Language and Learning 2014

SLEA is one of the sponsors for‘s Language and Learning Workshop on May 3rd from 8AM to 5PM at the Le Meridien Del Fina Hotel, 920 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405.


8:00 am  Registration/Exhibitor Area is Open/Continental Breakfast

9:00 am  Welcome

9:10 am  Morning Keynote Speaker, Susan L. Hall, Ed.D.

10:40 am  Break/Exhibitor Area is Open

11:00 am  Breakout Session 1 (1A), (1B), (1C)

12:15 pm  Lunch (provided)/Exhibitor Area is Open

1:30 pm  Breakout Session 2 (2A), (2B), (2C)

2:45 pm  Break/Exhibitor Area is Open

3:05 pm  Breakout Session 3 (3A), (3B), (3C)

4:20 pm  Exhibitor Area is Open

5:00 pm  Conference Ends


Susan L. Hall, Ed.D., is a reading consultant specializing in training teachers in early reading. Dr. Hall is president and founder of The 95 Percent Group, an educational consulting and professional development company. The company provides consulting and teacher training to districts and schools in the use of early literacy assessment data to develop small-group skill-based interventions. Dr. Hall is a Sopris-certified trainer of DIBELS and LETRS. She was appointed by the U.S. Department of Education as a member of the Reading First Review Panel to review state grants. She served for two years as a consultant to the Louisiana Department of Education in the implementation of professional development for the Reading First Program. Dr. Hall has presented to the Literacy Coaches for the Reading First Program in many states. Dr. Hall is co-author with Dr. Louisa Moats of two books, Straight Talk About Reading and Parenting a Struggling Reader


How Will We Make Sure Students Learn 2,000-3,000 New Vocabulary Words Each Year?

This session will focus on word learning strategies, including context clues and knowledge of morphemes, for discovering the meaning of unknown words. Dr. Hall will demonstrate a process developed in collaboration with Dr. Marcia Henry (author of Unlocking Literacy) that takes just 15 minutes a day and can help students build their knowledge of words.


(1A) Teaching Students to Pronounce English Vowels with Certainty
Susan Hall, Ed.D. – Reading Consultant

Reading multisyllabic words is a persistent struggle for many struggling readers. While the consonant sounds are more predictable, pronouncing the vowels in the middle of the syllable can be challenging. Dr. Susan Hall will model an engaging, multisensory approach that uses gestures to help students determine which vowel sound to say based on recognizing the syllable type.

(1B) Stealth Dyslexia: Flying Under the Radar                                                 Dan Peters, Ph.D. – Licensed Psychologist

Learn how stealth dyslexia presents in gifted children, how to accurately diagnose it, and what to do about it. Due to advanced thinking and compensatory strategies, many gifted students with dyslexia exhibit “average” performance, while still struggling to sound out words, read fluently, spell, and write.

(1C) Math and Learning: A Hands on Approach                                      Deborah Gilman, M.A.T. – Learning Disabilities Specialist & Math Consultant

Math learning and understanding come through two distinct learning styles: geometric-spatial and linear-algebraic.  These two learning styles will be reviewed through hands-on activities using manipulatives that show place value, addition, subtraction and multiplication problems. 


(2A) Listen-Talk-Read-Write: The Evolving Story of Language Development
Lorie Humphrey, Ph.D. – Clinical Psychologist: Child/Adolescent Neuropsychology

This presentation will review research on the early development of reading, talking, and writing, including discussion of findings from neuroimaging that allow scientists to “look into the brains” of young learners.  The emphasis will be on how these systems develop in typical learners. (A review of these systems in children with language-based learning disorders will be discussed in session 3A.)

(2B) Active Listening and Note-Taking                                                             Helen Waldron M.Ed. – Associate Head of School, Director of the Institute for Cognition and Learning, The Forman School

This is an interactive and hands-on workshop where participants will learn a validated strategy for teaching active listening and note-taking to students with learning and attention challenges.  This strategy helps students identify and quickly capture important information during a lecture, sort main ideas and details as they write and study their notes. The strategy is designed for students in grades 4-12. 

(2C) Panel: Dyslexia Stories

Our panelists will share their unique experiences and how learning disabilities impact their lives.  Attendees will hear the perspectives of a teacher, student, mother and father. Each panelist will relate their experiences and engage with the audience in a question and answer discussion.


(3A) A Deeper Understanding of Reading and Writing: Why These Skills are So Easy for Some and So Hard for Others 
Lorie Humphrey, Ph.D. – Clinical Psychologist: Child/Adolescent Neuropsychology

This presentation will review the neuroimaging research for dyslexia and written language disorders.  Interventions that are consistent with these findings will also be discussed.

(3B) Assistive Technology (AT) and Learning Disabilities                                Nancy Bley – Special Education Consultant

What is assistive technology and how is it evolving? Participants will learn how to evaluate students to determine the need for AT and identify the types of AT best suited for specific learning styles. The primary emphasis will be on apps for Apple computers and iPads.

(3C) Navigating the IEP Process: From Identification to Assessment and Implementation
Maralyn Soifer, M.Ed. – Board Certified Educational Therapist
Elissa Henkin, M.A. Advocate – Special Education Consultant

Participants will learn the necessary skills to properly support their students through the IEP process and learn how to determine appropriate services. The presentation will also discuss when and how to challenge the determinations of an IEP meeting.


CSHA 2014

SLEA was well represented at CSHA this year. Congratulations to our very own COO, Shellie Bader who was one of the recipients of  the CSHA Award of Outstanding Achievement!

Shellie received the CSHA (California Speech Language and Hearing Association) Outstanding Achievement Award this year and also in 2006.  As the CSHA STAR (State Advocate for Reimbursement), she is the ASHA liaison with other representatives from around the country, learning and sharing knowledge and experiences for improved insurance-based services.

1465104_643763089006333_373834856_n 1487379_643763162339659_1600575262_n  

Our booth had a lot of traffic and we were delighted to meet and greet our colleagues from around the state.



Greetings From Helen

Spring is here and we are cleaning, organizing and planning for the rest of the spring and for summer. I hope this newsletter finds all of you happy with both your personal and professional lives. If there’s anything I can do to improve your professional life, please let me know. I recently read a newsletter title, “Conversation Matters.” Not only are conversations helpful and satisfying, they can help us to improve both our professional and personal lives. We talk about a meaningful, natural environment for play, but a meaningful, natural conversation is also a critical element in our lives. Listening is the undivided attention we pay to one another. We need to listen to our family members, staff, and the clients we serve. We need to pay close attention and figure out what others are saying and acknowledge their thoughts and feelings. I always remind myself, “Helen, you know what you want to say, now listen, and you will hear what others want to tell you.” Listening is not a simple task and I find that I need to constantly monitor myself and be a better listener.

This year we have added new staff of teachers, behaviorists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and speech pathology assistants. We are slowly going to try to introduce you to our new staff members (some are at this point not so new, but I would like to introduce them to you.) We will be contacting all of you for a one on one end of the year meeting in May. So if you don’t hear from us before June 1st. Please call Karen. I want to wish each and every one of you the very best, and please remember to come in and see me or call with any question, problem, or simply to talk. I am ready to listen.

Happy holidays to all!


AMC Sensory Friendly Films

AMC Theaters and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the “Sensory Friendly Films” program. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!

The idea for the program began with a request from a parent with an autistic child for a special screening at AMC Columbia Mall 14 in Columbia, MD. More than 300 children and parents attended the first screening.

AMC Theatres are thrilled to now offer the program at many locations nationwide — please see below for a local list of participating theaters. As a leading theatrical exhibition company, they are proud to be making a difference in the estimated 1.5 million Americans living with an autism spectrum disorder by offering families a chance to see a movie together — often for the very first time.

These are the new screening dates for the rest of the year:

Saturday, July 26, 2014 – PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE

Saturday, September 27, 2014 – DOLPHIN TALE 2

Saturday, October 25, 2014 – BOOK OF LIFE

Saturday, November 29, 2014 – HOME

Saturday, December 13, 2014 – PADDINGTON

These are the participating theaters in the Los Angeles area:

  • Burbank 16
  • Covina 30
  • Del Amo 18
  • Downtown Disney 12
  • Norwalk 20
  • Ontario Mills 30
  • Promenade 16
  • Puente Hills 20
  • Orange 30
  • Tyler 16

Most showings occur Saturdays at 10 a.m. local time.  Tickets are usually $4-6 depending on location and can be purchased on the day of the event. Please check with the theater to verify program time, date, and price of ticket.