Dyslexia

The Dyslexia Services model is designed to provide short-term reading intervention for children identified as having mild to moderate characteristics of dyslexia.

These services provide students with skills and strategies to “unlock” the code of reading and to improve reading fluency. Students are instructed using Orton-Gillingham based reading programs and/or multi-sensory structured language approaches.

The goal of these services is for students to gain mastery of skills and concepts to become independent capable readers.

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The Round Rock ISD dyslexia program is designed to provide short-term reading intervention for children who meet Round Rock’s criteria. Services are offered to qualifying students in kindergarten through grade 12. Such services provide the students with the skills and strategies to “unlock” the code of reading and to improve reading fluency. Students are instructed using Orton-Gillingham based reading programs and/or multi-sensory structured language approaches. Dyslexia teachers work with groups of children weekly. The goal of these services is for students to gain mastery of the concepts taught and return to full time placement within the regular classroom.

When a Student Support Team meets and suspects that a particular child is displaying characteristics of dyslexia, a 504 referral process is started. One of the district’s dyslexia evaluators will then assess the student using a battery of tests. According to the Texas Education Agency guidelines, the battery of tests includes, but is not limited to: a measure of cognitive ability, achievement testing, and phonological awareness testing. Upon the completion of testing by the dyslexia evaluator, the RRISD dyslexia assessment team will meet to review the testing results of the child. Based on the evaluation data, the team will determine if the child’s testing shows characteristics of dyslexia. If such characteristics are noted in the testing, the child may qualify for RRISD’s dyslexia program.

*Students with additional factors that complicate their dyslexia may require additional support or referral to special education.

When a child qualifies as dyslexic student, a 504 committee meeting is scheduled. At the meeting, the results of the assessment will be shared and the committee will then determine the proper placement option for the child. The placement options are based on the amount of intervention needed for the child to be successful in the regular classroom. The placement options become less restrictive at each level. The placement options are:

Direct Services:

  • At this level the child’s initial testing indicates a need for short- term multi-sensory reading intervention, and possibly 504 classroom accommodations.
  • Monitor with possible 504 Accommodations:
  • The dyslexia teacher will monitor the student’s progress.

Possible 504 Accommodations Only:

  • The 504 committee will meet annually to establish appropriate accommodations. At this level, the services of a dyslexia teacher are no longer required.

*Not all persons with dyslexia are eligible for Section 504.

No one factor is sufficient to warrant exiting a student from direct dyslexia services after intervention. Discontinuation from direct services is determined by consensus of the Campus 504 Committee. The 504 Committee considers the following factors when recommending exiting or a reduction of dyslexia services under Section 504.

  • Completing the scope and sequence of an Orton-Gillingham based program used in the dyslexia program;
  • The student passed the reading portion of the TAKS/STAAR, after not previously passing; or achieving “Commended” on reading TAKS/STAAR;
  • The reevaluation and/or post-testing of students shows growth to be closer to age level proficiency standards;
  • The student demonstrates self-monitoring/self-correction behaviors as evidenced through informal observation by the teacher and/or IDT.
  • If the student has made ONLY limited academic progress while being directly served, a referral to special education may be appropriate.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a disorder which makes it difficult for individuals of average or above average intelligence to read, write, and spell and sometimes to compute, organize, and comprehend material in their native language. It often runs in families and may be caused by naturally occurring brain differences. Many individuals learn to compensate for or practically overcome their weaknesses through proper teaching methods and practice.
How would I know if my child has dyslexia?

The characteristics of dyslexia vary from person to person. Some children experience problems in many areas while some may have a difficulty in only one area.

Many young children exhibit one or more of the following characteristics; however, persistent occurrences should alert teachers and parents to the possibility of dyslexia:

  • Problems in learning the names of the letters of the alphabet
  • Difficulty in learning to read
  • Difficulty in learning to write the alphabet correctly in sequence
  • Reversal of letters or sequences of letters/numbers
  • Cramped or illegible handwriting
  • Repeated erratic spelling errors
  • Ability to learn to spell a “list” of words sufficiently to “pass” a weekly test, but may be unable to spell any of the words the next week
  • Ability to express self orally but unable to write what s/he has said
  • Inability to rhyme or “play with sounds” in words
  • Reading well enough to “get by” in elementary school only to collapse when reaching middle school or high school
  • “Grade level” reading ability may not be commensurate with child’s intelligence

The following characteristics may be associated with dyslexia:

  • Delay in spoken language
  • Difficulty in finding that “right” word when speaking
  • Late in establishing preferred hand for writing
  • Late in learning right and left and other directionality components such as up-down, front-behind, east-west, and others
  • Problems in learning the concept of time and temporal sequencing, e.g., yesterday-tomorrow, days of the week, and months of the year
  • May form letters from bottom to top
  • Family history of similar problems
How can my child be dyslexic and still make good grades?
A child may make good grades but resist any writing and reading activity. As school work becomes progressively harder, the child may: become less eager to complete assignments; rely on others to write or read assignment; refuse to work altogether.
What do I do if I think my child has dyslexia?
Discuss you concerns with your child’s teacher. You have a right to ask for your child to be assessed for dyslexia by your child’s school.
Whom do I contact if I have questions?
In Round Rock ISD, first contact your child’s school and request a dyslexia evaluation from the 504 Contact. For further information contact the district’s 504/Dyslexia Coordinator. You may also contact your local branch of The International Dyslexia Association for workshop opportunities.
What is the assessment process?
Your child will be given a series of assessments which would enable the school and you to determine the most appropriate instructional program for your child. The assessment instruments are designed to determine how well your child can: decode words, understand what s/he reads, understand what s/he hears, and how well s/he communicates thoughts in writing. The assessment instruments also determine: phonemic awareness, reading accuracy, rate and fluency. The assessment is conducted at the child’s campus by a member of the assessment team.
What happens after my child is assessed?
You will be invited to a meeting at your child’s school. During that meeting, you will be given the results of the dyslexia evaluation and appropriate instructional options will be discussed.
What should I look for in a program?

Students with dyslexia need more help than most students do in sorting, recognizing, and putting together what they see, hear, and feel in order to organize the raw materials of language for thinking and expression. They must be taught by a method that uses the learning pathways of seeing, hearing, touching, and moving. The method must be simultaneously multisensory; i.e., see it, say it, and write it at the same time.

Remember that you cannot/should not “program shop.” Your student is entitled to receive a program, not necessarily the program you feel is best. When looking at your child’s instructional program, ask yourself, “Is my child learning?” If the answer is, “Yes,” then the instructional technique is working with your child. If the answer is, “No,” you might discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher and ask for a reevaluation of his/her program. Because not all instructional techniques work with all students, it is important to monitor your child’s progress so that the appropriate instruction is being delivered.

What can I do to help my child?
  • First, understand the nature of your child’s difficulty. Read books on the subject and emphasize your child’s strengths and talents. Don’t pressure your child; give him/her praise more than negative comments.
  • Home life should be as stress-free as possible. Establish regular routines with your child.
  • Keep instructions simple by giving one direction at a time. Ask you child to repeat instructions and make certain s/he understands what you have directed by asking, “What do you understand to do?” So that the child has an opportunity to repeat back in his/her own words what action is expected. Give your child time to think.
  • Break tasks into small chunks. Once one thing is completed, give another direction and allow time for your child to complete that particular phase of the task.
  • Don’t assume anything. If your child doesn’t understand, show him/her how to do something. Build on what your child knows.
  • Help your child schedule time – what subjects should be studied first, when should breaks be taken, etc. Discuss with your child’s teacher(s) homework assignments that take unrealistic amounts of time to complete.

The Dyslexia Handbook is published by the Texas Education Agency, Department of Curriculum and Professional Development. Also included is information on the Student Success Initiative. These documents are available in both Spanish and English.