Children learn to read, write and spell in different ways. A balanced reading program should meet the needs of most students. Students who do not learn to read, write, and spell in spite of a broad, balanced reading program should be provided alternative strategies to meet this goal. If the strategies are unsuccessful, the child may have a developmental reading disorder, such as dyslexia. Children who show signs of dyslexia may need intervention to succeed in school. The Pearland ISD Dyslexia Instructional Program is offered at each campus to those students who meet program qualifications.
- To intervene with students having difficulty reading, writing and/or spelling to help them learn strategies to compensate and become successful readers while becoming successful students in their classes
- To be proactive in the early identification of students who may need instructional intervention for dyslexia
- To provide alternative learning strategies by teachers trained in dyslexia methods to those students identified as having dyslexic tendencies
- To enable each student served within the Dyslexia Instructional Program to meet minimum expectations on the state reading assessment
Response to Intervention Committee
Students showing difficulty in academic areas should first receive help under the Pearland ISD Response to Intervention (RtI) Committee. The RtI Committee at each campus works to identify reasons for student difficulties and to develop and implement interventions to assist each student.
A process is in place for screening all students, K-2 for potential reading difficulties. All students in K-2 are screened to identify students experiencing difficulty in reading in the areas of: letter and sound identification, spelling accuracy, concepts of print, reading words in isolation and in context, and reading comprehension.
As students are screened, students experiencing difficulty in reading are given differentiated instruction and intervention within the classroom (Tier 1 intervention). For some students, the interventions are successful and implementations are completed. Other students continue to struggle with components of reading and require further, more in-depth interventions (Tier II). If students continue to struggle with reading and or spelling, the RtI Committee determines if Tier II interventions will continue or if Tier III interventions (Dyslexia assessment) will be recommended.
Initial Evaluation Procedures
If a student still needs assistance after remedial strategies, the RtI Committee may refer the student for a 504/dyslexia evaluation. Parents, students, teachers, counselors and administrators may make referrals.
Criteria for Referral/Common Signs of Dyslexia
Students will be referred for an evaluation for the dyslexia program based on common signs of dyslexia. The following may be associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual’s age, educational level or cognitive abilities:
- Talks later than most children
- Has difficulty with rhyming
- Has difficulty pronouncing words (i.e., busgetti for spaghetti, mawn lower for lawn mower)
- Has poor auditory memory for nursery rhymes and chants
- Is slow to add new vocabulary words
- Is unable to recall the right word
- Has trouble learning numbers, days, colors, shapes and how to spell/write his or her name
- Fails to understand that words come apart (e.g., "snowman" can be pulled apart into "snow" and "man" and "man" can be broken down into individual letters with sounds)
- Has difficulty learning the letter names and 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 (Dyslexia Handbook, 2007, 2010)
4th Grade - High School
- Has a history of reading and spelling difficulties
- Avoids reading aloud
- Reads most materials slowly, with oral reading labored
- Avoids reading for pleasure
- Has inadequate vocabulary
- Has difficulty spelling and may resort to using less complicated, easy-to-spell words in writing
The initial evaluation must be conducted and the evaluation report written not later than the 45th school day following the date the district receives written consent for the evaluation, signed by the student’s parent or legal guardian.
The Section 504 Committee determines eligibility based on the assessment, then makes recommendations for the student. Possible recommendations may include:
- No placement recommended
- Classroom accommodations with student monitoring (placement in Dyslexia Instructional Program)
- Referral for special education services
- Other recommendations appropriate for the student
If the Section 504 committee recommends placement in the dyslexia program, written parent permission is required and will be obtained prior to placement.
Dyslexia classes are pull-out classes offered for students identified with dyslexia, either through special education or through Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Instruction at the elementary/middle school levels is done through pull-outs.
Instruction at the junior high/high school levels replaces the regular reading class or may be in addition to a regular reading class if taken as an elective. The dyslexia instructional program uses individualized, intensive, multisensory methods that contain reading, writing and spelling components. (Dyslexia Handbook, Revised 2007, Updated 2010)