What is dyslexia?
TEC §38.003 (The Dyslexia Law:)
(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 include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.
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 experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (Adopted by the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002)
Common Signs of Dyslexia: (as noted in the Dyslexia Handbook, revised 2007)
The following signs may be associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities.
Ø May talk later than most children
Ø May have difficulty with rhyming
Ø May have difficulty pronouncing words (i.e., busgetti for spaghetti, mawn lower for lawn mower)
Ø May have poor auditory memory for nursery rhymes and chants
Ø May be slow to add new vocabulary words
Ø May be unable to recall the right word
Ø 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:
Ø 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/ /ă/ /n/
Ø Has difficulty learning the letter names and their corresponding sounds
Ø Has difficulty decoding single words (reading single words in isolation)—lacks a strategy
Ø Has difficulty spelling phonetically
Ø Reads dysfluently (choppy and labored)
Ø Relies on context to recognize a word
Fourth grade through high school:
Ø Has a history of reading and spelling difficulties
Ø Avoids reading aloud
Ø Reads most materials slowly, oral reading is labored, not fluent
Ø Avoids reading for pleasure
Ø May have an adequate vocabulary
Ø Has difficulty spelling, may resort to using less complicated words in writing that are easier to spell
What If I Suspect My Child Has Dyslexia?
Discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher to better understand your child’s progress and history of instructional interventions. If appropriate, referrals may be processed through the campus Student Intervention Team (SIT) to suggest further intervention strategies and/or referral for dyslexia screening. If deemed appropriate, dyslexia screenings require parental permission and are completed by district dyslexia therapists.
District Contact:Alys Ray, Dyslexia Coordinator
Betty Harrison, Director
Texas Education Agency The Dyslexia Handbook, 2007
The International Dyslexia Association www.interdys.org
Neuhaus Education Center www.neuhaus.org
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital www.tsrhc.org/p_child_development.cfm