Author Archives: Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley

Dear IEP Team

Dear IEP Team by Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley from the Dyslexia Training Institute

Dear IEP Team by Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley from the Dyslexia Training Institute (Photo by Julie Jordan Scott/flickr)

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Dear IEP Team:

Wow. That was a heck of an IEP meeting, right? I know having an advocate at these meetings always makes the meetings a little (or a lot) longer and if you are anything like me, you are exhausted when they are done. I hope you don’t take the presence of an advocate as a signal that there is a ‘fight’ to be had or that we intend to play the blame game with the school.

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The Ten Best Things to Happen to the Dyslexia Community in 2013

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  1.  The Decoding Dyslexia movement grew to 44 states. http://www.decodingdyslexia.net/
  2. Dyslexia Empowerment Plan was published and we all loved it. Ben Foss became the new ‘it’ person for those with dyslexia. http://www.amazon.com/The-Dyslexia-Empowerment-Plan-Confidence/dp/0345541235
  3. TED-Ed allowed Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley  and a talented animator (Marc Christoforidis) to create a short video to promote awareness in a nutshell. It now has over 100,000 views. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zafiGBrFkRM
  4. Dislecksia was finally released in theaters and Harvey Hubbell continues to make personal appearances.  http://www.dislecksiathemovie.com/
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Dyslexia in 2013: The Year in Review and My Wish

Dyslexia in 2013: The Year in Review and My Wish

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Whew! I am tired. Wiped out. Pooped. Exhausted. Beat. Stick a fork in me done. I am not sure how many IEPs I attended in 2013 but it was enough to make me want to lie on the couch and eat Bon-Bons. But alas, that is not to be. And it’s not because I need to take care of my own family, they would love it if I spent a night on the couch without reading a case file and randomly exclaiming, “Oh my god! Are they serious?” And while I could rest back on my laurels and be satisfied with all the good services and accommodations many students with dyslexia now have, and I could reminisce about the middle school child that I saw advocate for himself in an IEP, or think about the parents that openly wept after getting what their student needed; but I would be remiss if I didn’t also notice the IEP meetings that went badly or were prolonged experiences due to misinformation about dyslexia. And I would be blind if I didn’t notice that parents are contacting us more than ever desperately seeking help. So I thought I would share with you what I learned in 2013 because we need to revisit where we have been before we can plan where to go.

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From D’s to the Emmy’s: A Conversation with Sprague Theobald, Dyslexic

From Ds to Emmys - A Conversation with Sprague Theobald Dyslexic

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We know that dyslexia affects up to one in five people. What we don’t talk about often enough is that children with dyslexia grow up to be adults with dyslexia. Having worked in the adult literacy field for over twelve years, I am acutely aware of their pain and their long battles with various health issues, job issues and addiction issues because they were not identified as dyslexic and/or did not receive help for their dyslexia. We have an enormous amount to learn from these adults, both the successful adults and the adults who are still struggling. There are some cases where an adult will become successful because of (not despite) their dyslexia. In the case of Sprague Theobald, he has become wildly successful despite and because of his dyslexia. So, what makes Sprague so special? Well, two Emmys for one. He won an Emmy for his documentary America’s Cup Moments and another Emmy for his latest documentary, The Other Side of the Ice. To add to that impressive list, he also wrote, that’s right, he wrote a book, a best-selling book also titled, The Other Side of the Ice. But his road has not been lined with roses; in fact Sprague almost didn’t make it down his current path because had not been identified as dyslexic until he was an adult. Sprague has been gracious enough to share his story with me so that we can learn from it and learn from it we will.

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