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International Dyslexia Association, MA Branch Webinar

Supporting Your Struggling Reader During the Pandemic:
A Webinar for Parents

These are challenging times, but our struggling readers need us now more than ever. In this hour-long webinar for parents, three guest experts provide timely tools and information for navigating special education services, supporting reading progress at home, and tackling the unprecedented parenting demands of the coronavirus crisis.

Navigating Special Education Services

Michael Gregory, JD, MAT
Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Member of the Faculty, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Michael Gregory is Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School where he
teaches and serves as the Managing Attorney of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI), a joint program of Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC) and Harvard Law School. He co-teaches Harvard’s Education Law Clinic, in which law students provide special education representation to individual families where traumatic experiences are interfacing with a student’s disabilities and inhibiting effective progress at school. TLPI also pursues a larger public policy agenda through systemic advocacy to create trauma-sensitive schools. Mike and his husband Matt live in Hyde Park and are the proud parents of 4-year-old Isabella and Roscoe the Goofy Golden Retriever.

Supporting Reading Progress at Home

Dinan Messiqua, MA, MEd, Certified-OG
Special Education Consultant
Communications Chair, International Dyslexia Association MA Branch

Dinan Messiqua is a special education consultant with over 15 years experience working with parents, teachers and educators in public and private schools. She coaches parents on how to navigate the complexities of the special education system, and consults to teachers and school administrators in the Boston area. A former special educator in Brookline Public Schools, she worked within a district-wide language-based program and coached general education teachers before joining the Carroll School in Lincoln, MA as a middle school language arts teacher and Orton-Gillingham tutor. She serves on the Board of Directors for the International Dyslexia Association MA Branch, where she chairs the Communications Committee. Visit her online at Dinan lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband and two daughters and enjoys yoga, singing, and theater.

Coping with COVID-Related Stress and Anxiety

Ellen O’Donnell, PhD
Child Psychologist, MassGeneral Hospital for Children & Harvard Medical School
Director of Clinical Psychology Services, Shriners Hospital for Children, Boston

Ellen O’Donnell is a child psychologist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Shriners Hospitals for  Children, Boston, as well as an instructor at Harvard Medical School. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters on topics in child psychology, such as learning disabilities, coping with a child’s or parent’s medical illness, and positive parenting practices to prevent depression and anxiety in children. Ellen lives in Concord, Massachusetts with her husband and their two boys, who find ways to pull her away from reading books and doing yoga to learn to ski, fish, paddleboard, hike and build stuff in the woods.

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