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ASDEC for educators

“ASDEC’s courses have been stimulating, edifying, and above all energizing. Language I and the Practicum gave me a powerful approach to teaching reading and writing as well as a more comprehensive understanding of the English language and language disorders. I have become a better parent and teacher, and a stronger advocate for my children and my students as a result.”

– Graduate of ASDEC Academic Therapy Certification program


Tier 1&2: Structured Literacy Reading instruction in Grades K-8

ASDEC’s Qualified Instructor, Jennifer Appleton, QI, CALT, M.Ed. will train classroom teachers in Grades k- 1 and reading specialists in grades 2-5 in a 35-hour training course, SPIRE; an evidence-based Orton-Gillingham based Multisensory Structured Language Reading Curriculum. First grade teachers will deliver SPIRE structured literacy curriculum as part of daily English Language Arts general classroom instruction (50-60-minutes/day). Reading Specialists in grades 2-5 will deliver SPIRE curriculum as a Tier 2 intervention for students at risk of reading failure. Reading Specialists must complete full practicum described below.

SPIRE in primary grades can act as a preventive measure for difficulty in reading and spelling in later grades. It is designed for general classrooms and is scripted which enables the teacher to deliver the curriculum with fidelity to the students.  ASDEC monthly supervision guides the teacher in the effective delivery of the evidence-based procedures. Students are assessed  routinely providing continual feedback on student progress.

SPIRE(Specialized Program Individualizing Reading Excellence) is a reading program developed by Sheila Clark-Edmands, an Orton-Gillingham fellow, to provide accessible materials to assist teachers’ implementation of an Orton-Gillingham based approach to reading instruction. The  instructional design and instructional content align with the findings of the National Reading Panel (2000).

Grades k-8

SPIRE is a comprehensive, multisensory and systematic reading and language arts program designed to help all readers especially our struggling readers.  It is the only program of its kind beginning at the pre-K level (Sounds Sensible®) and extending all the way through Grade 8.  Based on Orton-Gillingham methodologies, SPIRE. incorporates the most recent research regarding best practices in reading and language arts instruction to ensure success for all readers especially those who struggling readers excel.

Scope, Sequence and Pacing

This fully integrated curriculum provides direct instruction in phonics (including decoding and spelling), reading comprehension, vocabulary and written language skills.  The scope and sequence begins with simple skills and moves to more complex, spiraling concepts in order to bring students to full literacy.

Initial placement is determined by student skill level.  The 8 levels of SPIRE can be completed within 2-4 academic years, as dictated by the needs of individual students.

Teacher Materials

Comprehensive, explicit instruction for every lesson

Teacher’s Guides

Detailed, structured, 10-step lessons blend visual, auditory and kinesthetic instruction to ensure mastery.  Introductory Lessons introduce new concepts and are followed by Reinforcement Lessons, which practice the new concept and review previously taught concepts.  The appendices provide an unparalleled resource of word lists, phrases and sentences to further aid in lesson differentiation.

Blackline Masters

These comprehensive resources contain Key Word Concept Sheets, Key Word Cards, Phoneme Segmentation Sheets, Sight Word and Decodable Word Cards, Small Letters, Word Find Sheets, Dictation Paper, Concept Mastery Fluency Drills and Decoding Assessments.

Student Materials: Starting with Level 1


These student books include fully decodable word lists, sentences and reading selections that are carefully controlled for phonetic elements and sight words.  The quantity of selections presented for each new concept is unique to SPIRE and gives teachers the flexibility to select instruction appropriate to the needs of their students.  Acetate sheets and markers are available separately for students to interact with the text.


These consumable books provide independent decoding, fluency and comprehension practice for every concept and reading selection.  All text, including exercise directions, is decodable.


Jennifer Appleton, M.Ed., CALT-QI

DATES: August 23-27, 2021 from 9:30-:430 daily


Course 35 hour online hybrid course plus two 5ive hour follow up seminars: 

$950 per teacher


$339 (Description below)

SPIRE. Leveled Kits includes 1 Teacher's Guide, 1 Blackline Master, 6 Student Readers, 6 Workbooks, and 1 set of Word Cards for the level, plus a corresponding set of Large Phonogram Cards, in a convenient storage box. Each kit is meant to be used in teacher directed small intensive reading intervention reading group and services up to 6 students. All the materials needed to implement the program for this small group are included in the kit. A Spire placement test (available for free on  eps.schoolspecialty.comshould be implemented to determine which leveled kits to order. Extra SPIRE workbooks and readers can be ordered separately for about $13 each if teachers have more than 6 students in their SPIRE group.




Teacher Discount: For a group of 5 or more teachers the cost is $900/teacher including materials


 Upon successful completion of the course, teachers will participate in a 9-month supervision practicum during which they will meet monthly with their supervisor and provide five video-taped lessons for review and feedback.  Teachers completing the practicum will be eligible to sit for a National Certification exam as a Practitioner of Structured Literacy from the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA).  The certification requirements are:

  • ·        Course: 45 hours (one 35-hour course and two follow up seminars)
  • ·        Practicum: 100 hours
  • ·        ALTA Exam

Train the Trainer: One participant who completes a full-year of training and achieves national certification as a Dyslexia Practitioner will be selected to become a Supervisor in Training (they will be supervised for six months).


Practicum: $320/month for nine months

Contact us to schedule training at your school.

Early Screening and InterventionK-Reading KickStart

ASDEC is the only accredited training program to deliver integrated Orton-Gillingham methods and Montessori strategies designed to identify and teach emerging readers.  Using evidence-based instruction focused on building phonological awareness, oral language development and alphabet skills, we train teachers in the science of reading.

Multisensory Math Workshops - Live online: Don't miss your chance to have your teachers train directly with Marilyn Zecher. We offer a range of options to meet your professional development needs.

Click here for more details

Contact questions@asdec for information.

Multisensory Grammar Workshop 

Presented by Joy Jacques

Joy Jacques, CALT former director of ASDEC’s Summer Study Skills program presents a workshop on Multisensory Grammar Instruction.  The presentation, designed for teachers, parents, academic therapists and other educators, presents  multisensory methods for teaching the parts of speech and related basic grammar skills.  

You may view the pre-recorded  workshop  (three and one-half hours) at any time during the course. You will have the opportunity to meet live online with the instructor on.  The session will be recorded if you are not able to attend.

You will also have the opportunity to post questions in a blog in the course page where you will interact with the instructor and other students.

Activities include:

  • Color-Coded Cue Cards for parts of speech
  • Structured, sequential, instruction using concrete, representational, and abstract activities
  • Inter
  • active games for groups and individuals
  • Application of grammatical elements to improve sentence level writing

Cost: $120

Academic Language Therapy

ASDEC’s Academic Language Therapy Program trains educators in Sounds In Syllables, the most powerful Orton-Gillingham-based approach to teaching reading (decoding, fluency, and comprehension), sound-spelling, and the foundations of syntax and grammar.  Experienced ASDEC faculty deliver in-depth training courses that prepare Academic Language Therapists to work one-to-one with students.

Therapists must complete 200 class hours and 700 practicum teaching hours under the supervision of ASDEC faculty. This supervised teaching enables therapists to apply the lessons learned in their classes to actual teaching sessions with students under the careful guidance of master teachers. This core element of ASDEC’s training program explains why our therapeutic approach is so successful, especially for those students who may have failed to learn under other specialized programs.

Learn more about the Academic Language Therapy Certification requirements.

Contact us to schedule an information session: 301-762-2414 or send us an email at   questions@asdec.org

Academic Language Practitioner

ASDEC trains classroom teachers and reading specialists to deliver Language Foundations, an evidence-based structured literacy for general education and Tier 2 intervention.  Teachers who complete the 45-hour training course and nine-month practicum are eligible to sit for national certification as Academic Language Practitioners.

Language Foundations (also known as “Structured Language Basics – SLB) is an Orton-Gillingham based multisensory approach to teaching reading-language arts skills in an inclusive classroom.  This curriculum is equally successful with elementary and middle school students for whom reading and spelling present significant problems.  More importantly, the use of Language Foundations in the primary grades can act as a preventative measure for difficulty with reading and spelling in the later grades.

Learn more about Language Practitioner Certification requirements.

Multisensory Math: Certification

ASDEC’s teaching level certification in Multisensory Math is designed for educational professionals working with students in the classroom as well as those who work with students in small groups or one-to-one. ASDEC Math Director, Marilyn Zecher, CALT is a nationally recognized as a leader in applying Orton-Gillingham based methods to her multisensory math instruction.  Her workshops and lectures throughout the country often sell out. Trained in Orton-Gillingham as a classroom teacher in Prince George’s County, MD, Marilyn has a deep understanding of the needs of at-risk students.  Participants at her workshops, courses and lectures are often transformed by her dynamic presentations.

Learn more about Multisensory Math Certification requirements.

ASDEC for Educators

ASDEC has close to 20 years of experience training teachers to deliver evidence-based multisensory instruction in reading, writing, handwriting, spelling and math. We train hundreds of teachers every year pre-k through high school. ASDEC faculty are all Certified Academic Language Therapists who have also been trained in a wide array of specialized reading programs such as Orton-Gillingham, Sounds In Syllables, Alphabetic Phonics and Wilson Reading System.  Drawing upon their years of experience as therapists and trainers, our faculty develops and delivers  multisensory training programs to educators and parents in the Washington, DC region as well as throughout the country and overseas.

All ASDEC courses qualify for graduate credit from Trinity University Washington.

ASDEC Courses

Learn about our IMSLEC accredited/IDA Endorsed Orton-Gillingham based courses, certification and registration options.

Onsite Courses

ASDEC faculty teach a series of courses at our Rockville location that prepare individuals for certification as Academic Therapists. These courses are also open to teachers, parents, and other educators who are interested in learning the most effective multisensory strategies for teaching reading and math. Courses include:

Therapy Training Courses
Language 1: Sounds In Syllables
Language 2: Sounds In Syllables

Practitioner Level Courses
Language Foundations
Multisensory Math 1
Multisensory Math 2

Early Identification and Intervention
Structured Literacy/Montessori Integrated Instruction K-Reading Kickstart

Find out more

Online Courses

Join educators, administrators and parents from all over the US and overseas participating in ASDEC’s online learning community. Benefits of online learning include:

Log into class straight from your laptop or home computer.
Work comfortably at your own pace.
Take advantage of the ability to connect and work with a vast array of online learners.
Conveniently submit assignments electronically.

Courses Include:

Practitioner Level Courses
Multisensory Math 1
Multisensory Math 2

Study Skills


Find out more

ASDEC Training

The training that I received from ASDEC profoundly and forever changed my philosophy and approach to teaching. (I always half-jokingly say that I want to go back to my pre-ASDEC teacher self, give her a hug, and let her know that she'll one day know how to reach all of the learners in her classroom!) 

In addition to my ASDEC training, however, my instructional knowledge and skills increased further through the time I spent in the classroom with each of you. I consider it such a gift to have taught with you, and I  know this was invaluable to my growth/development as a teacher. Thank you. 

Mary McAndrews, MA, CALT

ASDEC Professional Development

ASDEC Sounds In Syllables and Language Foundations have received accreditation by the International Dyslexia Association.  Sounds In Syllables is also included in the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Matrix of Multisensory Structured Language Programs. This publication identifies the most effective evidence-based programs using Orton-Gillingham techniques that are critical for teaching students with dyslexia and have been proven successful.

ASDEC faculty are all certified Academic Therapists who have also been trained in a wide array of specialized reading programs such as Sounds In Syllables, Alphabetic Phonics and Wilson Reading System.  Drawing upon their years of experience as therapists and trainers, our faculty develops and delivers research-based multisensory training programs to educators and parents in the Washington, DC region as well as throughout the country.

ASDEC training courses are accredited by IMSLEC, The International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council. IMSLEC is a member of The Alliance for Accreditation and Certification, which is sponsored by The International Dyslexia Association.

Academic Language  
Certification Program

ASDEC Qualified Instructors deliver therapy and practitioner level training that prepares educators for national recognition as Certified Academic Language Therapists (CALT) and Certified Academic Language Practioners (CALP).  The exam provides a measure of an individual’s knowledge of and skills in Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE) and verifies that the individual has achieved the highest level of competency in the field of dyslexia education.

Learn more about the National Standards for Academic Language Instruction.

Multisensory Math Training and Certification

ASDEC delivers the only certifeid multisensory math training program in the nation. Designed for educational professionals working with students in the classroom as well as those who work with students in small groups or one-to-one, our Multisnensory math training integrates Orton-Gillingham methods with the Concrete-Representational-Abstract approach endorsed by the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics.

Workshops for Parents and other Educators

ASDEC Faculty bring our nationally accredited training courses and workshops to schools and community groups throughout the US. ASDEC staff cater training programs to meet the needs of teachers, administrators, learning specialists, parents and counselors offering a range of short workshops or longer training courses.

Learn more about the Multisensory Training Institute.

Graduate Credit and CEUs  Available for all ASDEC courses. . We provide graduate credits through Trinity University Washington that can be used for teacher certification, salary increments, or for re-certification/seat hours, where applicable.

ASDEC - Dyslexia Therapy, Training, and Parent Advocacy

17 West Jefferson Street, Suite 201
Rockville, MD 20850

Phone: 301-762-2414
Email: questions@asdec.org

Copyright ©2019. ASDEC All rights reserved.

ASDEC is accredited by the International Mulitsensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC), one of two organizations in the US to receive the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) endorsement for meeting teacher training standards in reading.

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