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The Reading School
The Reading School
locations: Ottawa, ON; East York, Toronto

Contact name:
Diane Duff

Phone number:
(416) 537-7323×


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The Reading School

The Reading School

Locations: Ottawa, ON; East York, Toronto

After-school / weekend classes
Instructor lead (one on one)
5 to 25

Get more information

Contact Name:
Diane Duff

Phone Number:


About this program


We believe learning to read shouldn’t be a struggle. We start with a functional literacy assessment, and individualized learning plan. Certified teachers and speech language pathologists observe an Orton-Gillingham approach, in English or French. Your child's progress will be personally monitored by the director, Diane Duff, B.Ed., M.A., who has 20 years' experience.

Ottawa, ON, East York, Toronto

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Instructor lead (one on one)

Director's Message


Diane L. Duff, The Reading School Founder, Programme Director

Diane has been infatuated with how written language works for over 50 years.

True early immersion child of a Canadian soldier living in Belgium, Diane learned to read and write French before she ever developed those skills in English.  When she finally did learn to read English, she spent more time than an 8-year-old probably should trying to figure out why “once” isn’t spelled with a “w”.

Is it any wonder she became an English and French teacher – or that her focus for almost 20 years has been reading development and reading disability!  Diane is committed, not only to making reading easier for children, but to making teaching reading easier for professionals. In fact, Teacher Training and Research-Based Reading Instruction is the subject of her Master’s Thesis.

At The Reading School, Diane works to improve the quality of early reading instruction and remediation.  In this, she works with schools, independent teachers and tutors, homeschooling families, and parents/children.

Diane lives in Toronto with her husband. She is the proud mama of two remarkable women, and five wonderful stepchildren. She is thrilled to be called Gramma / G’Ma / The Great Green Granny by five amazing young souls~four girls and a boy.

Stories & Testimonials


French Reading Disability - Dyslexia

In March of 2010 our son, Aldo was diagnosis with ADHD and a reading disability.   The neuropsychologist who tested Aldo recommended tutoring for his reading disability; however, he did not provide us with a community list of tutors or have a suggestion of where to begin.

I interviewed several tutors and we were filled with hope each time I ended the interview, only to receive a call from them saying that they did not think they could help us at this time either because of the French or because of the disability.

One frustrated afternoon I Googled “French Special Ed. Tutor in Ottawa’ and one name came up: Diane Duff.  I phoned her and made an appointment.  She requested that I have Aldo’s neuropsychologist assessment available for her to read.  At our interview she reviewed the assessment and explained it to me.  Diane informed me that Aldo has dyslexia and she helped me understand what to expect of him academically and how to help him.

Diane began working with Aldo in July 2, 2011. At at this time my 6 year-old son could not recognize letters or distinguish letters from numbers.  Aldo is also a charmer so he is very good at manipulating the situation so he can hide his disability. However, Diane would not allow him to charm her, but graciously and firmly led him through the lessons.

It was a slow start for Aldo, but he looked forward to his lessons with Diane.  They developed a lovely working relationship and he was disappointed if he did not have a lesson. In the beginning, Diane and Aldo worked together three times a week for 45 minutes, and then Aldo requested to add another day a week.

His confidence grew week by week and by December he knew his letters and was reading simple words and sentences.  Diane and Aldo worked together every afternoon at 4 o’clock for over a year.  Unfortunately for us, she moved back to Toronto, but by the end of the year my son was reading at his grade level.

We asked Diane if she would complete a reading assessment to give to the next tutor.  Her assessment was so thorough that we gave it to his teacher and his next tutor.  His current tutor uses it as her guide in working with Aldo.

We believe Aldo is successful in school because of Diane’s talents–not just with her ability to teach–but with her ability to connect with children who have felt shame at their inability to keep up with their classmates.

We still miss her everyday at 4 o’clock.

Summer Remediation

Rather than have our daughter identified by a psychologist and labelled with a learning disability, we took her to Diane Duff at the end of Kindergarten.  Diane’s rapport with her was inspiring. Her abilities progressed from being able to identify only half the alphabet to recognizing sight words to reading simple books by the end of the summer!

Grade School Dyslexia

Since she was 3, I had a gut feeling that our daughter was dyslexic. While all her teachers dismissed this notion to over protective parenting or child development, we needed evidence and the school was not yet ready to have her tested. As a teacher, it is often presumed that we can remedy these scenarios with our skillsets, but we needed a specialist to determine what the issue was. I went to my friends in the Student Service department of my school and got a a lot of names of specialists. My husband, luckily, went online and found The Reading School. I spoke to a variety of specialists who were nowhere as special or straightforward as Diane. The Reading School’s director.

After a lengthy and thorough discussion, we invited Diane to our home to assess our daughter’s reading skills. Regardless of the label, it was clear that her reading issues were far from developmental, which were later confirmed through a full psycho-educational assessment to be result dyslexia. We were so lucky to have The Reading School and Diane herself to help our daughter to learn read.

Even before our daughter began her school year, we enlisted Diane’s bilingual skills. Our daughter was about to enter Grade 3 in a French Immersion school that she loves, and we didn’t want to pull her out without trying everything in our power to help her remain there. Diane began instructing our daughter 3 times per week in French. By the end of this year, she is better able to decode words, site read and employ her developing phonemic awareness (sounds that can differentiate meaning) in her attempt to decode words more easily and to begin developing some fluency.

Now that she is entering Grade 4 and feeling more at ease with her challenges and her significant development this year, she has started learning to read in English which will also happen for the first time at school in the coming year. Diane’s style and methodology are both knowledgeable and approachable. While our daughter doesn’t get excited about her lessons, she knows she is learning and she can feel a difference in herself. She wakes up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday knowing that she will begin her day with Diane and, to be honest, she doesn’t hate it. If you know anything about rambunctious 9 year-olds, that’s a big compliment for Diane

Diane is a professional with the right tools and skills to help our daughter learn to read with less struggle and improve her self-esteem. We are ever-grateful to have Diane on our daughter’s learning team.

  ~~  Noa Daniel,

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Camp Locations

  • Ottawa, ON
    In-home, Ottawa, Ontario
  • East York, Toronto
    763 Sammon Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4C 2E6

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Contact Name
Diane Duff

Phone Number:

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  The Reading School