METHODS (WHAT WE DO):
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 TEC 38.003(d)(1). Because early intervention is critical, a program for early identification, intervention, and support for students with dyslexia and related disorders must be available in each district as outlined in the Dyslexia Handbook Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders, 19 TAC 74.28(g), TEC 38.003(b) and TEC 38.003(c).
The board of trustees of a school district must ensure that procedures for identifying a student with dyslexia or a related disorder are implemented in the district 19 TAC 74.28(a) and TEC 38.003(c). A school district's strategies for screening dyslexia and related disorders must be implemented in accordance with the Dyslexia Handbook Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders. A school district's techniques for treating dyslexia and related disorders must be implemented in accordance with the Dyslexia Handbook Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders. Screening should only be done by individuals/professionals who are trained to assess students for dyslexia and related disorders 19 TAC 74.28(b).
Students who experience characteristics consistent with dyslexia or related disorders such as dyscalculia, and dysgraphia may be identified under the Texas dyslexia law, Section 504, and/or special education.
Dyslexia Services in HISD
What are campuses required to do?
TAC §74.28 (f) Each school must provide each identified student access at his or her campus to instructional programs … and to the services of a teacher trained in dyslexia and related disorders.
Per HISD School Guidelines
Each principal must assign a dyslexia instructional support teacher. This teacher/interventionist must be trained in dyslexia and related disorders.
Each principal must ensure students with dyslexia receive the services specified in their 504 plan or IEP. The instructional program used must meet the guidelines of the Texas Dyslexia Handbook, Rev. 2014 [TAC §74.28(c)].
What training is required?Who might serve as the dyslexia interventionist?
Split-funded special education teacher
Fully funded special education teacher to serve students in special education
Shared interventionist with another nearby campus
Classroom teacher (½ day typical classes, ½ day intervention)
Note: the interventionist must be a certified teacher.
When might dyslexia services/intervention be delivered?
Pull-out (non-core instructional time)
During intervention/extension block scheduled into school day
Before or after school if and only if the parent agrees
In-class push in (trained teacher provides specified intervention within the classroom but outside of core instructional time)
Is there a stipend for campus dyslexia interventionists?
Yes, a stipend may be paid for the campus dyslexia instructional support teacher (interventionist) at the principal’s discretion. It is a campus-based stipend, that is, it is paid by the campus. In addition, a stipend is available for a campus-based dyslexia contact person. Please see the HISD Compensation Manual for guidelines on these stipends.
Does HISD have a dyslexia screener?
Yes. HISD supports many assessments that assess for characteristics associated with dyslexia.
High Frequency Word Lists
Reading Inventory College and Career
Quick Phonics Screener (QPS)
Reading words in isolation
Decoding unfamiliar words
General Reading Ability
Does EasyIEP transfer dyslexia and Section 504 rosters to Chancery?
Yes, in Chancery access the Reports feature and then click Special Populations.
Once a student is identified with dyslexia, does the student require periodic reevaluations?
Yes, reevaluations are required every three years. The purpose of the reevaluation is to reestablish the student’s present levels of reading performance to assist in intervention planning. Further, the campus dyslexia support teacher/interventionist should monitor progress consistently with a variety of informal assessments in order to provide effective intervention and/or accommodation and to inform the reevaluation process.
If a student has been diagnosed with dyslexia, is there any reason that student would not have a 504 plan?
Yes, student identified with dyslexia may be eligible for Section 504 (i.e., 504 plan) or special education services (i.e, IEP). However, some students identified with dyslexia may not meet eligibility standards for Section 504 or Special Education. In this case the student may retain the dyslexia label and receive classroom accommodations. However it is likely the student would not require direct dyslexia intervention services. Students identified with dyslexia, but not identified as Section 504 or Special Education eligible, remain on the Chancery Dyslexia roster.
What are the timelines for a dyslexia evaluation?
All dyslexia evaluations must be completed 45 calendar days from the date the parent signed the evaluation consent.
Does the Notice of Evaluation Refusal apply to both Section 504 and Special Education parent requests for evaluation?
Yes, if the campus determines upon parental request for evaluation that the student’s current level of reading ability does not suggest a possible disability, then the campus Intervention Assistance Team (IAT) may refuse the parent request by sending the parent a Notice of Evaluation Refusal along with the Section 504 or Special Education procedural safeguards.
Is Response to Intervention (RtI) or a failing grade required prior to a referral for dyslexia?
No, as soon as dyslexia is suspected, a student should be referred to the campus IAT. The Dyslexia Handbook, Rev. 2014 (TEA) states, “The use of a tiered intervention process should not delay or deny an evaluation for dyslexia, especially when parent or teacher observations reveal the common characteristics of dyslexia. The needs of the students must be the foremost priority” (p.14). Teachers should gather their evidence and present a clear rationale to their IAT to request a referral for students whom they suspect of having dyslexia. In addition, parents may request a referral at any time (Handbook, p. 14). The campus IAT reviews referral requests and makes the determination to refer or refuse.
In addition, students do not have to fail a class, grade level, or state-mandated assessment in order to be evaluated for dyslexia (Handbook, p. 65, Q18).
Who can I contact if I have questions?
Dyslexia Curriculum - Year 1:
Prerequisite – Reading Readiness – 1 day class
Basic Language Skills – Introductory – Book 1 (gets a student to approximately the end of Grade 2) – 10 day class
- Follow Up Book 1A Workshop – 1 day class
- Follow Up Book 1B Workshop – 1 day class
Dyslexia Curriculum - Year 2
- Multisensory Grammar – 1 day class
- Developing Metacognitive Skills – 2 day class
Basic Language Skills – Advanced- Book 2 – 10 day class
- Follow Up Book 2 Workshop – 1 day class
After a Dyslexia Interventionist has almost completed Book 2, they must attended the following:
- Written Composition – 1 day class
- Developing Vocabulary for Reading Success (on line 3hrs)
- Spelling Development Webinar (CEU’s on demand - 2hrs)
Basic Language Skills – Book 3 – 1 day
High School Dyslexia Intervention and Beyond (Monitoring):
- Unexpected Underachievement – 1 day
- Accurate and Automatic Reading – 1 day
- Developing Metacognitive Skills – 2 days
- Neuhaus Academy – 1 day
- Written Composition – 1 day
Dyslexia is characterized by a difficulty in the development of:
- phonemic awareness - the ability to identify and combine sounds that make up words (e.g., “mad” as /m/a/d/)
- sound manipulation - moving or changing individual sounds in a word (e.g., change “mad” to “bad”)
- single word decoding – the ability to read single words in isolation (without context)
- reading fluency - the ability to read quickly and accurately to increase comprehension
- spelling - the ability to name or write letters in correct sequence to form words
Dyscalculia is a condition that affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Dyscalculia learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence (The Dyslexia Center - DfES 2001).
Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects the act of writing and often leads to difficulties in organizing letters, spelling, handwriting, and/or putting thoughts on paper. Dysgraphia can often result from visual-spatial and language processing deficits.