Forward Thinking: The Exceptional Dyslexic



Join us for a two day event of expert advice on the identification, treatment and neuroscience of dyslexia where we explore not only how to strengthen early identification, treatment and resources, but also understand the paradox of how neurodevelopment leads to gifts and disabilities in the same individual, and how to focus on the exceptional strengths of the dyslexic brain.

Our national experts will provide information on component models designed to guide the assessment of dyslexia and reading disorders, explain how cognitive neuroscience may contribute to helping people with dyslexia, and provide data based research on the cognitive advantages and disadvantages of dyslexia.

Target Audience
The workshops in this conference are appropriate for psychologists, physicians, licensed/independent clinicians, interns/residents in training, nurses, teachers and administrators, special education professionals, behaviorists, allied health professionals, direct care and social services professionals, board & care/residential services staff, ILS/SLS staff, day program/club house/wellness center staff, service coordinators, case managers, and other professionals coordinating and applying treatment strategies for persons with dyslexia.

Workshop Schedule (FRIDAY AND SATURDAY)

Details of each workshop below this agenda:

8:00 a.m. Registration
8:15 a.m. Welcome
8:30 a.m. Morning Workshop
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. Morning Workshop resumes
12:00 noon Lunch (provided)
1:00 p.m. Afternoon Workshop
2:30 p.m. Break
2:45 p.m. Afternoon Workshop resumes
4:30 p.m. Adjourn


From ABC to ADHD

Eric Tridas, MD, FAAP

Tridas Center for Child Development
Tampa, Florida

Dr. Tridas will review the diagnostic criteria of ADHD and Dyslexia, the neurology of these closely related disorders and evidence-based management. This workshop will review the contributing factors to the clinical presentation, the ways that impairment presents clinically and the multimodal approach to treatment. There will be a review of the educational, psychological and medical approaches to intervention.
Specific Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the diagnostic criteria of ADHD and Dyslexia;
  • Recognize the most common impairments associated with these disorders;
  • Describe the components of an appropriate evaluation;
  • List the evidence-based interventions when managing these disorders;
  • Explain the interface between attention, reading and executive functions; and
  • Identify strategies of approaching these problems.


Dyslexia: Definition, Assessment and Treatment

Susan Lowell, M.A., B.C.E.T.

Educational Therapy Associates
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

This workshop will provide information about dyslexia, a specific learning disability. The definition of dyslexia will be presented with discussion of research relative to the prevalence, symptoms, assessment, and treatment, including remediation and accommodation, of this language-based learning disability. The importance of an early intervention approach using response to intervention or instruction will be discussed.
Specific Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the prevalence of specific learning disabilities including dyslexia;
  • Identify the symptoms of dyslexia; and
  • Know how to provide assessment and treatment including remediation and accommodation for students at risk for reading problems and dyslexia.



The Learning Different Student – Lessons the Students Have Taught Me

Beverly Dooley, PhD

McKinney Christian School
Dallas, Texas

This workshop will examine how to effectively teach students who learn differently, including strategies to address various abilities, knowledge and understanding of those impacted by ADD/ADHD/Dyslexia. Participants will be provided a “personal tool kit” that will assist in adapting instruction, materials, content, student projects and products, as well as assessment to meet the varied learning needs of students.
Specific Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how the tools contained in their “personal tool kit” can be applied to the learning different student;
  • Compare the unique learning challenges of the ADD/ADHD/Dyslexic student; and
  • Apply specific accommodations for variety of learning different challenges.


Busting the Barriers to Learning

Pamela Taylor, BA

Kansas City, Missouri

The National Institutes of Health reports that one in five children has dyslexia and finds that dyslexia is highly identifiable even at a very young age; yet, dyslexia has a low diagnosis rate. Despite dyslexia presenting a recognizable pattern that shows up as early as preschool and continues through adulthood, many issues conspire to create an untenable position in which thousands of children with dyslexia remain unidentified, and, as a result, these children lack the intervention and support they need. Issues that contribute to identification include the pervasive misinformation and lack of information about dyslexia among helping professionals and the public; institutional agendas; the predominant view that dyslexia is a mental disorder rather than a common brain difference with a vast spectrum of abilities; the over-reliance on pathological diagnostic models that often oversimplify or incomprehensively assess issues in reading, writing, and math; and confounding implications of common co-morbid conditions, twice-exceptional individuals, and highly compensated dyslexics. Regardless of age, once an individual with dyslexia is identified, intensive remediation with accommodations can prove beneficial. The National Institutes of Health; the International Dyslexia Association; and independent, scientific, replicated research supports an approach called Orton-Gillingham. This structured language approach simultaneously uses multisensory, systematic, and cumulative instruction with direct and explicit instruction in both synthetic and analytic phonics. Many programs claim to be Orton-Gillingham; however, there are only a few programs with the fidelity of the content and principles of instructions that make this methodology successful.
Specific Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the common indicators of dyslexia and common co-morbid conditions of as they appear to parents and teachers. Participants will develop an awareness of common myths and misperceptions that perpetuate institutional barriers in getting immediate and effective identification and intervention;
  • Explain why dyslexia continues to be underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed by examining case studies that don’t always fit a pathological diagnostic model– including profiles of those who are mildly or moderately dyslexic, twice-exceptional, and highly compensated; and
  • Discuss effective multi-sensory intervention for dyslexia and why the National Institutes of Health and the International Dyslexia Association specifically recommend an Orton-Gillingham based approach. Participants will learn specifically what this approach entails about the importance of providing meaningful accommodations.


Burrell is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Burrell maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

This course is approved for 12 CE credits.


Eric Tridas, MD, FAAP

Tampa, Florida

Eric Tridas, MD, FAAP, is the Medical Director of the Tridas Center for Child Development and President of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Consultants, Inc. He is a Developmental Pediatrician who specializes in the diagnosis and management of handicapping conditions including ADHD, learning differences, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities and other neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. Dr. Tridas has resided in the Tampa Bay area since 1982. He completed his fellowship in Ambulatory Pediatrics with emphasis on Developmental Disabilities at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston. During that time he held an appointment as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. Dr. Tridas completed his residency in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine in 1977. He is President of the International Dyslexia Association. Dr. Tridas is also the State Medical Director for Pediatric Health Choice-Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Facilities (PPEC). He is on the board of directors of Artista’s Café, a non-profit organization that employs adults with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Tridas is a founder and partner of Tridas, LLC, a software company that developed the Tridas eWriter, an application for web based structured interviews of caregivers and teacher’s that generates a customized evaluation report. Dr. Tridas lectures nationally and internationally on topics such as dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, executive functions and other behavioral and developmental pediatrics related subjects. Dr. Tridas edited a book for parents titled From ABC to ADHD: What Every Parent Should Know About Dyslexia and Attention Problems.


Susan C. Lowell, M.A., B.C.E.T.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Susan C. Lowell, M.A., B.C.E.T., is a Fulbright Lecturer and a former Vice President of the International Dyslexia Association’s Board of Directors. Ms. Lowell serves as an Associate to the Advisory Committee on Exceptional Children of the Office of Overseas Schools, U.S. Department of State, working as a reading consultant for the international schools. Ms. Lowell is an adjunct faculty member at Simmons College in Boston in the graduate program, Language and Literacy, and an adjunct faculty member at Buffalo State, State University of New York. As the director of Educational Therapy Associates ( in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Ms. Lowell works as an educational diagnostician providing clinical evaluations of learning difficulties including dyslexia. Ms. Lowell provides teacher training in reading instruction and reading disorders including dyslexia and serves as a literacy consultant for school districts.


Beverly Dooley, PhD

Dallas, Texas

Beverly Dooley, PhD, is a pioneer in the story of the Dallas Dyslexia Program. She was honored recently at the Academic Language Therapy Association with The Jamie G. Williams ALTA Founders award. This award was established to honor an ALTA member in good standing who has made a significant contribution to the Organization. Beverly is an innovative educator who has been a dedicated member to the ALTA organization and an advocate for the dyslexic student. She holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education and a Doctorate in Reading with a Minor in Family Therapy. Beverly has been an integral part in the success of Dallas Area schools that remediate students with dyslexia. She has been a Curriculum Director at Hillier School (for dyslexic students) for three years. She worked as the first Curriculum Director and Teacher Trainer at the Shelton School (for learning different students) for 12 years. She Co-Founded Southwest Academy (for learning different students) and was the Executive Director for 18 years. She is currently serving at McKinney Christian Academy, a College Preparatory Academy that allows the Gifted Dyslexic, ADHD and/or ADD student to receive services if needed. Beverly has been married to Patrick Dooley for 44 years and has 2 children and 5 grandchildren. She is active in her church, Prestonwood Baptist, and volunteers as a part-time Sunday School teacher. Whatever Beverly sets her mind to she accomplishes with dedication and perseverance, whether it is her work with dyslexic students or her decision to run a marathon with her husband—and it is especially fitting that she chose to run the White Rock Lake Marathon (recently renamed as the Metro PCS Dallas Marathon) whose proceeds benefit Texas Scottish Rite Hospital.


Pamela Taylor, BA

Kansas City, Missouri

Pamela Taylor, BA, has helped adults and children to learn successfully for over twenty-five years. In her work with exceptional and twice-exceptional students with dyslexia, she developed an emphasis in multi-sensory instruction and founded a private clinic, LexiAbility, to provide resources for those with dyslexia. Taylor is an experienced dyslexia screening specialist, advocate, and consultant. In addition to dyslexia assessment and remediation, she is a certified professional Barton Reading and Spelling Tutor at the Masters Level–one of only thirty in the world. Taylor educates others about dyslexia through her writing, public speaking, and teacher in-service workshops. Through Lexiability, she trains others in multisensory instruction and dyslexia assessment. Currently, she is co-developing multisensory learning apps for students and is writing an undergraduate college course about dyslexia identification and interventions for teachers. Taylor is on the Board of Directors for the Kansas/Missouri Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and founder and facilitator of the Kansas City Dyslexia Support Group. Taylor grew up in a family of dyslexics who have become accomplished in various fields. She has twice-exceptional children with dyslexia and has dyslexia herself. She considers it one of her greatest qualities.

Hotel Reservations

RamadaThe New Frontiers in Pediatric Mental Health Conference will be held at the University Plaza Hotel Convention Center, Springfield, Missouri

Located in the heart of downtown Springfield – surrounded by great restaurants, lounges and coffee shops – this first class hotel has terrific resort-style amenities like a fitness center, whirlpool, sundeck and indoor and outdoor pools.

Special Room Rates

We have special room rates for conference at $89 (plus applicable taxes) single/double.

Call the reservations department at 417.864.7333 and be sure to ask for the Burrell New Frontiers conference block to receive the discounted conference rate.

NOTE: Rooms at the special rate are subject to availability and sell out quickly! Hotel reservations are separate from conference registration and must be booked and paid for separately.

University Plaza

See their website and take a tour of the hotel at:

University Plaza Hotel
333 John Q. Hammons Parkway
Springfield MO 65806

Hotel Phone: 417.864.7333
Hotel Fax: 417.831.5893