Access Speech Language

Together we can beat dyslexia

“Marlene has worked with my 3 children in succession during the last 12 years. She is skillful in adapting her approach to the different needs and personalities of each child.  Her warm, gentle, and positive style has resulted in lasting changes in their speech and language. I would highly recommend Marlene!” ~ Dr. Ingrid Friesen

Marlene Lewis

Speech-Language Pathologist

Marlene Lewis is a registered speech-language pathologist with over thirty years experience in helping children with speech, language and reading problems.

Highly respected in the province, she was one of the first speech-language pathologists in BC to use the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs.

Marlene is committed to ending dyslexia. Her decades of experience has shown her that most children can learn to read given the right support, guidance and tools. She has looked at and tried different approaches and has found Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant to be the most effective programs for bringing slow readers up to speed.

I’m passionate that kids love learning and that they have the self-confidence to pursue their dreams. I have committed my life’s work to supporting kids and families in this endeavour. I’ve dealt with reading challenges in my own family and and know personally the impact it can have on self-confidence, anxiety, participation, relationships inside and outside of the home, school success and career. Had I known about these programs earlier, I know they would have made a HUGE difference. We now have the knowledge and the technology to end dyslexia and to do so relatively quickly. We don’t have a knowledge gap about this. We have an action gap. I am committed to children succeeding in school, enjoying learning and fulfilling their dreams. In this last stage of my working life, I want to be sure that we end dyslexia in British Columbia because we now can and it matters to the kids that we do so. Marlene Lewis

Marlene is deeply committed to the success of every child she works with and coaches parents in how best to provide ongoing support. She has worked with a wide range of children and teens with varying levels of ability and her experience covers:

  • 16 years with the Ministries of Health and Children and Family Development in British Columbia leading and supporting the implementation of province-wide speech-language, special needs and early intervention programs.
  • Many years of experience using Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs by Scientific Learning to remediate speech, language and literacy challenges.
  • Delivering all areas of speech and language services with all ages in public health, school, hospital, and private practice settings;
  • Certified provider of the Lidcombe Program to treat stuttering in children;

Marlene is a member and past president of the BC Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. Marlene has also been part of a research team of Early Childhood Development Inter-Cultural Partnerships (ECDIP) and has published in journals. In 2015 Speech-Language-Audiology Canada presented  her their top award for her co-authored paper:  First Nations Elders’ and Parents’ Views on Supporting Their Children’s Language Development.

Our Team

Alicia Larocque

alicia-croppedAlicia graduated from the University of Victoria in May 2014 with a Bachelors degree in Linguistics. She has volunteered for the past three years implementing programs designed by speech-language pathologists in a variety of settings including; hospitals, long-term residential care facilities and privately working one-on-one with children and adults. Speech disorders and reading challenges affected her own family and she witnessed the impact this had on self-esteem and the ability to maintain friendships. This led her to research speech disorders and eventually to form a connection with Marlene Lewis, who offered Alicia the opportunity to mentor her. Seeing firsthand the positive impact Marlene was making in her clients’ lives further inspired Alicia to pursue a career in this field and to major in linguistics as an undergraduate student at UVic.

Frances Litman

Frances Litman is a passionate community connector and visionary who appreciates happy, healthy and resilient communities and the people who create them. For that reason, she is proud to be supporting Marlene in her vision to end dyslexia. Frances brings years of media, small business, community and non-profit management experience to the forefront and is responsible for community outreach, web content and marketing and promotions so that Marlene can focus on talking to and helping as many people as possible.

Resource Team

Dr. Martha Burns

martyx320Dr. Martha Burns is a Joint Appointment Professor at Northwestern University and has authored three books and over 100 journal articles on the neuroscience of language and communication. Dr. Burns’ expertise is in all areas related to the neuroscience of learning, such as language and reading in the brain, the bilingual brain, the language to literacy continuum, and the adolescent brain. Dr. Martha Burns is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Director of Neuroscience Education for Scientific Learning

Dr. Michael M. Merzenich

phot-merzenichMichael M. Merzenich, Ph.D., is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, for his work on brain plasticity. He is a graduate of the University of Portland and obtained his doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins. Merzenich has been awarded more than 50 patents and has contributed his software development skills to several therapeutic training programs. Among his awards are  the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Kavli Prize, Russ Prize, international IPSEN, and Zülch Prizes . Merzenich is also the chief scientific officer of Posit Science, which strives to improve the brain health of people of all ages by using effective, non-invasive tools that engage the brain’s natural plasticity.

Dr. Urs Ribary

ursUrs Ribary was originally trained in neuroscience and neuropharmacology and received his doctorate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. He was then Professor in Neuroscience and Director of a functional Brain Imaging Center at the New York University Medical Center (NYU-MC) in New York City, USA for almost 20 years. In 2007 he moved to Canada as the Endowed BC LEEF Leadership Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, the Director of the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Institute (BCNI), and as Professor in Psychology, Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Simon Fraser University and University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Ribary is a neuroscientist and pioneer in human brain imaging focusing on functional brain network oscillations and connectivity dynamics in the healthy and pathological human brain, relating to cognitive disabilities, psychiatric or neurological symptoms including traumatic brain injuries.

Dr. Paula Tallal

paula-tallalPaula Tallal is a Rutgers Board of Governors Professor of Neuroscience and co-director of the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN) at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Tallal is a participant on scientific advisory boards and government committees for both learning disabilities and developmental language disorders. In 1996, Tallal co-founded the Scientific Learning Corporation, the producer of the educational software Fast ForWord. Considered an expert in phonological processing, her research into dyslexia and other word encoding disorders has led to the publication of over 150 papers on the topic of language and learning.

Dr. William M. Jenkins

phot-jenkinsDr. Jenkins joined Scientific Learning at inception from a faculty position at the Keck Center for Integrative Neurosciences at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Jenkins is an expert in learning-based brain plasticity, behavioral algorithms, and psychophysical methods, as well as an expert in multimedia and Internet technology. He is an author or co-author of more than 100 publications and holds 40 U.S. patents and 12 foreign patents. Jenkins earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology, along with a master’s degree and Ph.D. in psychobiology, from Florida State University. Jenkins has authored or co-authored numerous commercial software products. He was recognized by Discovery Magazine in its annual Awards for Technology Innovations and received the Year 2000 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award.

Dr. Steven L. Miller

phot-steveSteven L. Miller, Ph.D., is a co-founder of Scientific Learning. Previously he served on the research faculty at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University. A neuropsychologist with expertise in the assessment and treatment of developmental language and reading impairments, Miller has extensive experience in organizing clinical studies and conducting longitudinal studies of children and adults with such disabilities. His work has resulted in many publications and awards. Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bloomsburg University, a master’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Hartford, and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He received additional training in the neuropsychology of reading at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University.

Hallie Smith

hallie-smithHallie Smith has worked both in the public schools as a bilingual speech-language pathologist and in the private sector as Sr. Director of Marketing at Scientific Learning. She has several years’ experience working with children ages 2+ with language and literacy disorders, especially those from Spanish/English bilingual homes. She now works to build awareness of the characteristics of language-based learning disabilities and to show how Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant products are uniquely designed to help. She has a master’s degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences from California State University, San Diego and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Redlands.

Sandy Collins

Sandy Collins, RSLP, has been a speech-language pathologist in public schools for the majority of her 36-year career. Her interest in working with struggling readers grew out of her experience with students who, upon entering kindergarten began to struggle and continued to struggle with literacy until they went on to high school. The link between weak oral language and literacy became an increasing focus over the years and intensive intervention emerged as a necessary approach for effectively helping these students build the necessary skills for literacy. She is a strong advocate for parents who are frustrated and confused in their efforts to find help for their children.

4 Free & Easy Steps to Help Your Child

Self Assessment

Download our 10-minute self assessment tool to find out if your child shows any of the tell-tale signs of a reading problem.


Child History Q&A

Complete our online child history questionnaire which includes detailed questions about your child’s listening, speaking, reading and writing.


Reading Assessment

We provide you with free access to Reading Assessment software to pin point exactly where your child is having difficulties when following a series of reading exercises.


Free Consultation

A free 45 minute consultation with registered speech-language pathologist Marlene Lewis to review the results and plan the next steps.

Our Approach 

Every child is different and we take a systematic approach to work to assessing their needs. We work closely with the parent or care-giver to create a customized program based on assessment. 

The first step for you as a parent is to start the assessment process. Starting with our free self-assessment tool for parents, each step allows us to delve deeper into the specific needs of your child. As part of the assessment you will also get to try the software for free and find out how it works.

Covered by Extended Medical Benefits

Marlene Lewis is a registered Speech Language Pathologist which means these reading programs are covered by extended health care plans that cover speech-language services. They are also eligible as a health expense with Revenue Canada.


Get started now. Download the Self Assessment for Parents   

Access Speech-Language Services

Toll Free:    1 844 474 6368
Telephone: 250 474 6368

863 Cuaulta Crescent,
Victoria, BC, Canada
V9C 3H2

Does your child have reading problems?

Take the first step to helping your child.

Download our 10 minute self assessment to find out if your child shows any of the tell-tale signs of a reading problem. 

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