Dyslexia's primary reading/spelling characteristics are:
- Difficulty reading words in isolation,
- Difficulty accurately decoding unfamiliar words,
- Difficulty with oral reading (slow, inaccurate, or labored without prosody) and/or
- Difficulty spelling.
Individuals will demonstrate differences in degree of impairment and may not exhibit all the characteristics listed above.
Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003 requires that all kindergarten and first-grade students be screened for dyslexia and related disorders.
TEC §28.006 requires administration of a reading instrument to diagnose student reading development and comprehension to all kindergarten, first, and second grade students.
If the data indicate the student may be at risk for reading difficulties the LEA will collect and review quantitative and qualitative data on the student. If the analysis of the data shows the student exhibits characteristics of dyslexia or other specific learning disabilities, the LEA will seek parental consent for a Full Individual Initial Evaluation (FIIE).
The Student Intervention Team (SIT) meets to review the data collected and the implications of the data. If the analysis of the data shows the student exhibits characteristics of dyslexia or related disorders, or other specific learning disabilities, the LEA will seek parental consent for a Full Individual Initial Evaluation (FIIE).
Schools must recommend a FIIE if a student demonstrates the following:
- Poor performance in one or more areas of reading and spelling that is unexpected for the student's age/grade
- Characteristics and risk factors of dyslexia indicated in Chapter I: Definitions & Characteristics of Dyslexia
If a student is found eligible for special education due the condition of dyslexia, appropriate reading instruction must be included in the plan to meet the individual needs of the student. Appropriate reading instruction includes the components and delivery of dyslexia instruction as outlined in the Chapter IV: Critical, Evidence- Based Components of Dyslexia Instruction.
It is important to remember that at any point in the data review process a referral for a FIIE under the IDEA may be initiated. Parents also have the right to request a FIIE at any time. Regardless of the process in place for screening and data review, whenever accumulated data indicate that a student continues to struggle with one or more of the components of reading, despite the provision of adequate instruction and intervention, the student must be referred for a full individual and initial evaluation under the IDEA.