As the state and international definitions explain, dyslexia manifests itself differently. Based on assessment data, specialized dyslexia intervention is delivered and student progress is monitored. Meanwhile, in the regular classroom, accommodations are in place to support mastery of grade level content. Parents who are concerned about dyslexia should consult with the classroom teacher, contact the campus principal or talk to the campus counselor to explore the possibility and take next steps accordingly.
Additional information from the Texas Education Agency can be found at: TEA Dyslexia and Related Disorders
Characteristics of Dyslexia
The primary difficulties of a student identified as having dyslexia occur in phonemic awareness and manipulation, single-word decoding, reading fluency, and spelling. Secondary consequences of dyslexia may include difficulties in reading comprehension and/or written expression. These difficulties are unexpected for the student’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities. Additionally, there is often a family history of similar difficulties.
The following are the primary reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia:
- Difficulty reading real words in isolation
- Difficulty accurately decoding nonsense words
- Slow, inaccurate, or labored oral reading (lack of reading fluency)
- Difficulty with learning to spell
The reading/spelling characteristics are the result of difficulty with the following:
- The development of phonological awareness, including segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds in words
- Learning the names of letters and their associated sounds
- Phonological memory (holding information about sounds and words in memory)
- Rapid naming of familiar objects, colors, or letters of the alphabet
Secondary consequences of dyslexia may include the following:
- Variable difficulty with aspects of reading comprehension
- Variable difficulty with aspects of written composition
- A limited amount of time spent in reading activities
Common Evidence of Dyslexia
The following may be associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities.
Definitions of Dyslexia
Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003 defines dyslexia in the following way:
(1) “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.
(2) “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 growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. (Adopted by the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002) Students identified as having dyslexia typically experience primary difficulties in phonological awareness, including phonemic awareness and manipulation, single-word reading, reading fluency, and spelling. Consequences may include difficulties in reading comprehension and/or written expression. These difficulties in phonological awareness are unexpected for the student’s age and educational level and are not primarily the result of language difference factors. Additionally, there is often a family history of similar difficulties.