Dyslexia is a common condition that affects the way the brain processes language. Dyslexia makes it difficult for students to read and spell, but is not a sign of low intelligence. The Alabama State Department of Education (2015) defines dyslexia as a “learning challenge that is neurological in origin and 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 delivery 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.”
The Alabama State Board of Education Dyslexia Resolution was approved April 8, 2015. The Dyslexia Resolution defined dyslexia, recognized the educational implications, called for the creation of a Dyslexia Advisory Council, and called for revision of the Alabama Administrative Code to address dyslexia and subsequent services needed to ensure the success of students with dyslexia.
We are committed to continual professional learning that will prepare our teachers and leaders to effectively support students identified as exhibiting characteristics of dyslexia. Below are some of the changes already in place related to dyslexia:
If a student scores below benchmark on their school’s reading screening, a dyslexia specific screening assessment will be administered. Parents may also request a dyslexia specific screening if they have concerns. School employees cannot diagnose dyslexia, but can screen for dyslexia using instruments included in the Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide.
If a student is identified as exhibiting characteristics of dyslexia on the dyslexia-specific screening assessment or has a diagnosis of dyslexia, he or she will receive dyslexia specific accommodations and/or interventions in order to provide equal access to curriculum. These accommodations/interventions will be developed, monitored and communicated to parents by the school’s Problem Solving Team (PST) as part of the RtI Process discussed in section 3, page 15 of the Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide. Follow this ink to learn more about the Shelby County Schools PST process regarding dyslexia.[PST Guidelines Regarding Dyslexia - Grades 1st - 12th]
The Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide includes an entire section about classroom accommodations and strategies. A small sampling is listed below. These accommodations are critical to student success.
Every school in our system has teachers trained to administer the dyslexia-specific screening assessment. We also have teachers in each school trained to implement a variety of dyslexia specific interventions. In addition, all of our district literacy coaches and PST teacher leaders are trained to administer the dyslexia specific screening assessment and to implement dyslexia specific interventions. Dyslexia specific resources available in our district are below:
Our district will have ongoing professional develop about dyslexia specific interventions throughout the school year. We also have a district literacy coach trained at the CALT Dyslexia therapist level.
|Teacher Specific Resources||Parent & Teacher Resources|
|Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide||Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide|
|PST Guidelines Regarding Dyslexia - Kindergarten||Dyslexia Quick Reference|
|Dyslexia Screening Assessment Kit - Kindergarten||Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity|
|PST Guidelines Regarding Dyslexia - Grades 1st - 12th||KidsHealth|
|Dyslexia Screening Assessment Kit - Grades 1st - 12th||Smartkids|
|Dyslexia Resources Request Form||Colorado Literacy & Learning|
|Teacher Observation Checklist||Bright Solutions- Susan Baton|
|Dyslexia/PST Parent Notification Letter||Decoding Dyslexia Alabama|
|Dyslexia/PST Parent Notification Letter [spa]||International Dyslexia Association|
|Parental Decline of Dyslexia Intervention Program||Headstrong Nation|
|Talking to your child - Yale.edu|
|Talking to your child - KidsHealth.org|
|Video - What is Dyslexia?|
|Video - Big Picture Movie Trailer|