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Dyslexia: Insights and Solutions with Susan Barton

Categories: Activities, Learning Disabilities, Parenting, Webinars

In October, Learning Ally launched the first in a series of public webinars bringing expert professionals in the learning differences field together with parents, teachers and other educators. Susan BartonThe first session, Dyslexia: Insights and Solutions with Susan Barton, featured a recognized expert in dyslexia with world-class credentials, drawing nearly 1,000 live participants as well as a few thousand more who requested a link to the recorded event. Our star presenter, Susan Barton, is beloved to a wide community of parents and professionals, and was recently inducted into the Hall of Honor at the International Dyslexia  Association.  Complementing the presentation were Mary Alexander and Terrie Noland, both long-time Learning Ally professionals and mothers themselves who visit schools and parents nearly every day. The content-rich webinar covered the signs and markers of dyslexia, provided insight into what kinds of measures and accommodations are appropriate at school and at home, and highlighted the new technologies that Learning Ally is providing to help students with dyslexia be successful.

Watch the slide show and listen to the presentation.

Our audience had many questions for Susan, Mary and Terrie; below is a transcribed sample of what was covered. If you have further questions, contact Susan directly  or message the Learning Ally Customer Services team for assistance.

Q&A With Webinar Experts

Q: I have a 7 year old who is going to start the Barton program soon. Will she ever be able to read and write at grade level? Or will she always be behind? We are home schooling her and I will be working with her one on one.
A – Susan Barton: Absolutely. I want to give you an A-plus for catching this so early! The Barton system is used a lot among home schoolers, because although teachers and resource specialists are allowed to use it, I designed it so that parents could teach it to their own students and be as effective as the professionals, to be able to teach their children and be as effective as professional tutors. Yes, the gap will close, I guarantee it. You can do the Barton System every day, in place of your language arts, and the gap will close; it always does.
Q: Do you have any home schooling curricula recorded, such as Apologia Science materials? Can the online student management (Teacher Ally) be used by home school families?
A – Mary Alexander: I was surprised to see that we have as much home school criteria as we have! Our catalogue can be found at LearningAlly.org. Home school consortiums can in some cases get an institutional membership and then have access to our Teacher Ally platform, which makes it easy to implement and track the use of audiobook learning resources for students. But if you have something specific in mind, email myself or Terrie separately and we will get back to you directly.
Q: How come they (students with dyslexia) can have bad penmanship but be so good at drawing things?
A – Susan Barton: The skills needed to form letters accurately, memorizing the sequence, etc. are very different than taking something you can see in your head, holding the drawing tool any way that you want, and recreating a series of strokes with any methodology you wish. So creating artwork is much less structured, much less memorized, much less having to match what’s right next to it, and the skills are quite different.
Q: What is the cost for Learning Ally institutional membership? And if we have a membership, how do we order the books, etc.?
A – Terrie Noland:  Institutional memberships are all very different. We have several packages that we can put together for your school. Or you may be in a state that has a state contract and possibly be able to get access that way. Please contact me directly: tNoland@LearningAlly.org.
Q: What are your thoughts on peer buddies? My daughter’s school is insisting that my daughter have a peer buddy to read things that she cannot read herself? (and written into her IEP) I’m not very happy about this because it embarrasses her to have to ask someone to read to her. How can I get it removed from my IEP?
A – Susan Barton: I agree with the parent that anything that embarrasses a child or makes them look different in class, needs to be changed. If the peer buddies were done in a way where nobody noticed, I’d say, “fine.” But parents can ask for an IEP meeting at any time, because things need to be revised and changed that are not working. Contact me directly so I can learn more about the situation, the resistance she expects, and I should be able to give her the words and/or research she needs to support her request and not have reading buddies any more. Q: What is available for the iPad for reader software? A – Mary Alexander: Learning Ally books can be played on an iPad (as well as iPod touch and iPhone) simply by using the Learning Ally Audio App. For members, it is downloadable for free in the iTunes store.

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