Phone: 541-283-6602


Hours by Appointment

Insurance Accepted

Bend Language & Learning provides expert diagnostic testing for dyslexia and other language based learning disabilities. Language is the underlying foundation of reading, writing, and all aspects of academic learning, and we are uniquely qualified to understand the connection between language and learning. We specialize in the diagnosis of dyslexia, a language-based learning disability that causes problems with reading, writing, and spelling. Please read more below or on the Testing page, or call for a consultation.

Bend Language & Learning no longer provides 1:1 treatment services, but phone consultations are available to receive recommendations on options or tutors based upon your child's learning history and current challenges. Please read more in the Consultations section below.
Diagnostic Services for Children and Adults

  • Dyslexia Evaluations
  • Reading Assessments
  • Comprehensive Learning Evaluations

  • Please see the Testing page for an in-depth discussion of the different types of testing and the testing process.


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    If you are not interested in scheduling diagnostic testing but want advice regarding your child, fee-based phone consultations are available. The hourly fee is $85, with a $40 minimum. Shorter consultations typically involve discussing your child's learning history and challenges with recommendations for a "best fit" tutor or next steps. Longer consultations also include reviewing previous evaluation reports and/or school records and recommending next steps, any suggested IEP goals, and any appropriate 504 plan accommodations. Recommendations can be provided in writing if desired.


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    Why Choose Bend Language and Learning?

    Bend Language & Learning has been in practice in Central Oregon for several years. As a former long-term provider of tutoring/treatment services, we have developed an extensive network of relationships with other providers in the Central Oregon community, including reading tutors, psychologists, physicians, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and optometrists. We also have ongoing relationships with numerous parents, which gives us a strong understanding of local resources, schools, and parent experiences with a variety of services in Central Oregon. Bend Language and Learning has a reputation for writing quality, in-depth reports that have proven helpful to parents seeking to support their children's learning both at home and at school.

    Part of the evaluation process is an analysis and recommendation of the best tutor to fit your child's learning profile. Bend Language & Learning keeps abreast of the tutoring services offered in Central Oregon and regularly interviews new tutoring providers using an in-depth structured interview process. That interview process includes a review of services offered, education, certifications, experience, programs, and the specific approach to tutoring in each subject area.

    Providers who offer both testing and tutoring services will invariably refer evaluation clients to their own tutoring practices. Because Bend Language and Learning no longer offers tutoring services, we will provide unbiased objective referrals to the tutoring practice(s) that best fit your child's learning profile and your family's needs.

    Sometimes the testing process will uncover other weaknesses that indicate the possibility of an underlying high level language disorder. For example, issues with reading comprehension may be due to difficulty processing complex academic syntax with embedded phrases or passive tense. Reading comprehension problems may also be caused by weaknesses with memory or attention that interfere with the processing and retention of material spanning several pages. Language disorders can affect the acquisition of academic vocabulary, reading comprehension, and reading speed. When these types of issues are indicated in intake papers or observed during the testing process, Bend Language & Learning can offer additional specialized language tests to provide a fuller picture of your child's learning profile.

    If your child receives a diagnosis of dyslexia or a reading disorder/delay, Bend Language & Learning is qualified as a Referral Specialist for Learning Ally - an audiobook service available to those with print or learning disabilities. Membership in Learning Ally is available only by referral from a qualified Referral Specialist with credentials in the diagnosis of dyslexia. Learning Ally has a comprehensive selection of recorded books, including textbooks. They are read by a human voice, rather than a computer-generated voice, and are available in a variety of formats, including iPod. A large selection of these recorded books are available for "follow along" with written text highlighted as it is read, similar to Bookshare (which uses computer-generated voice). Learning Ally is working on converting all of their inventory to "follow along" format.

    Linda Balsiger, MS, CCC-SLP is a state-licensed speech-language pathologist with national certification. State level licensure in speech-language pathology requires background checks and fulfillment of annual education requirements. This process ensures that Oregon speech-language pathologists keep abreast of changes in the field and maintain active credentials. These requirements are not required for unlicensed providers.


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    Insurance Coverage

    Bend Language & Learning is a preferred network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Providence Health Plan, First Choice, and MODA. Depending on your provider and plan, insurance coverage may be available for diagnostic services. Please note that Oregon Health Plan does not cover dyslexia evaluations or reading assessments.

    To determine whether you have insurance coverage for a dyslexia evaluation or reading assessment, ask your insurance provider about your coverage for the following codes: Diagnostic Code: F81.0, Procedure Code: 96111. This coverage falls under your speech-language pathology benefit, and it is important to confirm whether your speech-language benefit covers the particular diagnostic code of F81.0. Be sure to also inquire about any deductibles or plan limitations, such as a maximum number of hours billable for an evaluation.


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    The Connection between Language and Reading/Writing

    Reading, spelling, and writing are language-based skills.  They require the ability to process speech sounds and language in written form.  If a child has weaknesses in speech or language, they are more likely to struggle with these language-based skills.  Research has found that children with early speech or language delays are at greater risk of later learning problems in school, particularly with learning to read, even when those early speech-language delays have been remediated.  Even children with no history of early speech-language delays often experience difficulty learning written language forms.
    Children who have trouble learning to read frequently have poor phonological awareness or phonological memory, meaning they have trouble hearing and distinguishing or sequencing the individual sounds in words.  Early reading problems may also be caused by visual sequential memory/processing deficits or inefficient linguistic retrieval.   Dyslexia, a language-based learning disability, is the most common cause of problems with reading, writing, and spelling.  It is a genetic disorder that is rooted in phonological processing deficits, and it affects an estimated 15% of the population.  Many children with dyslexia are unusually bright, and are able to get by for a while with memorization and use of context to decipher unknown words.  They typically "hit a wall" when they reach second or third grade.  At that point the number of new words they need to read increases exponentially and easily exceeds their memory capacity, and they do not have the word attack skills or linguistic pattern recognition needed to decode longer words.   A diagnostic assessment of your child can determine whether they have dyslexia, or another type of learning disorder. 

    Even after children have acquired basic reading skills, they may experience problems with reading fluency or reading comprehension.  These problems are also due to specific language-based weaknesses.  By third or fourth grade, children must transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn".  Reading problems affect all academic subjects, and can cause children to fall behind in school, even when they are trying their best.  Research shows that children who are reading below grade level in third grade rarely "catch up" to their current grade level, and they typically read well below grade level throughout their academic education.  We can diagnose the problems that are holding your child back and recommend treatment strategies to help them.


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