serving the dyslexic community in
Maine, NH, and Vermont

SPRING 2019 --  Edited by J. Beaton, D. Vincent, S. Lurgio, S. Morbey, & A. Eaton
President's Message:
I was honored to have been asked to fill the role of president of NHIDA when Audrey Burke’s term expired. I have been involved with this organization since 2002. I’ve known many of the past presidents and board members during this time period; I have reaped the educational rewards from the incredible lectures NHIDA has offered. I recognize that I have big shoes to fill in my new position! With the help of our fantastic board, I hope to build upon the foundation so many others have established.

Since many of you don’t know me, here’s a little background. Reading remediation was a career change for me. I entered the Initial Orton Gillingham training at the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Nashua the year it opened (over 20 years ago.) I am certified in Wilson and received my advanced OG training from Marcia Henry and at Mass. General Hospital. I’ve tutored in public and private schools. I have been the director and primary teacher trainer at the dyslexia center in Nashua for over 15 years.

When I made the decision to switch fields, I was seeking a job that had more social significance. I’ve gotten my wish in spades. I have been blessed to see first-hand how systematic, rules based, multisensory reading instruction changes lives.   read more here

NHIDA and Nashua Community College


Dyslexia or "Dysteachia"


Sara Stetson, Ph.D., M.Ed., CAG

Thursday, April 4, 2019, 7:00-9:00
Nashua Community College
505 Amherst Street
Nashua, NH

Free and open to the public
(2 professional development hours for educators)

 How did one of the nation’s top school districts come to recognize that it was failing to meet the needs of students with dyslexia? Dr. Stetson will explain how a philosophical change allowed this district to shift its focus from diagnosing the child to diagnosing the system. The end result was improvement in the district's literacy instruction, including screening for dyslexia.

Using the change philosophy from Switch, How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip and Dan Heath, Dr. Stetson will explain how this school district came to recognize that its students with dyslexia were really suffering from "dysteachia" because the district was not providing them with the bottom-up approach in early literacy instruction that they required. [Not familiar with "Switch" change philosophy? Check out this YouTube video .]

We know that children who get a poor start in literacy rarely catch up. Children who lack foundational skills in first grade have more than a 70% likelihood of being several years behind in grade five, and the pattern continues through high school. How have these children been hidden in plain sight? Dr. Stetson will answer that question and describe how this school district implemented a system for early identification of students at risk for reading challenges. link to more info on Dr. Stetson

NHIDA Annual Conference

September 20, 2019

Puritan Conference Center
245 Hooksett Road
Manchester, NH
(just off I-93 Exit 9S)
David Kilpatrick
David A. Kilpatrick, PhD  is a professor of psychology and reading researcher at the State University of New York, College at Cortland. A New York State certified school psychologist with 28 years of experience in schools, has been teaching courses in learning disabilities and educational psychology since 1994. David is the author of two books on reading: Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties , and Equipped for Reading Success .
Registration opening soon!
Professional Development Program
sponsored by the Children's Dyslexia Center of Nashua

Saturday, May 11, 2019
8:45 AM - 1:00 PM

Dr. Elaine Holden and Sara Clauss, M. Ed.


Visual perceptual disorders and how they impact
dyslexia and other reading challenges


Were you unable to attend The Dyslexia Foundation's Conference: Harvard Fall 2018?

Amazing free opportunity to view leading experts presenting in four separate sessions:

Dr. Anthony Bashir- Oral Language and Reading:Pre-K through Adolescence

Sharon Plante, M.ED.- Intervention:Integrating Technology, Oral Language and Reading

Dr. Tiffany Hogan- Assessing children who struggle with dyslexia and literacy: Connecting Oral Language and Reading

Dr. Nadine Gaab - The Developing Brain, Language, Reading, Heredity


Previous Dyslexia Foundation Conference videos: UCLA March, 2018

Barbara Wilson, M.Ed. - Foundations of Reading Acquisition and Dyslexia: Implications for Early Intervention

Dr. Penelope Collins - Dyslexia and English Language Learners

IDA members of 25 years or more are conferred a special membership status as "Orton Oaks."  NHIDA is proud to recognize Anne Ehret, an IDA member for 25 years, an Orton Oak. Just like a beautiful oak tree with many rings of life experience, she's been sturdy and steadfast with her advocacy for structured literacy programs alongside her outstanding teaching career
  An interview with Orton Oak Anne Ehret ,
longstanding Vermont member of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA):

By Sue Morbey
Congratulations, Anne, on your outstanding career! Tell us, how did you become a reading teacher?
            Actually, I started out in mathematics. My undergraduate major was mathematics, and after I earned a Master's degree in special education I had to decide which teaching area to pursue. Student teaching experience left me feeling uneasy about the very segregated special education classes, and I became a math teacher at the middle school, high school and college levels. Over time I found myself drawn to students in my math classes who had learning disabilities as they often showed very creative and novel approaches to solving math problems. I also learned about struggling readers, including students at my school and some of my friends and family, and I became more knowledgeable and intrigued by the needs of these students.
           So, after nearly eight years of teaching math, I switched my focus to special education and structured literacy teaching  click here for more on her amazing career

For a complete list of NHIDA's outstanding Orton Oaks, Click here

Snow Report Blog: An Open Letter to Student Teachers

Pamela Snow of La Trobe University, Australia is a speech pathologist and psychologist. That background along with her teaching experience inform her research on the risk and vulnerability of children, especially as they apply to language and literacy. This open letter to student teachers discusses the lack of evidenced-based reading instruction being provided by colleges and universities to teachers-in-training with the result that teachers are ill equipped to meet the literacy needs of their most vulnerable students. This is as true in the U.S. as it is in Australia.

Snow's web page is worth checking out as it lists and provides links to various resources for teachers and parents including free webinars, decodable books, and more. Link to Snow resources

28 U.S. colleges and universities taking the lead in changing how their students are taught to teach reading

IDA is dedicated to transforming the way that colleges and universities prepare students to teach reading. Currently there are 28 schools that have already changed their teacher-training curricula to incorporate information about evidence-based instruction for students with dyslexia. Link to colleges and universities that are currently accredited by IDA

10-year-old boy with dyslexia starts reading for dogs program
Reading out loud to a dog can be a whole lot easier than reading out loud to peers and adults! Shane Herman found this out first hand when he read to a dog for his first time. From then on, he wanted other children, with dyslexia, to experience what he did. So began his program called, “Let’s Get Booking” where he read to rescue dogs. In combination with “All for One Pet Rescue,” find out how Shane helps other children with dyslexia read to rescue dogs, and how it’s a win win situation for both! Link to article

Is listening to a book the same thing as reading it?

This article cites research as to which might be better, listening to a book or reading it. A lot depends on purpose, clarity, fiction and nonfiction! Read about some new possibilities for the future, especially for audio books. Link to NY Times article

  Javion’s story: struggling to read at 16 in a Chicago Public School

Javion may be black, 16 and living in Chicago, but if Jose/Joe is brown/white and 9 in New Hampshire and wasn’t evaluated for possible reading difficulties in first grade, he could face a similarly dismal future without intensive intervention. click for article

English language learners:best practices for identifying reading disabilities

With the New Hampshire law requiring screening of kindergarten or first grade students for possible reading difficulties, this article offers suggestions for how to evaluate English language learners and to use their native language as a reading asset. link to article

Doctors Bennett and Sally Shaywitz retest people from 1963 dyslexia study

Doctors Bennett and Sally Shaywitz, still going strong in their landmark studies of dyslexia, are retesting hundreds of people they first tested as five-year-olds in their landmark 1963 study of dyslexia, to see how they have fared. 

The Shawitzez will also ask 100 of those participants to undergo neural imaging, to see if there are changes from the distinctive dyslexic brain patterns evident in a 1990s study. Sally says retirement isn’t an option because there is still so much to learn about dyslexia. link to article
School aged boy sitting at the table_ frustrated_ helpless and sad with himself and his writing because of dysgraphia_ shot from above_ horizontal position.
Dysgraphia: What teachers need to know  
This article explains dysgraphia in simple terms and includes the early signs and an array of examples of what it could look like in both the home and school settings from preschool through high school. For an article chock- full of ideas, suggestions and resources for students who might have dysgraphia be sure to click here
Radio Broadcasts

American Public Media Series -- Hard Words: What to do if your child's school isn't teaching reading right?

Leading experts answer follow up questions, mostly from parents, received by Emily Hanford, journalist/documentarian of Hard to Read: How American schools fail kids with dyslexia (September 2017).

Dyslexia made actor Henry Winkler feel 'stupid' for years. now, he's a best-selling author

Listen to this recent NPR broadcast about the struggles actor Henry Winkler had growing up as person with dyslexia. Due to come out in January 2019, is his last children’s book, in a series, about Hank Zipzer. Each book talks about the many nuances and challenges of dyslexia and how Hank Zipzer deals with them. As Winkler says, "What I have found over the years talking to kids today about it is that our journeys are similar. The feeling of inadequacy, of embarrassment, of, "Oh my gosh, am I going to have a future?” Winkler's books speak to all of these feelings. Link to broadcast and article

  Upcoming   Teacher Training Opportunities-New Hampshire

Now Enrolling - Dyslexia Practitioners
Rochester, NH
Become a Sought After Certified Orton-Gillingham Dyslexia Practitioner - FREE!

The Children’s Dyslexia Centers - Seacoast Learning Center, located in Rochester, NH , provides, at no cost to parents, 1:1 Orton-Gillingham instruction to students with dyslexia, twice weekly for 2 to 3 years. Additionally, we train and certify Dyslexia Practitioners for free. We are looking for a few good candidates to join the next cohort of Dyslexia Practitioners beginning on April 4, 2019. In this 14-month training and practicum you will attend 8 monthly Saturday trainings (from 8:30-3:30). You will have the opportunity to begin your tutoring experience during our optional 6-week summer session, where you are assigned a skilled mentor. Beginning in September, you will tutor 2 students after school, at our clinic, under the supervision of our experienced Dyslexia Practitioners. Upon successfully completing the 8 Saturday trainings and 100-hour practicum you will be certified as a Level 1 Dyslexia Practitioner under our IMSLEC accreditation.

Do you have a love for learning and literacy? Are you ready to make a difference in the lives of children and their families? Sign up now to become a Dyslexia Practitioner. Space is limited. You must have a Bachelor's Degree and a passion for learning and literacy for this full immersion experience! Contact Brenda Peters by phone (603)335-6779 or email brendapeters@seacoastlearningcenter.org  for an application and to schedule an interview.

Orton-Gillingham – Tune-Up Series
Presented by the Children’s Dyslexia Centers – Seacoast Learning Center
What: Bimonthly (every other month) informational sessions for Orton-Gillingham practitioners. Each session will feature a different topic relevant to Orton-Gillingham and dyslexia.

When: The second Thursday every other

Where: Seacoast Learning Center (Upstairs meeting room) located at 33 Hanson Street, Rochester, NH 03867
Who: Anyone with Orton-Gillingham or Multisensory Structural Language Education training or anyone who is interested in reading and dyslexia.
COST - FREE without CEU’s or $25 for 2 CEU Hours

For more information contact the Children’s Dyslexia Centers – Seacoast Learning Center at (603)335-6779 or email brendapeters@seacoastlearningcenter.org
Upcoming Topics
Thursday April 8, 2019 from 6:30-8:30 – Phonemic Awareness – Susan Hourihan
Thursday June 13, 2019 from 6:30-8:30 – GRASP A Grammar and Sentence Punctuation Resource for OG Lessons – Aileen Cormier
Thursday August 8, 2019 from 6:30-8:30 – Grapheme Choice Sentences
Upcoming   Teacher Training Opportunities-Vermont
Stern Center Professional Learning

Friday, 04/12/2019:   Orton-Gillingham: Beyond the Basics
Stern Center for Language & Learning, Williston, Vermont
Tuesday, 04/16/2019:   Orton-Gillingham: Advanced Morphology
Stern Center for Language & Learning, Williston, Vermont

Upcoming   Teacher Training Opportunities-Maine

Children's Dyslexia Center
Bangor, ME

MSLE (Multisensory Structured Language Education) Training Course


Children's Dyslexia Center
Portland, ME

MSLE (Multisensory Structured Language Education) Training Course
Technology in the News

Microsoft + Made by Dyslexia: Helping students with dyslexia thrive with technology

Microsoft is proud to announce that they are the first company to sign and commit to the Made by Dyslexia pledge where every child is given the right to read and realize their potential. Through such FREE learning products as “Learning Tools” to help improve reading and writing comprehension, Microsoft has pledged to make eight commitments a reality so that all children will learn to read and write. Read about what these exciting commitments are and how they will directly impact parents, teachers and children with dyslexia. Link to Microsoft + Made by Dyslexia website

There's an APP to screen for early identification of reading difficulties

It sounds like magic:an app for assessing reading disabilities. But an app to screen for early signs of literacy challenges and to suggest resources for addressing those issues was created at Boston Children’s Hospital and is being field tested. It will be piloted at schools in the fall. link to article

New First Step law may benefit inmates with dyslexia

The FIRST STEP criminal justice reform law, signed by the president in December, provides for sentence reduction in some cases upon completion of certain rehabilitative or educational programs. Given the high number of dyslexic inmates, the law could make it possible for some dyslexic prisoners to learn to read and to improve their chances for a reduced sentence and a non-criminal future. link to First Step article

IDA's 2019 National Conference is in Oregon!

Save the Date!

November 7-10, 2019
Portland, Oregon

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
Secretary : Rebecca Nelson-Avery, Manchester, NH
Treasurer : Anne Eaton, Concord, 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
Jill Hartmann, Chester, NH
Karyn Hubbard, Acton, ME
Sue Lurgio, Dunbarton, NH
Dale Vincent, Concord, NH
Heidi Zollman, Strafford, NH

Advisory Board:

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