serving the dyslexic community
in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont

Fall 2019 Newsletter --   Edited by J. Beaton, D. Vincent, S. Lurgio
President's Message

Wow! Have times changed. I received my initial Orton Gillingham certification over 20 years ago. I vividly remember the class where phonemic awareness was discussed. Here’s how it went: “phonemic awareness is a precursor to reading.” We spent about five minutes with Elkonin boxes. If you are unfamiliar with these, Elkonin boxes consist of a row of empty squares printed on paper. As students segment a word into sounds, they place one token into a box for each sound they hear. That was it for the topic of phonemic awareness! We moved right on to phonics instruction.

Phonological awareness is an umbrella term that covers skills like word awareness, syllable awareness, onset-rime awareness, and phonemic awareness. So, what is phonemic awareness? Phonemic awareness is defined as the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual speech sounds (called ‘phonemes’) that make up words. For example, the word cap has three sounds or phonemes: /c/ /ă/ /p/. We are just talking about sound awareness, not letters associated with a sound. There is a continuum of instruction with these skills. For example, it is easier for a young student to identify the initial sound in a word than it is to identify the middle sound; it is easier to isolate the /b/ in the word bit than it is to isolate /ǐ/. It is easier for a child to blend sounds into a word /h/ /ŏ/ /p/ = hop, than it is to remove a sound from a word: say glad without /g/.

Unlike 20 years ago when I did my initial training, we now spend a huge amount of time assessing and remediating phonological deficits, and we do so based on solid science. Keith Stanovich is Emeritus Professor of Applied Psychology and Human Development, University of Toronto and former Canada Research Chair of Applied Cognitive Science. His research in the field of reading has helped frame our current scientific understanding about what reading is and how it is developed. According to Dr.Stanovich, phonemic awareness is the most powerful predictor of success in learning to read, more highly related to reading than tests of general intelligence, reading readiness, and listening comprehension. (Stanovich, 1986, 1994)

The National Reading Panel assessed the effectiveness of various methods of teaching a child to read. Their findings list phonemic awareness as one of the key pillars to effective reading instruction, stating “PA instruction produced positive effects on both word reading and pseudoword reading, indicating that it helps children decode novel words as well as remember how to read familiar words.”

Dr. G. Reid Lyon is the former Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institute of Health (NIH). His research in the field of reading is extensive. Dr. Lyon found that "the best predictor of reading difficulty in kindergarten or first grade is the inability to segment words and syllables into constituent sound units" (Lyon, 1995, Toward a Definition of Dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia, 45, 3-27.)

With all that we know about the importance of solid phonemic awareness, we are thrilled to be offering two related presentations this fall: “Bridging Phonological Processing and Orthography” with Dr. David Kilpatrick on September 20 and “Assessment of Phonological Challenges” on October 26 with Dr. Elaine Holden. 

Editors' Note: We regret that many of you are unable to join us at our fall conference with Dr. Kilpatrick, as the conference sold out within days. Dr. Elaine Holden's presentation in Maine has subsequently also sold out.

David Kilpatrick
David Kilpatrick, Ph.D.

NHIDA's Fall Conference
is almost here.

sold out

"Bridging Phonological Processing
and Orthography:
How to improve word level reading skills
in struggling readers"
David Kilpatrick, Ph.D.

8:15 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday, September 20, 2019
Puritan Conference Center
245 Hooksett Road 
Manchester, NH
(just off I-93 Exit 9S)

NHIDA's Maine Fall Conference

sold out

" Assessment of
Phonological Challenges"
Elaine Holden, Ph.D.
Saturday, October 26, 2019
8:00 am - 1:00 pm
178 Warren Avenue
Portland, Maine

Portland Masonic
For more information contact the Portland Masonic by email barbara@dyslexiacenterportland.org or by phone 1-207-773-4949
Podcast Neon sign design template. Podcast neon logo_ light banner design element colorful modern design trend_ night bright advertising_ bright sign. illustration.
Have you discovered podcasts? Educational podcasts are a great way to learn by listening, at your convenience and with no cost. Here are some related to the field of dyslexia.

Tiffany Hogan, Professor of MGH Institute of Health Professions, is a scientist and speech-language pathologist who studies and is passionate about reading, language, and speech development and disorders such as dyslexia, developmental language disorder, and speech sound disorders. She hopes her podcast, See Hear Speak , will be listened to by clinicians, educators, scholars, students, and parents and that each episode will bridge the gap between research and practice, and vice versa. Each episode has links to various resources including articles, websites, etc.

Note: If you listen to the Podcasts its best to use the Chrome internet browser.

Podcast by Dr. Tiffany Hogan of MGH IHP

The Reading Wars - Episode 1

The Reading Wars continued - Part 2 featuring Emily Hanford - Episode 6

More Podcasts featuring educational experts ........

Glean Education's Research to Practice Podcast : The focus of this podcast is to interview education experts in order to bring their research findings from the journal pages into the classroom.

Interview with Dr. Tiffany Hogan, PhD CCC-SLP (MGH) and Lauren Baron, PhD (University of South Carolina) about their recent study on the orthographic facilitation effect in students with dyslexia.

Interview with Dr. Melanie Schuele, PhD CCC-SLP on the Importance of Phonological Awareness (Vanderbilt University)

Interview with Dr. Jan Hasbrouk, PHD (formerly of University of Oregon), expert on reading fluency, discusses revised norms and reading fluency measures .

Interview with Dr. Nadine Gaab: When and how to screen for reading difficulties in schools (Harvard Graduate School of Education).

Interview with Dr. Erin Washburn (Binghamton University) on what do pre-service and in-service teachers know about the basic constructs of literacy?

Interview with Dr. Jessica Toste and Marissa Filderman (U of Texas at Austin) on using data-based decision making to inform instruction.

PaTTAN P odcast (Penn. Dept. 0f Ed., and Bureau of Special Ed): Interview with Emily Hanford (NPR Educational Journalist of Hard Words ) What is the field saying about Reading?

Save the Date!
Project Read Webinar (6 hours)
Linguistics curriculum by Language Circle Enterprises is an accelerated phonics program tailored for grade 3 through adult learners. A vailable from January 15, 2020 to January 29, 2020. Webinar is open to all - free to NHIDA members. Materials not included;however, can be purchased from Language Circle Entreprises.
More information and registration link to come!

The International Literacy Association Takes A Surprising Stance In The ‘Reading Wars’

Acknowledging some members won’t support the position, the ILA has endorsed systematic and explicit phonics in all early reading instruction. 

The Reasons For The ILA Phonics Endorsement

Written by Wiley Blevins, the “brief” laying out the basis for the phonics endorsement is detailed. It is the result of work by an international panel and details what works and why.

Cursive Is Making A Comeback

Cursive is making a comeback, but many teachers say other subjects are a priority for class time.

The Problem(s) with Reading Recovery: Recovering from Reading Recovery

Experience the journey of a frustrated mom and former high school teacher, as her child battles dyslexia while trying to learn how to read through Reading Recovery in Australia. Read about the history and the pros (very few) and cons (many) of Reading Recovery. Documented longitudinal evidence and websites are cited in this article as sources to support both the positive and negative effects of Reading Recovery. This mom eventually became the administrator of Dyslexia Support Australia and founder of Dyslexia Support NSW.

Dyslexia and the English Learner Dilemma  

This article addresses why English language learners (ELLs) with dyslexia are often missed, while answering the age old question of, “Could this ELL student possibly have dyslexia?” Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley, co-founder of the Dyslexia Training Institute in CA, gives suggestions and recommendations on what to look for in suspected dyslexic ELL students as well as how to assess and remediate them .

Washington State Passed A Dyslexia Testing Law in 2018 That Takes Effect In 2021

Washington State, where only 40 percent of fourth graders are proficient at reading, has long relied on the “wait-to-fail” method of assessing reading problems, leaving the assessment method up to individual teachers.

Seattle Private School Uses Phonics With “Dropouts” From Public Schools

Private schools use phonics approach to successfully teach reading, a system Seattle public school teachers dismiss as “boring” and old-fashioned. But the phonics results are undeniable.



What parents of dyslexic children are teaching schools about literacy

Arkansas is in the bottom third in reading. View how parents in Arkansas have worked tirelessly to pass a dyslexia law and how the public schools are now spending six million dollars a year for dyslexia screening, reading instruction, teacher training and licensership. By 2021, Arkansas’s goal is to have all elementary and special education teachers demonstrate competence in systematically teaching reading to ALL children.     

Luz Rello: her inspiring story from a child with dyslexia to becoming an award winning researcher

2019 IDA National Conference is Almost Here!

Oregon Convention Center

Portland, Oregon

November 7, 2019-November 10, 2019

Stern Center Professional Learning-Vermont
Friday, 9/27/2019 - Literacy Champions Symposium featuring Louisa Moats, Ed.D., and Nancy Mather, Ph.D. Capital Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Montpelier, Vermont

Wilson Language Training, Stern Center for Language and Learning,
Williston, Vermont
Monday, 10/07/2019-Fundations Level K
Tuesday, 10/08/2019-Fundations Level 1
Wednesday, 10/09/2019-Fundations Level 2

Friday, 12/06/2019: Orton-Gillingham: Beyond the Basics workshop
Stern Center for Language and Learning
Williston, Vermont

Friday, 01/31/2020: Orton-Gillingham: Advanced Morphology workshop
Stern Center for Language and Learning
Williston, Vermont

Friday, 03/20/2020: Orton-Gillingham: Robust Vocabulary
Stern Center for Language and Learning
Williston, Vermont
   Orton Oak status is conferred upon
 individuals who have been IDA members
for 25 years or longer. 

  NHIDA is grateful to its  Orton Oaks and to these other long-term members for their steadfast commitment to the organization .

   Are you a teacher, parent, individual with dyslexia, professional, school, or other organization?

Become a member of IDA today!  

The benefits of membership vary
according to membership level,
Are you a service provider? 
Become a member at the professional level and have your name/business included in NHIDA's provider list. 

NHIDA's Board of Directors consists of up to 15 individuals who serve on a volunteer basis for 2 or 3 year terms. Members of the Board are guided and assisted in their work by former Directors who serve on the Advisory Board .

2019 Board Officers:

President : Aileen Cormier, Milford, NH
Vice President : Brenda Peters, Londonderry, NH
Treasurer : Karyn Hubbard, Acton, ME
Secretary : Rebecca Nelson-Avery, Manchester, NH
Past President:  Audrey Burke, Bow, NH

2019 Members at Large:

Jayne Beaton, Amherst, NH
Leslie Benton-Norris, Manchester, NH
Bebe Casey, New London, NH
Jennifer Dysart, Hampden, ME
Anne Eaton, Concord, NH
Sue Lurgio, Merrimack, NH
Dale Vincent, Concord, NH
Heidi Zollman, Strafford, NH

Advisory Board:

Anne Ehret, Arlington, VT
Beth McClure, Canterbury, NH
Caryl Patten, Feeding Hills, MA
Michael Patten, Feeding Hills, MA
Valerie Leuchter, Barnstead, NH
Kara Garvey-Knapp, East Dummerston, VT
Melissa Farrall, St. Albans, VT
Claudia Golda-Dominguez, Hudson, NH
Renee LeCain, Sandown, NH
Sue Morbey, Amherst, NH
Shannon Dixon-Yandow, Essex Junction, VT
Michelle Stinson, Hanover, NH
Jill Hartmann, Chester, NH
P.O. Box 3724, Concord, NH 03302-3724
(603) 229-7355 (to leave a message)