Curriculum Services » Dyslexia

Dyslexia

Region 7 ESC is committed to supporting districts and charters with the implementation of dyslexia services as outlined in the Texas Dyslexia Handbook (2021).  The handbook includes the responsibilities of districts for identification, screening, evaluation, and instruction for dyslexia and dysgraphia.  
 
The updated Texas Dyslexia Handbook, linked below, is in effect as of February 10, 2022. Appendices and other supporting materials will be posted as they become available. 
Students with Dyslexia and Related Disorders.

(a) In order to support and maintain full educational opportunity for students with dyslexia and related disorders and consistent with federal and state law, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools shall provide each student with dyslexia or a related disorder access to each program under which the student qualifies for services.

(b) The board of trustees of a school district or the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school must ensure that procedures for identifying a student with dyslexia or a related disorder and for providing appropriate, evidence-based instructional services to the student are implemented in the district.

(c) A school district's or open-enrollment charter school's procedures must be implemented according to the State Board of Education (SBOE) approved strategies for screening, individualized evaluation, and techniques for treating dyslexia and related disorders. The strategies and techniques are described in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders " provided in this subsection. The handbook is a set of guidelines for school districts and open-enrollment charter schools that may be modified by the SBOE only with broad-based dialogue that includes input from educators and professionals in the field of reading and dyslexia and related disorders from across the state.

Figure: 19 TAC §74.28(c)

(d) Screening as described in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders" and further evaluation should only be conducted by individuals who are trained in valid, evidence-based assessments and who are trained to appropriately evaluate students for dyslexia and related disorders.

(e) A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall purchase a reading program or develop its own evidence-based reading program for students with dyslexia and related disorders that is aligned with the descriptors found in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders." Teachers who screen and treat these students must be trained in instructional strategies that use individualized, intensive, multisensory, phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components described in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders. " The professional development activities specified by each open-enrollment charter school and district and/or campus planning and decision making committee shall include these instructional strategies.

(f) At least five school days before any evaluation or identification procedure is used selectively with an individual student, the school district or open-enrollment charter school must provide written notification to the student's parent or guardian or another person standing in parental relation to the student of the proposed identification or evaluation. The notice must be in English, or to the extent practicable, the individual's native language and must include the following:

(1) a reasonable description of the evaluation procedure to be used with the individual student;

(2) information related to any instructional intervention or strategy used to assist the student prior to evaluation;

(3) an estimated time frame within which the evaluation will be completed; and

(4) specific contact information for the campus point of contact, relevant Parent Training and Information Projects, and any other appropriate parent resources.

(g) Before a full individual and initial evaluation is conducted to determine whether a student has a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the school district or open-enrollment charter school must notify the student's parent or guardian or another person standing in parental relation to the student of its proposal to conduct an evaluation consistent with 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.503, provide all information required under subsection (f) of this section, and provide:

(1) a copy of the procedural safeguards notice required by 34 CFR, §300.504;

(2) an opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation; and

(3) a copy of information required under Texas Education Code (TEC), §26.0081.

(h) Parents/guardians of a student with dyslexia or a related disorder must be informed of all services and options available to the student, including general education interventions under response to intervention and multi-tiered systems of support models as required by TEC, §26.0081(d), and options under federal law, including IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act, §504.

(i) Each school or open-enrollment charter school must provide each identified student access at his or her campus to instructional programs required in subsection (e) of this section and to the services of a teacher trained in dyslexia and related disorders. The school district or open-enrollment charter school may, with the approval of each student's parents or guardians, offer additional services at a centralized location. Such centralized services shall not preclude each student from receiving services at his or her campus.

(j) Because early intervention is critical, a process for early identification, intervention, and support for students at risk for dyslexia and related disorders must be available in each district and open-enrollment charter school as outlined in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders." School districts and open-enrollment charter schools may not use early intervention strategies, including multi-tiered systems of support, to delay or deny the provision of a full and individual evaluation to a child suspected of having a specific learning disability, including dyslexia or a related disorder.

(k) Each school district and open-enrollment charter school shall report through the Texas Student Data System Public Education Information Management System (TSDS PEIMS) the results of the screening for dyslexia and related disorders required for each student in Kindergarten and each student in Grade 1 in accordance with TEC, §38.003(a).

(l) Each school district and open-enrollment charter school shall provide a parent education program for parents/guardians of students with dyslexia and related disorders. This program must include:

(1) awareness and characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders;

(2) information on testing and diagnosis of dyslexia and related disorders;

(3) information on effective strategies for teaching students with dyslexia and related disorders;

(4) information on qualifications of those delivering services to students with dyslexia and related disorders;

(5) awareness of information on accommodations and modifications, especially those allowed for standardized testing;

(6) information on eligibility, evaluation requests, and services available under IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act, §504, and information on the response to intervention process; and

(7) contact information for the relevant regional and/or school district or open-enrollment charter school specialists.

(m) School districts and open-enrollment charter schools shall provide to parents of children suspected to have dyslexia or a related disorder a copy or a link to the electronic version of the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders."

(n) School districts and open-enrollment charter schools will be subject to monitoring for compliance with federal law and regulations in connection with this section. School districts and open-enrollment charter schools will be subject to auditing and monitoring for compliance with state dyslexia laws in accordance with administrative rules adopted by the commissioner of education as required by TEC, §38.003(c-1).

Statutory Authority: The provisions of this §74.28 issued under the Texas Education Code, §7.102(c)(28) and §38.003.

Source: The provisions of this §74.28 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 4311; amended to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691; amended to be effective August 8, 2006, 31 TexReg 6212; amended to be effective August 24, 2010, 35 TexReg 7211; amended to be effective August 27, 2018, 43 TexReg 5519; amended to be effective March 13, 2019, 44 TexReg 1315; amended to be effective December 25, 2019, 44 TexReg 7981.

 

 

(a)  Students enrolling in public schools in this state shall be screened or tested, as appropriate, for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times in accordance with a program approved by the State Board of Education.  The program must include screening at the end of the school year of each student in kindergarten and each student in the first grade.

(b)  In accordance with the program approved by the State Board of Education, the board of trustees of each school district shall provide for the treatment of any student determined to have dyslexia or a related disorder.

(b-1) Unless otherwise provided by law, a student determined to have dyslexia during screening or testing under Subsection (a) or accommodated because of dyslexia may not be rescreened or retested for dyslexia for the purpose of reassessing the student's need for accommodations until the district reevaluates the information obtained from previous screening or testing of the student.

(c)  Subject to Subsection (c-1), the State Board of Education shall adopt any rules and standards necessary to administer this section.

(c-1) The agency by rule shall develop procedures designed to allow the agency to:

(1)  effectively audit and monitor and periodically conduct site visits of all school districts to ensure that districts are complying with this section, including the program approved by the State Board of Education under this section;

(2)  identify any problems school districts experience in complying with this section, including the program approved by the State Board of Education under this section; and

(3)  develop reasonable and appropriate remedial strategies to address school district noncompliance and ensure the purposes of this section are accomplished.

(d)  In this section:

(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" includes disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.

 

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 635 (S.B. 866), Sec. 3, eff. June 17, 2011.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1044 (H.B. 1886), Sec. 5, eff. June 15, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 450 (S.B. 2075), Sec. 3, eff. June 4, 2019.

READING DIAGNOSIS. 

(a)  The commissioner shall develop recommendations for school districts for:

(1)  administering reading instruments to diagnose student reading development and comprehension;

(2)  training educators in administering the reading instruments; and

(3)  applying the results of the reading instruments to the instructional program.

(b)  The commissioner shall adopt a list of reading instruments that a school district may use to diagnose student reading development and comprehension.  For use in diagnosing the reading development and comprehension of kindergarten students, the commissioner shall adopt a multidimensional assessment tool that includes a reading instrument and tests at least three developmental skills, including literacy.  A multidimensional assessment tool administered as provided by this subsection is considered to be a reading instrument for purposes of this section.  A district-level committee established under Subchapter F, Chapter 11, may adopt a list of reading instruments for use in the district in a grade level other than kindergarten in addition to the reading instruments on the commissioner's list.  Each reading instrument adopted by the commissioner or a district-level committee must be based on scientific research concerning reading skills development and reading comprehension.  A list of reading instruments adopted under this subsection must provide for diagnosing the reading development and comprehension of students participating in a program under Subchapter B, Chapter 29.

(b-1)  The commissioner may approve an alternative reading instrument for use in diagnosing the reading development and comprehension of kindergarten students that complies with the requirements under Subsection (b).

(c)  Each school district shall administer, at the first and second grade levels, a reading instrument on the list adopted by the commissioner or by the district-level committee.  The district shall administer the reading instrument in accordance with the commissioner's recommendations under Subsection (a)(1).

(c-1) Each school district shall administer at the beginning of the seventh grade a reading instrument adopted by the commissioner to each student whose performance on the assessment instrument in reading administered under Section 39.023(a) to the student in grade six did not demonstrate reading proficiency, as determined by the commissioner.  The district shall administer the reading instrument in accordance with the commissioner's recommendations under Subsection (a)(1).

(c-2) Each school district shall administer at the kindergarten level a reading instrument adopted by the commissioner under Subsection (b) or approved by the commissioner under Subsection (b-1).  The district shall administer the reading instrument in accordance with the commissioner's recommendations under Subsection (a)(1).

(c-3) The commissioner by rule shall determine the performance on the reading instrument adopted under Subsection (b) that indicates kindergarten readiness.

(d)  The superintendent of each school district shall:

(1)  report to the commissioner and the board of trustees of the district the results of the reading instruments;

(2)  not later than the 60th calendar day after the date on which a reading instrument was administered report, in writing, to a student's parent or guardian the student's results on the instrument; and

(3)  using the school readiness certification system provided to the school district in accordance with Section 29.161(e), report electronically each student's raw score on the reading instrument to the agency for use in the school readiness certification system.

(d-1)  Repealed by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 4.001(a)(11), eff. September 1, 2019.

(e)  Repealed by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 4.001(a)(11), eff. September 1, 2019.

(f)  The agency shall ensure at least one reading instrument for each grade level for which a reading instrument is required to be administered under this section is available to school districts at no cost.

(g)  A school district shall notify the parent or guardian of each student in kindergarten or first or second grade who is determined, on the basis of reading instrument results, to be at risk for dyslexia or other reading difficulties.  The district shall implement an accelerated reading instruction program that provides reading instruction that addresses reading deficiencies to those students and shall determine the form, content, and timing of that program.  The admission, review, and dismissal committee of a student who participates in a district's special education program under Subchapter B, Chapter 29, and who does not perform satisfactorily on a reading instrument under this section shall determine the manner in which the student will participate in an accelerated reading instruction program under this subsection.

(g-1) A school district shall provide additional reading instruction and intervention to each student in seventh grade assessed under Subsection (c-1), as appropriate to improve the student's reading skills in the relevant areas identified through the assessment instrument.  Training and support for activities required by this subsection shall be provided by regional education service centers and teacher reading academies established under Section 21.4551, and may be provided by other public and private providers.

(g-2)  In accordance with a notification program developed by the commissioner by rule, a school district shall notify the parent or guardian of each student determined, on the basis of a screening under Section 38.003 or other basis, to have dyslexia or a related disorder, or determined, on the basis of reading instrument results, to be at risk for dyslexia or other reading difficulties, of the program maintained by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission providing students with reading disabilities the ability to borrow audiobooks free of charge.

(h)  The school district shall make a good faith effort to ensure that the notice required under this section is provided either in person or by regular mail and that the notice is clear and easy to understand and is written in English and in the parent or guardian's native language.

(i)  The commissioner shall certify, not later than July 1 of each school year or as soon as practicable thereafter, whether sufficient funds have been appropriated statewide for the purposes of this section.  A determination by the commissioner is final and may not be appealed.  For purposes of certification, the commissioner may not consider Foundation School Program funds.

(j)  No more than 15 percent of the funds certified by the commissioner under Subsection (i) may be spent on indirect costs.  The commissioner shall evaluate the programs that fail to meet the standard of performance under Section 39.301(c)(5) and may implement interventions or sanctions under Chapter 39A.  The commissioner may audit the expenditures of funds appropriated for purposes of this section.  The use of the funds appropriated for purposes of this section shall be verified as part of the district audit under Section 44.008.

(k)  The provisions of this section relating to parental notification of a student's results on the reading instrument and to implementation of an accelerated reading instruction program may be implemented only if the commissioner certifies that funds have been appropriated during a school year for administering the accelerated reading instruction program specified under this section.

 

Text of subsection as added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 450 (S.B. 2075), Sec. 2

 

(l)  The agency by rule shall develop procedures designed to allow the agency to:

(1)  effectively audit and monitor and periodically conduct site visits of all school districts to ensure that districts are complying with this section;

(2)  identify any problems school districts experience in complying with this section; and

(3)  develop reasonable and appropriate remedial strategies to address school district noncompliance and ensure the purposes of this section are accomplished.

Text of subsection as added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 2.012

(l)  The commissioner may adopt rules as necessary to implement this section.  Section 2001.0045, Government Code, does not apply to rules adopted under this subsection.

 

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 397, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.  Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.11, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5 (H.B. 1), Sec. 3.05, eff. May 31, 2006.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058 (H.B. 2237), Sec. 6, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1340 (S.B. 1871), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 895 (H.B. 3), Sec. 26, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1314 (S.B. 172), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 21.003(16), eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 450 (S.B. 2075), Sec. 2, eff. June 4, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 2.012, eff. June 12, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 4.001(a)(11), eff. September 1, 2019.

 

The following are the reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia:

  • Difficulty reading single words in isolation;
  • Difficulty accurately decoding unfamiliar words;
  • Difficulty with oral reading (slow, inaccurate, or labored without prosody)
  • Difficulty with spelling
  • Additional Grade / Age Level Characteristics can be found The Dyslexia Handbook (2021)
 

The reading/spelling characteristics are most often associated with:

  • Segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds in words (phonemic awareness)
  • Learning the names of letters and their associated sounds
  • Holding information about sounds and words in memory (phonological memory)
  • Rapidly recalling the names of familiar objects, colors, or letters of the alphabet (rapid naming)
 

Secondary consequences of dyslexia may include the following:

  • Variable difficulty with aspects of reading comprehension;
  • Variable difficulty with aspects of written composition;
  • Limited vocabulary growth due to reduced reading experiences.

 

Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003 defines dyslexia and related disorders 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.
 
 
Most current definition from the International Dyslexia Association (IDA): 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 IDA Board, November 2002. This definition is also used by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), 2002.
 
Let’s break it down:
 
Specific learning disability – research has indicated specific cognitive characteristics related to dyslexia.
 
...that is neurological in origin – dyslexia results from differences in how the brain processes information. Specifically, functional brain imaging has demonstrated a failure of the left hemisphere posterior brain systems to function properly during reading.
 
It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities – students with dyslexia will demonstrate difficulties identifying real words (word recognition) and pronouncing nonsense words (decoding); the student’s ability to read fluently is also a major characteristic as well as difficulty with spelling. This is in contrast to the popularly held belief that the major characteristic is the reversal of letters, words and numbers.
 
These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language – making the connection between oral language and the letters/sounds that represent language in written form requires an awareness that all words can be decomposed into phonologic segments (i.e., the word bat can be broken down into three phonemes or individual sounds – b, a, and t). Research findings have been consistent in confirming that in young school-age children as well as in adolescents, a deficit in phonology is the strongest and most specific finding related to dyslexia.
 
That is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities – unexpected in relation to the student’s: oral language skills, the ability to learn in the absence of print, intellectual functioning, or strong math skills in comparison to reading skills.
 
...and the provision of effective classroom instruction – if the child has been identified as at-risk for reading failure in kindergarten and first grade, have they been provided with effective instruction in order to develop proficient early reading skills? The lack of response to scientifically informed instruction is one factor that differentiates severe reading deficits from reading failure resulting from inadequate instruction. Early intervention is critical...students who receive appropriate instruction show changes in how their brain processes the information so that it resembles that of non disabled readers. Research has found that effective early interventions have the capability of reducing the expected incidence of reading failure from 18% of the school age population to 1 – 5%.
 
Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge – because students with reading difficulties typically do not read the same amount as non disabled readers, it may impact their vocabulary development as well as their exposure to information learned by reading.
 
 
[Source: A Definition of Dyslexia by G. Reid Lyon, Sally E. Shaywitz and Bennett A. Shaywitz; Annuals of Dyslexia, Volume 53, 2003]
 
 
  • All Kinds of Minds by Mel Levine, M.D
  • Basic Facts About Dyslexia & Other Reading Problems by Louisa Cook Moats, Karen E. Dakin
  • Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print—A Summary by Marilyn Jager Adams
  • Dyslexia, Fluency, and the Brain by Maryanne Wolf
  • Dyslexia: Theory and Practice of Instruction, 3rd Edition by Diana Brewster Clark, Joanna Kellog Uhry
  • English Isn’t Crazy! by Diana Handbury King
  • Helping Children Overcome L.D. by Gerome Rosner Homework Without Tears: A Parent’s Guide for Motivating
  • Children To Do Homework and To Succeed in School by Lee Canter, Lee Hausner
  • How Dyslexic Benny Became a Star: A story of Hope for Dyslexic Children and Their Parents by Joe Griffith
  • Informed Instruction for Reading Success: Foundations for Teacher Preparation by The International Dyslexia Association
  • Josh: A Boy With Dyslexia by Caroline Janover
  • Keeping A Head in School: A Student’s Book about Learning Abilities and Learning Disorders by Mel Levine, M.D.
  • Learning Outside the Lines: Two Ivy League Students with Learning Disabilities and AdHD Give You the Tools for Academic Success and Educational Revolution by Jonathan Mooney, David Cole
  • Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, 2nd Edition by Judith R. Birsh (Ed.)
  • My Name is Brian Brian by Jeanne Betancourt
  • Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at any Level
 
 
Venters
Angela Venters, EdD
Specialist, Dyslexia
(903) 988-6788
Perkins
Stacey Perkins, M.Ed
Specialist, Special Education
(903) 988-6911
                                                        
 
 
Wendy Marshall, A.A.S.
Administrative Secretary
[email protected]
(903) 988-6806