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.” (International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 2002)
Students suspected of having dyslexia are identified through a formal evaluation process in Brownfield ISD. This evaluation may be conducted specifically to determine if a student has dyslexia through a Section 504 evaluation or as part of an evaluation for special education services. Following the completion of the evaluation, a written report is generated and reviewed by either the 504 or ARD committee, depending on the nature of the referral. Independent educational evaluations for dyslexia will be considered.
Elementary and Secondary campuses offer a continuum of services for students with dyslexia. Some students may only require instructional accommodation through Section 504, others may need direct intensive instruction in reading, and others may require the much more intensive supports and services of special education. Because dyslexia ranges from very mild to very severe, it is crucial that individual needs are considered when planning for student success.
If you have concerns that your child may have dyslexia, please contact your child's teacher, counselor, or principal to find out more about the Student Intervention Team process.
Definitions and Characteristics of Dyslexia
The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia
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 the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Adopted by the Board of Directors: November 12, 2002
Texas Education Code Section 38.003
Dyslexia means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.
Related disorders include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperceptions, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.
The primary difficulties of a student identified as having dyslexia occur in phonemic awareness and manipulation, single-word decoding, reading fluency, and spelling. Secondary consequences of dyslexia may include difficulties in reading comprehension and/or written expression. These difficulties are unexpected for the student’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities. Additionally, there is often a family history of similar difficulties.
The following are primary reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia:
⁃ Difficulty reading real words in isolation
⁃ Difficulty accurately decoding nonsense words
⁃ Slow, inaccurate, or labored oral reading (lack of reading fluency)
⁃ Difficulty with learning to spell
The reading/spelling characteristics are the result of difficulty with the following:
⁃ The development of phonological awareness, including segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds in words
⁃ Learning the names of letters and their associated sounds
⁃ Phonological memory (holding information about sounds and words in memory)
⁃ Rapid naming of familiar objects, colors, or letters of the alphabet
Secondary consequences of dyslexia may include the following:
⁃ Variable difficulty with aspects of reading comprehension
⁃ Variable difficulty with aspects of written composition
⁃ A limited amount of time spend in reading activities
Instruction for Students with Dyslexia
The 504 committee will make the decision whether the student has met the criteria for the disability of dyslexia. The committee will then need to determine if the student will need one or all of the following:
· Accommodations based on the student’s individual needs for the disability of dyslexia
· Interventions in reading based on the student’s individual needs for the disability of dyslexia.
Components of Instruction
The intervention program should be offered in a small class setting and include reading, writing, and spelling as appropriate for each student. The major instructional strategies should utilize individualized, intensive, and multi-sensory methods as appropriate.
Components of instruction, as appropriate for the reading needs of the student, include the following:
· Phonemic awareness instruction that enables students to detect, segment, blend, and manipulate sounds in spoken language;
· Graphophonemic knowledge (phonics) instruction that takes advantage of the letter-sound plan in which words carry meaning are made of sounds and sounds are written with letters in the right order. Students with this understanding can blend sounds associated with letters into words and can separate words into component sound for spelling and writing;
· Language structure instruction that encompasses morphology (the study of meaningful units of language such as prefixes, suffixes, and roots), semantics (ways that language conveys meaning), syntax (sentence structure), and pragmatics (how to use language in a particular context);
· Linguistic instruction directed toward proficiency and fluency with the patterns of language so that words and sentences are the carriers of meaning;
· Strategy-oriented instruction in the strategies students use for decoding, encoding, word recognition, fluency, and comprehension that students need to become independent readers.
Instructional approaches, as appropriate to meet the instructional needs of the student to include:
· Explicit, direct instruction that is systematic (structured), sequential, and cumulative.
Instruction is organized and presented in a way that follows a logical sequential plan, fits the nature of language (alphabetic principal) with no assumption of prior skills or language knowledge, and maximizes student engagement. This instruction proceeds at the rate commensurate with students’ needs, ability levels, and demonstration of progress;
· Individualized instruction that meets the specific learning needs of each individual student in a small group setting;
· A reading curriculum that matches each student’s individual ability level and contains all of the components of instruction listed above;
· Intensive, highly concentrated instruction that maximizes student engagement, uses specialized methods and materials, produces results, and weekly progress monitoring to ensure adequate progress and learning, appropriate setting outside the class designated by the school;
· Meaning-based instruction that is directed toward purposeful reading and writing, with an emphasis on comprehension and composition;
· Multi-sensory instruction that incorporates the simultaneous use of two or more sensory pathways (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, tactile) during teacher presentations and student practice.
Texas Education Code - State Law
Section 38.003. Screening and Treatment for Dyslexia and Related Disorders
· Students enrolling in public schools in this state shall be tested for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times in accordance with a program approved by the State Board of Education
· In accordance with the program approved by the State Board of Education, the board of trustees of each school district shall provide for the treatment of any student determined to have dyslexia or a related disorder
· The State Board of Education shall adopt any rules and standards necessary to administer this section
In this section:
· “Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.
· “Related disorders” includes disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as developmental auditory imperceptions, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th legislature, Chapter 260 Section 1, effective May 30, 1995
Links to the Dyslexia Handbook
Referral to Special Education
At any time during the assessment for dyslexia, identification process, or instruction related to dyslexia, student may be referred for evaluation for special education. At times, students will display additional factors/areas complicating their dyslexia and will required more support than what is available through the general education dyslexia program. At other times, students with severe dyslexia will be unable to make adequate academic progress within any of the programs described in the procedures related to dyslexia. In such cases, a referral to special education for evaluation and possible identification as a child with a disability with the definitions of IDEA 2004 may be made.
If the student with dyslexia is found eligible for special education in the area of reading, and the Admissions, Review and Dismissal Committee (ARDC) determines the student’s instructional needs for reading are most appropriately met in a special education placement, the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) will address the student’s needs in reading instruction.