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2|42 Community Church

7526 Grand River Avenue

Brighton, MI 48114

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PRESENTATION TOPICS and PRESENTERS:

What Is Dyslexia and How Do I Know if My Child Has It?
Presenter Pamela A. McCaskill, Ph.D.

Building Better Brains: A Structured Literacy Approach
Presenter Stephanie Smith, CALP, CDP

Advocacy Strategies in Action: Taking Steps to Help Your Child
Presenter Heather Eckner, M.A.Ed.


Media sponsor Brighton Chamber of Commerce.

Continental breakfast sponsored by the Brighton Equestrian Club.


GIVEAWAY PRIZES (must be present to win):
• Full Comprehensive Neuropsychological Evaluation ($4,000 value).
• Two months of weekly reading tutoring, plus waived registration fee ($655 value) through Brainspring Learning Centers.
• Brainspring Phonics First ® Level I live course with Starter Kit or e-learning course with Starter Kit, or $500 gift certificate to the Brainspring online store.
• Advocacy package including document review, consultation, and accompanying family to one IEP meeting ($750 value).


Detailed Descriptions for PRESENTATION TOPICS and PRESENTERS:

What Is Dyslexia and How Do I Know if My Child Has It?
Pamela A. McCaskill, Ph.D.
Dyslexia is one of the most common, yet one of the most widely-misunderstood learning disabilities. It does not necessarily mean that the student is unable to read or mixes up letters. Dyslexia is a complex condition affecting the brain’s language processing center and can affect reading, writing, math, and/or test-taking abilities. Many students go undiagnosed, struggle through school, and do not reach their fullest potential. Does your child dislike school? Is homework a battle? Does your child seem smart but perform poorly on tests? Is your child getting marked down for spelling or punctuation errors? Has your child’s teacher told you that your child seems unmotivated or is shutting down at school?

Dr. Pam McCaskill is a fully licensed psychologist with over 25 years of expertise in dyslexia and other learning challenges. She will share her knowledge in a captivating presentation so that you will know exactly what to look for and what to do next. Drs. Pam and John McCaskill and their team of psychologists from McCaskill Family Services will be available to personally talk to you throughout the event and confidentially answer all of your questions.

Building Better Brains: A Structured Literacy Approach
Stephanie Smith, CALP, CDP
According to the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), the principles of instruction and content of a structured literacy-based program are essential for effective teaching methodologies. Maybe you’re more familiar with the term Orton-Gillingham, which is the pioneering program of the structured literacy approach. Many programs are based on these methods, but what do these terms really mean? And more importantly, what does structured literacy-based instruction look like? This presentation will give parents, educators, and administrators a better understanding of methodology, which is deemed essential for remediating mild to severe reading difficulties, including dyslexia.

Stephanie Smith is a master instructor with Brainspring Educator Academy in Troy, Michigan. Stephanie is certified to train educators in Brainspring’s structured literacy-based programs accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (tier 3) and the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council. She has contributed to the development of many professional development workshops and educational materials available through Brainspring. In addition, Stephanie has presented at many conferences about reading development and instruction.

Advocacy Strategies in Action: Taking Steps to Help Your Child
Heather Eckner, M.A.Ed.
“How do I get the most appropriate intervention and services for my child through the school?”
Parents are the experts on their children and know when their children are struggling. However, many parents feel frustrated by the communication gaps that can exist between families and school teams. Families of children with dyslexia find themselves entrenched in the world of Special Education among the acronym soup of terminology and must traverse a dizzying array of interventions, services, providers, supports, and placements. An experienced education advocate shares insight and strategies for navigating the special education process in building the path toward the best outcomes for your child.

Heather Eckner founded A2IDEAS, a special education advocacy nonprofit organization in Ann Arbor. She has general education teaching experience comprising the inclusion of special education students and is the parent of children receiving special education services. With the goal of effecting systemic change, Heather’s decision to launch an advocacy practice was driven by her passion for social justice. She is a proponent of furthering evidence-based inclusive practices to support individuals with disabilities in education and the community. Heather has a certificate from the William and Mary School of Law Institute of Special Education Advocacy. In addition to direct advocacy work with families, Heather presents locally in Michigan and at national conferences about advocacy for parents as a way to extend the reach of disseminating effective strategies that foster universal supports valuing equity, dignity, and independence for all people.

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2|42 Community Church

7526 Grand River Avenue

Brighton, MI 48114

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