Establishing Resilience in Youth with Dyslexia



Join us for a daylong event of expert advice on the identification and treatment of dyslexia where we explore not only how to strengthen early identification, treatment and resources; but also how to focus on building strengths and resilience.

Our national experts will provide information on component models designed to guide the assessment of dyslexia and reading disorders, explore technology supports, as well as provide expert advice on building resilience in youth struggling with dyslexia.


Psychologists, licensed/independent clinicians, interns/residents in training,  speech and language therapists, teachers and administrators, special education professionals, behaviorists, allied health professionals, direct care and social services professionals, and other professionals coordinating and applying treatment strategies for persons with dyslexia.

Parents of Dyslexic students will also benefit from the information and strategies discussed, as the conference will provide an enhanced understanding of current trends and advocacy for their children.


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

This workshop is approved for 6.5 CE credits.



8:00 am               Welcome and introduction
8:15 am               Kelli Sandman Hurley
10:15 am             Break
10:30 am             Kelli Sandman Hurley
12:00 noon         Lunch (provided)
1:00 pm               Kelli Sandman Hurley
2:30 pm               Break
2:45 pm               John Effinger
3:45 pm               Noel Leif
4:45 pm               Dismiss

Course & Learning Objectives

Dyslexia:  An Overview, Interventions and Building Resilience

Kelli Sandman-Hurley, EdD

Dr. Sandman-Hurley will be providing an overview of what dyslexia is, and what it is not.   Dyslexia is not a gift.  It just isn’t.  Students with dyslexia are not going to be successful, creative geniuses because they are dyslexic.  They are going to be successful, creative geniuses because they are resilient, have support from community and family, are smart, and like the rest of us, found something they love.   The books written about those who are uber successful have super-supportive families or someone in their life who took an interest.  You may be that person.   Throughout the day Dr. Sandman-Hurley will describe what dyslexia is – from symptoms, to challenges, to interventions, and finally to building the characteristics that lead to resilience.  She will also provide an introduction to teaching the structure of the English language.

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

1.    Describe the common symptoms of dyslexia;
2.    Discuss the main components of an appropriate intervention; and
3.    Explain what leads to resilience in youth with dyslexia.

Technology for Students with Dyslexia

John Effinger, MS, CCC-SLP

This session will discuss technology accommodations for students with Dyslexia in the classroom. Alternative text access for reading and writing will be discussed including alternative educational materials (AEM) for students not on an IEP.  In addition, we will discuss computers and tablets that can be used with software and apps to increase access to text and increase written production.

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

1.    Compare accessible educational materials and describe how to acquire them for the student with dyslexia;
2.    Identify appropriate technology reading supports for the student with dyslexia; and
3.    Identify appropriate technology writing supports for the student with dyslexia.

Self Advocacy for the Dyslexic Student

A. Noel Leif, CALT/ICALP

This session will discuss the importance of teaching and encouraging children to have the ability to self-advocate in the classroom setting.  Children need to know how to tell their story effectively and communicate their strengths as well as their challenges and how to ask for what they need to succeed from educators.

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

1.  Create a learning profile for children to give their teachers;
2.  Identify the strengths, challenges and needs of your student to be successful in the classroom; and
3.  Identify strategies to promote and practice self advocacy with your child.


Kelli Sandman-Hurley, EdD

is an author and co-founder of the Dyslexia Training Institute. She received her doctorate in literacy with a specialization in reading and dyslexia from San Diego State University and the University of San Diego. She is also finishing up her TESOL certification. Dr. Kelli is a certified special education advocate assisting parents and children through the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and 504 Plan process. She has training in mediation and also serves as an expert witness in the area of dyslexia. Dr. Kelli is trained in Structured Word Inquiry, the Orton-Gillingham approach, Lindamood-Bell, RAVE-O and Read Naturally. Dr. Kelli is the Past-President of the San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. She is a dyslexia consultant working with schools to improve services offered to students with dyslexia and training teachers. She co-created and produced “Dyslexia for a Day: A Simulation of Dyslexia,” and she is a frequent speaker at conferences She is the author of the well-received book, Dyslexia Advocate! How to Advocate for a Child with Dyslexia within the Public Education System.   

John Effinger, MS, CCC-SLP

is the Program Coordinator at Missouri Assistive Technology.   John is a speech pathologist with over 25+ years of assistive technology experience in schools and the private sector. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the selection and implementation of technology that supports reading, writing and communication.

A. Noel Leif, CALT/ICALP

is a passionate educator focused on educational development of children with dyslexia and learning differences using multi-sensory teaching methods.  She currently serves as the Executive Director for the Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Learning.  In 2015, with the aid of CoxHealth, she founded the Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Learning. In 2016, Noel was appointed to serve on Missouri’s Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia.  Noel has been a Dyslexia tutor specialist for 8 years.  She is a Certified Academic Language Therapist.  She is an Accredited Instructor in Teaching Take Flight, a multi-sensory teaching system for dyslexic students.   She has completed training in Orton-Gillingham and the Wilson Reading System.   Prior to Noel’s focus on dyslexic students, she spent 13 years in the classroom as an elementary school teacher in Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Shanghai, China.  She spent 2 years as a Deaf & Hard of Hearing Specialist.  As a specialist, teacher, and mother of 3 dyslexic children, Noel understands the challenges in the classroom, the expectations of parents, and the personal needs of children with learning differences.

Book Hotel

Doubletree Hotel
2431 N. Glenstone
Springfield, Missouri

We have special room rates for the conference at $124 (plus applicable taxes) single/double.

Call the reservations department at 417.831.3131. Reservations can also be made online using the code “BBH” to receive the discounted room rate. Please click the link below:

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.

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