Mrs. Finley's Home Page--Dyslexia Interventionist


About Me

Hello!  My name is Debbie Finley and I am thrilled to start my second year at Reagan Elementary as the Dyslexia Interventionist.  I have a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Baylor University and a Master's degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.  I was a dyslexia interventionist in Georgetown ISD for nine years and prior to that I was a classroom teacher and an elementary school counselor.  I have a heart for working with dyslexic students and their families.

Working with dyslexic students isn’t just a career.  It is a personal passion of mine because I have been through the gamut of emotions with my own dyslexic child. I know the feeling of having a child that is really bright but is struggling in school and not knowing where to turn for help.  I know the sucker punched feeling of having someone tell you that your child is dyslexic and not really knowing what that entails. I know the years of tutoring and struggling each week studying spelling words.  I know the frustration of reasoning with teachers to put accommodations in place. 

 On the flip side of the coin, however, I also know the joyous rewards of intervention and compassionate teachers that believed in my children.  I know how that one teacher can touch your child’s life and ease your anxiety as a parent.  I know the proud feeling of seeing your formerly struggling child advocating for himself.  I’ve been through the journey.    It is so amazing to be able to look my students’ parents in the eye at the beginning of their journey and say, “Time and time again I’ve seen dyslexia intervention work.  I will be your partner through this process.”

Contact Me    

Email:    I will respond to emails the same day that I receive them.

Phone:      512-570-7200  ext 17235  If I can’t answer, leave me a message and I will get back with you as soon as possible. 


What is BLS?

    Basic Language Skills is one of the programs that Leander ISD uses for dyslexia intervention.  It is a structured, sequential, multi-sensory approach to teaching basic reading and spelling skills and is an expansion and extension of the Orton-Gillingham-based Alphabetic phonics program. The program incorporates the latest research findings in the areas of literacy and best instructional practices and emphasizes the regularity and predictability of the English language. The instructional techniques of Basic Language Skills instruction are characterized by phonemic awareness, graphophonemic knowledge, language structure, linguistic patterns, and processes.  Instructional approaches include explicit, individualized, and multi-sensory strategies.

Cookie the BOW WOW Reading Dog 

    We will have a very special ongoing visitor come to our classroom.   Cookie is a certified BOW WOW reading dog with Austin Dog Alliance.  He will come read with the students at least once a month.  Cookie is a three-year-old pug. Cookie never judges and shows support by being an attentive listener.