The following signs may be associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities.
Pre-school Talks later than most children; Difficulty with rhyming; Difficulty pronouncing words; Poor auditory memory for nursery rhymes and chants; Slow to add new vocabulary words; Trouble learning numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, and how to spell and write his or her name.
Kindergarten through third grade: Fails to understand that words come apart; Has difficulty learning the letter names and their corresponding sounds; Has difficulty decoding single words (reading single words in isolation)—lacks a strategy; Has difficulty spelling phonetically; Reads dysfluently (choppy and labored); Relies on context to recognize a word.
Fourth grade through high school: Has a history of reading and spelling difficulties; Avoids reading aloud; Reads most materials slowly; oral reading is labored, not fluent; Avoids reading for pleasure; May have an inadequate vocabulary; Has difficulty spelling; may resort to using less complicated words in writing that are easier to spell. Common Signs, (n.d.). The International Dyslexia Association Web site Shaywitz, S. (2003). Overcoming Dyslexia. New York: Alfred A. Knopf
Characteristics of Dyslexia 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.
So... when is a good time to make a referral? When do we identify? Early intervention is critical for student success!
The Dyslexia Handbook states when a Formal Assessment should take place. The handbook emphasizes the earlier the better. If a student has had a scientific researched phonics instruction program in K and 1 st grade and is still: Experiencing an unexpected difficulty with phonological awareness; Experiencing difficulty reading words in isolation; Inaccurately decoding nonsense words; Lacks fluency and comprehension: Then the earliest an EMSISD student is eligible for a Dyslexia assessment is during the spring semester of 1 st grade.
“The Dyslexic’s brain works differently, not less.” THE DYSLEXIC’S BRAIN WORKS HARDER ! Margaret Rawson
Teachers need to access the student’s cumulative folder. Their IAP, (Individual Accommodation Plan), should be in the folder showing their appropriate accommodations.
1. Help build self-esteem by allowing the student to contribute to the class in the areas of his or her special talents. 2. Stress verbal participation. Reduce reading load. Grade oral work in addition to written work. Decrease the amount of written work in favor of oral work. Call on the student to read aloud only when he or she volunteers. Ask the student to listen to information and report orally on specific topics. Substitute oral reports for written assignments whenever possible.
Allow oral and un-timed testing whenever possible. Provide a “reader” and or “secretary” for tests that cannot be given orally. 3.Make directions simple and brief. Question the student briefly to make sure he or she understands. Give only one step of the instructions at a time. Give examples. Encourage students to ask questions and treat each question patiently. 4.Break assignments into steps. Have someone write student’s assignments down for him or her. Help the student organize and get started. Help the student make a schedule for long-term assignments. 5. Allow the student more time to think and respond orally.
6.Make special accommodations when needed. Provide the student with memory aids. Provide the student with visual reminders and examples. Allow the student to tape record lectures and test reviews. Provide audiotapes of content area textbooks. Allow sub-vocalizing (saying a word before writing, repeating a spelling word and spelling it orally before writing). Allow the student to write larger than normal if necessary. 7.Allow students to use graph paper for mathematical calculations. ******************************************************************* Additional Tips for Secondary Teachers 1. Leave notes on the board as long as possible because dyslexic students take longer to copy. 2. Hand out photocopied notes after the lecture so the student will listen during the lecture instead of reading ahead.
3. Encourage the student to use a word processor for written assignments whenever possible. 4. Mark papers positively. Comment on the good areas. 5.Introduce the student to good study skills. Remember… The most valuable accommodation for a dyslexic student is time. Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.
Dyslexia “Bundled” Accommodations for TAKS Reading, Grades 3 – 8 The test administrator must administer the reading test using all three accommodations, which include the following: orally reading all proper nouns associated with each passage before students begin reading that passage; and orally reading all questions and answer choices to students; and extending the testing time over a two-day period. Students who qualify to receive these bundled accommodations may be tested individually or in small groups.
Eligibility for “Bundled” Accommodations Only students who meet the following criteria are eligible to receive the dyslexia bundled accommodations: students must be in Grades 3 rd through 8 th ; and students must be previously identified with dyslexia; or students receiving special education services, who have a severe reading disability that exhibits the characteristics of dyslexia; and students must routinely receive accommodations in classroom instruction and testing that address the difficulties he/she has reading words in isolation. The Dyslexia Handbook – Revised 2007
Dr. Jack Fletcher, University of Houston, conducted field testing on Dyslexia Bundled Accommodations with the following results: Dyslexic students’ passing rates on the reading TAKS increased from 9% without accommodations to 41% with accommodations. Typical readers given the same accommodations only increased 2 percentage points to 82%. Conclusion: Researchers determined that this testing approach for students with dyslexia evens the playing field rather than giving them an unfair advantage.
TAKS Oral Administration Only examinees served by special education, Section 504, or who have been identified as having dyslexia may receive an oral administration of the following TAKS exams: Math Science Social Studies The Dyslexia Handbook - Revised 2007
"In a completely rational society, the best of us would aspire to be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have." Lee Iacocca
Resources for More Dyslexia Information Books- Overcoming Dyslexia- by Sally Shaywitz Straight Talk about Reading- by Susan Hall &Louisa Moats Parenting a Struggling Reader- by Susan Hall & Louisa Moats The Dyslexic Scholar- by Kathleen Nosek All Kinds of Minds by Dr. Mel Levine Taking Charge of ADHD by Russell Barkley How to Reach and Teach Children and Teens with Dyslexia by Cynthia M. Stowe
Websites - National Center for Learning www.ncld.orgwww.ncld.org Academic Language Therapy Association http://altaread.org http://altaread.org International Dyslexia Association http://www.interdys.org Learning Disabilities of America www.idaamerica.us www.idaamerica.us LD Online www.idonline.orgwww.idonline.org Texas Education Agency http://www.tea.state.tx.us Wright’s Law www.wrightslaw.comwww.wrightslaw.com