Owner and Founder
Hello and thank you for visiting Dyslexic Einstein! My name is Ashley Rivello and I currently work as a Reading Specialist and Special Education Law Advocate here in Palm Beach County, FL. I graduated from Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad College of Law with a Masters of Science in Education Law. Degree concentrations were also awarded in the areas of Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Law and Advocacy Law.
I hold a Florida Professional Teaching Certification (FLDOE License #1147308) and have worked in the Palm Beach County school district for many years. I have taught all subject areas, in both private and public schools, including our local charter schools. Over the years of teaching students with various learning disabilities, I have seen the struggles first hand that each child faces inside the classroom, from the limited support and resources, to the lack of knowledge and training provided to our teachers.
Did you know 1 out of every 5 students has a language-based learning disability? Having a dyslexic child of my own, whose learning difference went misdiagnosed for many years, brought out the passion for wanting to help students with special needs. It is my goal to spread awareness about dyslexia and to offer support to other families like ours.
Students in the Barton Reading & Spelling System are taught how to read, write, and spell, with intensive remediation, using a multi-sensory approach. This type of individualized instruction is not offered in the public school setting or with most private tutors. Visit the FAQ page to learn more about this program.
Please contact me if I can be of help to you and your family. And always remember... smile, shine, and take it one day at a time!
Florida Department of Education:
Professional Teaching Certification (2025)
Nova Southeastern University (NSU)
Master's of Science in Education Law (MS Ed. Law)
Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Law
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)
Barton Reading and Spelling System
Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)
Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy
the "Dyslexic Einstein"
When Anthony was 3 years old, I noticed that he had some difficulties pronouncing words and repeating sounds. His speech was delayed and he often confused the letters in the alphabet song and the words in our Pledge of Allegiance. Being a first time mom, I figured he would grow out of this and eventually improve.
When Anthony entered Kindergarten, his teacher was concerned that he wasn’t paying attention. He didn’t sit still and had a hard time following directions. She explained that he was a very good boy but he needed a lot of redirection.
In first grade, I heard the same things. Only this time, he wasn’t learning to read properly or master his sight words. I immediately went out and bought the entire Hooked on Phonics program and worked with him every day. It didn’t help. His pediatrician had the teacher and myself complete a Vanderbilt Diagnostic Test for ADHD. He was then diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and given a prescription to help with his focusing. His teacher completed a referral so he could start receving intensive interventions in the classroom but he was making very little progress.
By his second grade year, Anthony finally told me he didn’t like learning anymore. He struggled to stay on grade level all year even though he was being medicated for his inability to focus. I took him back to the doctor for more help and switched medications. I did everything I could to tutor him at home but he was still behind.
He finally hit a wall in third grade. The school psychologist evaluated Anthony after he wasn’t making enough progress from his interventions. The report showed that Anthony’s IQ was very high but that he had some issues with his processing speed and decoding words. He also struggled to spell and there were concerns with his writing. The school recommended he receive a formal individualized education plan (IEP) that would allow for certain accommodations in the classroom. The school psychologist said, “Anthony will be a brain surgeon one day, but he will need someone to help him take notes.” I asked her if he had dyslexia and she said she couldn’t tell me that because she wasn’t a doctor. After the meeting, she wrote down the name of a book called, "The Gift of Dyslexia" and handed it to me on a sticky note. By the end of the year, Anthony still had not improved. It was then that I decided to look for other options educating him outside of the public school system.
In fourth grade, I enrolled Anthony in a private Christian school. The school advertised that they offered special ESE (exceptional student education) services to children with learning disabilities. Anthony would visit an ESE room every day for reading and math and work with special education teachers on the skills he was struggling with. I meet with the new ESE team to go over his progress and test results. He was doing very well and meeting all of his goals. I couldn’t have been happier with my decision to move him. Then, I discovered that none of his teachers were certified by the state of Florida. His general education teacher and his special education teachers had no formal training or certification. I learned that private schools follow their own set of rules. I also learned that the reason why Anthony was doing so well was because his ESE teachers were using a second grade curriculum with him. In math, he was being asked to recognize and circle shapes! His strong subject was always math. I requested another meeting and insisted he be pulled out of the ESE math program and put back into the regular class. He tried his best every day, despite the disappointments he faced in school. At the end of that year, I withdrew him and brought him back to the public school where I was teaching.
Fifth grade year started off great. He loved going into work with mommy. I started visiting him in the lunchroom during my planning period to say hello and noticed he wasn’t acting like himself. I realized that his ADHD medication was making him a total zombie. I spoke with his doctor and we agreed that as long as his grades were good, he didn’t need to be on the medication anymore. His social life improved over night. His grades were average. He struggled a great deal in math and was still below grade level in reading and writing.
The summer following fifth grade, I took him to a private doctor to have him evaluated and tested for dyslexia. His test results showed that he did in fact suffer from a severe form of dyslexia and an even worse form of a processing speed delay. His testing also came back showing his abilities to be consistent with that of a child learning on a second/third grade level for reading, writing, spelling and math. He couldn’t focus because his brain wouldn’t allow him to process the information at a normal speed. He physically was not able to follow more than a one step, simplified direction at a time. His working memory was delayed and he couldn’t remember or retain what was being taught in the classroom. He was also diagnosed with severe dysgraphia, a transcription disability. As a mother, this news was heart breaking.
Sadly, there are no state requirements for certified and special ed teachers to have any coursework in dyslexia even though 1 out of every 5 students in a classroom will have it. The school district does not provide teachers with any professional development in dyslexia and most teachers don't even know what it is. When Anthony found out he had dyslexia, he was surprisingly relieved to understand his struggles had a name. We had answers and we also had solutions.
Anthony has been working in the Barton Reading and Spelling System and is doing amazingly well. He is now home schooled and his self-esteem has never been better. He works at his own pace and in ways that he can comprehend. Although there is no cure for dyslexia, we know that he has a gift. Dyslexia has allowed Anthony to spend the summer building his very own drift car. He has taught himself how to install car parts and repair engines. He’s even created his own You Tube channel. He teaches other people how to play some of the most popular video games through his online tutorial videos. He shares his love and kindness with everyone he meets. At 11 years old, Anthony has turned his disabilities into many abilities. He has learned how to surf, sailboat, water ski, wake board, snow board, bmx, football, baseball, box, golf, fish, mountain climb, dirt bike, drive his car and even fly an airplane. He is my hero and he is my Dyslexic Einstein!
Anthony returned to public school for his 8th grade year. He had successfully completed the Barton Reading and Spelling System in just 2 years of being homeschooled. Anthony was able to meet and even exceed grade level standards on every marking period throughout the year. His final report card showed ALL A's and B's in every class, including READING!
Anthony is now a freshman in high school with more self-confidence and determination than ever! He has goals to play on his high school football team (GO Wolverines!) and attend college at FSU (GO Noles!). As his mother, I couldn't be more proud of all his hard work and accomplishments working in the Barton program. It has been a total GAME CHANGER for our family.
You are a true inspiration to all children struggling to read, write, and spell. I admire your courage and bravery throughout the years. You never quit or gave up when school was difficult and the workload seemed endless. You persevered and you won. Thank you for paving the way for other children like yourself... you give hope and encouragement to families just like ours. You're a Warrior and a Hero and I love you with all my heart.