MISD Dyslexia Programming
Dyslexia is a condition that can present in varying degrees, therefore the needs of each student with dyslexia are different. While some students may not have any needs, some may require direct instruction and Section 504 accommodations, while others have severe dyslexia and need specially designed instruction including a modified curriculum and accommodations.MISD has dyslexia teachers assigned to each campus to provide services to students who are referred for a dyslexia evaluation or have been identified with dyslexia. These services include:
- Assessment for dyslexia
- Standard Protocol Dyslexia Instruction;
- Recommendations to Section 504 and ARD committees regarding appropriate accommodations and support for students identified with dyslexia and/or dysgraphia;
- Collaboration with classroom teachers to better meet the needs of the students;
- Providing resources to students and parents to support needs in and out of school;
- Monitoring student progress.
Standard Protocol Dyslexia Instruction
Instructional decisions for a student with dyslexia must be made by a committee (§504 or ARD) that is knowledgeable about the instructional components and approaches for students with dyslexia. In accordance with 19 TAC §74.28(c), districts shall purchase or develop a reading program for students with dyslexia and related disorders that incorporates all the components of instruction and instructional approaches described in the Dyslexia Handbook.
The MISD Dyslexia Program provides assessment and intensive, small group intervention for students identified with dyslexia by using a multisensory approach to teaching reading that combines visual, auditory, and kinesthetic instruction. It is based on the alphabet symbol system, teaches the science of the written language, and addresses reading, handwriting, and spelling. Students who meet the criteria for dyslexia are served on their home campus by teachers specifically trained in dyslexia and Reading by Design. Reading by Design is a systematic, explicit, and intensive reading program designed to improve the reading abilities of students with dyslexia. This program was developed by ESC Region 4 and replaces the Dyslexia Intervention Program (DIP).
What is Dyslexia?
Texas Education Code (Tec) §38.003 defines dyslexia in the following way:
“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.
“Related disorders” include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperceptions, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.
The International Dyslexia Association defines “dyslexia” in the following way:
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. (adopted by the international dyslexia association board of directors, November 12, 2002)
Characteristics of Dyslexia
The characteristics of dyslexia vary from person to person. Some children experience problems in many areas while others may have problems in only one area. Listed below are some of the more common characteristics of dyslexia.
- Reading Difficulties
- Learning the names and sounds of letters
- Separating words into sounds
- Slow and inaccurate reading
- Poor reading comprehension
- Oral Language Difficulties
- Delayed spoken language
- Thoughts are disorganized
- Misinterprets what is heard
- Difficulty hearing rhymes or different sounds in words
- Writing Difficulties
- Poor spelling
- Disorganized ideas
- Poor letter formation
How is Dyslexia Diagnosed?
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires that a committee of knowledgeable persons determine if a student has dyslexia characteristics. This determination is made through data review, which consists of looking at student performance in the class, student performance on district and state tests, results of vision and hearing tests, evidence of adequate instruction, and a review of the student's progress from other interventions.
If, upon reviewing this data, there is an indication that there is a need for individual assessment by a trained dyslexia specialist, parents will be notified and permission is required before any assessment can begin.
The individualized assessment is designed to determine how well the child can decode words, understand what he/she reads and hears, and how well the child can communicate thoughts in writing. The testing is conducted at the child's campus.
Once the testing is completed, the committee of knowledgeable persons meets, parents are notified of the assessment results, and an instructional plan is developed.
State Assessment Testing Accommodations
A committee of knowledgeable persons will decide:
- If a student has been identified as having dyslexia and has a need for classroom accommodations;
- If a student has routinely used these accommodations in the classroom; and
- If a student will benefit from the application of the allowable testing accommodations.
Dysgraphia is related to dyslexia as both are language-based disorders. In dyslexia, the impairment is with word-level skills (decoding, word identification, spelling). Dysgraphia is a written language disorder in the serial production of strokes to form a handwritten letter. This involves not only motor skills but also language skills—finding, retrieving, and producing letters, which is a subword-level language skill. The impaired handwriting may interfere with spelling and/or composing, but individuals with only dysgraphia do not have difficulty with reading (Berninger, Richards, & Abbott, 2015).
A review of recent evidence indicates that dysgraphia is best defined as a neurodevelopmental disorder manifested by illegible and/or inefficient handwriting due to difficulty with letter formation. This difficulty is the result of deficits in graphomotor function (hand movements used for writing) and/or storing and retrieving orthographic codes (letterforms) (Berninger, 2015). Secondary consequences may include problems with spelling and written expression. The difficulty is not solely due to lack of instruction and is not associated with other developmental or neurological conditions that involve motor impairment.
The characteristics of dysgraphia include the following:
- Variably shaped and poorly formed letters
- Excessive erasures and cross-outs
- Poor spacing between letters and words
- Letter and number reversals beyond early stages of writing
- Awkward, inconsistent pencil grip
- Heavy pressure and hand fatigue
- Slow writing and copying with legible or illegible handwriting (Andrews & Lombardino, 2014)
Additional consequences of dysgraphia may also include:
Difficulty with unedited written spelling and low volume of written output as well as problems with other aspects of written expression.
Assistive Technology for Students with Dyslexia
Below are links to technology tools available for anyone to use. You will find games, resources, and tools that can be used at home.
Talking Book Program & Bookshare from the Texas State Library
Students identified with dyslexia or a related disorder or determined to have reading difficulties have the ability to borrow audiobooks for free from the Talking Book Program and Bookshare. Contact your campus dyslexia teacher for more assistance.
Learning Ally Resources
Students identified with dyslexia in MISD are given a Learning Ally account. Your child should have their user and password, if not, contact their dyslexia teacher for the information.
Dyslexia Program Specialist for Magnolia ISD
281-252-2500 ext 1407