Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
The International Dyslexia Association
Dyslexia Common Risk Factors
- Failure to understand that words are made up of parts or individual sounds
- Difficulty learning the letter names and their corresponding sound
- Difficulty reading single words in isolation
- Choppy and labored reading
- Difficulty spelling phonetically
Fourth Grade-High School:
- History of reading and spelling difficulties
- Difficulty reading aloud
- Avoids reading for pleasure
- Difficulty learning a foreign language
- Difficulty with spoken vocabulary
- Difficulty completing the reading demands for multiple course requirements
How is a student identified for Dyslexia Services?
Students enrolled in Texas public schools shall be assessed for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times (TEC §38.003 (a)). The appropriate time depends on multiple factors including the student's reading performance; reading difficulties; poor response to supplemental, scientifically based reading instruction; teacher's input; and input from the parents/guardians. Schools shall recommend assessment for dyslexia if the student demonstrates the following:
- Poor performance in one or more areas of reading and spelling that is unexpected for the student's age/grade
- Characteristics and risk factors of dyslexia
Trained dyslexia evaluators administer a battery of assessments. Data from these assessments is
analyzed to determine whether the student demonstrates characteristics of dyslexia. The data is presented in a dyslexia evaluation report.
Once the evaluation is complete, the 504 / Special Education committee will review the data to determine whether the student meets eligibility as a student with dyslexia. If the student is found eligible, the Section 504 or Special Education committee will create a 504 Plan or Individual Education Plan (IEP) to delineate appropriate services which may include dyslexia intervention classes, instructional accommodations and/or testing accommodations.
For additional information related to the Dyslexia Services Program please contact the District Dyslexia/Reading Improvement Specialist, Olga McDonald.