Dyslexia

DEFINITION OF DYSLEXIA 

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological 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 IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002
 


 IDENTIFICATION GUIDANCE

Senate Act 217 requires that all kindergarten through second grade students are screened for dyslexia annually. The purpose is to identify students who have tendencies of dyslexia in order to provide multimodal services. The purpose is not to diagnose students as dyslexic. This can only be done through a medical professional.


Teachers and parents may have concerns about students in grades 3-12 having dyslexic tendencies. If parents consent, a reading specialists may administer the Galliestel-Ellis (reading test) and share the results. The reading specialist will also provide information to the parents about dyslexia, including characteristics, resources, and information on available Orton-Gillingham tutoring. 


Step 1:

Universal screener given to all K-2 students annually by classroom teacher. Kindergarten will be screened at the end of the year and grades one and two will be screened at the beginning of the year. Once testing is completed, grade level teams meet with administrator and curriculum director to review data and identify students who will benefit from additional reading support.


Universal screeners are required to contain 6 components. The components are listed below, along with the specific NWEA online assessment that will be utilized by the district.


  1. Phonological and Phoneme Awareness - NWEA Skills Checklist Manipulation of Sounds and NWEA Phoneme Identificat
  2. Alphabet Knowledge - NWEA Skills Checklist Letter Identification
  3. Sound Symbol Recognition - NWEA Skills Checklist Phonics: Matching Letters to Sounds
  4. Decoding Skills- NWEA Skills Checklist Consonant Blends and Digraphs
  5. Rapid Naming - Arkansas Rapid Naming Screener
  6. Encoding - Words their Way: Spelling Inventory

Step 2: 

A Level 1 Screener (DRA) will be administered by the classroom teacher IF a student is identified as having indicators of dyslexia. Parents must be notified and consent must be obtained to administer the Level 1 screener. Level 1 is an informal diagnostic and can be considered part of routine progress monitoring. Once screener is given, the teacher looks for patterns and indicators of specific areas for assistance.

Step 3: 

Administrator will share results of Level 1 Screener with parents and provide information on characteristics of dyslexia. Reading Specialist Team will provide a list of interventions, accommodations, and resources for the classroom teacher and will provide a description of the RTI process that should take place for that student. 


INTERVENTION PLAN

All kindergarten students receive daily instruction in the Orton-Gillingham approach in reading which is specifically identified for supporting students with dyslexia or struggling readers. Once  a student is identified, teachers and administrators will create an intervention plan for the student. The student will then be scheduled to receive additional weekly reading instruction using the Orton-Gillingham approach. The student will remain in reading intervention for the remainder of the school year, or until the student is reading at grade level.


Kindergarten students will be given the universal screeners between January and March.

First and second grade students will be given the universal screeners through the first semester.

*A Level 2 screener will only be given by the school psychologist if the student is not responding to intervention.