Lisa Mills, M. Ed., CALT, LDT
VP Public Relations, Texas ALTA
1. Tell us about yourself, personally and teaching experience. Hi, I am Lisa Mills. I am married and have three grown children. My husband of 35 years is a Chiropractor. In my retirement, I love to look after my 2 cats, Simon and Chill, and my Bernedoodle puppy, Ivy. I retired at the end of 2019 and am enjoying private practice as an LDT,
I began my educational journey as a 4th-grade teacher back in 1987. While I worked, I got my master’s degree and Reading Specialist Certification which led to a new job in my district as a reading specialist. Soon after that, my district adopted Reading Recovery and I was in the first training class. However, there were always kids that we could not seem to help in that first round of Reading Recovery students. It bothered me, and I began thinking about dyslexia as the answer. By 2011, I had changed districts and continued working as a reading specialist when the opportunity came to be trained at Scottish Rite Hospital, Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Differences to work with our dyslexic population.
2. Why did you become a dyslexia therapist? I knew, as a reading specialist, that there were kids that I could not reach, and I wanted more tools to be able to help those children.
3. TALTA monitors legislation affecting dyslexia, which piece of legislation do you feel will impact our members most and why. I feel that the legislation that will affect us most is the 504/IDEA battle. I feel that there should be two pathways that receive funding from the federal government in the treatment of dyslexia, and as it stands now, we will only get funding for dyslexia if students are served under IDEA.
4. TALTA sponsors a summit each January, which speaker are you most excited to hear and why? I love Nancy Disterlic from Region 10. I have seen her several times and I always learn from her presentations.. She is so self-effacing and real about her own journey as a dyslexic. She has credibility in my mind to speak to the issues of dyslexia.
5. Helping children become readers is the goal of every dyslexia therapist. Can you recommend an inspirational children’s book for a child/family on that journey? I would recommend The Word Collector by Peter Reynolds because it emphasizes the power of knowing words. So much of our academic lives are tied to vocabulary, I feel that this motivational book will help kids see that power in a new light.