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Dr. Marion Blank
Dr. Blank is the director of the A Light on Literacy Program in the Department of Child Psychiatry at Columbia University. She is a developmental psychologist with a specialization in language (both spoken and written) and learning. She has also worked extensively overseas and has served as a consultant to government bureaus in England, Canada, Holland, Israel and Australia.

Dr. Blank has spent over forty years studying how children learn to. She has lectured extensively around the world, authored over sixty articles and six books on language. Her latest book The Reading Remedy and her new software program makes her system available to every parent and educator.

In 2010, Dr. Blank was a recipient of the Upton Sinclair Award in Education. In 1994 and 1995, she was selected as the New Jersey nominee for the Frank R. Kleffner Clinical Career Award of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. In 1990, she developed a software reading program, Sentence Master, which received the Special Education Software Award of 1990 from the Software Publishers Association and a Certificate of Achievement in the Johns Hopkins University National Search. In 1991,
she co-authored a book, A Parent's Guide to Educational Software (Microsoft Press, 1991) that reviewed over 200 software programs parents may use at home to foster their children's education. Her books Directing School Discourse (1994) and Directing Early Discourse (1995) provide unique methods for fostering language skills in children who are experiencing school difficulties. She is also the principal author of the Preschool Language Assessment Instrument (PLAI), a test published in both in English and Spanish, that is designed to assess the verbal communication skills of children in the preschool years.

From 1973 to 1983, she was a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers Medical School. In that capacity, she served as the director of a research unit in reading disabilities. From 1960 to 1973, she was on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Her work there included serving as the Director of the teaching program of the Interdisciplinary
Training Program, participating in a research unit on human behavioral development (with a focus on poverty and handicapped populations) and service on the Women's Rights Committee.

Dr. Blank received a PhD in psychology from Cambridge University in England, a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and an MS in education and a BA from City College in New York. She is licensed as a psychologist in New York and New Jersey.

Entries by Dr. Marion Blank

Autism and Literacy: Making the Unique an Everyday Occurrence

(3) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 3:52 PM

In recent years, there have been a number of inspiring reports on non-verbal (i.e., non-speaking) children with autism displaying masterful language via reading and writing. One of the most recent appeared this summer in the recounting of a non-verbal autistic teen who, with the assistance of technology, gave...

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Reading Needs Writing! A Vital, But Neglected, Message

(6) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 2:29 PM

Every language system has two modes: one for producing messages and one for receiving messages. In spoken language, those two modes are speaking and listening. In written language (literacy), they are writing and reading.

A significant discrepancy exists in to the way we conceptualize the two systems. In spoken language...

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What Is Reading? It's About Time We Figured It Out

(2) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 11:48 AM

The reading problems in our nation have been reported for decades. Far less well-documented is the fact that we are in no better shape in understanding just what reading is.

The problems are reflected in comments I hear from parents who are concerned about their children's progress. They go as...

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Autism and Apps: An Open Letter to '60 Minutes'

(35) Comments | Posted November 17, 2011 | 3:26 PM

Dear "60 Minutes":

As a psychologist with a long-term commitment to children with autism, I watched with great interest your recent segment "Apps for Autism." The encouraging picture you presented was welcome. Like many parents and many colleagues, I have seen the extraordinary array of skills that children on the...

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Autism Awareness from the Families' Perspective

(29) Comments | Posted April 22, 2011 | 10:43 PM

"I must confess that Autism Awareness Months tend to leave me cold. It seems to me that general awareness campaigns tell the public absolutely nothing about what it means to be autistic."
--A parent of a child with autism

For those of you who don't know, April is Autism...

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The Crisis in Education: Let's Not Wait for Superman

(26) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 3:08 PM

The documentary "Waiting for Superman" has provided a valuable service by focusing the nation on the dire state of our schools. For decades now, statistics in literacy, math and science achievement have shown our children to be near the bottom in the industrialized world.

At the same time, the film...

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