2017 Annual Conference Summary in this Issue            
        In This Issue
  • A Word from the President
  • Announcing: Rick Lavoie is Coming to Indiana  
  • Summary of the 2018 National Conference
  • Summary of the 2017 LDA Conference
  • "Dyslexia and Me" by Beverly Winters
  • Award Winners

                              
A Word from the President  

Every year, LDA of Indiana, like everyone else, sets New Year's Resolutions or goals for 2018. For us, though, we don't make these goals New Year's Day but traditionally at our first board of directors meeting of the year. So, it was at our meeting on March 10 th that the board of directors started to discuss, organize and create a plan of action for 2018, setting goals for the New Year!
 
At the top of the list is annual conference, which this year is set for November 2 at the Ritz Charles in Carmel. We already have our keynote speaker set, Rick Lavoie , and are presently accepting proposals for presentations for the breakout sessions. This conference is shaping up nicely and we are all excited to have Rick back to Indiana. Our goal centers on increasing attendance and reaching out to areas of the state which has been under represented in the conference audience. Also, we have a goal of increasing attendance of pre-service teachers, those who are at our universities studying to become regular/special educators. More details about this and other conference news will be following; watch upcoming e-newsletters for updates.
 
The other major goal focuses on expanding the reach of LDA of Indiana across the state. There are still areas in the state that do not readily have access to information about learning disabilities: what they are, how they are diagnosed, how they are improved. We are discussing ways to get that information out to both parents and schools. One idea is to give presentations in libraries as an activity in their established reading programs for preschool and school age children. I have already started this by contacting Indianapolis libraries. We would invite any of you who may be able to help in this library effort in your city, town, or neighborhood to contact me at useemlda@gmail.com. Also, we are inviting you to share any other ideas that you might have for getting the word out in your communities. Those who struggle with learning disabilities in any region of Indiana should able to get the assistance to reach their learning potential; this is long past due. This all has to begin with information and knowledge. We have applied for local and national grants to support us in these efforts.
 
As spring approaches, we all feel reenergized and are ready to work hard to meet the needs of individuals with learning disabilities in Indiana. With both our state conference and our outreach efforts, we believe that Hoosiers will have more information - facts and strategies - that will lead to improved outcomes.
 
We welcome you to become involved in LDA of Indiana - join us at our next board meeting in Carmel! Help us keep our New Year's goals!

Best wishes, Patty Useem

Rick Lavoie is coming to Indiana!

LDA of Indiana is excited to announce that Rick Lavoie will be the Keynote Speaker at our 2018 Annual Conference on November 2nd at the Ritz Charles Conference Center in Carmel. Read about him at www.ricklavoie.com

Connecting in Atlanta...
During February 21-24, people from across the USA and beyond gathered to learn from the experts and exchange ideas about how to advance the opportunities and outcomes of people with learning disabilities. The LDA of America presented the 55th Annual International Conference in Atlanta. It began with a preconference event on February 20, a Symposium on Response to Intervention (RTI). A panel of experts in the field presented a thorough picture of RTI focusing on the questions: Is Response to Intervention producing the promised results? Has it changed the 
construct of specific learning disabilities? Many states have adopted the multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) Indiana among them. However, many schools still utilize a tiered system of interventions to help their struggling students learn; this symposium made visible the many challenges and possible solutions.

The full conference followed this opening event with over 700 participating in the three and a half days of presentations, including many keynote speakers - Jerry Schultz, LeDerick Horne, Mynra Mandlawitz, and Joan Teach - and over 140 breakout sessions. These sessions covered a huge variety of topics on instruction, postsecondary/adult transition, technology, cultural diversity, mental health, to name a few. Among those presenting were three from our own Board of Directors: Candace Joles, Tammy Mahon, and Josh Tolbert. Exciting to have some many Along with these sessions, there were table talks for teachers, education workshops, trainings 
for State LDA presidents, and National Board and Committee meetings. At the General Assembly of Delegates, the state representatives elected the new national executive board. Our own Kevin Gailey, a member of Indiana's Board of Directors, was elected Treasurer. Congratulations to Kevin!
It was an exciting conference, with an abundance of information and new ideas shared among parents, individuals with learning disabilities, teachers, researchers, and other professionals. It was a great place to meet new people 
from across the country and beyond, all joined together in this community, with one focus: the advancement of those individuals with learning disabilities.

Join us in February 2019 for the 56 th Annual Conference 
in Fort Worth, Texas!

You will be glad you did!


The 2018 LDA Conference Was a Success!
 
The keynote speaker, Ms. Monica Gomez from The Frostig School in Pasadena, California, was very well received by the attendees. Her keynote address was entitled "Attributes for Success: What can we learn from successful individuals who struggled in school?" With over sixty years of serving students with learning disabilities, autism, and other differences, the Frostig School has dedicated itself to encourage and develop student success. With this goal in mind, a 20-year longitudinal research study was conducted with Frostig alumni to look at student outcomes. 
 
Six "Success Attributes" were identified by these former students as the skills that helped them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. The attributes provide a framework for educators and parents to work from a positive, solution-focused modality dedicated to developing and celebrating success throughout a student's lifespan. Now in her eleventh year as Coordinator of the Social Skills program at the Frostig School, Monica weaves the Success Attributes into her work with students from kindergarten through high school. (The six attributes are goal setting, self-assurance, perseverance, personal coping strategies, support systems, and productivity.)
 
There were tears in the audience as the luncheon speaker, Rob Muller, told his personal story of "Success in Spite of Dyslexia and ADD" and one particular teacher who made a difference in his life. Mr. Muller works for the Roche Diagnostics Corporation and is internationally recognized as a leader in the use of social media for healthcare companies and patient engagement. In 2012, industry peers listed Rob among the world's Top 10 Social Media Innovators. Rob is passionate about encouraging others who have learning disabilities.  In 2014, he and his wife initiated the Charles Muller Memorial Scholarship at Indiana University to reward students who have excelled in the face of their diagnoses. A second scholarship has recently been instituted at Vincennes University.
 
We were happy to welcome students from Indiana Wesleyan University who helped with registration and served as breakout room hosts at the conference. The students also presented poster sessions based on research they had done in their special education classes at IWU.
 
With the largest attendance in several years, attendees chose four breakout sessions to attend which included sessions on mindfulness, "talking" books, Success Attributes for parents or teachers, fluency in reading, homework strategies, transitioning from high school to college or work, math, assistive technology, teaching with games, and help for parents in developing IEPs (Individual Educational Plans). All participants attended the keynote address, lunch, and the luncheon speech.
 
Awards were presented to student, Beverly Winters, and to teachers, Dr. Beth Tulbert, and Amanda Whybrew. Read about the award winners in this newsletter.


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Dyslexia and Me
By Beverly Winters
 
The letter F is most possibly the worst letter in the alphabet, especially if it is written in red ink at the top of your paper. I remember looking down at my spelling test looking at all the red marks written all over. I tried to figure out what they were trying to say and what the words even were. I remember after a few seconds of trying I slipped my paper into my folder before anyone else could see it.  
 
Reading and writing used to come very easy to me before I was in fourth grade. Up until that point I was a student with an A average that had done exceptional work, but suddenly I was starting to fall behind and getting poor grades on reading and spelling tests. I stopped wanting to go to school or participate in school activities because of this. I remember in third grade when it was Language Arts time I would have jumped for joy, but in fourth grade I made excuses to go up to the nurse just to get out of it. After a few months of this, my parents brought me to a remedial educational organization to get me tested for Dyslexia, and found out that I did have it. My parents enrolled me in their cognitive skills program, where we were supposed to meet with a teacher twice a week and then do some 'homework' while I was at home.

During my test results I found out that I had short term memory problems, so I began working more on memory problems and expanding my abilities. I also learned that I was more of a sound speller, which means that I spell words based on how you say them. An example of this is when you are little and are trying to learn how to read, teachers tell you to sound the word out and spell it how it sounds. As you get older you are supposed to grow out of that, but I still sound out longer and harder words and spell them based on how they sound. My teacher helped me on this and I have improved a lot.

My favorite activity that I got to do was called Visualization Golf. You had to look at the paper and see where the next hole was and where all of the sand pits were. You then tried to draw a line into the next hole. Every time you stopped drawing you got a point, and you wanted the least amount of points possible. Also every time you stopped drawing you were allowed to look at the paper again, to see where you were, or if you hit a sand bank. Sand banks gave you two points, so you really didn't want them. This was by far my favorite activity. I also got to play a memory game with cards. On the cards there were numbers in a three by three grid. I had to remember what number went where after looking at it for only ten seconds and then tell my teacher what I saw.  

One of my least favorite activities was remembering all of the presidents in order. I had a picture card that had lot of little pictures together that would tell you the name of the president. For example, one was a person looking out and then a weight beside them saying ton. When you saw it you would think, Watching Ton and that would give you Washington. I enjoyed looking at all of the pictures but I really didn't like all the memorizing that I had to do with it. Other activities that I had to do were add, subtract, and multiply numbers that my teacher gave me. She would require me to add three to several numbers, and then say a long list of numbers that I would have to add three to and then repeat them to her.

So most of the activities I did were more fun for me than they were actually work. I can now look back at them and see how they expanded my short term memory and how they helped me with little things that I was doing at school. I never would have guessed that playing the golf game was really to help me memorize where every hole and sand bank was.  While I was there I was given a paper that says I must, I will, and I can. At first I didn't realize what that meant, but at the end of my classes they told me what it meant.

I must - At first when I had to do my homework for my real school I had to do it. I must do my homework paper so I can get a good grade. I didn't want to do it at all, but I didn't really have a choice.

I will - Then about halfway through my session when it came to homework I would do it. I didn't do everything possible to get out of it like before, but I still wasn't overly happy doing it.

I can - And then when my classes ended I was able to do my homework. I didn't fight with my parents to get out of it or pretend to leave it at school anymore. I was starting to be happy again doing my work. Learning Rx helped me while I was struggling and helped me want to do well in school again.
 
I am now a Sophomore at Cascade High School with a 3.9 GPA and I am 8th in my class of 110 students. I now am taking AP U.S History (for college credit), Pre AP English, Honors Algebra 2, Spanish 3, and Chemistry. I almost have all of my sophomore credits even though it is only the second month of school. I now love going to school, and I am able to get all of my work done and enjoy my classes. I have an 5O4 plan, which helps me with testing and getting reading material early. The plan helps me out a lot. I read at a twelfth grade level and read in all of my free time as well.

When I first found out that I was dyslexic I would have done anything for it to be taken away. But now if someone tried to take it away, I would do anything to keep it. Being dyslexic helps me be more creative and think differently than other students at my school. It has also given me empathy when other students have trouble reading aloud.

Dyslexia means that I switch letters and numbers when I look at them. I also have trouble testing and difficulty understanding long and complex questions. I have short term memory and difficulty spelling. But I also have a better imagination and creativity skills. I am able to think outside of the box for projects and I am able to overcome challenges. Being Dyslexic is hard for me and for other students that have it. We take a little longer to learn some things and have trouble understanding longer words and many other things, but that doesn't make us dumb or stupid. Dyslexia makes me extraordinarily different, and why would I want to be just ordinary?
 
 
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Here are the Award Winners  from Last Year's Conference.  
Who do you know that deserves to be
recognized this year? 
Submit a nomination today below!
2017 Award Winners
Learn, Dream, & Achieve Award
This award acknowledges and celebrates the accomplishments of an Indiana high school or college student who has a learning disability or attention deficit disorder.
2017 Winner: Beverly Winters
 Cascade High School, Clayton

Amy Forshey Memorial Excellence in Education Award
This award acknowledges and celebrates the accomplishments of an Indiana educational professional who excels in the field of learning disabilities and/or ADHD.
2017 Winner: 
Dr. Beth Tulbert
Fortune Academy, 
Indianapolis

You Make a Difference Award
This award acknowledges and celebrates the accomplishments of a community member or organization in Indiana that has been especially helpful to persons with  learning disabilities and/or ADHD.
2017 Winner: Amanda Whybrew
Kokomo Center Schools, Kokomo


Read More about the Award Winners Below!
______________________________________________________
LDA-IN is now accepting  nominations for the 2018 Awards
to be presented at the next Annual Conference.  For questions, email  AwardsLDA@gmail.com.
You may submit a nomination for an award at any time.  See information on the LDA website:  www.ldaofindiana.net

  Learn, Dream, and Achieve Student Award
This award acknowledges and celebrates the accomplishments of an Indiana high school or  college student who has a learning disability or  attention deficit disorder.

Beverly Winters
Clayton, Indiana
Cascade High School
Beverly Winters is a sophomore at Cascade High School. She is a student with dyslexia and currently has a 504 plan in place at her school. Beverly is just fifteen years old, but has accomplished much during that short time.
Mary Winters said, "Beverly loved school even before she could attend. School was her favorite place to be and reading was her new best friend! That was until fourth grade. Beverly's grade in Language Arts was failing and she hated going to school so much she would make herself sick. The problem was, she was being made fun of when she had to read aloud in class. Reading suddenly became her worse nightmare."
  After struggling with the school for testing, Beverly received specialized instruction from a private school to help and that is
where she received the diagnosis of dyslexia. The school refused to test, but reluctantly gave her a RTI plan allowing for accommodations. It wasn't until high school that the plan and accommodations were granted. She then became an advocate for others!

Once Beverly understood dyslexia in middle school, she began to spread the word by starting a blog and sharing her story. In seventh grade, she wrote a letter to the Department of Education expressing her concern that students with dyslexia were being overlooked in schools. In her efforts to help others like herself, she often asks, "What can I do?"
 
Schoolwork is not easy for her and it often takes twice as long as her peers for Beverly to complete homework assignments. She works throughout the summer months to prepare for classes in the fall. She has experienced academic achievement and success, currently carrying a GPA of 3.65. She is enrolled in two honors classes and an advanced placement class.

Among her dreams, Beverly plans to become a writer. She has written a few stories and would like to publish. In addition, she has a desire to continue her exemplary efforts to advocate for other students with dyslexia. Mary Winters closed by saying, "Although it is difficult in our small rural community, I am waiting for her to develop a plan that will be feasible for the students there. I know she will figure out something. That is how she works!" Beverly met with several LDA of Indiana board members and is developing a story for the association newsletter. Writing may become her way to advocate!
 
Mary Winters closed by saying, "I am proud of the hard work and dedication Beverly exhibits. School is not easy, yet it is once again her favorite place to be. Reading and writing are her best friends again. She understands what she needs and is able to stand up and ask for help."

You Make a Difference Award
This award acknowledges the accomplishments of community member of organization in Indiana who has been especially helpful to persons with disabilities.  

Amanda Whybrew
Kokomo Center Schools
Kokomo, Indiana
The LDA of Indiana board of directors has chosen Amanda Whybrew for the 2017 You Make A Difference Award. Amanda serves as the compliance coordinator for Kokomo Schools. She is also the DHH (Deaf or Hard of Hearing) teacher of record.
 
Dianne Goble, a colleague of Whybrew who serves as a special education teacher in Kokomo, said, "Amanda has been a long time special educator! She has been reaching out to students, parents and other educators to make education purposeful and life changing for those who struggle."
Amanda Whybrew began her career in the 1980's serving children who had hearing impairments or were deaf. She then broadened to children with learning disabilities in all areas, and, as she did so, always endeavored to make sure that every student had the best education possible!

She is currently working toward earning a doctorate. She invests many hours beyond the school day to assure that both students and teachers are well cared for and informed about the ever changing and challenging world of special education.
 
According to Tenicia Helmberger, special education director for Kokomo Schools, "Amanda Whybrew assists special education teachers, school psychologists, general education teachers, administrators and any other staff working with students by providing research-based strategies to ensure students are successful in any school setting."
 
Helmberger added, "She is excellent with parents and truly advocates for the students in our district as if they were her own children."
Amy Forshey Memorial 
Excellence in Education Award
This award recognizes an outstanding educator who has been influential in the field of special education, and especially in the areas of LD and ADHD.  

Dr. Beth Tulbert
Fortune Academy
Indianapolis, Indiana
Dr. Beth Tulbert, Ph.D, of Indianapolis is the 2017 Dr. Amy Forshey Excellence in Education Award recipient. Dr. Tulbert is a teacher at the Fortune Academy. Upon learning of being chosen for the award, she said, "I appreciate being honored!" She said, "I have been teaching students with disabilities since I received my undergraduate degree in 1973. I taught students with mild and moderate cognitive disabilities for sixteen years in Virginia."
In addition to her important work at Fortune Academy, Dr, Tulbert has taught at Ball State University, the University of Utah and the University of Kansas where she has also worked in a variety of roles.
 
Dr. Tulbert earned the Master's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in the areas of learning disabilities and emotional disorders. She went on to earn the doctorate from the University of Florida specializing in learning disabilities, transition, research and statistics. It was there that she worked closely with Dr. Cecil Mercer.
 
According to Janet George, Fortune Academy's director, Dr. Tulbert spent her first career in public schools in a leadership role training teachers and planning staff development. She went on to say, "After retiring, Beth decided she wanted to return to the classroom and began her new chapter in education. She took the associate level Orton-Gillingham training and never looked back."
 
Janet George added, "Dr. Tulbert is a superstar teacher. Her drive to understand and meet and the needs of every student is unmatched. She mentors students now in college, teaches full time, and spends her after hours tutoring students who need even more assistance."
 
Ms. George closed by saying, "This year, she planned a high school field trip to St Louis to see the Eclipse. Every moment of the trip was a teachable moment for the students! I cannot express in words how truly deserving this educator is. She is truly THAT teacher!"

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LDA Board Meeting
You are invited to attend the next Board meeting on
June 2 at Midwest Academy, 1420 Chase Court in Carmel. 
See a map and directions on the LDA website. 

For information about the conference or state organization 
or go to the
for up to date legislative news or information about
Learning Disabilities, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalulia,
Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Language Processing Disorder,
Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities, Visual Perceptual,
Memory, ADHD, Executive Functioning.