photos by Tyler McElhaney

Creating Lifetime Changes

Therapeutic Literacy Center Specialists Address the Causes of Learning Challenges

When Maria Bagby worked in schools as a reading specialist, she noticed students failed to reach their potential and remained in intervention programs year after year. She discovered why and opened the Therapeutic Literacy Center (TLC) to help children thrive quickly and permanently.
Traditional approaches focus on developing ways for students to compensate for their weaknesses while learning in school. Even the most innovative programs fall short when they focus on symptoms rather than causes. At the Therapeutic Literacy Center, highly-trained clinicians and educational therapists identify the causes of students’ weaknesses and address them immediately so that lifetime accommodations become unnecessary. Maria advised, “When a child is working harder than they should, it’s time to look at why and what can be done differently and more efficiently. There is always a reason a child struggles with homework or performs poorly in school. Learning problems happen when a child’s underlying processes are not working as efficiently as they could. This can be changed.”

Many of the underlying processes can be difficult to identify, but easy to fix. None of the deficits have to be permanent. They can be corrected with therapeutic training that enables efficient learning.
Some of the underlying processes that may need to be developed include auditory and visual processing, neuro-timing, core learning skills, and integration of primitive reflexes, memory, and processing speed. TLC clients include children without an identified disorder and others with IEPs, dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety, attention, memory and processing issues, and auditory processing disorder. As many as fifty percent of those diagnosed with ADHD have hidden auditory processing challenges that are creating issues with attention. And twenty-five percent of students have one of the seven types of dyslexia.


At TLC, children are individually assessed and receive individualized cognitive training in a one-on-one setting. They have access to the latest technological advances including sound therapies, deficit-specific auditory processing stimulation and training, audio-vocal training, attention and focus training, Interactive Metronome, and other research-based auditory, memory, and processing programs. The atmosphere at TLC transforms children, making them feel safe and comfortable in their environment, which in turn leads to more progress, security, and change.


TLC has two learning centers, one in Oceanside serving San Marcos and surrounding areas, and one in Solana Beach. To help even more children with dyslexia and cognitive challenges, Maria Bagby has recently created North County Literacy Foundation, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to educating parents and teachers about how to recognize the signs of learning challenges. The foundation will support assessment and therapy for children whose families cannot afford private treatment. Eventually, Maria envisions that the foundation will promote clinical studies leading to the development of pediatric standards of care for cognitive challenges.


For this foundation to fulfill its mission, broad outreach, participation, and support will be crucial. To obtain IRC 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status quickly, the foundation is filing new IRS form 1023-Z (with assistance from Wexler Law Group). TLC encourages the public to help make a difference in a family’s life today by donating to the foundation. Maria welcomes inquiries from anyone interested in joining the foundation’s community-based board or helping in other ways. At least 50% of the families that seek TLC’s services cannot afford the appropriate therapy that would greatly benefit their children. The foundation seeks to assist those in need, and Maria invites you to help change a child’s life with the North County Literacy Foundation.

Students love coming to TLC. They find success and are empowered to return to school as independent and confident students with unlimited choices in their futures. For more information about TLC visit


Name of Business: Therapeutic Literacy Center, LLC
Owner: Maria Bagby, Reading Specialist, Educational Therapist
Clinical Director: Chelsea Leatherman
Year of Establishment: Relocated to North County in 2013
Addresses: 990 Highland Dr. Suite 106-D, Solana Beach, CA 92075 161 Thunder Dr. #104, Oceanside, CA 92056
Phone: Solana Beach: 858-481-2200 | Oceanside: 858-668-8366
Description of Business: TLC provides cognitive training and educational therapy for students with reading, spelling and math challenges including dyslexia and ADHD. Additionally, TLC serves as a Deficit-Specific Treatment Center for Auditory Processing Disorders. Before, during and after school programs are available.
Ages Served: 4 through adult