THFers came together to kick off 2020 at our annual Winter Retreat last weekend. We gathered at Charbonneau Country Club for a day of professional development and comradery (and tacos ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Lyn Seres, M.Ed. of Rewired Education Therapy shared information on brain-based strategies for dyslexia and the importance of phonological processing for early reading and speech. Our main takeaway: children with dyslexia need phoneme-based instruction to learn how to read. This means that it’s important for children to learn the sounds that are in a word before they learn the letters. And the earlier the better – children need 5 hrs/week of instruction before 3rd grade. After that, they need 4 times this amount to show the same growth. The goal is to unlock the code for children with dyslexia so they understand the connection between sounds and letters. Mind. Blown.

In the afternoon Mary P. Mitchell, Ph.D, CCC-SLP from Pacific University presented on strategies for vocabulary development. Mary shared strategies from her research to boost vocabulary knowledge in children with language disorders.  She shared her model of ROBUST vocabulary instruction and gave examples of how to use it in therapy:

  • R- Relay word meanings in student-friendly way
  • O- Optimize opportunities for students to learn word meanings in multiple contexts
  • B- Boost understanding in follow-up activities
  • U- Uncover meanings of words in context
  • S- Select high-mileage academic words
  • T- โ€œTestโ€ for knowledge

Thanks for all you are doing to advance our field, Mary!

Thanks to all our presenters and attendees for making it a great day, it was a great way to kick off 2020.