Morning Breakout Sessions:


M1.  What's At Stake and What's Involved in Learning to Read - David Boulton, Executive Director- Children of the Code

The deeper our understanding of what's involved in learning to read the better we can differentiate our methods of reading instruction to meet the needs of struggling readers. In this segment David Boulton will explore questions including: How does the brain create the simulated language experience we call reading?  What makes learning to read so difficult? How does learning to read affect our intelligence, emotional development, and the overall health of our learning?  What's the difference between dyslexia and reading improficiency?  What is the difference between inherited weaknesses and growing up in environments that insufficiently exercise the neuro-developmental prerequisites of reading?  How does learning to read affect self-esteem and how does self-esteem affect learning to read? How do the feelings evoked by learning to read difficulties exacerbate learning to read difficulties?

M2. Advocating for the Rights of Students with Dyslexia:  What Every Parent Should Know  -Torin D. Togut, Esq., Leslie K. Lipson, Esq. and Allison B. Vrolijk, Esq.

Conducting a comprehensive evaluation. Determining eligibility for special education services.  Developing an appropriate IEP.  Monitoring your child's academic progress.  Making a difference that goes beyond your own child.  In this session, these seasoned Special Education Attorneys will teach you the basics of advocating for your child with dyslexia or other learning disabilities in reading in the public schools.

Attendees who sign up for this session are invited to submit questions to  The questions will be compiled and sent to the panelists on February  3.

M3.  Orton-Gillingham: Principles to Guide Instruction - Susie van der Vorst, Fellow/Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, Executive Director of Camp Spring Creek; Kristie Autrey,  NBCT, Mitchell County Public Schools, NC;  Tamara Houchard, MA Ed, NBCT, Mitchell County Public Schools, NC

Fellow Susie van der Vorst will provide an overview of Orton-Gillingham and its principles and how the O-G principles can be applied to any subject matter or research-based program.  Kristie Autrey will share how she incorporates the O-G principles into her daily teaching in her 3rd grade classroom and differentiates small group instruction.  Tamara Houchard will demonstrate how she has implemented a motivating, individualized spelling curriculum for her 6th grade Language Arts students.  Both teachers will include video clips to show how their O-G based activities are incorporated in their classrooms.

M4.  Writing Matters:  Developing Sentence Skills in Students Who Struggle - William Van Cleave, MA, Educational Consultant, V.C. Educational Consulting

In this lively hands-on workshop, the presenter will share an appropriate lesson plan for teaching sentence skills.  Participants will then examine strategies for teaching parts of speech as a method of understanding the way words interact with each other and sentence parts as building blocks for creating different kinds of sentences.  Attendees will practice with the components so that they can immediately carry these strategies into their teaching environments.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

A1. Wilson Instruction for Older Students with a Word-Level Deficit -Barbara Wilson, President and co-founder of Wilson Language Training® Corporation

Some older students have gaps in decoding and spelling whereas others have a significant language-based learning disability.  Barbara will describe how Just Words and the Wilson Reading System are designed to meet the needs of these student populations.

A2. Making Math Memorable: Helping your Child with Math at Home and in the Classroom -  Joan Gerken, M.Ed., Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, Educational Consultant, Dean of Faculty at Swift School, Roswell GA

This presentation is targeted for audiences of teachers and parents of elementary and middle school math students.  This is an interactive workshop in which strategies to help students discover patterns in solving equations, fluency with computation, problem solving strategies, and the language of mathematics. The effectiveness of multisensory teaching and learning strategies will be demonstrated with various math concepts and skills. Often students who struggle with math do not have a solid understanding of concepts supporting a process or skill. Teaching from a concrete level to a representational level even at advanced levels is necessary for students to bridge into working abstractly with mathematical skills. Free websites for practice of a variety of math skills will be explored and shared.

A3Assistive Technology Assessments, Tools, and College Resources  Joe Tedesco, M.Ed., ATP  Learning & Development Manager, Georgia Institute of Technology, AMAC

This session will explore the concepts and considerations for Assistive Technology assessments, exploring and discovering tools to support students and the types of resources available to students transitioning to and in a college setting.

A4.  Teaching Notes: Music in the General Education and Music Classrooms  - Caroline Goldstein, Music Teacher, The Swift School, BA in Music, Haverford College; EdM in Learning and Teaching, Harvard Graduate School of Education

A well-rounded music education is critical for students with language-based learning differences. In addition to boosting confidence and giving students an outlet for creative self-expression, music education plays a key role in reading fluency and critical thinking. The Orff and Kodaly methodologies of music, both of which are considered standard in today’s general music classrooms, are sequential and multisensory in nature. By combining the principles of Orff and Kodaly with Orton-Gillingham, teachers can use music to further enrich their classrooms.


Saturday February 25, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM EST

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The Georgia Branch of IDA Presents

The 22nd Annual Dimensions of Dyslexia Conference

Saturday, February 25, 2012 

 D Boulton

Morning Keynote Address

Stewarding Healthy Learning:    Mind Shame, The Dark Heart of Learning Difficullies

by David Boulton  David Boulton will explore the critical differences between “healthy” and “unhealthy” learning. He will discuss how we can learn in ways that retard, diminish, or disable our capacities for learning and that can result in “mind-shame” – the most wide spread yet least understood disability of them all.  Mr. Boulton will also discuss the critical difference between natural and artificial modes of learning and the role of both in overcoming the challenges of learning to read.

David Boulton is a Learning Activist who has conducted seminars and workshops for educators as well as government and business leaders for over twenty years. Click here to read comments from attendees.  Boulton is the Executive Director of the acclaimed “Children of the Code” project and producer and interviewer of the “Children of the Code Documentary” series.  His articles on learning have appeared in The Brain-Mind Bulletin, In Context, and The California School Board’s Journal, among others.  Articles about his work have been featured in journals and books including The Journal of Developmental Education; Poisoned Apple; The Bell Curve Crisis and How Our Schools Create Mediocrity and Failure. He has been an advisor to the Chair of the California Senate Education Committee and a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Gateway Project. Boulton has founded five companies and been awarded four patents. In the summer of 09 he appeared in the PBS Television show "The New Science of Learning: Brain Fitness for Kids."



Barbara Wilson

   Afternoon Keynote Address 
Reading for All: How Multi-tiered Instruction Can Help Rescue Students with Dyslexia

                by Barbara A. Wilson    

   Barbara A. Wilson is the President and co-founder of Wilson Language Training® Corporation in Oxford, MA.  She has authored three multisensory structured language programs based on reading research and the principles of Orton-Gillingham: Wilson Reading System®, Wilson Fundations®, and Wilson Just Words®. Barbara has written several articles  and chapters on literacy instruction, including a chapter entitled, "Instruction for Older Students with a Word-Level Reading Disability" which can be found in the third edition of Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, edited by Judith Birsh.  In early 2004, Barbara was invited to the White House to speak to the President's Domestic Policy Advisor on Education regarding the issue of adolescent literacy.  Barbara has also been involved in several government-funded reading research projects.  She has served on the committees of several national educational organizations including the International Dyslexia Association.

Registration includes parking, continental breakfast, and lunch.

  • Members $100
  • Nonmembers $120
  • Individuals in Groups of 5 or More $80  (NOTE: Each group member registers individually.)
Register Online Now!

 As of February 20, payments are credit card only.

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