Special Programs » Dyslexia Support and Information

Dyslexia Support and Information

Tyler Nobles is the contact person for questions regarding dyslexia services or testing.  The direct line is 512-888-9934 and email is : [email protected]
The local Regional Center is also be able to provide services and answers to questions.  Tanya Hope is the specialist and her email is [email protected]  
In any case, one of our best resources is the Dyslexia Handbook.
Awareness and characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading in an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader. While people with dyslexia are slow readers, they often, paradoxically, are very fast and creative thinkers with strong reasoning abilities.
How common is it?
Common, affecting 20 percent of the population and representing 80– 90 percent of all those with learning disabilities. Dyslexia can also be tied to family history
What are common signs or characterizes of dyslexia?
This one is a bit tricky as students can progress very quickly between Kindergarten and first grades.  To help, please take a look at these couple of sites (Yale.edu, Understood.org) for more information.
Is there a cure?
Dyslexia can’t be “cured” – it is lifelong. But with the right supports, dyslexic individuals can become highly successful students and adults.
Effective strategies for teaching students with dyslexia and related disorders
In the classroom:
Chaparral Star Academy currently utilizes an outside Dyslexia therapist to provide direct instruction to the student.  They meet virtually and follow a strict curriculum designed to support the students reading and build confidence.  These meetings usually occur for an hour a few time a week, but each lesson is tailored to the student to get the most out of it.
At home:
We encourage you to read as much as possible with your student. When they are able, have them point out words and follow along with your reading.  Please be sure to ask your students teacher for assistance in choosing books based on reading level.
Resources for Parents to Support Reading at Home: 
Talking Book Program: Texas State Library - https://www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/index.html
National Center on Accessible Educational Materials - http://aem.cast.org/
Testing and identification
If you have a student that is struggling, the next step is to test and identify if the student has a disability, such as dyslexia.  This happens at Chaparral Star Academy in 2 ways.
1. The parent/guardian brings concerns forward and requests the student to be evaluated.  
2. The student is identified during our annual dyslexia screening and needs further testing to be completed.
The screener for Kindergarten is completed towards the end of the year, while first grade screener must be completed by January 31st.  We use MCLASS to help screen students for dyslexia.
In both cases, we will work with parents to set up testing to be completed at no charge to the parent/guardian.  The evaluations will be completed by a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP), here at school.  The parent/guardian will receive a copy of the evaluation.
Services available under IDEA - part B, Section 504, for student with dyslexia and related disorders
Once a student has completed all evaluations, an ARD team will meet to review the evaluations and determine what services and supports to provide.  The team is often made up of the parent/guardian, administrator, teacher, and service provider.  
The team will work together to develop a IEP to provide services for the student to learn strategies to continue reading development.  They will also talk about any accommodations that would best support the student.
Once a student no longer needs direct instruction under Special Education, they can be protected and provided accommodations under Section 504.
If a student does not meet the requirements of a student with dyslexia or another disability, the team will still meet to review the evaluations and talk about any classroom strategies that can be implemented.
Qualifications to deliver services to students with dyslexia and related disorders
Although Texas does not have a certification requirement specific to teachers providing intervention to students with dyslexia, opportunities for those who provide dyslexia instruction to pursue a certification and/or license are available through several professional organizations as well as through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
Providers of dyslexia instruction must be prepared to use the techniques, tools, and strategies outlined in the previous sections of this chapter. They may also serve as trainers and consultants in dyslexia and related disorders for regular, remedial, and special education teachers.
Accommodations and modifications for student with dyslexia and related disorders
Accommodations can be very important for students with dyslexia or related disorders.  These can range from classroom and instructions topics to testing. 
Some common ones may include:
  • Extra time for reading assignments
  • Don't count off for spelling errors
  • Reduce spelling lists
  • Allow use of audiobooks
  • Use verbal and visual instruction
Testing, especially STAAR testing, has the ability to be accommodated as well.
  • Extra time on tests
  • Reminders to stay on task
  • Colored overlays
  • Reduced screen brightness
The ARD team will review accommodations during meetings to make sure they are appropriate and useful.