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  • The following are the reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia:
      • reading words in isolation
      • accurately decoding unfamiliar words
      • oral reading (slow, inaccurate, labored)
      • spelling
      • segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds
      • learning the names of the letters and their associated sounds
      • holding information about sounds and words in memory
      • rapidly recalling the names of familiar objects, colors, or letters of the alphabet

      • variable difficulty with aspects of reading comprehension
      • variable difficulty with aspects of written language
      • limited vocabulary growth due to reduced reading experiences




What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate 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

What does this definition mean?

Research has indicated specific cognitive characteristics related to dyslexia which result from differences in how the brain processes information. Functional brain imaging has demonstrated a failure of the left hemisphere posterior brain systems to function properly during reading. Students with dyslexia have difficulty identifying real words (word recognition) and pronouncing nonsense words (decoding). Lack of reading fluency and difficulty with spelling are also major characteristics of dyslexia. This is in contrast to the popular belief that the major characteristic is reversal of letters, words, or numbers. Research findings confirm that in school-age children and adolescents, a deficit in phonology is the strongest and most specific finding related to dyslexia. This means dyslexic individuals have difficulty making the connection between oral language and the letters/sounds that represent language in written form. The reading difficulties dyslexics experience is unexpected in relation to the student’s: oral language skills, the ability to learn in the absence of print, intellectual functioning, strong math skills in comparison to reading skills, and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Because students with reading difficulties typically do not read the same amount as non disabled readers, it may impact their vocabulary development as well as their exposure to information learned by reading.


    There are many resources for students with Dyslexia. Please contact your district dyslexia specialist for more information on these programs.


    Talking Book Program






  • Although identification can happen at any point in a student’s educational career, early identification of dyslexia is critical to a student’s success. If despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity, a student still struggles to read, the student’s RTI committee will review interventions that have been tried. The RTI committee may request a dyslexia evaluation through IDEA and Special Education. A parent may also request an evaluation at any time.

    Parents are advised of their rights under IDEA and must give consent to test. Background data is then gathered including vision and hearing screenings, teacher reports, interventions attempted, academic progress reports, progress monitoring reports, samples of school work, state and standardized testing scores, and attendance records. Parents are asked to provide information about their child and their concerns. A diagnostician then conducts a Full and Individual Initial Evaluation (FIIE). There is not one specific test to diagnose dyslexia or a reading disability, so a battery of tests will be administered. 

    Once the dyslexia evaluation is completed, the ARD committee will meet to determine if the student should be identified as dyslexic and if interventions and accommodations are needed. Parents are a part of this committee and help make educational decisions for their child.

  • Highland ISD provides:

    • A Certified Academic Language Therapist trained in both Neuhaus Basic Language and Take Flight Curriculum
    • Classroom accommodations through 504 or IDEA
    • Allowable STAAR accommodations
    • Yearly meetings with parents, administrators and teachers
    • Audiobook access
    • Services of the dyslexia coordinator
    • Easy monitoring of student grades online
    • Direct access to all teachers through conferences or email
    • Parent education
    • Staff training regarding characteristics of dyslexia
    • American Sign Language as a foreign language credit option

    • Parental support greatly affects student achievement. 
    • Explain your child’s learning differences to him and answer his  questions. 
    • Set high standards and attainable goals. 
    • TALK to your child. Dyslexic children often learn best orally, so introduce all the vocabulary and learning situations you possibly can.
    • READ to and with your child. 
    • Encourage hobbies, talents, and interests.
    • Set a schedule at home. Dyslexic students often need homework support from parents and additional time to complete assignments.
    • Keep in close contact with your child’s teacher.
    • Monitor grades daily online.
    • Encourage your child to take advantage of tutoring opportunities.
    • Incorporate technology whenever possible.
    • Learn about dyslexia. There are many helpful books and informative websites to help you learn all you can.

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