Alliance for Accreditation and Certification

Alliance Conference 2020 — Presenters

Eric Tridas

Friday, September 27

Eric Tridas, MD, FAAP

Morning Keynote: The Developmental Web: A practical approach to the diagnosis and management of individuals with learning and behavior challenges.

Session Description:
Most parents and teachers wonder "what's wrong" with a student who presents with learning and behavior challenges. While this quest to find what's wrong may lead to a diagnosis, it does not always translate into a solution to the child's (and the adults who work with him/her) problems. During this presentation Dr. Tridas will describe the interaction between learning, attention, anxiety and executive functions and the problems that they cause for these students, their parents and teachers. Dr. Tridas will summarize the impact that these symptoms have on different neurodevelopmental functions and their effect on reading, writing, time management, organization, social relationships and behavior regulation. During the presentation, Dr. Tridas will also briefly describe general educational, psychological and medical strategies used to manage these challenges and ways of ensuring their efficacy.

Afternoon Keynote: FEAR: Reading, Attention/Anxiety and Executive Functions

Session Description:
Students with dyslexia and other learning disorders often have coexisting conditions that impact their learning. During this presentation Dr. Tridas will explore the relationship between dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety and executive functions. The participants will learn the criteria for the diagnosis of these conditions and the interactions between them. Factors such as attention, inhibition, flexibility, planning and working memory can have a dramatic impact on a student's academic performance and self-regulation. Dr. Tridas will also describe some of the general strategies used to address these challenges, from educational approach to address executive functions to some of the psychological and medical management of ADHD and anxiety disorders.

Dr. Tridas is the Director of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics at Pediatric Epilepsy and Neurology Specialists, Clinical Associate Professor in Pediatrics at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, member of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD), Associate member for the Advisory Committee on Exceptional Children and Youth for the Office of Overseas Schools, United States Department of State. Dr. Tridas is Past President of the International Dyslexia Association. He is also the State Medical Director for Pediatric Health Choice-Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Facilities (PPEC). He is an International Advisor for Project Difference, an organization that provides support for children with learning differences in Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Tridas is a Developmental Pediatrician who specializes in the diagnosis and management of neurodevelopmental conditions including ADHD, learning differences, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities and other developmental and behavioral problems. Dr. Tridas is also a founder and partner of Tridas, LLC, a software company that developed the Tridas eWriter, an application for web-based structured interviews of caregivers and teachers that generates a customized evaluation report and provides hundreds of specific recommendations.

Dr. Tridas is the recipient of the 2017 International Dyslexia Association Margaret Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 he was chosen by his peers as Top Doctor in Developmental Pediatrics in the Tampa Magazine. He was inducted in the International Dyslexia Association Sylvia Richardson Hall of Fame in 2014 and received the IMSLEC Innovator Award in 2012.

Dr. Tridas lectures and consults nationally and internationally on topics such as dyslexia, learning disorders, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, anxiety, executive functions and other behavioral and developmental pediatrics related subjects.

He edited and co-authored From ABC to ADHD: What Every Parent Should Know About Dyslexia and Attention Problems.

Dr. Tridas has resided in the Tampa Bay area in Florida since 1982. He completed his fellowship in Ambulatory Pediatrics with emphasis on Developmental Disabilities at the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Boston. During that time, he held an appointment as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. Dr. Tridas completed his residency in Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Buffalo and is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine.

Saturday, September 28

syl-LAB-le em-PHAS-is: Seven Rules for Accenting English Words

Josie Calamari, Fellow/AOGPE, Schenck School, Atlanta, GA

Session Description:
Automaticity with syllable division must include the explicit instruction of accenting patterns. A child may be able to break words into syllables easily, but, without this knowledge, completely mispronounce the word. We will focus on 7 rules that govern where and why we accent certain syllables.

Josie Calamari is the Director of Teacher Training with the Dyslexia Resource at The Schenck School, in Atlanta, Ga. She is a Fellow in the Academy. She has a BA in History and a M.Ed. in Reading Instruction, both from the University of Georgia. Josie worked with dyslexic students of all ages for eleven years as a classroom teacher and tutor. Josie teaches AOGPE courses throughout the year at the Subscriber, Classroom Educator, Associate, and Certified levels. She believes that as practitioners we are offering hope to students searching for understanding and assurance to teachers searching for solutions.

The Principles of the Orton-Gillingham Approach: TIMELESS and RELEVANT for the 21st Century

Diane Milner, Ph.D., Fellow/AOGPE, Key School and Learning Center at Carolina Day School, Asheville, NC

Session Description:
The founding principles of the Orton-Gillingham approach are the timeless underpinnings for many multisensory structured language programs. This presentation discusses the brain base that supports these principles and discusses the links to educational research. The original Orton-Gillingham Academy (AOGPE) developed these principles and participants will hear that these are as relevant to dyslexic learners in the 21st century as they were in the 20th century.

Diane H. Milner, F/AOGPE, currently serves at the Principal of The Key School at Carolina Day and as Director of The Key Learning Center in Asheville, North Carolina. The Key School's Language Instructional Program and the Key Learning Center's Orton-Gillingham Teacher Training Program are both accredited by the AOGPE and IMSLEC. Diane was hired by Carolina Day School in 1997 to found an instructional program for students with dyslexia. This program was designed to support the students currently enrolled at CDS and the broader community. The program grew so quickly that Carolina Day established The Key School as the fourth division of the overall school in 2002. The Key School currently has 103 students enrolled. Diane worked closely with JoAnn Crawford, F/AOGPE to develop a teacher training center; when JoAnn retired, Diane became the supervising Fellow of the KLC. Diane received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Special Education from Western Carolina University; in 2017 she received her Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership. She has served as a board member and president of the NC Branch of IDA and currently serves on the AOGPE and Alliance boards. She has presented at many national IDA conferences, NC IDA conferences, regional conferences, AOGPE conferences, and Key Learning Center conferences and Saturday Seminars.

Applying the Structure of a Multisensory Lesson Plan to Math

Mathew Buchanan, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at Key School at Carolina Day in Asheville, NC, ASDEC Accredited Multisensory Math Instructor of Teaching

Session Description:
In this session, you will see how the components of the Key School multisensory math lesson plan follow the format of a traditional Orton Gillingham language lesson. From the introductory auditory and visual drills to the cumulative review and reinforcement, you will develop an understanding of the components of a structured multisensory math lesson. Moving through the critical stages of Concrete, to the Representational, and finally the Abstract levels will be explained as key to the mastery of math skills. This approach is something you can readily apply to your own math lesson planning regardless of your program or curriculum.

Matthew Buchanan is the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at Key School at Carolina Day in Asheville, NC as well as an ASDEC accredited Multisensory Math Instructor of Teaching. He has taught Multisensory Math at the middle school and lower school levels at Key School for 10 years and has served as the Math Department Chair at Key School for the past three years. Matthew also co-directs Multisensory Math trainings and workshops throughout the year via his position as Associate Director of the Key Learning Center, a non-profit organization designed for dyslexia education outreach for professionals seeking a greater understanding of working with children with language-based learning differences.

Keeping a Parent Meeting Calm Using the Alphabet
LMNOP - the most difficult portion to say in the alphabet, the easiest way to gain understanding with parents

Michele M. Johnson, Center Director, M.A., CALP
Children's Dyslexia Center, So. Ill. #092

Session Description:
We all know that parenting a child through their school years can be fun, challenging, frustrating and exciting. Shepherding a special needs student through those same school years can be exciting and challenging, but also fraught with confusion and exhaustion. Parents are often searching desperately for what will help their struggling readers and learners to succeed in school, and this can make for some very emotional and high energy conversations with parents as you share your resources and solutions.

Please join me for a refresher on some basic communication skills when working with parents of special needs children, and also for dealing with other staff members who are providing services within your organization. We will be discussing how our own communication intentions can be hi-jacked when in a conversation with a high energy/emotion parent, how to de-escalate before it escalates by having a "go-to" of information you want to convey, and how to cultivate resources so you are not alone!

Think of some examples where things didn't quite go as planned and we will attempt to see if there is anything to learn from it and how we might improve on your approach for the next time.

Michele Johnson has been with the Children's Dyslexia Center, Inc. since 2007 where she received her Initial and Advanced Training. She tutored children for seven years and took over as Director of the Southern Illinois Center in 2014. She is also certified as an Academic Language Practitioner through the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA).

Michele holds a bachelor's degree in Social Work from Delaware State University and a masters' degree in School Counseling from Lindenwood University Belleville, Illinois.

Keeping a Parent Meeting Calm Using the Alphabet

Early Diagnosis and Intervention and Its Relationship to Oral Language Development

Joyce Pickering, Hum. D.,M.A. SLP/CCC, CALT, QI, AMS/EC

Session Description:
Early Diagnosis and Intervention and its Relationship to Oral Language Development

The foundation of reading, writing and spelling are found in the development of oral language. The most significant indicator of later learning differences is speech and oral language development.

For accurate articulation of the sounds of spoken language, the child must be able to process accurately the sounds he is hearing.  If he processes accurately, he will produce the sounds correctly in his expressive speech.  If his auditory processing is inaccurate and these skills do not develop by 5-6 years old, the child cannot produce the sounds of his language nor attach the correct sound to the symbol that represents that sound in written language.  The basic phonological awareness skills have not developed, hence learning to read and spell will not proceed as they do for the typically developing child.

This presentation will discuss speech and language development in the early years from birth to six and the influence of speech and oral language development on written language skills throughout all of the years of a student's education.

Dr. Joyce S. Pickering, a 40-year Montessorian, speech and hearing pathologist, and learning disabilities specialist who has devoted her life to addressing the needs of students with learning differences.

Joyce is Executive Director Emerita of Shelton School & Evaluation Center in Dallas, Texas, the world's largest independent school for intelligent children with learning differences.

Joyce is the 2013 Living Legacy Recipient for American Montessori Society (AMS) as well as Past President of AMS Board of Directors and an active member of several AMS committees. MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) awarded the Wisdom of the Elders award to Joyce in 2015. Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA) awarded Joyce the 2019 Luke Waites ALTA Award of Service. She is an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University, a clinical assistant professor at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and a committee member for accreditation of the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Joyce travels the world to present classes and keynote speeches about Montessori education and how to meet the needs of learning-different students.  Joyce is married to Dr. Robert Pickering, a former AMS president. She has five children and 13 grandchildren.

Brain 101: A crash course in the neuroscience of reading development and instruction

Tim Odegard, Ph.D.

Session Description:
In this presentation, Dr. Tim Odegard provides an overview of the neurobiology that supports proficient reading. In doing so, he highlights insights that have been gained in the nature of dyslexia from neuroimaging research. He also highlights what we have learned about the impact of intervention efforts on the core characteristics of dyslexia. He concludes on cautionary note about the risks of making false claims about the implications of what neuroimaging research tells us about how best to intervene with children with dyslexia.

Dyslexia:  What do we Really Know and What do we Need to Know to Intervene

Tim Odegard, Ph.D.

Session Description:
In this presentation, Dr. Tim Odegard highlights conclusions that can be drawn from research into dyslexia and reading underachievement. He highlights how they can inform how we conceptualize and define dyslexia. Then, he discusses the ramifications of these conclusions for procedures used to screen for characteristics of dyslexia and identification models used to classify children as dyslexic. Finally, a review of what is known about information that can aid in predicting how children will respond to intervention efforts is provided.

Tim Odegard, Ph.D., CALP is a professor of psychology and holds the Katherine Davis Murfree Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, leading the efforts of the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia. Prior to joining the faculty at MTSU, he was the director of research for Wilson Language Training, having been faculty at University of Texas Arlington and UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas before that time.

His research in the area of reading strives to identify factors that predict the response of individuals with dyslexia and related specific reading disabilities to intensive interventions. He has conducted brain imaging studies to get a glimpse of these processes and his current research is exploring how we might change intervention efforts to maximize learning outcomes for persistently poor responders. He also studies teacher training efforts. His research in this area focuses on testing the efficacy of different teacher training models to document the impact of training efforts.

In addition to being a research scientist, Tim is an Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA) member, having completed a two-year dyslexia specialist training program at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas during his NIH funded postdoctoral fellowship. He has received the Innovator Award as an Outstanding MSLE Professional from the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council and the Luke Waits Service Award from the Academic Language Therapist Association. He is a past member of the board of directors of ALTA. He also served ALTA as a past Vice President of Membership and a past Vice President of Programs. He is a past Vice President of the Texas Licensure Advisory committee.

Currently, Tim serves as a member of the research advisory board of the AIM Institute, is a member of the Understood parent advisory committee, is the Associate Editor of Annals of Dyslexia and serves on the editorial board of Perspectives on Language and Literacy.

Evoking Reading Automaticity: Neurophysiological evidence of Phonological-Orthographic Feature Integration

Anna E. Middleton, Ph.D., CALT
Research Scientist
Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders

Session Description:
Fluent reading is a complex skill that depends on many subcomponent reading abilities, such as the rate and accuracy with which a reader processes lexical and sublexical information. A crucial component of skilled reading, automaticity at the sublexical and lexical levels is necessary to free up cognitive resources for processing text at a higher level, such as those needed for comprehension and inference. Models of word reading support the use of orthographic and phonological codes during lexical access. However, the theoretical frameworks and methods with which researchers attempt to define and measure automaticity vary broadly. This presentation will discuss how current models of word reading support automaticity, and review behavioral methods for measuring automated word reading. Next, results from a study measuring changes in the neurophysiological signature of word-level reading using electroencephalography (EEG) data will be presented. Findings suggest that phonological processing plays an important role in the initial stages of the automatization process, and that neurophysiological indicators of cross-modal integration may be used to identify automated reading. Finally, implications and future directions for developing methods to bolster automaticity will be discussed.

Anna Middleton is a Research Scientist in the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, TX. She earned her Ph.D in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas, with a focus on neurolinguistics. She is a Certified Academic Language Therapist and has provided intervention therapies to children with dyslexia since 2007. Her research interests include improving student outcomes by optimizing treatment efficacy, characterizing treatment resistance, and better understanding the psychological and neurological mechanisms underlying specific learning disabilities, particularly dyslexia.

Assistive Technology: What the Research Says About Which Technologies Support Learners with Dyslexia

Nanci Shepardson, M.S.Ed., Ed.S. W.D.P

Session Description:
What does the research say about the technologies that truly support the struggling reader, comprehender, speller, and writer? Based on the research, what tools should we focus on when investing our time, talent, and resources? While there may not be a lot of research behind individual products, there is well-done research that points out the best parts of technology to harness in order to facilitate positive student outcomes. Come learn about what to look for when choosing a tool and see some examples of what to use and not to use with students with dyslexia. Bringing your own device will enhance this session.

Nanci Shepardson is a credentialed K-12 Reading Specialist, an Assistive Technology Specialist, and an IDA and Wilson Reading System Dyslexia Practitioner. An advocate for students with disabilities and their families, she speaks on Dyslexia, high incidence disabilities, and the technology that supports these learners throughout the country. In her position as the Senior Educational Technologist at Wilson Language Training, she works in the Program Development Department. In her role, she works with the Wilson Reading System (WRS) and Technology Teams to create traditional and digital tools that will augment the current WRS curriculum and materials. She stays abreast of the current technological trends and serves as a resource for parents, teachers, and schools on Dyslexia and Assistive Technology. Nanci has served on the Alliance Board of Directors since 2018.

Vocabulary Considerations with Differentiated Text for MSL Instruction

Deanna Fogarty M.Ed., W.C.T., W.D.T.

Session Description:
Learn about the frequency of core and academic vocabulary within both narrative and informational text and discuss how to integrate essential vocabulary instruction into multisensory structured language instruction. Explore how to how to identify words for targeted instruction, and then maximize the practice and study of these words, differentiating instruction with controlled decodable text, non-controlled readable text, and enriched text.

Deanna completed her Wilson Reading System Practitioner and Therapist Level Certifications and has been a Wilson Credentialed Trainer since 1998. She is currently the Senior Director of Intensive Intervention Literacy Initiatives and a member of the Fidelity Team at Wilson Language Training. Deanna has experience in a variety of educational settings as a regular education teacher including working with high-risk students and multi-age instruction in grades three through six. She taught in public and private school settings in Georgia and Massachusetts and has taught many struggling readers and students with dyslexia in private practice throughout the years. Deanna received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Master's Degree in Elementary Education from Worcester State College, Worcester, MA. Deanna has served on the Alliance Board of Directors since 2018.

2019 Conference

Learn more about the 2019 Conference which was held September 27-28, 2019 in Charlotte, NC.

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Conference attendees heard from a great line-up of speakers and earned up to a two-day total of 12.0 CEU hours.

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