you so much for your review. I too am thinking about using these tools to work with my 3rd and 4th grader. If I do not have them evaluated, what would be your advice for beginning the program with them?

    • Without evaluation data and no other information about your kids’ specific learning needs, I couldn’t really give meaningful insight. Your intuition about your kids and their needs will be important in picking the right program(s) for them, if you don’t want to have them evaluated. πŸ˜‰ If you’d like to information to help you decide whether to have them evaluated, you might want to read the article on Learning Disabilities testing. Either way, pursuing quality programs and working to meet your kids’ needs is a great start! πŸ˜€

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