ArtPrize is Back!

Our friends at have developed their ArtPrize Tour for Kids and Families in 2013 for this year. Their tour is designed to highlight entries that would appeal to kids and families with an interactive map AND a scavenger hunt. We will be sharing tips for Language Supports to compliment their tour again this year so stay posted!


You Can Help Specialized Language Development Center and Save for the Holidays!



Donate $5 today to Specialized Language Development (SLD) Center and receive a coupon booklet to save over $500 for your holiday shopping!


Your donation of $5 will get you over $500 & more in exclusive coupon savings including:

  • $10 off on a regular or sale price item priced at $10 or more.  Valid in-store only.  Some exclusions apply.
  • 30% off a single regular or sale price item.  Valid in-store until 1PM only.  Some exclusions apply.
  • 25% off your regular or sale price purchase. Use this savings pass over and over! Some exclusions apply.
  • 30% off your ONLINE purchase of regular or sale price merchandise. Valid online only. Some exclusions apply.
  • $50 off Ladies’ Columbia jackets and down outerwear
  • $25 off Ladies’ Calvin Klein Performance
  • $25 off Ladies’ designer jeans
  • $40 off Entire stock of Anne Klein® & Franco Sarto® handbags
  • $54.97 Clarks® shoes for her
  • $20 off Entire stock Easy Spirit® shoes
  • 60% off sleepwear sets from HUE®, Intimate Essentials®, & Jasmine Rose®
  • $22.97 Kids’ bubble jackets
  • $50 off Men’s outerwear
  • $15 off Men’s sweaters
  • $20 off Men’s designer jeans
  • $15 off Men’s pants
  • $15 off fleece or cold-weather performance sheet set
  • $15 off LivingQuarters MicroCozy blankets
  • $4.97 LivingQuarters Air-Soft and Ecolite towels
  • $22.97 any size Leisure Bayside luggage
  • $249.97 KitchenAid stand mixer
  • 40% off coffeemakers, coffee & accessories

Donations can be made through our SLD Center Community Days Charity Page or through our tutors, staff, or offices in Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo. Coupons are to be redeemed November 15 and 16 by shopping on-line or in-store at Younkers, Elder-Beerman, Boston Store, Carson’s, Bergner’s, Herberger’s or Bon-Ton Stores.


Fall Orton-Gillingham Trainings and Tutor Opportunities

Fall Training Classes are enrolling now!

Grand Rapids Office: Sep 30—Oct 10, 2013

Kalamazoo Office: October 14-24, 2013

Fall training courses meet Mon-Thurs from 9am-1pm.

Interview and pre-registration required.

Contact us today!

Jenny Brandstatter

The Specialized Language Development Center is committed to  bringing the power of reading, writing and spelling to all individuals with dyslexia or other unique learning styles, enabling them to achieve their full potential. Attend training to join us in providing individualized, one-to-one multisensory instruction in reading,  writing and spelling for at-risk readers of all ages.

You can make a difference—empower a reader today!

training materials

Visit to learn more about courses or contact us: 

 IDA Recognized  Logosmall

Family Hope Foundation Scholarship Application Cycle Open

Specialized Language Development (SLD) Center is proud to be a Therapy Provider Partner with the Family Hope Foundation! Family Hope Foundation has scholarships available twice a year and the fall cycle is now open.

Purpose: To assist families of individuals with special needs by providing financial assistance for therapy related services that may not otherwise be covered by insurance or other funding sources.

Types of support: Examples of eligible therapy related services include, but are not limited to, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, music therapy, massage therapy, equestrian therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis, psychology and psychiatry.


Deadline for fall applications is October 1! Click here to find out more including the application process and contact information.

Resources for Reading: Michigan Branch of IDA

Our friends at the Michigan Branch of the International Dyslexia Association are hosting a conference in Ann Arbor on September 21.

Hope to see you there!

Coping with Reading Problems: Tips, Tricks, and Tactics

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Register Online Here!

Or download and postal mail this registration form


Lauren Katz

Reading Comprehension Intervention with Older Students: It’s Not Too Late

For older students, comprehension of written texts is paramount to learning, and when students struggle with reading comprehension, academic difficulties are inevitable. However, research has shown that it is not too late to intervene with adolescents and young adults who struggle with reading comprehension. In this presentation, participants will learn how to use theoretical and empirical models of reading comprehension to guide intervention with students of all ages. Particular attention will be given to four essential elements of intervention – the 4 Ss of intervention: Skills, Strategies, School, and Student buy-in (Katz & Fallon, in press). Additionally, clinical case studies will be used to demonstrate how research has been and can be translated into intervention practices with older students.

Smooth Sailing at Home: A Learning Disability Affects More Than School Life

Pamela S. Ludolph, Ph.D.

Anyone familiar with LD and dyslexia knows that spillover can occur in more aspects of life than school. Children bring home trials and tribulations from the day. Following directions can be tough in any arena. Self-esteem is affected. Dr. Ludolph will discuss tips and ideas to help parents and children ease the burden at home and get back to living life as stress-free as possible.

DyslexiaHelp: A Web-based Curriculum and Resource Center

Joanne Marttila Pierson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Over lunch, Dr. Pierson will walk participants through DyslexiaHelp , a free curriculum and language resource center on the web. DyslexiaHelp is generously funded by a private donor who wanted to ensure that everyone regardless of where they live has access to state-of-the-art information about dyslexia. The website includes testing and intervention tips and tools; software programs, apps, and assistive technology options; books to get kids reading; web links to the growing number of best resources related to language impairment and dyslexia; stories of successful dyslexics; and more.

Promoting Morphological Awareness/Analysis Skills in Struggling Readers

Lauren A. Katz, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

By the late-elementary to intermediate grades, normally achieving children must become adept at decoding multi-syllabic and morphologically complex words. They also need to become fluent readers of texts that place demands on their ability to understand unfamiliar words and topics. An important step in improving the reading of struggling readers in the middle to-late elementary years and beyond is heightening their awareness and understanding of prefixes, suffixes, and roots and teaching them to use these morphemic units for decoding and deriving meanings from unfamiliar words so that they can become independent learners. In this presentation, participants will learn methods for building morphological awareness and analysis skills in struggling readers.

Parents as advocates: Tips to help you help your child

Roger E. Lauer, Ph.D., Calvin Luker, Tricia Luker, Joanne Darden-Smith, MSW, CCC-SLP, Ph.D, Ann S. Telfer, MSW

We’ve assembled a fantastic group of experts for this panel discussion on strategies to help parents navigate the special education system. Our panel has expertise and real-life experiences in advocacy, assessment, parenting, and treatment of the special needs child. Panel members will answer your questions and help problem-solve real-life challenges./p>

Assistive Tech Talk and Treatment Tips

Kathy Penn and Michael Penn

Professionals in the field of apps and software will share information and demonstrate some apps and techniques to help clinicians, educators, and parents incorporate new ideas into the therapy setting, classroom, and home. Sound Literacy was published in and was the first letter tile app for teaching sound-letter matches and roots, prefixes, and suffixes available on the iPad and is currently being used by literacy instructors in 19 countries.

Back to School: Keeping an Eye on Reading

The first month or two of back to school are often a time of “what should I be doing” if you have any concerns about your child’s reading. There is not a single recommendation that meets the needs of all readers other than learn as much as you can and know the red flag signs.

There are five components of reading and reading development depends on all five components working together – at all ages!

We have designed icons to help in remembering each area:

components of reading visual with icons



Here’s a short version of the explanations:

Components of Reading Reading at Home


Stay Tuned for More Explanations and Examples of How to Keep an Eye on Reading At Home!

Give a Reader a Hand Up: Become an SLD Center Orton-Gillingham Trained Tutor this Fall

hand up in LL with frame

“The SLD Center has given my son a hand up from a place that no one or no place else was able.”

-Mother of a ninth grade student

Since 1974, the Specialized Language Development Center has been committed to  bringing the power of reading, writing and spelling to all individuals with dyslexia or other unique learning styles, enabling them to achieve their full potential. Our tutors provide individualized, one-to-one multisensory instruction in reading, writing and spelling for at-risk readers of all ages.

New Tutor Training

LogosmallOur initial tutor training is a 32-hour course is accredited by theInternational Multisensory Structured Language Education Council(IMSLEC) and includes an overview of language-based learning disabilities, brain research and processes related to language development, as well as  the Orton-Gillingham approach to successfully teaching reading, writing and spelling.

Lecture, lesson demonstrations and hands-on practice include phonological awareness activities, multisensory techniques, structured language patterns and rules based on the English Language and the Orton-Gillingham approach.

Classes are scheduled to start the end of September in both offices (Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids).

IDA Recognized


Qualified individuals reside in West Michigan, have a bachelor’s degree (does not have to be in reading or Education) and have the understanding that all learners have different strengths and weaknesses which does not have to limit their opportunities for success.  As a non-profit community service organization, we help students experience success — often for the first time — in their effort to read, write and spell.

How to Help:

An interview is required before course registration. Visit our website for more information on classes, email us at, or contact one of our offices at (269) 345-2661 or (616) 361-1182.


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