Anna Middleton

Sep 08, 2020 / Dyslexia & Learning Disorders

Get to Know our Staff: Anna Middleton, Dyslexia

What is your role at Scottish Rite for Children? 
My role is to conduct research that supports the mission and vision of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders. As a clinical research scientistI work with our staff to develop and execute projects toward this goal, including developing and testing curriculum components. As the primary researcher in the Dyslexia department, my responsibilities vary from study design and regulatory processes, data analysis, supporting outreach and education, program evaluation and development, etc. We have about 20 children who receive dyslexia intervention services in our Dyslexia Lab School and have ongoing partnerships with several school districts that use our curriculum in their dyslexia classrooms. A large part of my job right now is tracking student outcomes over time to provide evidence towards the efficacy of our program(s). Every day is a bit different from the last, which I really enjoy.
What do you enjoy most about Scottish Rite?
The people. Our staff has such a strong passion for and commitment to serving children and each other - you can’t help but feel good around that.
Why did you decide to do the work you are doing now? How long have you worked here? 
I have always had a strong interest in cognition and learning, which led me to pursue certification as an Academic Language Therapist soon after finishing my undergraduate degree. (Side note: my therapist training course was the first in the state of Colorado to train therapists using Scottish Rite’s curriculum, Take Flight, as the base of our instruction and practicum!). Working with children and experiencing firsthand the variability in students' responses to treatment ultimately motivated me to go to graduate school to pursue research in the cognitive mechanisms underlying reading and learning. During graduate school, I studied the neurophysiological components of language development and reading using electroencephalography (EEG). After completing my doctorate, I worked in the Audiology, Speech and Learning Services department at Children’s Hospital Colorado. I came to Scottish Rite in August 2018 - the last two years have flown by!
What’s the coolest or most interesting thing you’re working on right now?
We have a lot of exciting projects in the works right now. Our current “big picture” focus is on tracking outcomes for students receiving Take Flight instruction through public school dyslexia services. We are working to make our program accessible to more students and are investigating individual variability in treatment response.
What are you currently watching on Netflix/Hulu/TV/etc.? 
My current favorites are Yellowstone and Turn: Washington's Spies
What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
I have always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. 
What are some small things that make your day better?
Hot breakfast, lunchtime walks and smiling faces.
What is special about the place you grew up?
My family’s home in Colorado was on the side of a mountain less than half a mile from the nearest trailhead. I spent countless hours in those mountains - hiking, camping - you name it!

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working? 
Aside from July and August (I am a wimp in the Texas heat), I love to be outside. My ideal weekend would include a walk/hike in the hidden gems of countryside outside of the city, a trip to the playground or pool with my 3-year-old daughter and enjoying good, live local music with my husband.

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