What is Dyslexia?
The current definition from the International Dyslexia Association states:
“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 experiences that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
School District Requirements
Texas Education Code §38.003 - Students enrolling in public schools in Texas shall be assessed for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times. The board of trustees of each school district or charter school shall provide for the treatment (i.e., instruction) of any student determined to have dyslexia.
Texas Administrative Code §74.28 - The board of trustees of a school district or charter school must ensure that procedures for identifying a student with dyslexia and for providing appropriate instructional services to the student are implemented. A school district or charter school shall purchase or develop its own reading program for students with dyslexia, as long as the program is characterized by the descriptors found in The State Dyslexia Handbook (revised 2010).
Teacher Training Requirements
Teachers who screen and treat these students must be trained in instructional strategies that utilize individualized, intensive, multi sensory, phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components described in “Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders.” The professional development activities specified by each district and/or campus planning and decision-making committee shall include these instructional strategies.
Common Signs of Dyslexia
The following may be associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities.
- May talk later than most children
- May have difficulty with rhyming
- May have difficulty pronouncing words (i.e., busgetti for spaghetti, mawn lower for lawn mower)
- May have poor auditory memory for nursery rhymes and chants
- May be slow to add new vocabulary words
- May be unable to recall the right word
- May have trouble learning numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, and how to spell and write his or her name
Kindergarten through Third Grade
- Fails to understand that words come apart; for example, that snowman can be pulled apart into snow and man and, later on, that the word man can be broken down still further and sounded out as /m/ /ã/ /n/
- Has difficulty learning the letter names and their corresponding sounds
- Has difficulty decoding single words (reading single words in isolation)—lacks a strategy
- Has difficulty spelling phonetically
- Reads dysfluently (choppy and labored)
- Relies on context to recognize a word
Fourth Grade through High School
- Has a history of reading and spelling difficulties
- Avoids reading aloud
- Reads most materials slowly; oral reading is labored, not fluent
- Avoids reading for pleasure
- May have an inadequate vocabulary
- Has difficulty spelling; may resort to using less complicated words in writing that are easier to spell
The purpose of this handbook of procedures related to dyslexia is to provide guidelines for school districts, charter schools, campuses, teachers, and parents or guardians in the identification and instruction of students with dyslexia. This handbook will be helpful to districts and charter schools as they develop their written procedures regarding students with dyslexia. While state and federal laws provide a legal framework, districts and charter schools should also address the individual needs of the students they serve.
(Download The Dyslexia Handbook from TEA) www.tea.state.tx.us/curriculum/elar/index.html
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