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Thursday

Dr. Sherman’s vision, leadership, scholarship, and humanity have touched countless lives. This annual symposium has been established in his name in recognition of that impact and to honor his unique and transdisciplinary contributions to neuroscience, education, and the International Dyslexia Association. The symposium’s aim is to provide a platform for interdisciplinary presentations and dialogue that advance future collaboration, leadership, and innovation at the nexus of research, practice, and policy.

Introduction

Dr. Sherman is known for seminal research establishing dyslexia’s brain basis, visionary leadership as IDA’s president, coining cerebrodiversity, and championing the needs and abilities in those with dyslexia. He’s also known for engaging presentations spanning the research-practice chasm and for translating findings into inspiring messages for parents and educators. In keeping with these themes, this session presents cutting-edge research and bidirectional neuroscience-education collaborations that improve the teaching-learning landscape for students with dyslexia.

Neuroscience and Education: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Ken Pugh

Rapid progress in understanding the genetic, neurobiological, and cognitive bases of reading problems coupled with new paradigms in support of brain-based learning and remediation has paved the way for the emerging field of educational neuroscience. To realize its promise, we need to develop novel, respectful, and innovative bidirectional partnerships between researchers and practitioners (something Gordon Sherman exemplifies better than most). We consider the current state of this process and what’s most needed right now to realize the promise and achieve practical outcomes.

The Promise of In-School Neuroscience: An Initial Report on Two Collaboratives

Nicole Landi

Despite advances in our understanding of the neural basis of reading and treatment response, there remain missing links between educational neuroscience research and practice. For example, this research is often conducted using large and expensive equipment, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which presents barriers for expanding this work to classroom-based research and for long-term longitudinal tracking. In this talk, initial findings are presented from a study that utilizes in-school EEG data collection to track children over longer periods to identify individual treatment-response profiles.

The Virtuous Cycle Between Education and Neuroscience: Neural Plasticity in Children With Dyslexia

Jason Yeatman

Research on individual differences in learning has led to the development of intervention programs to improve reading skills in young, struggling readers. However, a concern that remains is the extent to which short-term intervention programs are capable of changing the developmental trajectory of the brain’s reading circuitry. Participants learn about new findings that underscore the brain’s impressive capacity for plasticity when children are provided with reading instruction that is tailored to their needs.

Ken Pugh, Nicole Landi, Jason Yeatman, Jay G. Rueckl, and Mark S. Seidenberg have no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


Thursday

During this symposium three presenters will report on evidence-based reading and writing practices that will be useful to practitioners and families. The text structure strategy is an evidence-based intervention proven successful in improving reading comprehension with all children in grades 4 through 9. Two presentations will focus on reading narrative and expository texts and the third presentation will focus on writing assessments and interventions.

Kausalai Wijekumar, Gary Troia, and Andrea L. Beerwinkle have no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


Thursday

IDA celebrates its 70th Annual Conference with the opening general session, “Paving the Way to the Future.” This session begins with an inspirational performance by Lida Winfield depicting her journey with dyslexia. A panel representing individuals with dyslexia, educators, administrators, designers, researchers, journalists, and advocates will be led by the moderator, Dr. Tracy Weeden of the Neuhaus Education Center. Panelists include Emily Hanford, award-winning APM journalist; John Hoke, Nike Chief Design Officer; Dr. Cena Holifield, Associate Professor at William Carey University and Executive Director of Dynamic Design/3D School; Dr. Carrie Thomas Beck, Dyslexia Specialist, Oregon State Department of Education; and Dr. Julie Washington, researcher and professor at Georgia State University.

Join us for a candid conversation to learn how each of these individuals is paving the way to a better future for individuals with dyslexia and related disorders.


Friday

The study of reading and dyslexia has been one of the major successes in modern cognition. Although many questions remain, there is broad agreement about basic facts (e.g., that dyslexia is a developmental condition that affects learning to read; that it mainly manifests in difficulties in linking spoken and written language; that it has genetic and neurobiological bases; that individual outcomes are determined by interactions among multiple risk factors that vary in severity, etc.). This view is not shared by other stakeholders, however. Dyslexia remains the “d-word” in education. Teachers lack the relevant background because it is not part of their training. They are more likely to be taught that the condition doesn’t exist, that it is just an excuse for poor teaching, and that any child can learn to read with sufficient effort. Books, articles, and websites that attempt to communicate research findings have little impact because they don’t reach the audience of disbelievers. Educators impede legislative attempts to address dyslexia and teacher preparation. Many dyslexics embrace the view that dyslexia is a “gift,” which is a way to blame dyslexics who fail to become Silicon valley billionaires or famous actors. This situation is harmful to dyslexics and to other people who struggle to read. What else can be done, by researchers and by organizations such as the IDA? I’ll advance several possibilities and challenges.

Mark Seidenberg has no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


Friday

Adolescence is not too late for readingintervention. This session focuses on teachers’ evaluation of text and how it informs the explicit structured literacy instruction that prepares struggling and non-proficient readers in Grades 6–12 to read and comprehend increasingly complex texts independently and proficiently. Participants engage in a hands-on activities and leave with an example comprehension lesson for a complex text.

Suzannne Carreker and Melissa Feller have no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


Friday

Dyslexia has ample research to help us understand the disability and aid us in providing remediation. Dysgraphia research has not been as plentiful and fewer students have been identified and served. It is believed that approximately 10–30% of our students have dysgraphia. This presentation will discuss the characteristics that accompany dysgraphia and how to assess and remediate the disability. A pilot study of elementary students with dyslexia will be assessed for dysgraphia and the results will be shared.

Regina Boulware-Gooden and Catherine Scott have no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


Friday

In this session, we will present a cumulative risk and protection model that includes cognitive, linguistic, and biopsychosocial factors. After a brief discussion of the well-established cognitive and linguistic risk factors, we will review recent research that indicates that biopsychosocial factors such as trauma, stress, and community risk factors such as food insecurity can play an additional role in dyslexia. The implications this work has for the early identification of dyslexia will be considered.

Hugh W. Catts and Yaacov Petscher are funded by a grant to develop a screening and assement protocol for the early identification of dyslexia and language problems. Hugh W. Catts and Yaacov Petscher have no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


Friday

What do speech production, language, and phonological processing have to do with dyslexia? Everything! In this dynamic session, two veteran speech language pathologists specializing in reading disorders pave the way with “must-have” additions to assessment protocols and screening tools, structured literacy integrated interventions to simultaneously address literacy and language, and collaboration tools between reading and speech staff. Practical strategies, interactive tasks, and videos will help you take your instruction to the next level.

Nancy Telian and Marianne Nice have no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


Saturday

Essential features of teaching literacy to students with dyslexia can be integrated into interventions and classroom instruction. These practices benefit a range of learners but are essential for effectively meeting the literacy needs of students with dyslexia. This presentation identifies these features of instruction and provides examples of how they can be integrated into interventions as well as general education classroom instruction. Findings from research studies with students with dyslexia that highlight these features of instruction will be described.

Sharon Vaughn has no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


Saturday

While decoding and word recognition skills are necessary for literacy success, so are language comprehension skills. One of the six elements of structured literacy instruction is semantics, and a primary component of semantics is vocabulary knowledge. Because vocabulary is largely acquired through reading text, and students with dyslexia read text less often and well than their typical-reading peers, this component of structured literacy instruction is paramount. We will present best practices for teaching vocabulary to students with dyslexia.

Lauren A. Katz and Joanne M. Pierson have no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.