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Samantha Woods

Samantha Woods

Program Author – Samantha Woods

B.Occ.Thy., Certified Neurodevelopmental Therapist and Program Author Sam Woods, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (University of Queensland, 1990) and certified Neurodevelopmental Therapist, works in her own paediatric private practice ‘Therapy Works for Kids’, in Rockhampton, Central Queensland, Australia. Here Sam assesses and treats children with a variety of diagnoses from birth to Year 7. Often her clients have difficulties with literacy skills (reading, writing and spelling). This has become her special interest and working memory is her particular interest.

The majority of Sam’s clients have difficulties with literacy skills (reading, writing and spelling). This has become her special interest, and of the many difficulties these children have, working memory is her particular interest. After working alongside Speech and Language Pathologists - and with an ever-increasing waiting list of children with literacy difficulties for whom other supports and programs had failed - Sam felt the need for a new, more complete approach to treatment, rather than the ‘traditional’ sensory motor approach. She wanted to develop a program that linked and complimented skills traditionally taught separately, either by Occupational Therapy intervention (e.g. handwriting), or by Speech and Language Pathology intervention (e.g. phonological awareness). She saw that a deficit in handwriting skills impacted on progress in spelling and expressive writing.

During her career, Sam has worked with patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). She has used the learning she gained through these cases and her knowledge of brain function to develop the Write2Spell2Read program to help children with literacy difficulties. Sam’s aim was to develop a writing and spelling program that was, simple to use, visually and phonologically organised, addressed working memory, and was a true multisensory program.

As she saw literacy improvements in children using her program, Sam realised it would be effective for all school children, not only those with learning difficulties. If begun early, Write2Spell2Read could prevent the problems she was finding and treating. Sam’s aim as the mother of three primary school-aged sons, was to make a program that was fun for children, simple for teachers and parents to implement, and could be used as a consistent whole school approach for the teaching of writing and spelling, from Beginners to Year 7.

Strategic Development and Partnerships Director – Angus Woods

Angus is currently a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) candidate in Economics, with a secondary in History at Harvard University in the United States.  Angus is leading Write2Spell2Read’s philanthropic initiatives to assist in improving literacy outcomes for primary school students.  Angus is assisting in the establishment of partnerships between Write2Spell2Read and schools. These partnerships provide Write2Spell2Read literacy resources and staff training to schools, with the aim of improving writing, spelling and reading results amongst students from Kindergarten to Year 6.  Angus is developing teacher training modules to provide ongoing staff training and support in the effective teaching of the Write2Spell2Read program.  He is co-ordinating periodic assessment tracking to measure student improvements using the Write2Spell2Read program.

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