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

Fall 2020 Newsletter -- Edited by J. Beaton, Nancy Kring-Burns, Mary Ellen Bradley
President's Message

It is unfortunate that so many parents of children with dyslexia can share tragic stories of the years their bright, hard-working child struggled with reading due to inadequate instruction. On the flip side, it is heartwarming to hear how the lives of these families changed dramatically when structured literacy was initiated. At its core, direct, multi-sensory, rules-based reading instruction is diagnostic and prescriptive. No two children are the same; therefore, we need to look at strengths and weaknesses and customize instruction to meet the child’s needs.

I mention this with the pandemic in mind. The flexibility most clinicians assume daily in their role of providing effective instruction has served them well during distance learning. I would like to take a moment to offer sincere thanks to each teacher reading this letter. I realize firsthand how difficult and time consuming it was to meet the needs of our students these past few months.

This has not been easy for parents and students either. Click to continue

NHIDA's Fall Virtual Conference

Friday, September 25, 2020 &
Saturday, September 26, 2020

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. each day

Recorded sessions will be available
to registrants for two weeks

Handwriting & Spelling in the 21st Century:
Why They Still Matter & How to Teach Them
William Van Cleave and Dr. Jan Wasowicz

William Van Cleave, is an educational consultant and nationally recognized speaker, whose specialties include morphology and written expression.
William Van Cleave session on Friday, September 25:

Handwriting is one of the transcription skills that separate writing from speaking. Unfortunately, it often impedes students’ ability to express themselves effectively.

In this section of the workshop, Van Cleave covers the most up-to-date research on the importance of handwriting to student learners. He then helps participants explore effective strategies to teach students good, legible handwriting. He instructs participants on proper grip, positioning, and letter formation with the goal of automatizing students’ handwriting so they can attend to the other components of written expression. With decades of experience in handwriting instruction, Van Cleave shares many tricks of the trade, providing guidance for even the most challenging students. Participants leave this hands-on, interactive session with strategies they can implement the very next day in their classrooms. 
Dr. Jan Wasowicz
Dr. Jan Wasowicz, PhD, CCC-SLP has more than 30 years of experience as a language, literacy, and learning specialist. She has worked with students who have language-based reading, writing, and spelling problems in a variety of educational settings, including public schools and private practice.
Dr. Jan Wasowicz session on Saturday, September 26:   
Spelling is a multi-linguistic process that simultaneously engages and integrates the phonological, orthographic, and morphological language systems together with other cognitive processes (including memory, planning, attention, cognitive flexibility, and problem-solving) and the visual and motor systems. Research supports a critical role for multi-linguistic spelling instruction in the development of reading and writing skills.
This section provides a conceptual framework for current best practices in word-level spelling and reading instruction. Activities that leverage students’ biological wiring for oral language to teach written language, use evidence-based methods of multi-linguistic instruction, and recognize principles of statistical learning to achieve greater outcomes in reading, writing, and spelling are demonstrated. Hone your knowledge and skills and gain a new-found level of confidence in your ability to deliver speech-to-print, multi-linguistic spelling instruction to improve students’ reading and writing!
Registration is now open!
Click here to register!

Certificates of Attendance will be provided for each session

for attendees from Maine, NH, NY, and Vermont

Hayden Miskinis
NH teen's essay about her dyslexia published in NY Times

By Dale Vincent

EPPING: When Hayden Miskinis entered kindergarten, there was an alphabet chart on the wall of her Epping classroom. She said the goal that year was learning the letters, hopefully all 26. But by the end of the year, despite putting in her best efforts, “I probably got to ‘D’,” she said. “I was frustrated.”
Now 13 and headed into eighth grade at Epping Middle School, she is an avid reader and writer whose story of how she got there was published in the New York Times in June. Her story, an “insider” view of dyslexia, originated as an essay in her seventh grade English class. It was entered by her teacher into the Times’ Annual Student Editorial Contest. 
Hayden’s essay was one of the top three winners in the middle school category. It begins with a vivid description of how she “meets” the printed word and describes obstacles dyslexics face in getting the resources needed to succeed in school. She cited research about dyslexia, as a good essay should.
Hayden is among the 10 to 15 percent of the population with dyslexia. In kindergarten she didn’t know that. But she did know her friends were moving right along and she wasn’t. Hayden always loved stories and books and had lots of books at home. She really wanted to read. But unlike other students, Hayden couldn’t see the pattern in words, like hat, cat, sat and pat. She wrote in her essay about “jumpy letters that won’t stay still. It takes me a minute to find the next line, as my eyes jump around.” 
It was not a surprise to Elaine Miskinis that her daughter struggled with learning the alphabet and recognizing words. Miskinis is herself dyslexic, as are many other members of her family. “It’s our family lineage,” she said. So although she had her suspicions about Hayden, she went along with the Epping Elementary School’s plan to put Hayden in the Title I program, which is aimed at helping low-achieving students. But it became increasingly clear to Miskinis that the Title I program wasn’t doing the job. Eventually, the Title I teacher agreed. click to continue
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APM Reports: Emily Hanford, "What the Words Say: Many kids struggle with reading - and children of color are far less likely to get the help they need"

Emily Hanford has worked in public media for many years with a focus on education research. This is her most recent documentary in her series on the problems with early reading instruction.


SeeHearSpeak Podcast: The focus of Dr. Hogan's Podcast is to share valuable knowledge from highly regarded professionals on reading, language, and speech topics. Dr. Hogan, Professor at MGH Institute of Health Professions, is a scientist and speech-language pathologist who studies reading, language, and speech development and disorders such as dyslexia, developmental language disorder, and speech sound disorders. Each episode follows with resources! If listening on her website, Dr. Hogan recommends using the Chrome internet browser.

Dyslexia with Ben Powers (Episode 27) Ben Powers, Headmaster, Founder of The Southport CoLAB, Affiliated Research Scientist at Haskins Laboratories

Mr. Powers is the headmaster at the Southport School in Southport, Connecticut. The Southport School is for children with dyslexia and ADHD in grades K-8. In this episode, Dr. Hogan has a conversation with Ben Powers on everything dyslexia.

MORPHOLOGY AND MORPHOLOGICAL AWARENESS WITH JULIE WOLTER (Episode 33) Julie A. Wolter, PhD, CCC-SLP is Professor and Chair of the School of Speech, Language, Hearing and Occupational Sciences at the University of Montana 

Dr. Wolter's passion is in the area of research and clinical assessment, intervention, and screening, specifically for individuals and children who are diagnosed with developmental language disorder, as well as those who have language literacy deficits such as dyslexia.

Did you know that 90% of all unknown, third grade new words are morphologically complex? Dr. Hogan and Dr. Wolter discuss where morphology and morphological awareness fits in The Simple View of Reading. Learn why Dr. Wolter's considers morphology the "binding agent," for the two primary components involved in reading comprehension: decoding and language comprehension.


Sisters sell cookies to raise money for dyslexia

Three enterprising young students combine their skills and talents to raise money for dyslexia research. 

Tim Shanahan: How to Improve Text Fluency in Middle School and High School

From the Shanahan Literacy Blog, this brief question and answer format includes reasoning behind the continual instruction of fluency for students in both Middle and High School. General FAQ’s are answered in a concise manner, and teacher comments at end give additional insight from personal experiences with different approaches.


Teaching Reading is Rocket Science: What Expert Teachers of Reading Should Know and Be Able to Do

(Louisa Moats, American Federation of Teachers)

This 2020 update to the 1999 foundational report reviews the reading research and describes the knowledge base that is essential for teacher candidates and practicing teachers to master if they are to be successful in teaching all children to read well.

Educational Webinars for Parents & Families

Supporting your Struggling Reader During the Pandemic: A Webinar for Parents

 International Dyslexia Association, Massachusetts Branch (MABIDA) recently presented this webinar to parents and families. Although some of the information pertains to Massachusetts, most is appropriate for NH, Vermont, and Maine too.

In this hour-long webinar for parents, clinical professor and educational attorney Michael Gregory provides timely information for understanding and navigating school services during the pandemic. Special education consultant and IDA board member Dinan Messiqua highlights strategies and tools for supporting your struggling reader's progress at home. Child psychologist and author Ellen O'Donnell concludes the hour with advice for families coping with COVID-related stress and anxiety.

Want to learn more? The expert panelists have shared these valuable resources for navigating special education services and supporting your struggling reader at home during the pandemic.

Kendore Learning Webinars  Various free webinars are available on Kendore Learning/Syllables Center's website. In addition, various educational games can be found. Below are a few of Kendore Learning/Syllables Center's free webinars.

Game-Changing Assistive Technology For Students

Microsoft has created free, accessible Assistive Technology to support students who struggle with reading, writing, math and communication. These tools are essential in today's online learning environment, yet many teachers, parents and students do not know they exist!

Join Rachel Berger, Microsoft Assistive Technology Specialist, and Emily Miller, Assistive Technology Coach, they showcase how free Learning Tools can be used to support online and classroom student engagement and accessibility for users with learning differences such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, ELL or a combination of any of the broad range of unique student abilities. Details, demonstrations and student examples will be shared about several new and improved sets of features across Microsoft products. These tools are free and compatible with Ipad, Mac, and Chrome!

Advanced Phonemic Awareness Presented by Jennifer Hasser, M.Ed., Executive Director Kendore Learning

Best Friends: Why Phonology and Morphology Should Always Stick Together Presented by Jennifer Hasser, M.Ed., Executive Director Kendore Learning

Phonology and morphology are inextricably linked: the sounds and symbols we use in our language directly relate to word meaning.

READ for Parents
Hello Parents! October is Dyslexia Awareness month, and we at NHIDA are happy to share a new program we are calling READ for Parents.

Beginning in October, we will host free one-hour Zoom sessions for parents every other month focusing on a topic from the IDA Dyslexia Fact Sheets.

If you're not familiar with the fact sheets, be sure to check them out; they are current, relevant, and full of great information.

Some of the topics include:
     Dyslexia Basics  
     Helpful Terminology
     Home Schooling
In addition to our board member panelists, each session will include a guest speaker with deep knowledge of the topic.

Stay tuned everyone; more information coming soon!

New Hampshire Resource for Parents and Families

The Parent Information Center

The Parent Information Center is located in Concord, NH. PIC is the New Hampshire Parent Training and Information Center. The Parent Information Center was started over 40 years ago by a small group of NH parents and advocates, one of the first five Parent Training Centers in the country.
Parent Training Centers assist parents and youth to understand:

Their or their children’s disabilities, educational, developmental & transitional needs
Rights and responsibilities under IDEA and state laws
• Procedural safeguards & how to resolve disputes
How to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with other team members
How to participate effectively in the decision-making processes, including the development of their children’s IFSPs and IEPs
The importance of setting and assisting children to achieve high expectations

PIC’s mission is supporting informed decisions that enhance each child’s development and well-being. PIC is committed to the belief that families make the difference. When families, professionals and other partners are well-informed and have a shared commitment to work together, everyone benefits. As youth move toward adulthood, they have increasing ownership of their future so that every child can succeed and contribute as a valued member of the community.

PIC has programs and projects that focus on:

Special Education
• Children with Special Health-Care Needs
• Parent/School/Community Partnerships
• Parent Involvement
• Early Childhood issues
• Secondary Transition
• Youth Involvement and Self-Advocacy
• Positive Systems Change

Some of the ways PIC works with parents, youth and educators are:

Parent-to-parent support/connections
• Individual technical assistance
• Workshops & training activities
• Supporting parent leadership, parent/ school partnerships and parent involvement at state & local levels
Web-based and print resources, including organizational tools & tool kits, guides, fact sheets, brochures, newsletters, guest articles, radio/other media
Impacts state & national policies by informing policy-makers in collaboration with families and PIC partner

To reach out to the Parent Information Center
54 Old Suncook Road
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 224-7005 / (800) 947-7005
PaTTAN June 2020 Literacy Symposium:
The Many Strands Woven Into Skilled Reading

Opening remarks including Jack Fletcher, Ph.D. - "Dyslexia: What We Know from Science" (Dr. Fletcher's session begins at 9:06)

Dr. Fletcher, a child neuropsychologist, has conducted research on many issues related to dyslexia and other learning disabilities, including definition and classification, neurobiological correlates, and intervention. Dr. Fletcher has written more than 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Loisa Moats, Ph.D. - "Speech to Print: Reading’s Most Important Idea"

Louisa Moats, Ed.D. author of Speech to Print has been a teacher, psychologist, researcher, graduate school faculty member, and author of many influential scientific journal articles, books, and policy papers on the topics of reading, spelling, language, and teacher preparation.

Dr. Moats presentation is focused on the explicit teaching of print as a system for representing speech, and explicit teaching of the language forms used in challenging texts. Dr. Moat's compares traditional print to speech instructional approaches with a speech to print approach.

Emily Hanford - "Discovering the Science of Reading:A Reporter's Story"

Emily Hanford has worked in public media for many years with a focus on education research. In this presentation from The PaTTAN Literacy Symposium, Emily discusses the complexities of effective reading instruction, and includes interviews with parents, students and educators. Her deep knowledge of this topic is evident, with focus both on the science of reading, and the broad issue of inequalities of education when policies and strategies do not align with the latest research.

Dr. Anita Archer - Success Breeds Success: Motivation May Not Predict Achievement, BUT Achievement Does Predict Motivation

Anita L. Archer, PhD, is an educational consultant to school districts on explicit instruction, the design and delivery of instruction, behavior management, and literacy instruction. She delivers the closing remarks including a review of the Simple View of Reading.


Ohio Department of Education:
Understanding the How and Why of Sound Walls
webinar by Dr. Mary Dahlgren.

Dr. Dahlgren is a literacy consultant from Oklahoma who trains and supports teachers. Her extensive experience focuses on the science of reading.  

In this video, Dr. Dahlgren provides an overview of the value of sound walls in a classroom setting. It includes a brief summary of reading development, followed by an explanation of phonology and the importance of ensuring students master sounds within language as a foundation for reading proficiency. Following this, the presentation focuses on how and why students will benefit from the sound wall approach. She includes practical steps on how to begin, what to focus on, the need for repetition, and examples of teachers using this technique in their classrooms already.  

Handouts for this presentation are provided from the Ohio Department of Education website (education.ohio.gov) with links as follows:


44 Phonemes video by Rollins Literacy Center

Phonemes are the sounds in the English language that are combined to make words. When students gain knowledge in these isolated sounds, they learn the necessary foundation skills to apply to reading and spelling. This quick video reviews all of them.  


Equipped for Reading Success: Conversation with
Dr. Jorene Cook, Amy Siracusa and David Kilpatrick, Ph.D.

Dr. Jorene Cook and Amy Siracusa in collaboration with Dr. David Kilpatrick discuss their work creating explicit instructional routines for teachers to use as scaffolds while instructing with the One-Minute activities from Dr. Kilpatrick's book, Equipped for Reading Success. To access their free phonemic awareness scripts use the QR code at the end of video 2.

Watch these two separate videos as they discuss their work to teach students how to develop phonemic awareness with manipulatives.

Dr. Jorene Cook also has a YouTube Channel, The Loop. As Dr. Cook states, "I designed the channel to support my fellow parents and educators with phonological awareness tasks due to our new distance learning platform."

“The Knowledge Gap: What Cognitive Science Tells Us About Reading Comprehension and the Importance of Building Knowledge”

Natalie Wexler, Author of The Knowledge Gap, Presentation at Belk Foundation event on “North Carolina and the Science of Reading,” Raleigh, NC, February 13, 2020

The 2020 Virtual

Reading, Literacy & Learning

Annual IDA Conference

November 13-14, 2020

Stern Center Professional Learning-Vermont
The Stern Center offers various online courses and workshops including Orton-Gillingham, Fundations, Wilson, etc.
  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.

2020 Board Officers:

President: Aileen Cormier, Milford, NH
Vice President: Brenda Peters, Londonderry, NH
Treasurer: Karyn Hubbard, Acton, ME
Secretary: Elizabeth Paul, Concord, NH
Vice President Elect: Susan Hourihan, South Berwick, ME

2020 Members at Large:

Jayne Beaton, Amherst, NH
Bebe Casey, New London, NH
Anne Eaton, Concord, NH
Nancy Kring-Burns, Hollis, NH
Heidi Zollman, Strafford, NH
Brittany Lovejoy, Enosburg, VT
Colleen Yasenchock, Rochester, NH
Jennifer Cyr, Sanford, ME
Mary Ellen Bradley, Newbury, NH
Elaine Miskinis, Epping, NH

Advisory Board:

Anne Ehret, Arlington, VT
Beth McClure, Canterbury, NH
Caryl Patten, Feeding Hills, MA
Michael Patten, Feeding Hills, MA
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
Sue Lurgio, Merrimack, NH
Dale Vincent, Concord, NH
P.O. Box 3724, Concord, NH 03302-3724
(603) 229-7355 (to leave a message)