Published by the Austin Area Branch of The International Dyslexia Association

Founded in Memory of Samuel T. Orton

"Dedicated to the study and treatment of individuals with specific language disability"

Taken from: Spring 2003 Edition       (512) 452-7658   

The International Dyslexia Association neither recommends nor endorses any specific speaker, school, institution, instructional program or material.

The International Dyslexia Association supports the efforts to provide dyslexic individuals with appropriate instruction and to identify these individuals at an early age.    The Association believes that teaching and learning is the best approach currently available for those affected by dyslexia.  The Association, however, does not endorse any specific program, speaker, or instructional materials, noting that there are a number of such which present the critical components of instruction as defined by the Task Force on Multisensory Teaching which works under the guidance of the The Association’s Teacher Education Issues Committee.


A Dyslexic Child in the Classroom: A guide for teachers and parents.

Contacts Needed

Upcoming Events

AABIDA Tutor List

AABIDA’s Time and Talent Questionnaire 

Defense Attorney Turned Writer Tells about Dyslexic Heroine

“Our Mission to Literacy”

2003 A.A.B.I.D.A. Scholarship Application


President’s Note

A Dyslexic Child in the Classroom:  A guide for teachers and parents.

(c) 2000, Patricia Hodge Dip.spld(dyslexia) & Davis Dyslexia Correction Program Facilitator;

reprinted by permission of Davis Dyslexia Association International (

Proficient reading is an essential tool for learning a large part of the subject matter taught at school. With an ever increasing emphasis on education and literacy, more and more children and adults are needing help in learning to read, spell, express their thoughts on paper and acquire adequate use of grammar.

A dyslexic child who finds the acquisition of these literacy skills difficult can also suffer a lot of anguish and trauma when they may feel mentally abused by their peers within the school environment, because they have a learning difficulty. Much can be done to alleviate this by integrating the child into the class environment (which is predominantly a learning environment) where he/she can feel comfortable and develop confidence and self esteem.

Class teachers may be particularly confused by the student whose consistent underachievement seems due to what may look like carelessness or lack of effort.

These children can be made to feel very different from their peers simply because they may be unable to follow simple instructions, which for others seem easy. It is a class teacher's responsibility to provide an atmosphere conducive to learning for all pupils within their class.

Class teachers need to have an understanding of the problems that the dyslexic child may have within the classroom situation. Hopefully, with this knowledge, a great deal of misunderstanding of a child's behavior can be prevented. In a positive and encouraging environment, a dyslexic child will experience the feeling of success and self-value.

Of particular importance is an understanding of the problems that poor auditory short term memory can cause, in terms of retaining input from the teacher.

Examples of poor auditory short term memory can be a difficulty in remembering the sounds in spoken words long enough to match these, in sequence, with letters for spelling. Often children with poor auditory short term memory cannot remember even a short list of instructions.


The following items should provide useful guidelines for teachers and parents to follow and support:


In the class:


Copying from the blackboard:










Marking of work:








Patricia Lynn Hodge lives in Oman, and is a teacher and parent of a dyslexic child. Pat is a licensed Davis Dyslexia Correction Facilitator and also holds a Diploma in teaching ‘Specific Learning Difficulties/Dyslexia' using traditional methods. Pat has brought Davis methods to her local school system, where she has worked with several students, and continues to work with other teachers to assess her students and document the rates of progress with Davis methods.

This article is available at:



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Contacts Needed

Throughout the Austin Branch’s Area

(Waco to Brownsville)

Parents, if you’ve ever wished for an AABIDA representative to come directly to your community to hand-out information and answer questions, then please volunteer as a contact person in your area.  Now is the time to set a visit from a representative and receive directions on setting-up a parent support group in your location.  If you would like to volunteer, please contact the 2003 AABIDA Outreach Chairperson, Ginny Garrison, at

          [email protected]

or write to her at:

4501 View West

Austin, TX  78735


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Upcoming Events


 AABIDA’s Information Series on Dyslexia and Related Issues

These sessions will provide information to parents on dyslexia and related issues.  The sessions will be held at the Rawson Saunders School library.  Please check the AABIDA web-site for updated information at

 January 24, 2004 – AABIDA annual dinner

February 2004 – AABIDA annual conference

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AABIDA Tutor List


Would you like add your name to the AABIDA tutor list?  Please mail your request to be listed in our tutor list to:

            AABIDA Tutor List

            P.O. Box 92604

            Austin, TX  78709-2604

Please include the following information:

    Your name and contact information.

    Your background and training.

    What multisensory reading methods

           you use.

    What age-groups you work with.

    What geographic area of the Austin

          area do you work in.


If you are selected, we will post your name on our tutor list and on our web-site tutor list.

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AABIDA’s Time and Talent Questionnaire

Please choose an area that you would like to participate in and indicate how you could help in some aspect of that committee’s activities.   Then, please send your response to the AABIDA Outreach Chairperson, Ginny Garrison, 4501 View West, Austin. TX, 78735 or [email protected]

Membership Committee:  This committee maintains the computerized membership list.  It prints out the mailing labels needed for newsletters and other mailings.  Once a year, there is an update and purging done of the list.  There is an ongoing members campaign through the HELPLINE, parenting workshops, programs presentations, and so forth.  New ideas for developing membership are welcome!

Public Relations (Outreach) Committee:  This committee is vital due to its great impact on our community and schools as it works to educate them about dyslexia, and this chapter's outreach programs.  By increasing the visibility of dyslexia through press releases, school personnel, parents and students are made aware of the latest information and research on dyslexia.  We need you and your ideas to educate others!

Newsletter Committee:  The AABIDA newsletter, The Advocate, is our chapter's link to the community.  It is where we inform and educate interested parties about dyslexia and what our chapter has to offer in the way of support of dyslexics.  The newsletter is published four times annually.  Help is always welcomed by way of writing and gathering information, assisting in design, proofing, bulk mailing and errands to and from the printer!

Fundraising Committee (Budget and Finance):  Plans are ongoing preparing events, educational opportunities, and the like to raise funds for AABIDA scholarships and furthering our goal to expand awareness concerning the complex nature of dyslexia, to provide resource information for the community and support for dyslexics and their families.  Your new and exciting ideas for fundraising are always welcome!

Program/Support Committee:  This committee is in the process of gathering information to share with the public in the way of support.  This year several parent/teacher workshops have been sponsored, new videos shared, and members have presented at conferences to share knowledge about dyslexia.  This committee tries to bring experts in the field of multi-sensory teaching strategies and provide educators with training workshops.  This committee is also responsible for the annual AABIDA Conference. Your ideas and talents are needed for this committee!

Legislature Committee:  This committee keeps abreast of the most recent proposals and actions that will affect student with dyslexia.  We work with other associations to impact state and federal guidelines for improving the education of all dyslexics.  Help is welcomed on this committee!

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Defense Attorney Turned Writer Tells about Dyslexic Heroine
at the AABIDA Conference

by Ginny Garrison

 When Stephanie Kane, a fine defense attorney in the Denver, Colorado area, retired from law to write books, she knew she wanted a dyslexic heroine as her main character.  Although the learning disability was close to her heart, she still did hours of research into dyslexic characteristics.  One of the ways she researched the character traits she wished to attribute to her main character, a defense attorney named Jackie Flowers, was to correspond with real people with disabilities.  She put a questionnaire on the Internet in a LDA site and got many ideas from the individuals who responded.

Yet, when Stephanie came to Austin to speak on her books, especially Blind Spot, she did not know that by not only speaking, but also by attending many of the sessions, she would learn things that would add to parts of her new book.  In speaking with Stephanie, I learned that the sessions on the hardships that many dyslexic individuals face when trying to get through college helped her realize that she should add something to Jackie's background.

In being the detailed, precise person she is, Stephanie had already decided to let the readers have a glimpse into Jackie Flowers’ struggles in law school.  Stephanie even met with one of her own toughest professors to ask if he thought it would be possible for a dyslexic person to make it through a hard law school.

He said, "Yes."

 The professor felt that what matters is the content knowledge.  He also added that many students get so anxious in taking exams in law school within the timed period that writing deteriorates to the point that many of the students appear that they could be dyslexic.

Jackie Flowers, Kane's main character, a very successful attorney with guts and good looks, has a magnificent auditory memory, which makes her dynamic in cross-examination.  However, Jackie does not have dynamic writing or spelling skills.

Stephanie learned at the January AABIDA conference in Round Rock that the strategies for spelling or writing can help make or break a student in undergraduate or graduate school. She plans to use some of the details on how students can practice shortcuts and learn strategies to make getting Jackie through college and law school realistic.  Stephanie feels that the details about how students learn and use these strategies will add even more realism to her new book.

Ms. Kane is doing more for her readers than providing a thought-provoking and exciting read.  She is giving dyslexics, who read her book, examples of what can be done when one uses his or her "gifts" to compensate and then ends surpassing what others in his/her chosen field can do.  Her book, Blind Spot, did not use the word “dyslexia”.  Yet, as the reader sees Jackie's need to visit the murder sites for a drawn visual scenario rather than to describe the sites in written words, the reader knows he or she is seeing a person with a disability turn that disability into an asset.

Now we are all impatiently waiting for that e-mail that will tell us that Stephanie Kane's new book, Extreme Indifference, has gone to press and will be out shortly!

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“Our Mission to Literacy”







November 12-15, 2003


Town & Country Resort and Convention Center

San Diego, California


For more information and a complete conference program (in late summer) please contact IDA at (800) ABCD123 or (410) 296-0232 or visit our web-site at

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2003 A.A.B.I.D.A. Scholarship Application

1.      Proof of payment.

2.      Documentation of conference attendance.

3.      A synopsis or article by the attendee that summarizes/explains the course, workshop, or conference, and this synopsis/article may be published in the AABIDA newsletter.

*          *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *                        *            *            *

Name:  ______________________________________________________________

Address:  ____________________________________________________________

City, TX  Zip Code:  _________________________________________________

Home phone #:  (               )______________________________________________

Home e-mail address:  __________________________________________________

Work phone #:  (              )_______________________________________________

Work e-mail address:  __________________________________________________

Member of IDA:  _____Yes          _____ No

Position:  ______ Parent        ____ Teacher at ________________________________

    ______ Other ________________________________________________

Please indicate on another sheet of paper:

*          *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            * 

All AABIDA scholarship applications and additional information should be mailed to:

            AABIDA Scholarship Committee


            P.O. Box 92604

Austin, TX  78709-2604

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The national IDA office would like to send you publications, related information, and legislative information to you in a timely and cost-efficient manner through electronic transmissions.  Please send your e-mail address to     [email protected]

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President’s Note


Dear AABIDA Members,

I would like to thank each of you for your dedication and support of the dyslexic population.  Your membership to the International Dyslexia Association is vital for continuing research, legislation, and support of dyslexia.

As we begin the 2003 year of the Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, we say goodbye to several valuable board members.  The board members that are not returning are John Brinson, Mary Bach, Perry Stokes, Lauri Cole, and Carol Nelson.  We appreciate their tireless efforts.  Returning board members from last year are Elena Aldaz, Ginny Garrison, Tim Mahoney, Ann Palmer, Sharon Roberts, Dan Willemin, and Mo Yazdi.  This is quite a creative team that is continuing on the board.  And, I would like to welcome the new board members of Lavelle Carlson, Ann Fisher Hunt, and Patricia Rosen.  After a year or more off the board, Melody Kump, Mary Ann Baker, Kathy Maguire, and I are returning to the board.  This is a very dedicated and dynamic group!

If you would like to volunteer to assist us in any conference, program, or activity, please call our helpline at (512) 452-7658, and a volunteer will return your call.


Sharon McMichael

2003 AABIDA President

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Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association
Local Austin Area Helpline (512) 452-7658 ---

Call our volunteers for:

  1. Membership application blanks and basic information packet
  2. Teacher training information
  3. Referral lists for: