Trends and Initiatives Revealed at the IDA Annual Conference

Staying current on trends and initiatives in language-based learning disabilities is a top priority for educators at Trident Academy. Sheila Costello, Director of the LEAD program in The School for Language-Based Learning Differences, recently attended the International Dyslexia Association’s Annual Reading, Literacy and Learning Conference in New Orleans.

Designed to support and share interdisciplinary research and intervention strategies for individuals with dyslexia, the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) continues to influence Trident Academy educators. Hot topics at the IDA conference included executive function and literacy, enhancing instruction with assistive technology, the science of reading, and progress monitoring.

Read more on the conversation about getting students to understand and use learning strategies.

Additional discussions focused on how schools monitor student progress and report test results to parents. Trident Academy was acknowledged by many educators for doing this well; its educators share with parents a bell curve graph of their child’s test scores, allowing parents to easily see progress or challenges. Read more parent-teacher-conferences/”>about our progress reports.

“It is so important for parents and teachers to have the same understanding of a child’s strengths and weaknesses,” Costello explains. “With our reporting, we are able to show parents things like the difference between their child’s test scores on a timed test versus untimed tests and how it relates to their cognitive test scores. On just one graph, they can see how their child’s problems with processing relate to the length of time they work on questions. This information is very helpful.”

The IDA advocates for all university teacher education programs to adhere to its Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. The goal of the Standards is to ensure that every student who struggles with reading, language, and/or writing disabilities is taught by a well-trained teacher, working in a supportive context, equipped with the best tools.

Read more on the latest in the discussion on the Standards and the potential impact.

Sheila Costello can be reached at

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