Kristia AkinsStructured Literacy/Dyslexia Specialist

CERI Verified Provider

Bartlett, TN

Phone: (901) 318-0101


Kristia AkinsStructured Literacy/Dyslexia Specialist

Provider Bio

Kristia Akins is a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) through the Academic Language Therapy Association, and a Certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist through The Center of Effective Reading Instruction, a Certified Irlen Screener through the Irlen Institute.

Kristia has over 1000 hours of training and instruction time in the Simultaneous Multisensory Institute of Language Arts (S.M.I.L.A.) method, derived from the Orton-Gillingham/Slingerland Approach to teaching literacy. She has used S.M.I.L.A. to help hundreds of students in public and private institutions improve their literacy and develop confidence in their own skills, both in small group and individual settings.

As a person managing dyslexia and ADHD, Kristia has a very personal connection to learning difficulties. A mother of four, and a grandmother to three, she holds a Master of Teaching in Instruction and Curriculum from the University of Memphis, and a Tennessee Highly Qualified Teaching License with a Reading Specialist endorsement and TESOL (English as a second/foreign language) license.

She joined the Tennessee public school system in 2007 as an elementary ESL teacher and began S.M.I.L.A. training in the summer of 2009. Kristia had a tearful realization during S.M.I.L.A. training that her daughter displayed all the common signs of dyslexia.
She later discovered that her youngest son, too, struggled with dyslexia and ADHD. What had been an academic and professional interest suddenly hit close to home. That realization strengthened Kristia’s resolve to help her children and others like them overcome literacy challenges and develop skills comparable to the rest of their classmates.
By 2011, with nearly 500 hours of training and applied experience, Kristia began holding private S.M.I.L.A. sessions after school hours.

After more than eight years teaching English in the public school system with the S.M.I.L.A. method, Kristia resigned in 2015 to focus on homeschooling her son, who had begun to show signs of learning difficulties as he was about to enter the 4th grade.

Now Kristia has dedicated her entire professional life working with families and the community in helping children and parents cope with myriad reading and language challenges.
She is a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and holds firm to their motto, “Let the love of learning rule humanity,” in all of her work.

She has conducted private and public research on the benefits of S.M.I.L.A. instruction for both individuals and small groups, and has been a frequent guest speaker at IDA Dyslexia Sunrise Conferences across Tennessee. Kristia is on the forefront of a growing global education crisis, and works to make education easier and more effective for future generations of children and their families.

Provider Details

  • Accepting New Clients
  • Online Tutorial Service Offered
  • Language Proficiency: English
  • Other Professional Certifications Held: BS Social Psych, MAT Instruction & Curriculum, Reading Specialist, SMILA 1000+ hrs, TESOL Cert, Certified Irlen Screener