Dyslexia Awareness in LCPS

"Early identification and intervention is key, due to neurological brain differences

already existing at a pre-literate age."

(D'Mello, A. & Gabrieli, J. (2018). Cognitive Neuroscience of Dyslexia. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, pg 800-805.)

Types of Dyslexia:

Dysphonic Dyslexia (poor phonological processing with good memory. Other cognitive abilities are generally intact)

Double Deficit Dyslexia (poor phonological processing along with poor long-term memory/ Rapid Automatic Naming-RAN)

Orthographic Dyslexia (poor orthographic processing, often with adequate phonological awareness. May or may not have memory deficits)

What is Dyslexia?

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological 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 of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

9 Ways to Help Children with Dyslexia Pronounce and Remember Multisyllabic Words

Focus on vocabulary.

Kids learn academic vocabulary—including longer words—mostly through reading. So if your child shies away from reading, it’s important to find other ways to introduce her to new words.

Keep a word journal.

Encourage your child to keep a word journal—a record of words she’s working on. Once a week, pick 10 practice words with her. Ask her to write each one down and break it apart into syllables. Have her say the word several times. Then talk about what it means and come up with synonyms and opposites. This helps your child store the words in her long-term memory. And that can make them easier for her to access later, when she’s talking or writing.

Forget about it!

Remembering information after we’ve haven't focused on it recently, actually helps us recall that information over time. This is called cumulative review. For example, do your first review a couple days after your child learns a new word. Wait another week to 10 days to review it again. After a month, review it once more. Keep track by writing the dates you practice a word next to each word in the journal.

Teach them to be a word detective.

Decode multi-syllabic words that often have prefixes and suffixes. Think pre- and -able in the word preventable. Learning common word parts like this helps kids predict and remember the meaning of new vocabulary words. It also makes it easier for them to break long words into manageable chunks when reading. Knowing how a word breaks down in writing can make it easier for your child to remember and pronounce it when speaking, too.

Help them understand the syllables.

There are specific rules on how to break big words into chunks when reading. This is called syllabication. You probably learned these rules in school. Things like, “every syllable has one vowel sound in it.” Or, “when two consonants come between two vowels, you usually break the word between the consonants (un·der).”

Brainstorm backup strategies.

There will be times when your child will have to figure out the pronunciation of a word on their own. Make sure they are prepared. Identify backup strategies for when they just can’t remember or pronounce the word they want to say.

Have some fun!

Practicing longer words doesn’t have to be all business. There are many word games you can tweak to focus on your child’s vocabulary goals. Just make sure you choose ones that work with—or that you can make work with—them challenges. Games like Taboo, Outburst, Pictionary or Twenty Questions can get the whole family involved. That can make learning vocabulary fun—and having fun can motivate your child to practice.

Tap out the syllables.

Pick a word with three or more syllables and say it out loud. Ask your child to say it aloud, too, and tap out each syllable they hear. They should tap with a little extra force on whichever syllable is stressed. This exercise uses a variety of senses. That gives them multiple ways to process and recall every syllable in the word.

Talk about sounds.

Like tapping out syllables, talking about individual sounds or “phonemes” in a word can boost your child’s ability to say and remember longer words. Imagine you’re working on the word phenomenal. Ask your child what sound she hears at the beginning of the word. Or ask her to identify the sound that comes first in the second syllable.

Interesting Facts About Dyslexia:

  • Dyslexia exists in every language.
  • Dyslexia develops in both boys and girls equally. However, boys are diagnosed more often.
  • Dependent upon the study, research suggests 10-20% of the whole demonstrate characteristics of dyslexia.
  • Dyslexia is often genetic and runs and families.

Virginia Dyslexia Legislation

VIRGINIA STATE LEGISLATION

8VAC20-81-10 (effective March 27, 2002) : VDOE revises The Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia to include the definition of dyslexia as follows:

  • Dyslexia is distinguished from other learning disabilities due to its weakness occurring at the phonological level. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological 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.

SJR No. 87 (effective March 2010): The Virginia General Assembly passes SJR No. 87 requiring the Virginia Department of Education to consider dyslexia screening for kindergarteners.

  • The study found that “no reliable and valid screening instrument for dyslexia has been identified. The International Dyslexia Association’s (IDA) fact sheet supports and encourages schools to begin screening children in kindergarten to identify any child, who exhibits the early signs of reading difficulties, but they also acknowledge that individualized, in‐depth, formal testing of reading, language, and writing skills is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of suspected dyslexia.”

HB 842 (effective April 2016): The Virginia General Assembly passes HB 842, amending Va. Code § 22. 1-298. 1.D.8 to require dyslexia awareness for teacher licensure, and adding Va. Code § 22. 1-294, to require that university-level teacher training programs include information on the identification of dyslexia, both effective July 1, 2017.

  • Requires Board of Education regulations governing teacher licensure to require every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license to complete awareness training, provided by the Department of Education, on the indicators of dyslexia and the evidence-based interventions and accommodations for dyslexia.
  • Requires VDOE to collaborate with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to ensure that all teacher preparation programs offered at public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth or otherwise available convey information on the identification of students at risk for learning disabilities, including dyslexia, other language-based learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder.

SB 1516 (effective January 2016): The Virginia General Assembly passes SB 1516, amending Va. Code § 22. 1-253. 13:2.G., to require any school board who employs a reading specialist to employ at least one reading specialist with expertise in dyslexia, effective July 1, 2017.

  • Requires one reading specialist employed by each local school board that employs a reading specialist to have training in the identification of and the appropriate interventions, accommodations, and teaching techniques for students with dyslexia or a related disorder and to have an understanding of the definition of dyslexia and a working knowledge of several topics relating to dyslexia.

Federal Dyslexia Legislation

May 2012-present: Bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus

Formed by bipartisan co-chairs Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Pete Stark (D-Calif.) “to educate other Members of Congress and advance policies to break down barriers faced by dyslexics.” In 2013, Stark was replaced by Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) and in 2015, Bill Cassidy was replaced by Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

October 2015-present: October is Dyslexia and Disability Awareness Month

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a statement on Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month. This statement is excerpted below:

October 2015: U.S. Department of Education, Dear Colleague Letter on Dyslexia Guidance

  • The U.S. Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter on October 23, 2015 clarifying the responsibilities of educators in providing services to students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • The purpose of the letter is to clarify that “there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in the IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents.”

February 2016: President signs HR 3033 Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia (READ)Act.

  • Requires the President’s annual budget request to Congress each year include a line item for the Research in Disabilities Education program of the National Science Foundation and to require the National Science Foundation to conduct research on dyslexia.
  • Specifies that the National Science Foundation shall devote no less than $5,000,000 to research into specific learning disabilities, which shall include no less than $2,500,000 for research on the science of dyslexia, for each of fiscal years 2017 through 2021, subject to the availability of appropriations.