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Located in Bellingham, WA, Laurel is a certified Educational Therapist with specialty in reading and cognitive function earned at the Language and Learning Disabilities Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. ​

  • ​Orton-Gillingham Certified Teacher


Laurel is currently available for select tutoring engagements with a focus on supporting elementary school age children cultivate strong reading skills. Laurel has significant expertise with dyslexia and served for five years as a Board Member for the Massachusetts Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.

Please contact Laurel to discuss your needs.

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Laurel Austin Lussen is a Learning Specialist with an extensive background in reading instruction and educational therapy. She strives to interest children in telling their own stories, and involves multiple modalities to optimize enthusiasm and memory. Laurel received a BA cum laude in English and Fine Arts from Amherst College and, in 1996, was certified as an Educational Therapist with a specialty in reading and cognitive function at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2006 She completed coursework for Massachusetts Reading Specialists through Hampshire Educational Collaborative and Fitchburg State College.

Laurel's career as an instructor has been primarily in Western Massachusetts. Working in public and private settings with K-12 students, the schools she served include Linden Hill School, Northfield Mount Hermon School, Shutesbury Elementary School, Pioneer Valley Regional School and Greenfield School District. Laurel also instructed students in Singapore and Melbourne, Australia. Since moving to Bellingham, Laurel has become involved in literacy work with the Nooksack Tribe and the Lummi Nation.

Laurel has conducted multiple trainings for teachers and parents in Massachusetts including; Opening the Oyster, the Role of Oral Language in Literacy, Elements of Study Skills, and Multisensory Literacy Fundamentals. Laurel was a Board Member for the Massachusetts Branch of the International Dyslexia Association for 5 years. She is also certified by the Kripalu Yoga Institute to instruct yoga for classrooms and for Special Needs.

Laurel lives near her daughters and her grandchildren, including Robin Wilder and Riverley, both of whom attend the Whatcom Hills Waldorf School. Laurel also has an active meditation practice and enjoys singing and nature study.

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