Table of Contents
I. Introduction 3
II. Definition of Dyslexia 3
III. Screening for Dyslexia 4
IV. Referral Process 5
V. Assessment of Dyslexia 6
VI. English Language Learners 8
VII. Committee of Knowledgeable Persons 9
VIII. Program Entrance Criteria 10
IX. Program Description & Options 12
X. Components of Instruction 13
XI. Timeline 14
XII. Program Exit Criteria 14
XIII. Monitoring of Students 14
XIV. District Contacts 15
XV. Flow Chart 15
XVI. Appendices 18
Students who continue to
struggle to read, despite conventional or intensified instruction, are provided
organized systems of reading support in the state of
The purpose of this plan related to dyslexia is to provide guidelines for identification and instruction of students with dyslexia.
Definition of Dyslexia
As defined in Texas Education Code §38.003
(1) “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.
(2) “Related disorders” includes disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.
The definition of 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 experience that
can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. (Adopted
by the International Dyslexia Board of Directors,
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.
Screening for Dyslexia
In accordance with TEC §28.006, Springtown ISD administers early reading instruments in kindergarten, first, and second grades to determine students’ reading development and comprehension. If, on the basis of the reading instrument results, students are determined to be at risk for dyslexia and other reading difficulties, the students’ parents/guardians are notified. In addition, an accelerated (intensive) reading program that appropriately addresses students’ reading difficulties and enables them to “catch up” with their typically performing peers is implemented. Should students continue to struggle with reading, writing, and spelling during the intensive reading instruction, then Springtown ISD will initiate procedures to recommend these students for assessment for dyslexia. The information from the early reading instruments will be one source of information in deciding whether or not to recommend a student for assessment for dyslexia.
Screening for dyslexia of students in grades 3 – 12 may include, but is not limited to: performance on state mandated test(s); a student’s grades/performance in reading, writing and spelling; and, teachers’ observations of the characteristics of dyslexia. This information will be utilized when deciding whether or not to recommend a student for assessment for dyslexia.
At any time that a student continues to struggle with one or more components of reading, Springtown ISD will collect additional information about the student. The information will be used to evaluate the student’s academic progress and determine what actions are needed to ensure the student’s improved academic performance. Information to be considered includes the results from some or all of the following:
· Vision screening
· Hearing screening
· Teacher reports of classroom concerns
· Accommodations provided by classroom teachers
· Academic progress reports and/or report cards
· Samples of school work
· Testing for limited English proficiency
· Speech and language screening through a referral process
· The K-2 reading instrument as described in TEC §28.006
· State student assessment program as described in TEC §39.002
Among the actions that Springtown ISD has available for the student is a recommendation that the student be assessed for dyslexia. Springtown ISD recommends assessment for dyslexia if the student demonstrates the following:
· Poor performance in one or more areas of reading and/or the related area of spelling that is unexpected for the student’s age/grade, and;
· Characteristics of dyslexia.
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 spent in reading activities
The campus Student Support Team will evaluate the collected data and make a recommendation for further assessment when these criteria are met.
Assessment of Dyslexia
Students in Springtown ISD shall be assessed for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times (TEC §38.003(a)). The appropriate time depends upon multiple factors including the student’s reading performance, reading difficulties, poor response to supplemental, scientifically-based reading instruction, teachers’ input, and parents’ or guardians’ input. Additionally, the appropriate time for assessing is early in a student’s school career (19 TAC §74.28), the earlier the better. While earlier is better, students will be recommended for assessment for dyslexia even if the reading difficulties appear later in a student’s school career.
The procedures followed for assessment include:
1. Notify parents or guardians of proposal to assess student for dyslexia
2. Inform parents or guardians of their rights under §504
3. Obtain parent or guardian permission to assess the student for dyslexia
4. Assess student, being sure that individuals/professionals who administer
assessments have training in the evaluation of students for dyslexia and
related disorders (19 TAC §74.28).
Tests, assessments, and other evaluation materials will (§504):
· Be validated for the specific purpose for which they are used
· Include material tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely materials that are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient
· Be selected and administered so as to ensure that, when a test is given to a student with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the student’s aptitude or achievement level, or whatever other factor the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the student’s impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills
· Include multiple measures of a student’s reading abilities, such as informal assessment information
· Be administered by trained personnel and in conformance with the instructions provided by the producer of the evaluation materials
Assessment of Special Education Students
If a student is already in special education, but exhibits the characteristics of dyslexia or related disorders and is referred for assessment, assessment procedures for students under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA 2004) will be followed. Assessment data from prior special education assessments may be utilized, and/or additional assessment may be conducted by personnel trained in assessment to evaluate students for dyslexia and related disorders. In this case, the ARD committee will serve as the committee of knowledgeable persons.
Assessment of Students Identified Outside the District
Students identified as having dyslexia or related disorders from an outside source will be evaluated for eligibility in the district’s program. Springtown ISD will consider outside assessment(s), and/or may re-assess the student. In either situation, the committee of knowledgeable persons will determine the identification status of a student enrolled in Springtown ISD and the placement of the student in the dyslexia program.
Domains to Assess
Springtown ISD administers measures that are related to the student’s educational needs. Depending upon the student’s age and stage of reading development, the following are the areas related to reading that should be assessed:
· Reading real and nonsense words in isolation (decoding)
· Phonological awareness
· Letter knowledge (name and associated sound)
· Rapid naming
· Reading fluency (rate and accuracy)
· Written spelling
Based on the student’s academic difficulties and characteristics, additional areas that can be assessed include vocabulary, written expression, handwriting, and mathematics.
English Language Learners [This refers to students served in an ESL program as well as students designated Limited English Proficient (LEP) whose parents have denied services.]
Much diversity exists among English Language Learners (ELLs). The identification and service delivery process for dyslexia must be in step with the student’s linguistic environment and educational background. In Springtown ISD, the LPAC (Language Proficiency Assessment Committee) will be involved in the decision-making process.
Additional data to be gathered when assessing English Language Learners:
· Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) documentation which includes the following:
o Home language survey
o Assessment related to identification for limited English proficiency (oral language proficiency tests and norm-referenced tests)
o TAKS documentation when available
o Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) information
o Type of language programming provided and language of instruction
o Linguistic environment and second-language acquisition development
Previous schooling in and outside of the
Additional assessment when assessing English Language Learners:
· Comprehensive oral language proficiency testing should be completed in English and the student’s native language whenever possible
Test results of English Language Learners will be interpreted in light of the student’s: language development, educational history, linguistic background, socioeconomic issues, and any other pertinent factors that affect learning.
Committee of Knowledgeable Persons
A team or committee of knowledgeable persons determines whether the student has dyslexia. The team must be knowledgeable about:
· The student being assessed
· The reading process
· Dyslexia and related disorders
· Dyslexia instruction
· District, state, and federal guidelines for assessment
· The assessments used
· The meaning of the collected data
This committee determines the identification of dyslexia after reviewing all accumulated data including the following areas:
· The observations of the teacher, district school staff, and/or parent/guardian
· Data gathered from the classroom (including student work and the results of classroom measures) and information found in the student’s cumulative folder (including the developmental and academic history of the student)
· Data-based documentation of student progress during instruction/intervention
· Language Assessment Proficiency Committee (LPAC) documentation, when applicable
· The results of administered assessments
· All other accumulated data regarding the development of the student’s learning and his/her educational needs
Three decision points are related to the identification of students with dyslexia (need to be able to say “yes” to all three):
1. Difficulty in one or more of the primary characteristics of dyslexia:
· Reading real words in isolation
· Decoding nonsense words
· Reading fluency (both rate and accuracy)
· Written spelling (an isolated difficulty in spelling would not be sufficient to identify dyslexia)
2. Deficit in phonological processing, including the following:
· Phonological awareness
· Rapid naming
· Phonological memory
3. Unexpectedness (related to decision points 1 and 2 above):
· Low performance of student is unexpected for the student’s age and educational level
· Unexpected in relation to:
- other cognitive abilities
- the provision of effective classroom instruction
Many students with dyslexia will have difficulty with the secondary characteristics of dyslexia, including reading comprehension and written composition.
The committee of knowledgeable persons will also incorporate the following guidelines from TEC §38.003 and 19 TAC §74.28:
· The student has received conventional (appropriate) instruction
· The student has an unexpected lack of appropriate academic progress (in the areas of reading and spelling)
· The student has adequate intelligence (an average ability to learn in the absence of print or in other academic areas)
· The student exhibits characteristics associated with dyslexia
· The student’s lack of progress is not due to sociocultural factors such as language differences, irregular attendance, or lack of experiential background.
If the committee determines that the student has dyslexia, the committee of knowledgeable persons also determines that the student has a disability under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, §504. Students with additional factors that complicate their dyslexia may require additional support or referral to special education. (See Flow Chart)
Program Entrance Criteria
1. Primary Difficulties: (One or more of the following, unless only Written Spelling is identified)
Reading Real Words in Isolation
Below average on a validated assessment instrument tailored to assess these specific areas.
Decoding Nonsense Words
Fluency (rate & accuracy)
Written Spelling (not sufficient by itself to identify dyslexia)
2. Phonological Processing Difficulties: (One or more of the following)
Below average on a validated assessment instrument tailored to assess these specific areas.
3. Unexpected: Unexpectedness is considered in relation to the student’s other cognitive abilities, age, or educational level. This may include an average ability to learn in the absence of print or in other academic areas.
Other Data Considered:
· Received conventional (appropriate) instruction
· Sociocultural factors: language, attendance, experiential background
· Secondary characteristics: difficulty with reading comprehension and
· Letter knowledge (name and associated sound)
· Vision screening
· Hearing screening
· Teacher reports of classroom concerns
· Accommodations provided by classroom teachers
· Academic progress reports and/or report cards
· Samples of school work
· Testing for limited English proficiency
· Speech and language screening through a referral process
· The K-2 reading instrument
· State student assessment
Program Description & Options
Once it has been determined that a student has dyslexia, Springtown ISD shall provide an appropriate instructional program for the student (TEC §38.003). The following procedures will be followed:
· Instructional decisions for a student with dyslexia are made by a team that is knowledgeable about the student, the meaning of the evaluation information, and instructional components and approaches for students with dyslexia.
· Springtown ISD shall purchase a reading program or develop its own reading program for students with dyslexia and related disorders as characterized by the descriptors found in the state dyslexia handbook 2007 (see Components of Instruction).
· Springtown ISD will provide each identified student access at his/her campus to the services of a teacher trained in dyslexia and related disorders.
· Parents/guardians will be informed of all services and options available to the student under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, §504.
· Teachers who provide the appropriate instruction for students with dyslexia have been trained in the professional development activities specified by the district and/or campus decision making committee. As stated in 19 TAC, §74.28, the teachers who provide appropriate instruction for students with dyslexia are trained and prepared to implement instructional strategies that utilize individualized, intensive, multisensory, phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components. They serve as trainers and consultants in the area of dyslexia and related disorders to regular, remedial, and special education teachers.
Springtown ISD will provide a parent education program for the parents/guardians of students with dyslexia and related disorders. The parents/guardians will receive resources (i.e. The Dyslexia Handbook: Revised 2007 and the SISD Dyslexia Plan 2007) as the parent education program. These resources include topics such as:
· Characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders
· Information on assessment and diagnosis of dyslexia
· Information on effective strategies for teaching students with dyslexia
· Awareness of information on classroom modifications and especially of modifications allowed on standardized testing (19 TAC §74.28)
Components of Instruction
The instructional program will be offered in a small class setting and include reading, writing, and spelling as appropriate. The major instructional strategies will utilize individualized, intensive, and multisensory methods as appropriate. Components of instruction, as appropriate for the reading needs of the student, include:
· 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 that 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 sounds 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 patterns of language so that words and sentences are 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, 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 principle) with no assumption of prior skills or language knowledge, and maximizes student engagement. This instruction proceeds at a 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 mandated in 19 TAC §74.28
· Intensive, highly concentrated instruction that maximizes student engagement, uses specialized methods and materials, produces results, and contains all the components of instruction mandated in 19 TAC §74.28
· Meaning-based instruction that is directed toward purposeful reading and writing, with an emphasis on comprehension and composition
· Multisensory instruction that incorporates the simultaneous use of two or more sensory pathways (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, tactile) during teacher presentations and student practice
The following timeline applies to students in regular education programs, or who may qualify as §504:
-Upon receipt of parent permission to assess until assessment is completed shall be 60 days or less.
-From the completion of the assessment to the committee of knowledgeable persons meeting for determination of dyslexia and program placement shall be 30 days or less.
-Following the committee of knowledgeable persons meeting until program begins (if it is determined the student is eligible for the dyslexia program) shall be 30 days or less.
Special education students shall follow the timelines required by federal law, under IDEA 2004.
Program Exit Criteria
Students may be exited from the district dyslexia program as determined by the §504 committee of knowledgeable persons and guidelines. Criteria for exit may include, but is not limited to: grades from progress reports or report cards, state assessment data, benchmarks, teacher and/or parent observations/checklists, and individual dyslexia program requirements.
Students that have been dismissed (exited) from the Springtown ISD dyslexia program will receive regular monitoring. These checks will occur as follows:
Time after Dismissal Monitoring Interval
Once a six weeks
Once a semester
Monitoring may include, but is not limited, to the collection/evaluation of:
-state assessment data
-other program reports
-additional assessment data
Contacts for Dyslexia
Location Name Phone Number
Springtown ISD Central Office
Kathy Donoho, Curriculum Director
Jeanie Wilson, Principal
Cindy Barber, Teacher
Evelyn Edens, Counselor
Wendell Barker, Counselor
Kay Moore, Teacher
Tammie Mueller, Counselor
Melisa Ashford, Teacher
Darla McKinney, Counselor
Bridget Jeffryes, Teacher
Teresa Kelley, Counselor
Marleta Springer, Counselor
Jennifer Pennington, Teacher
Tammy Shaw, Counselor
Bridget Jeffryes, Teacher
The process for assessment, identification, and instruction for students with dyslexia is represented in the following visual for ease of use. It is not meant to represent every aspect of the Springtown ISD dyslexia process, but should give a general overview of the district procedures.
Flow Chart for Dyslexia
Accommodating Students with Dyslexia in all Classroom Settings
Accommodating Students with Dyslexia in all Classroom Settings
© Copyright 2002, The International Dyslexia Association (IDA). IDA encourages the reproduction and distribution of this fact sheet. If portions of the text are cited, appropriate reference must be made. Fact sheets may not be reprinted for the purpose of resale.
Teaching students with dyslexia across settings is challenging. Both general education and special education teachers seek accommodations that foster the learning and management of a class of heterogeneous learners. It is important to identify accommodations that are reasonable to ask of teachers in all classroom settings. The following accommodations appear reasonable and provide a framework for helping students with learning problems achieve in general education and special education classrooms. They are organized according to accommodations involving materials, interactive instruction, and student performance.
Students spend a large portion of the school day interacting with materials. Most instructional materials give teachers few activities or directions for teaching a large class of students who learn at different rates and in various ways. This section provides material accommodations that enhance the learning of diverse students. Frequently, paraprofessionals, volunteers, and students can help develop and implement various accommodations. Material accommodations include the following:
Original directions: This exercise will show how well you can locate conjunctions. Read each sentence. Look for the conjunctions. When you locate a conjunction, find it in the list of conjunctions under each sentence. Then circle the number of your answer in the answer column.
Directions rewritten and simplified: Read each sentence and circle all conjunctions.
For example, the teacher can request the student to complete only odd-numbered problems or items with stars by them, or can provide responses to several items and ask the student to complete the rest. Finally, the teacher can divide a worksheet into sections and instruct the student to do a specific section. A worksheet is divided easily by drawing lines across it and writing GO and STOP within each section.
The task of gaining students’ attention and engaging them for a period of time requires many teaching and managing skills. Teaching and interactions should provide successful learning experiences for each student. Some accommodations to enhance successful interactive instructional activities are:
1. Use explicit teaching procedures. Many commercial materials do not cue teachers to use explicit teaching procedures; thus, the teacher often must adapt a material to include these procedures. Teachers can include explicit teaching steps within their lessons (i.e. present an advanced organizer, demonstrate the skill, provide guided practice, offer corrective feedback, set up independent practice, monitor practice, and review).
2. Repeat directions. Students who have difficulty following directions are often helped by asking them to repeat the directions in their own words. The student can repeat the directions to a peer when the teacher is unavailable. The following suggestions can help students understand directions: (a) if directions contain several steps, break down the directions into subsets; (b) simplify directions by presenting only one portion at a time and by writing each portion on the chalkboard as well as stating it orally; and, (c) when using written directions, be sure that students are able to read and understand the words as well as comprehend the meaning of sentences.
3. Maintain daily routines. Many students with learning problems need the structure of daily routines to know and do what is expected.
4. Provide a copy of lecture notes. The teacher can give a copy of lecture notes to students who have difficulty taking notes during presentations.
5. Provide students with a graphic organizer. An outline, chart, or blank web can be given to students to fill in during presentations. This helps students listen for key information and see the relationships among concepts and related information.
6. Use step-by-step instruction. New or difficult information can be presented in small sequential steps. This helps learners with limited prior knowledge that need explicit or part-to-whole instruction.
7. Simultaneously combine verbal and visual information. Verbal information can be provided with visual displays (i.e. on an overhead or handout).
8. Write key points or words on the chalkboard. Prior to a presentation, the teacher can write new vocabulary words and key points on the chalkboard or overhead.
9. Use balanced presentations and activities. An effort should be made to balance oral presentations with visual information and participatory activities. Also, there should be a balance between large group, small group, and individual activities.
mnemonic instruction. Mnemonic
devices can be used to help students remember key information or steps in a
learning strategy. (An example of
mnemonic instruction is using the word HOMES to remember the names of the
11. Emphasize daily Review. Daily review of previous learning or lessons can help students connect new information with prior knowledge.
Students vary significantly in their ability to respond in different modes. For example, students vary in their ability to give oral presentations; participate in discussions; write letters and numbers; write paragraphs; draw objects; spell; work in noisy or cluttered settings; and read, write, or speak at a fast pace. Moreover, students vary in their ability to process information presented in visual or auditory formats. The following accommodation involving mode of reception and expression can be used to enhance students’ performance:
The International Dyslexia
Association (IDA) thanks Cecil Mercer, Ed.D., a distinguished professor at the
Suggested Interventions for Specific Development Dyslexia
Specific Developmental Dyslexia means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and socio-cultural opportunity.
· Use multisensory techniques during instructional times.
· Offer opportunities to use strengths in arts, crafts, music, and drama.
· Emphasize oral participation.
· Use tapes to accompany social studies, health, and/or science tests.
· Question child briefly, and often, to be sure he/she understands.
· Give simple directions; and if he/she can read them, provide written copy of direction when possible.
· Provide untimed tests when possible.
· Encourage the student to ask questions and treat each question seriously.
· Break assignments into steps. Help the student organize and get started.
· Provide weekly time for cleaning out desk and reorganizing materials.
· Allow student to tape record tests, where appropriate.
· Allow student to tape record instruction and test review.
· Allow student to write on unlined paper.
· Encourage the use of the computer and/or word processor.
· Modify the amount of copying to be done to math. Use worksheets with problems already printed, for example.
· Give student a desk copy of what is to be copied from the board.
Suggested Interventions for
Developmental Auditory Imperception
Developmental Auditory Imperception is characterized by difficulty learning sounds, sound-symbol relationships, and the meaning of words despite adequate intelligence and socio-cultural opportunity.
For strengthening Auditory Discrimination
· Use a multisensory spelling program that emphasizes multisensory practice of words.
· Provide instruction in correct formation of letter sounds, including use of mirror to over-learn feel of sound to mouth positions when making the sound.
· Require the student to say a word orally on the spelling test or practice before writing the word.
· Positively reinforce when articulation problems are recognized by child and corrected.
· Conduct regular conferences with the speech pathologist, if child is served by speech therapy through the Special Education program.
· Allow sub-vocalization (turning sounds into letters).
· Practice listening for sounds which may be confused.
For Strengthening Auditory Figure-Ground Perception
· Encourage student to look at teacher’s face when instructions are given.
· Touch the student to keep the student on task.
· Ask the student to repeat important statements.
· Use a study carrel.
· Use earphones at a listening center or with personal cassette recorder.
· Praise child when his/her attention is given to correct stimuli.
· Place child in front of classroom with his/her back to others.
· Provide visual support for what is being said by teacher (board or overhead used to restate what is said).
For Strengthening Auditory Memory
· Set the purpose for listening activities.
· Provide daily practice in repeating a sentence or letter or number sequence, gradually extending length.
· Include choral reading participation.
· Practice recalling and following verbal directions.
· Use a program which emphasizes auditory memory.
· Make directions simple and brief (only one or two steps at a time, share examples, encourage child to ask questions, treat child with patience).
· Allow student more time to think.
· Allow student to tape record instruction.
· Allow sub-vocalization.
Suggested Interventions for Dysphasia
Dysphasia is characterized by difficulty learning both receptive and expressive oral language despite adequate hearing, intelligence, and socio-cultural opportunity.
For Strengthening of Language
For Facilitating Use of
Suggested Interventions for Development Spelling Disorder
· Use multisensory techniques in a formal spelling program.
· Encourage student’s prediction of spellings (invented spellings). Model how to do this.
· Write daily. Emphasize putting thoughts on paper.
For Facilitating Use of Language in Writing
Suggested Interventions for Dysgraphia
Dysgraphia is characterized by the inability to write legibly. This occurs in the absence of other difficulties in written language. This difficulty is not caused by visual-motor coordination.
Questions and Answers
Appendix C: Questions and Answers
The following questions and answers relate to various topics important to dyslexia and related disorders.
Relationship of Dyslexia to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, §504
· If a student is suspected of having a disability within the scope of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all special education procedures must be followed. IDEA procedures meet the requirements of §504.
· If a student is not suspected of having a disability within the scope of IDEA, he/she may still have a disability within the scope of §504. Such a student must be assessed, evaluated, and provided an education that meets the individual needs of the student as adequately as the students without disabilities are served in the district or charter school. At times, such nondiscrimination requires the provision of special services or modifications of programs to enable the student to benefit from the education that is offered to him/her. (The most familiar example is the provision of a ramp for students using wheelchairs.) Following the dyslexia guidelines in this handbook ensures attention to the special needs of a student with dyslexia who is considered disabled under §504. Particular attention must be paid to the procedural and appeal provisions of §504.
· When students are singled out for individualized assessment, the procedures for assessing students for dyslexia must be carried out within the requirements of §504, including notification of parents/guardians; opportunity for parents/guardians to examine relevant records; use of valid measures; and evaluation and placement by a team of persons knowledgeable about the student, meaning of the evaluation data, and placement options. The steps taken to comply with §504 should be documented in writing.
No, not in all cases. To be a person with a disability within the meaning of §504, the student must have a disability that is substantially limiting, affects a major life activity (such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working [34 CFR 104.3(j)]), and affects the student’s education. Thus a student with dyslexia may be considered to have a disability within the scope of §504 if the condition substantially limits the student’s learning.
It is recommended that districts and charter schools document the following in writing in the event that an Office for Civil Rights investigation is initiated by a formal complaint:
• Documentation that the notice of evaluation has been given to parents or guardians.
• Documentation that parents or guardians were given their rights under Section 504.
• Documentation of the parent or guardian’s consent for the evaluation (Letter to Durheim. 27 IDELR 380 [OCR 1997]).
• Documentation of the evaluation data.
• Documentation of the decisions made by the committee of knowledgeable persons concerning the disability (whether a disability exists) and, if a disability exists, whether the disability substantially limits a major life activity.
• Documentation of the placement options and placement decisions.
The intent of this recommended documentation is to ensure that a district or charter school meets the needs of students and protects the rights of students and parents or guardians.
· If the student is suspected of having a disability within the scope of IDEA, the procedural protections provided for in that law and the corresponding rules for implementation apply.
· If the student is not suspected of having a disability within the scope of IDEA, then the procedural protections of §504 may apply. Under §504, parents or guardians may file a request for a hearing with the school district or charter school. The school district or charter school must appoint as an impartial hearing officer a person who is not an employee and has no other conflict of interest. At the hearing, there must be opportunity for participation by the parents or guardians and, if desired, by counsel for the parents or guardians. Decisions of the hearing officer may be appealed to state or federal court.
The State Board of Education rule requires school districts and charter schools to follow The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders. The procedures, as stated in this dyslexia handbook, are guidelines developed to assist districts and charter schools in complying with state and federal laws.
Every school district and charter school must collect pertinent data for any student suspected of having dyslexia or a related disorder. (See Chapter II, Procedures for Assessing Students for Dyslexia.) A committee of persons knowledgeable about the student must review the relevant data and determine whether the student has dyslexia. If the student is identified with dyslexia, then the committee uses the data to determine instructional needs specific to the individual student. The district or charter is responsible for ensuring that dyslexia instructional services are provided directly on the student’s campus. If a parent or guardian receives assessment information related to their child’s reading difficulties from a private individual or entity, the district or charter school must consider the information if provided by the parent or guardian. However, the district or charter school must follow state law, rule and procedures, as well as local dyslexia policy, to make the final determination of student eligibility for dyslexia and related disorders.
According to Texas Education Code (state law) section §7.028(b) the local school board or board of trustees for each school district and charter school is responsible for ensuring compliance with state law, rule, and procedures for dyslexia services in their district.
State foundation funds, state compensatory funds, title funds, or local funds may be used. State compensatory and title funds are used to supplement the regular classroom instruction. For students whose disability warrants special education services, special education funds may be used to provide direct and indirect services to students who are eligible for special education and related services. However, IDEA 2004 has identified that a local education agency (LEA) may use up to 15% of its IDEA B entitlement for early intervention services for any child who is experiencing difficulty. These funds are to be used as supplementary funds and should not be used to supplant local, state, or other federal program dollars. This funding flexibility may be a supplemental funding option for early dyslexia interventions.
See Chapter II of this handbook for information related to procedures that are required by state and federal law prior to a formal assessment of a student experiencing reading difficulties. If a student is not progressing in the general, remedial, and/or compensatory reading programs in school and other causes have been eliminated, the student should be recommended for assessment to determine whether he/she has dyslexia or a related disorder.
TEC §28.006 requires school districts or charter schools to administer, at the kindergarten, first- and second-grade levels, a reading instrument and to notify the parent or guardian of each student in kindergarten, first or second grade who is determined, on the basis of the reading instrument results, to be at risk for dyslexia or other reading difficulties. Additionally, data related to the reading achievement and progress of all students should be continuously monitored and reviewed. A recommendation for assessment for dyslexia is made only for a student who has not adequately responded to scientifically based classroom reading instruction as well as intensive intervention AND who exhibits the primary characteristics of dyslexia. An additional consideration when monitoring a student’s reading skills is a poor reading performance that is unexpected for the student.
Yes. A parent or guardian may request to have his/her child assessed for dyslexia or a related disorder by staff at the district or charter school. Additionally, a parent or guardian may choose to have his/her child assessed by a private diagnostician or other source. To be valid, this assessment must comply with the requirements set forth in §504 and the guidelines in this handbook (Chapter II, Procedures for Assessing Students with Dyslexia). The district or charter school must consider information provided by the parent or guardian when interpreting evaluation data and making placement decisions. However, the district or charter school determines whether the student is eligible for services for dyslexia and/or related disorders.
According to TEC §38.003, students should be assessed for dyslexia at appropriate times. One of these times is when a student fails the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. At this point, the committee of knowledgeable persons should bypass the Tier I step in the response to intervention process and, under Tier II, gather data as listed in Chapter II, Procedures for Assessing Students with Dyslexia, 1. Data Gathering. The campus dyslexia specialist must be part of this committee and involved in the decision-making process. Data gathering must have been completed before the decision-making process begins so that a decision to assess or not to assess can be accurately determined. If a decision not to assess is made, then the committee of knowledgeable persons needs to determine the appropriate interventions and/or accommodations to utilize to assist the student’s progress under Tier II of the response to intervention process.
Yes. Results from a state test, required by the Texas State Assessment program, are only one source of data to be gathered and considered for possible recommendation for assessment. Other information must also be considered such as: teacher information, report card grades, parent information, history of reading difficulties, informal observations of the student’s abilities, response to scientifically based reading instruction, etc.
The normal special education referral procedures should be followed. For students identified as disabled under IDEA, a speech pathologist usually provides services for students with identified language/speech problems in accordance with the decisions of the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee.
Yes. Notice of the recommendation to assess the student for dyslexia must be given to the parent or guardian prior to any individualized assessment. Parental consent for individualized assessment is necessary before the assessment process begins. In addition, notice of §504 due process rights must be provided to the parent or guardian at this time. The notices and consent must be provided in the native language of the parent or guardian or other mode of communication used by the parent or guardian, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.
Districts and charter schools should use multiple data sources, including
formal and informal measures that are appropriate for determining whether a
student has dyslexia or a related disorder.
• Reading real and nonsense words in isolation (decoding);
• Phonological awareness;
• Letter knowledge (name and associated sound);
• Rapid naming;
• Reading fluency (rate and accuracy);
• Reading comprehension;
• Written spelling.
No. Assessment results and data are usually recorded in a student’s cumulative folder. Although there is no uniform or required format for this record keeping, it is important that school districts and charter schools keep this information in writing to ensure that they meet the needs of their students, protect the rights of students and their parents or guardians, and to provide documentation should the Office for Civil Rights investigate a formal complaint.
The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007 contains two references related to who is qualified to assess for dyslexia:
• 19 TAC §74.28 indicates that assessment should only be done by individuals/professionals who are trained to assess students for dyslexia and related disorders.
• §504 requires that tests, assessments, and other evaluation materials be administered by trained personnel and in conformance with the instructions provided by the producer of the evaluation materials.
A local education agency (LEA) can determine in its policies and procedures who will conduct the dyslexia assessment. In some cases it may be the dyslexia teacher; in other cases it may be an educational diagnostician or a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP).
Identification of a Student with Dyslexia
The identification must be made by a committee of knowledgeable persons formed at the district, charter school, or campus level. This team should include two or more of the following individuals: the superintendent, a principal, a counselor, a reading specialist, a dyslexia specialist, a speech and language pathologist, an educational diagnostician, a special education teacher, and a teacher or other professional educator. If the student is limited English proficient (LEP), the team should also include a member of the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC). The team must be knowledgeable about the student being assessed; reading; dyslexia and related disorders; dyslexia instruction; district or charter school, state, and federal guidelines for assessment; the assessments that were used; and the meaning of the collected data. In addition, it is suggested that the parents or guardians of the student be a part of this process.
This answer does not necessarily apply to students covered by IDEA. If a student is covered by IDEA, the placement decision would be made by the student’s admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee, which should also include members of the committee of knowledgeable persons previously described for students with dyslexia.
Identification must be determined based on the following:
• The student has not made adequate academic progress in the areas of reading;
• The student has demonstrated average ability to learn in the absence of print and/or in other academic areas;
• The student has the characteristics of dyslexia or a related disorder.
The student’s reading difficulties will reflect one or more of the primary characteristics of dyslexia with unexpectedly low performance for the student’s age and educational level in:
• Reading real words in isolation;
• Decoding nonsense words;
• Reading fluency (both rate and accuracy);
• Written spelling.
This unexpectedly low reading performance will be the result of a deficit in phonological processing, including:
• Phonological awareness;
• Rapid naming;
• Phonological memory.
Many students with dyslexia will have difficulty with the secondary characteristics of dyslexia, including:
• Reading comprehension;
• Written composition.
The following factors must NOT be used as the sole reason to identify a student for a dyslexia program:
• The student’s primary language is not English;
• The student has irregular attendance;
• The student lacks experiential background;
• The student has had a brain injury, disease, or surgery that interferes with learning.
No. The most current definition of dyslexia from the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) indicates that the difficulties the student exhibits in reading should be unexpected in relation to the student’s other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Examples of other cognitive abilities that could be age appropriate in relation to unexpected reading difficulties might include the student’s oral language skills, his/her ability to learn in the absence of print, or strong math skills in comparison to reading skills.
It is important to have documentation regarding the student’s instructional history. Was the student exposed to scientifically based reading instruction in the classroom? Was the student identified as at risk? If so, was the student provided with accelerated (intensive) intervention? Is there documentation of the student’s progress? These questions are important to the data-gathering process prior to or during assessment. A student cannot be identified with dyslexia if there are questions as to whether the student was exposed to appropriate instruction.
Yes. In accordance with 19 TAC §74.28(f), each school must provide each student identified with dyslexia access at his/her campus to the services of a teacher trained in dyslexia and related disorders. The school district may, with the approval of each student’s parents or guardians, offer additional services at a centralized location. Such centralized services shall not preclude each student from receiving services at his/her campus.
Yes. All students identified with dyslexia must receive reading instruction that is appropriate for their literacy needs. The instruction must match the descriptors in this handbook and, as appropriate for the student, contain reading, writing, and spelling components.
Yes. A parent or guardian may refuse appropriate instructional services for a student identified with dyslexia even when those services are offered during the instructional school day. The local education agency (LEA) may want to document in writing a decision made by the parent or guardian to decline services. For a student receiving services through special education, due process procedures outlined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) would apply.
There may or may not be a difference in instruction. In this handbook, Chapter IV, Instruction for Students with Dyslexia, describes the reading instruction that must be in place to serve students identified with dyslexia. Students who qualify for special education have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) developed by the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee. For students with dyslexia who qualify for special education, the IEP must include, as appropriate, the reading instruction that matches the descriptors found in Chapter IV of this handbook, Instruction for Students with Dyslexia.
districts and charter schools must ensure that students who participate in
special education services are not denied access to programs on the basis of
their disability. To the extent appropriate, the student must be educated in
the least restrictive setting with nondisabled peers and have instruction that
enables the student to participate and progress in the general curriculum. This
means that students who are eligible for special education who also meet the
• Must have an IEP that provides access to instructional programs in reading and written language that comply with the State Board of Education rules and procedures concerning dyslexia and related disorders;
• May not be denied access to the district’s or charter school’s programs for students with dyslexia, unless the ARD committee determines such a program would deny the student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and educational benefit;
• Must have the ARD committee consider the range of services available for students with dyslexia in determining the least restrictive educational placement for the student.
The local district or charter school should, as with any alternative program, establish criteria for exit. Even after exit, the student, in order to be successful, may require some continuing supports in the general program. Under §504, the district or charter school must provide those supports or related aids and services. Additionally, the campus may want to routinely monitor the progress of the student to be sure that the student maintains successful reading performance.
The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007 lists and describes the components of instruction that must be a part of a program utilized for students identified with dyslexia. Teachers (general education or special education) who provide instruction for students with dyslexia must have training in the listed components of instruction as well as be trained in instructional strategies that utilize individualized, intensive, and multisensory methods (see Instruction for Students with Dyslexia, Chapter IV in The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007).
No. Computer instruction to teach reading is not supported by scientifically based reading research. The National Reading Panel (2000), in its review of the research related to computer technology and reading instruction, indicated that it is extremely difficult to make specific instructional conclusions based on the small sample of research available and that there are many questions that still need to be addressed.
Teachers of Students with Dyslexia
Teachers of students with
dyslexia and related disorders must have valid
Teachers must be trained to deliver instruction that is described in Chapter IV of The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007. As stated in 19 TAC §74.28, teachers who provide appropriate instruction for students with dyslexia must be trained and be prepared to implement instructional strategies that utilize individualized, intensive, multisensory, phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components. These teachers must also be trained in the professional development activities specific to dyslexia as specified by each district, charter school, and/or campus planning and decision-making committee.
Relationship Between Dyslexia and Special Education
(a) The admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee should document that the student has been identified with dyslexia or that the student has a reading disability that exhibits characteristics consistent with dyslexia. Since there are instructional implications as well as accommodations on the state assessment program for students who have been identified with dyslexia, the dyslexia identification should be noted in the ARD Report.
(b) For students with dyslexia who qualify for special education in the area of reading, the ARD committee must include appropriate reading instruction on the student’s IEP. Appropriate reading instruction includes the descriptors found in Chapter IV of The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007.
For any student receiving special education services, including a student receiving speech services, special education procedures must be followed. The ARD committee and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, must review existing evaluation data on the student and on the basis of that review, and input from the student’s parents or guardians, identify what additional data, if any, are needed to make an informed decision regarding identification of dyslexia. The ARD committee may conduct its review without a meeting. If further assessment is recommended, the parent or guardian must receive notice of assessment and procedural safeguard rights (when appropriate), and give consent for the evaluation according to the requirements by the IDEA. A timeline for completion of the evaluation should be determined by the ARD committee.
Chapter IV (Instruction for Students with Dyslexia) of The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007 indicates that teachers who provide appropriate instruction for students with dyslexia must be trained in instructional strategies that utilize individualized, intensive, multisensory, phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components.
Chapter III (Referral to Special Education) of The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007 states: If the student with dyslexia is found eligible for special education in the area of reading, the ARD committee must include appropriate reading instruction on the student’s IEP. Appropriate reading instruction includes the descriptors listed in the chapter on Instruction for Students with Dyslexia.
The educational diagnostician or LSSP may use the same diagnostic data gathered for the IDEA identification process as long as the data includes assessment information from the domains listed in The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007 to be a part of the identification of dyslexia.
The determination of dyslexia is made by a multidisciplinary team composed of members who are knowledgeable about dyslexia and the reading process as indicated in Chapter II of The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007. For purposes of a student who is currently receiving special education services, the ARD committee serves as the multidisciplinary team described above and should include members with the additional knowledge of dyslexia, dyslexia evaluation, and interventions required by Chapter IV of The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007.
No additional training is needed; however, the assessment professional needs to have an understanding of dyslexia, awareness of the domains to assess for dyslexia, and the profile of strengths and weaknesses that is typically exhibited when a student has dyslexia. Texas Administrative Code §74.28 indicates that screening (assessment) should be done by individuals/professionals who are trained to assess students for dyslexia and related disorders.
A general education teacher (preferably a dyslexia teacher or reading specialist) may assess for dyslexia if that is consistent with the local education agency (LEA) policies and procedures and he/she meets the qualifications indicated in 19 TAC §74.28 and §504 (see Question 18); however, the identification should be made by a committee of knowledgeable persons. For a student receiving special education services this committee would be the ARD committee, including member(s) who are knowledgeable about dyslexia and the reading process as indicated in Chapter II of The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007.
The appropriate teachers for a student who is receiving reading instruction through both special education and general education dyslexia should coordinate the services offered to this student. This collaboration model should include all teachers, both general education and specialized teachers, who teach reading (including reading in the content area) to ensure generalization of the methodology identified as the reading intervention. The admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee has the ultimate responsibility for consistency of methodology. The ARD committee will also need to determine the most appropriate environment for the student to receive the instruction (see answer to Question 40).
The least restrictive environment (LRE) means that students with disabilities are educated with peers who are nondisabled to the maximum extent appropriate, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of students with disabilities from the general educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in general education classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
For any student receiving special education services, including a student identified with dyslexia, the placement decision is made by a group of persons including the parents or guardians and other persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options (the ARD committee); and is made in conformity with the LRE provisions of the IDEA. The child’s placement is determined at least annually and is based on the child’s IEP.
English Language Learners
There is no fixed amount of time that an English language learner must receive ESL/bilingual instruction before assessment for dyslexia is considered, because to set a specific amount of time might lead to a critical delay of services for eligible students who are at risk. A student demonstrating reading and writing difficulties who is being considered for assessment for dyslexia, however, must first have been provided with consistent and appropriate academic instruction in reading and writing, and academic instruction should have been in the language
That allowed the student to have had access to the instruction.
To determine the language of instruction of dyslexia services for an English language learner, the committee of knowledgeable persons should take the following two issues into account:
(1) What language allows the student to adequately access the dyslexia services?
(2) What is the student’s current language of classroom instruction?
• Texas Education Agency: www.tea.state.tx.us/curriculum/biling/
• Education Service Centers: Bilingual/ESL contacts (See Appendix G)
• National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE): www.nabe.org/
• Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL): www.tesol.org
• Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL): www.cal.org
• Reading Rockets/Colorín
A student may, but does not have to, receive all three accommodations as a bundle during classroom instruction and testing. However, in both of these instances a student should routinely receive accommodations related to his/her difficulties with decoding words in isolation. For example, the teacher may read directions orally, help with unfamiliar vocabulary, or provide extended time for reading assignments.
If a student has been receiving dyslexia services and has made sufficient progress in word-reading skills so that accommodations in classroom instruction or testing are no longer required, the student would not be eligible. However, if after exiting a program, a student continues to need accommodations in classroom instruction and testing for reading difficulties at the isolated word level, then the student would be eligible for the bundled accommodations.
No. Extending the test over a two-day period is required. Research findings have indicated that students who need these accommodations require two days because of the fatigue factor associated with the student’s reading difficulties at the isolated word level. The test administrator will stop the reading test approximately halfway through, following the directions included in the TAKS Test Administrator Manual provided by the Texas Education Agency, Student Assessment Division. The student will complete the reading test on the second day of administration.
Appendix D: Associated Terms
Accelerated reading instruction: intensified, research-based reading instruction that addresses the student’s reading needs that were determined by the results of the K–2 reading instruments (TEC §28.006). This intensive, research-based instruction is provided for students determined to be at risk for dyslexia or other reading difficulties. The district or charter school determines the form, content, and timing of the intensive instruction that is designed to meet students’ needs (e.g., instruction in phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, word-analysis strategies, fluency, and/or reading comprehension).
Accommodation: changing or altering the learning environment, materials, delivery method, or number of answers. Accommodations/changes should not be made to the state curriculum standards known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) student expectations.
Adaptive behavior: the effectiveness in which the student meets the standards of personal independence and social responsibility expected of his or her age and cultural group.
Alphabetic principle: the understanding that the sequence of letters in written words represents the sequence of sounds (or phonemes) in spoken words.
“At risk” for dyslexia: students whose K–2 reading instrument (TEC §28.006) results indicate needs in the areas of reading and/or reading development. The students considered at risk are at the pre-identification level and are not identified as students with dyslexia at this time. These students must be provided accelerated reading instruction (intensive, research-based instruction that addresses the reading needs of the student).
Developmental dysgraphia: an inability to write legibly. This may occur in addition to other difficulties in written language. Visual-motor coordination skills are frequently within the average range and are not the primary cause of dysgraphia.
Developmental spelling disorder: significant difficulty learning to spell. This occurs in the absence of reading or other written language difficulties.
Differentiated instruction: to recognize students’ varying background knowledge, readiness, language, preferences in learning, and interests and to react responsively. Differentiated instruction is a process to approach teaching and learning for students of differing abilities in the same class. The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is and assisting in the learning process.
Dyslexia: 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, 2002).
Evaluation: the use of multiple methods in evaluating a variety of data to guide establishment of appropriate interventions. For the identification of a student with dyslexia, the data for evaluation should include the teacher’s observations, the developmental and academic history of the student, the results of a variety of reading assessments, and all other information relevant to the identification of dyslexia.
Explicit, direct instruction: 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 principle) with no assumption of prior skills or language knowledge, and maximizes student engagement.
Fluency: the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. Fluency is one of several critical factors necessary for reading comprehension.
Graphophonemic knowledge (phonics) instruction: instruction that takes advantage of the letter-sound plan in which words that 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 sounds for spelling and writing.
Individualized instruction: instruction that meets the specific learning needs of an individual student. Materials and methods are matched to each student’s individual ability level.
Intervention: a change in instruction in the area of learning difficulty to improve performance and achieve adequate progress.
Language dominance: the language of the individual that is stronger and more developed.
Language proficiency: the level of skill in a language. Language proficiency is composed of oral (listening and speaking) and written (reading and writing) components as well as academic and non-academic language.
Language structure instruction: instruction that encompasses morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics.
Linguistic instruction: instruction that is directed toward proficiency and fluency with patterns of language so that words and sentences are the carriers of meaning.
Meaning-based instruction: instruction that is directed toward purposeful reading and writing, with an emphasis on comprehension and composition.
Morpheme: a meaningful linguistic unit that cannot be divided into smaller meaningful elements, as the word book. A morpheme is also a component of a word, as s in books.
Morphology: the study of the structure and form of words in a language, including inflection, derivation, and the formation of compounds. Knowledge of morphemes facilitates decoding, spelling, and vocabulary development.
Multisensory instruction: instruction that incorporates the simultaneous use of two or more sensory pathways (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, tactile) during teacher presentation and student practice.
Phonemic awareness: the insight that spoken words can be conceived as a sequence of sounds in systemic ways; explicit instruction in letter-sound correspondences
Phonics: instructional practices that emphasize how spelling is related to speech sounds in systemic ways; explicit instruction in letter-sound correspondences.
Phonology: the sound structure of speech and in particular the perception, representation, and production of speech sounds.
Progress monitoring: a scientifically based practice used to assess students’ academic progress and/or performance and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. Progress monitoring can be implemented with individual students or an entire class. Progress monitoring is a quick (less than five minutes) probe that is done frequently (weekly or biweekly) in order to make instructional changes in a timely fashion.
Recommendation for assessment for dyslexia: recommendation by the teacher, district, or charter school staff, and/or the parent or guardian that a student be assessed for dyslexia. Following the recommendation, the district or charter school must adhere to its written procedures and the procedures within the handbook.
Response to intervention (RTI): a multistep, or tiered, approach to providing services and interventions at increasing levels of intensity to students who struggle with learning. The progress students make at each stage of intervention is closely monitored. Results of this monitoring are used to make decisions about the need for further research-based instruction and/or intervention in general education, in specialized instructional settings, or both.
Scientifically-based research: under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) definition of “scientifically based,” research must meet the following criteria:
• Employ systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment;
• Involve rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions;
• Rely on measurements or observational methods that provide valid data across evaluators and observers, and across multiple measurements and observations;
• Be accepted by peer-reviewed journals or approved by a panel of independent experts through a comparatively rigorous, objective, and scientific review.
Strategy-oriented instruction: thoughtfully ordered step-by-step instruction in the strategies that students need to become independent readers, including strategies for decoding, encoding, word recognition, fluency, and comprehension.
Universal screening: a step taken by school personnel to determine which students are at risk for not meeting grade-level standards. Universal screening can be accomplished by administering an academic screening to all students in a given grade level. Students whose scores fall below a certain cutoff point are identified as needing closer monitoring or intervention.