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 the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (International Dyslexia Association, 2002). The Houston Independent School District is committed to providing students identified with dyslexia with instruction that is individualized, intensive, and includes phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components as outlined in the Texas Education Agency’s Dyslexia Handbook. To learn more about dyslexia services please visit the Dyslexia Services HISD website.
IDENTIFICATION AND PLACEMENT OF STUDENTS WITH DYSLEXIA
Following a referral for a Section 504 or Special Education dyslexia evaluation, the Section 504 committee or Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) will determine based on the evaluation if the student has dyslexia and a need for services or support. In Special Education, the student’s dyslexia identification must also rise to the level of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to receive Special Education supports and services if no other disability exists. If however, other disabling conditions exist such as a Speech Impairment (SI), or Other Health Impairment (OHI) the dyslexia “label” may be added to the concurrent Special Education “label”. Once a student is identified as having dyslexia or a related disorder and meets placement requirements, an appropriate instructional program or accommodations is to be provided through Section 504, general education classes, or Special Education. Students determined by the Section 504 or ARD/IEP committee to require dyslexia instructional support, are to be served in a remedial setting, utilizing individualized, intensive, multi-sensory methods containing reading, writing and spelling components and supplementing the general education reading and language arts instruction as determined appropriate by the Section 504 or ARD Committee.
DYSLEXIA INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMMING AND SERVICES
Instruction for students identified as having dyslexia is to include the components of instruction and instructional approaches as indicated in The Dyslexia Handbook- Revised 2014: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders, TEA, July 2014. Dyslexia intervention program services are offered in a small group setting (less than 10) that includes reading, writing, and spelling as appropriate to the needs of the class setting that includes reading, writing, and spelling as appropriate to the needs of the student for 45- 60 minutes, 4 to 5 times per week by a teacher trained in appropriate programs and strategies for students having dyslexia. The committee of knowledgeable persons determines the duration, location and frequency of services. Students may also receive accommodations in the general education classroom setting.