Episode 26: Working memory and word learning in children with dyslexia and DLD, and in Bilingual Spanish-English speakers, with Shelley Gray and Mary Alt
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00:11 Tiffany Hogan: Welcome to See Hear Speak Podcast Episode 26. In this Episode I talk with my longtime collaborators Shelley Gray and Mary Alt. We discuss our findings on working memory and word learning in children with dyslexia and developmental language disorder.
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00:53 Tiffany: Welcome to Episode 26 of SeeHearSpeak Podcast. Today, I'm very excited to have guests Shelley Gray and Mary Alt. I will have them start by introducing themselves. And this is the part where we have to decide who introduces themselves first. [chuckle] How about you, Shelley?
01:12 Shelley Gray: Okay. Hi I'm Shelley Gray. I'm a professor of Speech and Hearing Science in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University.
01:22 Mary Alt: Hi, and I'm Mary Alt and I'm an Associate Professor in the Department of Speech Language and Hearing Sciences at the University of Arizona, which is in Tucson, Arizona.
01:32 Tiffany: Well, I've had the good fortune working with you both for the past nearly decade, I was starting to count it up. And we worked on a project called Power. So Shelley, can you tell the listeners about our project Power, and what the acronym stands for, why we felt this work was needed in some of our primary hypotheses and then we'll of course get into discussing some of our findings.
01:55 SG: Alright, well, nearly a decade ago, you, Tiffany, and Mary and I were word-learning researchers, and we had a lot of interest in what underlies differences in word learning, what kinds of variants that's not explained in word learning could we account for. And we also had a mutual interest in working memory. So, we applied for funding for a project we called Power, profiles of working memory and word learning for educational research and that's important because we are all interested in improving the academic and social performance in lives of children who have different disabilities and especially children with developmental language disability and children with dyslexia and children who may have concomitant both of those disorders, or attention deficit. So, in the Power project initially when we tried to look to see what was available for assessing working memory in children, we found battery that was available in the UK, but we didn't find very comprehensive batteries for working memory and especially we were concerned that some of the working memory tasks that had been used a lot relied heavily on language.
03:20 SG: And since we were assessing children with language disorders, we wanted tasks in a battery that didn't work against the kids who had language disorders. So, we spent five years developing this battery called the comprehensive assessment battery for children and we have the working memory one and we also have the word-learning battery. And at that time, our hypothesis was that we could account for more variance in word learning if we knew not only children's language and their reading ability but also their working memory and their non-verbal IQ. So, we spent five years studying that in second graders.
04:08 Tiffany: I remember one thing about developing the task is, first off, it was really hard and took a lot of time. But the next thing is that, a lot of the tasks we found were just really boring. Really, really, really boring. And one thing I thought we tried to do; I think we were pretty successful is making tasks that are a bit more motivating by making them child friendly. And Mary, can you the listeners a little bit about the platform cause I think it's fairly unique platform which we created these tasks.
04:38 MA: Absolutely. So we decided, as you said, things were boring, or they would be too difficult for children. And so we put this whole battery together in the context of a pirate adventure. And so, children got to choose a pirate avatar, there were, of course, both males and females to choose from. Then they would be taken to different oceans, one ocean was a word learning ocean, one was a working memory ocean. Within the oceans, there were different islands and so it was really funny, because we were working hard, but we were always talking about "What's going on with ice cream island." Then there's something happening on sea-monster island. [chuckle] It was kind of funny to have this very serious work that was really wrapped up in this kind of game, and to connect all of this, children would earn coins when they did well on the games and sometimes if they... To keep them motivated and make sure they weren't not trying at all, they might get a rock inspired by Charlie Brown on Halloween.
05:45 MA: And then they could take all their coins and go to the pirate stores and buy things for the pirates and that was just incredibly motivating to kids and these tasks took several days and so it was nice to have that continuity that they saw their pirate again, and they had some kids saved money from one island to the next, some spent it all at the store, but we really put it in that context because our idea was the more fun it is, the better data we'll get.
06:18 Tiffany: And I'll link in the resources for the podcast that article we wrote for the Journal of Visual Experiments, where we show some of these tasks and how they're done and then listeners should know that we are continuing to pursue funding so that we can create this gamification and testing of working memory in a way that the public can access so that you can administer it in the future. That's our ultimate goal, cause we have some pretty cool findings that we're gonna share with you and it is our...
06:51 Tiffany: It's really our thinking here that based on these findings, having this information in the classroom would add something beyond what you would find from standardized testing. And that leads me right into talking about these papers we published from the power of data set. I thought what we could do is each describe our favorite findings and what we think it means for clinical practice. And I thought I'd have you start, Shelley, with your paper.
07:19 SG: Alright, well I think as Mary said, all your papers become your favorites...
07:25 SG: Because you work so hard for them. But one of the questions we had in our original project, and then we continue to have in our renewal project is, "What does working memory information add over and above what you already know about a child?" So if they're typically developing, if they have developmental language disorder or dyslexia. And we also assess bilingual children, Spanish, English bilingual children in our first set of projects, too. So, we had to wait until we'd collected five years’ worth of data to really answer this question, but we wanted to know whether particular working memory profiles were the same or synonymous with a developmental disorder. So, if a child has DLD, does that also mean that child also has working memory problems?
08:26 SG: Or if a child has dyslexia, does that mean that child does? Or if a child has typical development, does it mean they're not at risk for having any working memory problems? And what we were able to find in this profile analysis was four different working memory profiles. One of the really interesting findings was that one of the things that separated profiles was central executive tasks. And in particular, updating tasks in working memory CE function. But we also found that children from all of those groups, the DLD, the dyslexia, the typically developing kids were represented in each one of those profiles, and there were typically developing children in each of those profiles too.
09:19 SG: So for me, that was a really important finding, because it suggests that knowing a child's working memory profiles, their strengths and their weaknesses can tell us more than a typical psycho-educational evaluation. And maybe Mary could tell you a little more about what we're planning to do with that in the future, but we certainly think that this could really help classroom practice and even targeting therapy certain ways to help children learn and have more tailored learning.
09:43 MA: Yeah, exactly. And so if I can move us into the... Well, the past and the future a little bit from that. This is one of the things we were hoping to find. Our clinical hypothesis from working with these kids was that they're not a monolithic group, they're not all the same. And so one of the things we're looking forward to doing and we're planning a grant to extend is to use information about working memory profiles and look at both kind of different tiers of instructions. So more whole classroom type of strategies as well as more targeted strategies and see who benefits from those with the hypothesis that kids with different kinds of working memory profiles will be able to benefit from different types or different intensities of working memory strategies in a classroom. And I wanna be clear to listeners too that our team doesn't... We're not coming from a perspective where we think we can change or improve somebody's working memory, I think that's a really important point. Sometimes there are these tests, or not tests, products out there that say, "Oh, you can improve your working memory."
11:10 MA: And most of the time, what those things find is that you can improve on that particular game, but it doesn't really translate. But as interventionists, I think what we know is if we understand your strengths and weaknesses, there are different types of ways of structuring intervention that could take advantage of those strengths or compensate for those weaknesses, and that's what we're really excited about exploring as we move forward.
11:37 Tiffany: I think one of the aspects of this paper that really struck me was this heterogeneity, and like you said, we see it clinically, but for instance in the children in the paper, who had dyslexia, and we had two groups of children with dyslexia. We had children who had dyslexia, and that's a deficit in word reading with and without language impairment. So we had children with dyslexia, what we called dyslexia only. So, dyslexia poor word reading and good language skills versus children with dyslexia plus developmental language disorder. So poor overall language skills, like on lower score on the SELF. And what surprised me is that the research shows children with dyslexia have a hallmark deficit in phonological processing, and that's typically measured like phonological awareness. But you see also just mini-phonological tests like digit span, similar to the ones we use, non-repetition. And what we found in this paper that children with dyslexia, whether they had DLD or without DLD, they showed a range of abilities in phonological processing, so much so that in the group of, I think it was around 60, what 68 or so kids we had, 60 to 70 children with dyslexia.
12:48 Tiffany: The range was, in terms of a z-score, plus three. So really, really good phonological processing versus negative three. So that wide range of phonological processing abilities. Said another way, the children that we had in our sample that had dyslexia, I think it was only about 40% that showed a clear phonological deficit. And I've actually been talking to other researchers with data sets like this to say, "What is the phonological processing looking like?" Cause we have these group findings, so the group as a whole, if we looked at just group differences, it's clear that children with dyslexia have phonological processing deficits at the group level. But when we look at this individual profile, not all of the children individually have phonological deficits. And talking to other researchers, this is something they've looked back in their data sets and said, "Wow, this is true." So, I think it just speaks to some of the work that we do at a group level that doesn't always translate to the individual level, and as clinicians we're looking at individual children.
13:53 Tiffany: So, we are working on a paper to follow up some of that, looking more deeply at those individual differences in children, dyslexia in particular, related to phonology to see what could maybe be driving some of those individual differences. But like Mary said, it's not surprising to our clinical eye because we see these children clinically and recognize their heterogeneity.
14:15 SG: Another thing I wanted to point out is, in our initial development work, this was all was second-grade children. And we picked second grade because we think it's such an important time to identify and be able to figure out how to teach the kids most effectively, but it could change over time. So for example, profiles could certainly change over time. So, in our renewal project that we're working on now, we're actually conducting a longitudinal study of children beginning in kindergarten through sixth grade to see how working memory develops and unfolds. So it's gonna be really interesting to see. And we also have included the same kinds of children with developmental language disorder and dyslexia or both to see whether the characteristics we saw in that study hold across time or whether as children develop reading and they have more and more exposure in the educational system, what impact that's having on their working memory development.
15:24 Tiffany: Mary could you give us a concrete example of what you're thinking about when you say that we could leverage the working memory profiles of these children for intervention?
15:36 MA: Yeah, a couple of things that I think about are, there are some approaches in education that seems like effort for retrieval, trying to get people to practice. People typically don't like it, but it really shows that it helps them a lot. But if you have students that have really poor working memory, that strategy just may not work for you because you maybe don't have it there to recall. So if you have a low working memory profile, and you're in a classroom that's asking you to use something like effort for retrieval, that may be just a waste of time for you. You may need something where you have other support so that you could practice in coding that word or that math problem or whatever it is. This affects a lot of types of academics, so that you could practice it more. For you it's not about recalling, for you it's about getting more attempts so that you actually do remember it and then code it.
16:38 MA: And that's gonna take probably a little more time and effort versus the child who has dyslexia or DLD who has a good working memory profile, they might not need that same kind of intensive practice that way, and then we might wanna focus our attention on something different for them. They could do something as simple as effort for retrieval or other types of classroom-level strategies and be okay with that. So, it helps us decide who needs more focused intervention that way.
17:13 Tiffany: And I think that makes a lot of sense. And Shelley, you mentioned that we had the bilingual sample. Mary, can you tell us about some of the work that you've led in the projects related to bilingual findings?
17:25 MA: Sure. One of the reasons we are interested in including a bilingual sample is well, there are tons of bilingual kids in our world and we wanna make sure... really, we wanna make sure we represent them. And especially when it comes to things like word learning, there's almost no work on word learning in bilingual kids. There's a lot on vocabulary, but it doesn't tell us much about how they learn. And if we wanna understand what to do educationally, we assume that these children have tons of competence, but it's not fair to assume that they do things the exact same way as their monolingual peers. We really need to figure out what things are similar and what things are different. So, if we need to account for that in their learning or just understanding how they approach the world, we could do that. So, in our study, we had bilingual kids who were typically developing and who were fairly bilingual, and by fairly bilingual, what I mean is that these were children who could hold conversations in both English and Spanish. So, they were pretty strong bilinguals.
18:40 MA: In one of the papers we did look at, what their word learning looked like? And basically, what we found there was by and large, both monolingual and bilingual typically developing children learned words with about the same level of ability, but there were definitely some differences in the group and those were just interesting to note. One thing was in tasks where we asked children to judge the phonology of the sound. So, if they heard a word we might say another word that sounded close to that. The children who were bilingual tended to be a lot more accepting of differences in sounds, and a lot of this, we were hypothesizing. And when I say we, I have to shout out my former doctoral student Dr. Genesis Arizmendi who was a huge part of this. The idea that these kids are often hearing varieties of phonological productions in their environment. And so if they understand the context, they tend to be a little more, if you will, forgiving of some phonological differences. Now might this make a difference in school where you're learning words like endoskeleton, exoskeleton, where those little phonological differences make a big deal? We don't really know, but knowing that we see this pattern, it's something to look for. I was also really intrigued, it seemed there was one place they struggled a little bit.
20:16 MA: When trying to encode some visual features of words they were learning, when orthography was present, which made me wonder about what's going on with processing there. We can't answer that yet. But I think another thing I wanna point out is, although our bilingual population as a group came from a lower SES, SES didn't make a difference in word learning and the kids did just as well as the monolingual kids who, as a group, came from a higher SES group. So, I also thought that was really important information, because if you... We know sometimes there's under-identification for kids who are bilingual. And so what it tells me is that if you're working with a bilingual child, we should expect a lot of competence in word learning, and if there isn't, we don't wanna blame that on low SES or something like that. That gives us some good information that these children, typically developing children that have lots of competence in that area.
21:24 Tiffany: Well speaking of SES, we also had a paper that looked at bilingual and the essential, the executive functioning strength that they're said to have. Can you tell us about that paper, Mary?
21:38 MA: Sure, and that one again where our first author was Dr Arizmendi. So one of the things we found is the literature is a little bit of a mess on some central executive tasks. So, when we went to look at things... One basic thing we wanna look at is what's the reliability of the task? In other words, if you give it the classic examples, if you step on the scale one time after the other, you should get roughly the same reading, that's reliability, and if your task doesn't have good reliability, you can't really make a lot of inferences from it. And a lot of central executive tasks, even really well-known ones like Stroop tasks, they don't have great reliability, or they don't report on it at all.
22:23 MA: So, there's kind of a methodological issue out there, but what we found was when we used our task and narrowed them down to the ones that had good reliability, because not all of our executive function tasks --- you. We did not find a central executive advantage for our bilingual children. And there were one or two cases where they actually performed a little bit worse than the monolingual peers. And there are a million potential reasons for this. And one thing we bring up in the paper is the idea about, would be interesting to know one thing that can counter-act executive function performance is stress. And we wonder what it's like living in a border community when the political situation is like what it's like. There's definitely some stress associated with that. So, these are avenues that are open for exploration in the future, but I think the bottom line was we did not find evidence of that advantage. But I guess, I think it's important to know that... I think it's always an advantage to be bilingual.
23:41 Tiffany: Yes, that's right.
23:42 MA: Functionally, I think that's a really important message to get out there. It's just this particular central executive advantage wasn't present in our data.
23:52 Tiffany: Very interesting.
23:52 SG: Yes, Tiffany, I wanted to give a shot out to some other people on our team. We've worked with Nelson Cowan since the very beginning, and he's a world-renowned researcher in working memory and he has been wonderful to work with. He's a valued member of the team. And then our statistician, the late Sam Green who helped... We're doing some fairly complicated analyses in these papers. And now we're working with the statistician Roy Levy. And then we have many Doc students like Katy Cabbage and other people who have contributed, so it's really been a great team.
24:34 Tiffany: It has been a great team.
24:35 MA: Big team effort.
24:36 SG: Big team effort.
24:37 MA: Yeah, and that's not even counting. Yeah, that's not even counting the myriad undergraduates and other students who contributed to this. All the work we do is absolutely a huge team project.
24:51 Tiffany: Well, until you mentioned five years, we collected data for five years, and that wasn't because this project was longitudinal. The one we're talking about from the findings, it's because it took five years to collect all the data on the children in second grade, and find those exact kids so, I think... And that was in three different sites, really four I guess, because we had Bost... Cause I moved to Boston from Nebraska. This leads me to talk a little bit about my favorite paper. And it was led by Lauren Barron, a doctoral student of mine who's now post-doc, and then you mentioned Katy Cabbage a post-doc on the project who also led the Journal of Visual Experiments paper.
25:28 Tiffany: And in this paper, we looked in more detail, at a specific aspect of word learning. And that's one of my favorite things about this project is that you can... We can take a wide-angle view, wide lens I guess and think about profiles across kids, but we have so many details in each of our tasks so we can also take a very narrow-focused view on a specific aspect of word learning. And this aspect we looked at was orthographic facilitation. So, orthographic facilitation is the idea that if you're learning a new vocabulary word and you're hearing how that word is pronounced, so you're thinking about the sounds in the words, learning a new phonological representation, we know that the phonological representation is remembered more accurately, recalled more accurately, if it's learned in the presence of letters.
26:15 Tiffany: So that would be, if we're learning the word let's say, Tuke, and you know that it has the t-u-ke. But if you also learn it when it's being spelled out, so maybe it's T-U-K-E, in this case, if we wanna teach it that way, then if it's paired with the written form, the spoken form's actually learned more accurately. And so, what we did in our experiment was, we had four words that children were learning and two showed orthography, or how to spell the non-word on the screen while they were learning the word, and two did not include the written form while they were learning the word. What we found is that, typically, developing children, we found a very robust orthographic facilitation. So, whenever we asked them to label... In our project, we have monsters that are labeled. When we said, "What's this monster's name?" they were able to produce and recall the sounds associated with that monster's name more accurately when, during learning, the name was paired with a written form.
27:22 Tiffany: And we see this also in children who had dyslexia, which was a surprising find in some ways, because I think the studies... This was the first study of orthographic facilitation of children with dyslexia, and I think it's because it was almost assumed that children with dyslexia wouldn't benefit from orthographic facilitation because they have word reading deficits and they have known deficits in letter recall and letter pattern recall. But we found they did show this facilitation effect. It just wasn't as strong as their peers who were typically developing, and it seemed to plateau. So, with more repetitions, they didn't really show this improvement, but they did benefit. So, clinically, we argued that even with children with dyslexia... For all learners, if you're teaching a new word, it's good to pair the spoken form with the written form. But especially with children with dyslexia, you don't wanna shy away from including the written form, even though they have difficulty reading. So, this is one of my favorites for many reasons, but one of the reasons is it has a very clear clinical outcome, and it's in line with many, many studies that are out there on orthographic facilitation.
28:33 MA: And if I can throw in one other favorite, we also have a paper where we looked at word learning in kids who are typically developing, kids who have dyslexia only, and kids who have dyslexia and DLD. And what we found there was, the kids with dyslexia were less accurate than the typical peers about a third of the time, they were equivalent to them about a third of the time, but the kids who had both were less accurate 83% of the time. It was much, much worse for them. And I think the real takeaway there is, in our field... I'm just gonna say it, it's true both in research and clinically, we don't always do a great job figuring out when kids have both oral and written language issues.
29:27 Tiffany: Absolutely.
29:28 SG: And this really showed me that it makes a big difference. There's a big, big difference in that kid who only has dyslexia and the kid who has dyslexia and DLD. The kid with DLD too is gonna struggle way more with word learning. So, if they're kids with dyslexia or a specific reading impairment who haven't been tested for language, that's something we really need to look at. So, I think that also was a big clinical aha moment.
29:59 Tiffany: Yeah, and the flip side is that... Oh, go ahead.
30:02 SG: I'll add to that that in our Working Memory Profiles paper, not every child with both was in the low-working memory profile, not at all, but there were more of those kids in the low profile. So, having both doesn't mean that you have to have working memory deficit, but you're more likely, more higher percentage of those kids did. So, that's another thing you want to work with your school psychologist, or to have the Working Memory Assessment as well.
30:35 Tiffany: And I think too... Thank you for giving that shout-out, Mary, on measuring both word-reading and language, because we have found in several studies that the co-occurrence is about 50%. So, about 50% of children with dyslexia have comorbid language impairment. And 50% of children with language impairment have a comorbid dyslexia. But we tend to stick in our silos and just measure... If you're a speech pathologist, just measure the language skills, and special educators... Reading specialists are measuring word reading, and we're not really looking at both of them, and it does make a difference in outcomes. And the other thing too is that children with dyslexia, even though their hallmark deficit is word-reading deficits, we see they also have problems in word learning, even if their language is good. I think that was a big take-home too.
31:25 MA: Absolutely, and we definitely found that here, and we found that their word-learning problems were more related to phonology, but not exclusively. So, [chuckle] there are lot options for places to struggle.
31:38 Tiffany: That's right, and I'll say that... I'll put a plug out for a special issue of Language, Speech, Hearing Services in Schools, in which that paper was published, where the whole issue's about, "Okay, vocabulary, word learning," So take a look and we'll link that into the resources for the podcast. I'm being mindful of time here, and I wanna turn to the last two questions that I ask every guest. Even though we've been talking all about this power project, and Shelley you mentioned we are fortunate we have the continuations, we have five more years to work together and think about this more longitudinally, we have all been working on other projects at the same time. And so, I will start with you, Mary, if you could tell me, what are you working on now that you're most excited about?
32:20 MA: Everything. [chuckle]
32:22 Tiffany: I know.
32:23 MA: You're trying to get to pick favorites, and I love it all.
32:26 MA: I think I would say probably the biggest theme I have outside of Power is looking at how learning and what we know about learning can be applied to practice. So I'm particularly interested in things like statistical learning which is the learning that happens sort of without trying, the patterns that people recognize and amplifying those patterns in treatment, so people who struggle with learning can learn better. So we're looking at that in word learning and late talking toddlers, we have some projects out that are exploring what some of that would look like in science vocabulary learning and English language learners where adults with impairments, but just that idea of trying to take what we know from a cognitive science perspective about learning and infusing that into therapy intervention classroom instruction.
33:23 Tiffany: And you have a special issue that you like for language speaking services in school on just this topic, so listeners could delve deeper and learn more about statistical learning what it means for your practice cause there're some very clear I think clinical implications from the work that you've done and others.
33:39 MA: Absolutely. And yeah, it's a terrible boring name, but a fascinating topic.
33:44 Tiffany: [chuckle] The name doesn't do it justice, but that's good. Shelley, what are you working on now that you're most excited about, aside from Power?
33:53 SG: Well, we have two on-going studies, that have been going on for quite a long time that we keep learning new things. One is originally was the language and reading research consortia where we followed children longitudinally to watch their language and reading comprehension developments, so those kids that we started following in preschool with a large group of people, scientists and schools working with us are now in eighth grade so we've been following them and it's amazing to see the kids there each and see how they're growing and what all they're learning.
34:31 Tiffany: I never forget how old those children are, Shelley cause you know. I was on the project with Shelley and my son is the same age as her participants. So, he's in eighth grade and I'm like "Oh those large participants are in eighth grade too". [chuckle]
34:45 SG: And then another one is with my colleague, Jamie Wilcox. We have an early, teaching early literacy and language tier one curriculum in pre-school and getting kids off to good starts really near and dear to us, and we're trying out different forms of professional development to go with that including a distance model which we haven't done before, so that we could scale up. So that's interesting that I, I think one of the most exciting things is in our college, our college is funding what they're calling translational teams and the whole purpose is for the community to bring problems to you that they would like to have solved. So, we have two going on in our lab right now. One was a group of pediatricians, one was a mom who had a child with dyslexia, who said, "Why aren't we screening for dyslexia in pediatrician's offices? We screen for all these other developmental things. Why aren't we screening for dyslexia?" So, we're working with them on a parent questionnaire that could be administered at a well, child visits, so that's pretty exciting. And they have a lot of different ideas than we do and that's pretty exciting too.
35:57 SG: And the second project is tackling this problem of lack of professional development, lack of access to professional development to early childhood educators in rural areas or even you work all day and you're mom at home, at night with your kids and you can't go to professional development. So, we're exploring the use of this eco-platform, which was developed for medical offices to transmit knowledge, and so we're gonna be trying that out in our state. So, this is a state-wide project and we're really hoping to be able to pull together a lot of resources so that's pretty exciting.
36:37 Tiffany: That is very cool, I have to say, I actually have to give a heartfelt shot out to both of you. Because science is hard, just like clinical practice is hard, but it's made much easier and more enjoyable with friends and good collaborators that become friends and make it fun and get to bounce off ideas. And I think... [chuckle] I have a funny story about the LARRC and Power. So, Shelley I remember that we had just gotten the LARRC grant which is a massive grant to study not only children longitudinally but create interventions and test them in a randomized control trial and as Shelley said, she continues on with that work. And I remember we had just gotten that and then Shelley... Oh, I'm sorry. We had just gotten Power that's vice versa, we'd just gotten power, and Shelley said, "Hey what about doing this other thing?" It was LARRC and I was like, "Oh my goodness. There's so much to do." But you were so enthusiastic and the opportunity to work with you again on and to work on these two projects has been amazing. And then Mary and I started at University of Arizona in the exact same year, so we were learning together, weren't we Mary? [chuckle]
37:40 MA: We were, we were lab sisters, yeah.
37:42 Tiffany: We were lab sisters. That was really amazing and I'm so excited to showcase your work, and tell the listeners more about these findings and hopefully turn the listeners on to read more about what we've done, cause we could say so much more, but we do have another important question I wanna get to that I ask every guest, and that is, what's your favorite childhood book? So, Shelley what is your favorite childhood book? Or you can also say a book now that you favorite, if you prefer.
38:10 SG: Well, one that I remember really well was read to us by our fourth-grade teacher, and it was "Misty of Chincoteague". Did you?
38:18 SG: Never heard in it.
38:20 MA: No absolutely, absolutely.
38:22 SG: It's about wild horses and you know. In elementary school, you go through this wild horse riding phase, lot of kids do, but I will say, in our elementary school, our teachers read to us after lunch every day, they read long books, and many of my favorite books were books that were read to me, and that was... It's still a great book, you should read it, "Misty of Chincoteague"
38:48 Tiffany: Awesome. And, it's such still a wonderful practice to have when teachers read out loud, right. And that's a big part of our thinking with LARRC too. So, Shelley... Or I'm sorry, Mary. What was your favorite book?
39:00 MA: Oh, well, before I do that, I wanna throw in one other shout out for a project I'm really excited about.
39:06 Tiffany: Yeah.
39:07 MA: And when I say we, it's us and Nancy Scherer and Laida Restrepo up at ASU, just got funding from the Office of Special Education Programs for a grant called Pride. Preparing Researchers in Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities from multicultural environments. We'll be able to train a cohort of doctoral students who are interested in working with kids from multicultural environments. And I think that really speaks to that idea of, it's more fun when you have friends to do it. It's kind of exciting to have a cross-university cohort coming together for that. So, if anyone out there wants funded training, come talk to me.
39:49 Tiffany: That's fantastic. And we had Laida on the podcast. So, if you haven't listened to Laida's episode have a listen cause you'll learn more about what she's up to, too. And the powerhouse that would be working with Laida and Mary would be amazing. And your other collaborator.
40:04 MA: Yeah, exactly and then the other... So again, it's so hard to pick favorites, but I'm gonna call out a book that I discovered as a therapist that I just thought was so much fun. It's called Arthur's Tractor: A Fairy Tale with Mechanical Parts, by Pippa Goodhart.
40:21 MA: And it's got beautiful illustrations and it's about this somewhat incompetent farmer and behind him, he's worried about what's going on with his tractor but behind him, there's a dragon and a princess. And I love the language in it because he's always cussing but he says things like, "Dollops of dumb, the blim blam blade is broken."
40:43 MA: And he with these new creative ways to express his frustration... There's a lot going on and it's really fun so take a peek at that book. It's great visual, great story, great messages, and really fun language.
40:58 Tiffany: Oh, I can't wait to get it for my kids. That's one thing I always do from the podcast, is get new books for the kids based on the recommendation from the guests. So that sounds like an awesome one and definitely very languagey.
41:11 MA: Yeah, it is.
41:13 Tiffany: Well, thank you so much, you two for in the time for us to get together and chat. Not about necessarily grant nuts and bolts, cause we do that all the time, but to talk about the findings we have and share them with the listeners, so thank you very much.
41:27 MA: Always a pleasure.
41:28 SG: Thanks, enjoyed it.
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Thank you for listening and good luck to you, making the world a better place by helping one child at a time.