Welcome! The Northern California Branch of The International Dyslexia Association (NCBIDA) is committed to raising awareness and providing resources about dyslexia for parents and educators.




Download our Dyslexia Resource Kit:

Dyslexia in the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know

IDA Dyslexia Handbook: What Every Family Should Know




Learn more about dyslexia and related learning disabilities through a variety of resources.

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Experience Dyslexia®

What is it like to have dyslexia? Experience Dyslexia® is a simulation that helps promote awareness and empathy.

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Teacher Training

Teachers have the power to impact learning. Join colleagues across the world by becoming well-trained in a structured literacy approach (multisensory structured language education).

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Did you know?

  • Dyslexia is the most common learning disability.
  • It is a language-based learning disability and is not related to intelligence– plenty of very bright people have dyslexia.
  • There are many successful people with dyslexia such as Henry Winkler, Bruce Jenner, Whoopi Goldberg and Charles Schwab.
  • IDA has established standards for teachers of reading. These research-based standards are helpful for all and critical for students with dyslexia.

Share Your Story

Share your experience with dyslexia to increase awareness and connect with others. Read about others’ experience or share your own.

Please click here to submit your story.

Theresa Soares

I was identified with dyslexia when I was in kindergarten. When it came... Read more


Public Calendar

Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner with Dr. Linda Silverman @ Athena Academy
Jan 14 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 Time: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (PST) Location: Athena Academy, 525 San Antonio Avenue, Palo Alto, CA RSVP: https://athenaacademydan.eventbrite.com

Do you think in words? Images? Feelings? Knowings?

Most dyslexic children are intuitive image thinkers. Traditionally, school was designed for auditory-sequential, left-hemispheric students who are advanced in reading, writing, spelling, calculation and memorization, and perform well under timed conditions.

Visual-spatial learners are gifted in right-hemispheric abilities, such as imagination, visualization, intuitive knowledge, multi-dimensional perception, science and technology, holistic thinking, creativity, artistic expression (music, dance, art, drama), and emotional responsiveness. These gifts are vital to employment in the 21st century.

Please join Dr. Linda Silverman, who dcoined the term “visual-spatial learner.” She will describe these children, explain why right-hemispheric strengths are important, and provide guidance for educating and parenting them more effectively.

Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist. She founded and directs the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development, and its subsidiaries, Gifted Development Center (GDC) and Visual-Spatial Resource in Denver, Colorado. In the last 35 years, she has studied over 6,000 children who have been assessed at GDC, the largest data bank on this population. This research enabled the creation of extended norms on the WISC-IV. In 1981, she originated the concept of the “visual-spatial learner” (VSL) and has created methods of identifying and teaching this population. Her Ph.D. is in educational psychology and special education from the University of Southern California. For nine years, she served on the faculty of the University of Denver in counseling psychology and gifted education. She has been studying the psychology and education of the gifted since 1961 and has written over 300 articles, chapters and books, including Counseling the Gifted and Talented, Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner and Advanced Development: A Collection of Works on Gifted Adults. Her latest book, Giftedness 101 (New York: Springer, 2013), went into third printing within 6 months of its release. A popular presenter, Linda has keynoted conferences in New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Denmark, Ireland, the U.S., and others.

Athena Academy’s Wisdom & Strategy Speaker Series is open to the public and brings together nationally respected authors, researchers, and other experts in the exceptional child development field with local parents and educators. For more information, please contact us at 650-543-4560 or events@athenaacademy.org. Visit us online at: www.athenaacademy.org.

Literacy & Dyslexia: Current Research & Practice @ Mission Bay Conference Center, University of California San Francisco
Jan 23 @ 7:30 am – 3:30 pm

What Parents and Educators Need to Know about Evidence-Based Strategies for Reading

This symposium is designed for teachers, practitioners, and parents to help them learn to identify, understand, and provide evidence-based teaching for students who have dyslexia. Participants will learn the latest genetic studies and neuro-imaging research as a basis for understanding current practices for assessment and intervention. The focus of these discussions will be for school-age students, including students who are English language learners.

Download a brochure with agenda and application form

More info on The Dyslexia Foundation

Experience Dyslexia® A Learning Disabilities Simulation @ Stellar Academy for Dyslexics
Feb 7 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

This popular learning disabilities simulation is a hands-on experience that lets you experience some of the challenges and frustrations faced by people with this language-based learning disability. This lively and thought-provoking activity is for teachers, parents, or anyone interested in better understanding the lives of individuals with dyslexia.

Guided by station leaders, you will rotate among six learning stations that simulate language-related tasks that may be encountered in the classroom and workplace.

Register:  Call Stellar Academy office at 510-797-2227 (Limited to 60 participants)

NCBIDA Co-Sponsored Event: Assessment and Intervention for Students with Dyslexia @ The Carey School
Mar 7 @ 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

A Workshop with Nancy Mather, Ph.D. Co-sponsored by the Parents Education Network (PEN)

This workshop will focus on both assessment and evidence-based interventions for students who struggle to learn to read and spell. The speaker will address the definition of dyslexia; the important lessons from history; the importance of assessing cognitive and linguistic processes, including phonological awareness, orthographic coding, processing speed, and rapid automatized naming; the phases of development of basic reading and spelling skills; and the implementation of differentiated instructional methodologies, including technology, for addressing specific types of reading problems.

Nancy Mather photo - 150x188Nancy Mather, Ph.D., is a Professor of Special Education at the University of Arizona in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies. She has published numerous articles and books and conducts workshops on assessment and instruction both nationally and internationally. She is a co-author of the Woodcock-Johnson IV and has co-authored two books on interpretation and application of this test. Other recent books are Comprehensive Evaluations (Mather & Jaffe, 2011) and Essentials of Dyslexia:  Assessment and Intervention (Mather & Wendling, 2012.



Event Registration Fees Member Early Registration – $50 Non-Member Early registration – $60

Member Walk-in – $65 Non-Member Walk-in – $75

Register here (link will bring you to the Parents Education Network website).

“21st Century Success: Fostering Your Child’s Social Emotional Intelligence” with Ms. Maria Lineger, M.S.M. @ Athena Academy
Apr 22 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Time: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (PST) Location: Athena Academy, 525 San Antonio Avenue, Palo Alto, CA RSVP: https://athenaspeaks-marialineger.eventbrite.com

We all want our children to thrive academically and socially, yet we are living in a fast-paced culture of achievement and competitive “you vs. me” relationships. As a result, children face higher-levels of stress and disconnection than ever before. Today’s Era of Me, Myself and I clashes with our deepest human needs for connection and community – deeply impacting our children’s self-worth, ability to learn and happiness.

Research proves that to learn and achieve, children must feel safe, validated and connected. When they do, their learning switch turns on. They can relax, access their full brain and be trusted to think for themselves. In turn, children learn to reason and treat others with respect — creating a culture of collaboration and trust.

So how do we help children to feel safe, understood and validated? We need not look further than the ancient wisdom of Compassion. Come learn what science has shown will help kids connect with themselves and others, while also helping them access their best selves. Human beings have a natural capacity for empathy, love and compassion, so let’s work with it.

Please join us for a conversation about how to recognize, prioritize and model social emotional intelligence. Maria will discuss:

1) The 5 Social Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies that children need to thrive. 2) The research that validates SEL programs as a solution to student stress and disconnection. 3) Innovative SEL programs that integrate current scientific research from positive psychology, neuroscience, social science and compassion. 4) Fun, practical and visual-spatial SEL tools to use with children from the classroom to home. 5) The personal impact of SEL on students and teachers from California to Africa. 6) Why SEL is particularly essential for our twice exceptional (2e) and dyslexic children.

Maria Lineger is an educator, author, curriculum designer, trainer and parent with 20 years experience in education, most recently with gifted, twice exceptional (2e) and dyslexic children. She is currently the Social Emotional Specialist at Athena Academy, guiding students, faculty and parents with her school-wide SEL program, Changemakers. She is also the co-author of the Project Happiness Handbook, an experiential workbook of social emotional activities for youth being used globally.