Information on Dyslexia
The School District of Clayton is committed to inspiring each student to love learning and embrace challenge within a rich and rigorous academic culture while providing effective and appropriate educational opportunities for every child in our schools. We know that students come to us with a wide range of unique needs that require specialized, purposeful instruction in order to have the greatest impact and success, and our goal is to promote growth and increased individual achievement for children of all abilities.
What is dyslexia?
According to the International Dyslexia Association, 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.
“Dyslexia is a processing difference, often characterized by difficulties in literacy acquisition affecting reading, writing, and spelling. It can also have an impact on cognitive processes such as memory, speed of processing, time management, coordination, and automaticity. There may be visual or phonological challenges, and there are usually some discrepancies in educational performance” (Reed).
In conjunction with previously adopted District literacy assessments, the District also has adopted the Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST) as a component of the universal screener tools for students in kindergarten through third grade. FAST provides a “suite” of assessments which helps teachers and specialists identify possible areas for improvement in foundational literacy skills.
The District employs the eReading component with K-1 students to assess skills such as concepts of print, phonemic awareness and fluency. Each student completes a series of subtests with a classroom teacher or reading specialist. This one-to-one assessment is designed to give a quick snapshot into a child’s strengths and weaknesses in specific skills related to literacy.
Second- and third-grade students are assessed using the FAST Curriculum Based Measures (CBM) to evaluate the students' oral reading fluency. Second- and third-grade students also are assessed using the AUTOreading assessment to identify strengths and weaknesses in areas such as decoding, encoding, word identification and vocabulary skills. AUTOreading is a computer-based assessment; scores are based on the number of correct responses per minute.
For additional information on assessments of reading in the District, please click here.
Students in grades 4-10 who are enrolled in the District at the start of each school year will take the SRI and, generally, a reading inventory. If a parent has questions about his/her child as a reader or would like to inquire about further testing, he/she should contact a reading specialist at his/her child's school.
After assessments are made, a team of building-level education specialists are consulted and the parents of students with whom teachers see concerns are contacted. They discuss next steps, determine monitoring tools as well as establish review and follow up dates which meet the specific needs of the student.
Students Who are Diagnosed with Dyslexia
While the School District of Clayton does not have the ability to diagnose students with dyslexia, we do have students who have been diagnosed with dyslexia by a qualified professional. The parents of a student diagnosed with dyslexia may propose that we begin the problem solving team process to determine whether or not we suspect a disability. In the case that a child is eligible under IDEA or Section 504, the District will evaluate the success of accommodations and modifications that can be put in place within our schools.
A child with dyslexia does not qualify for a Special School District IEP based on the diagnosis of dyslexia, but may qualify for a specific learning disability in the area of language or reading.
For more information or school level interventions related to dyslexia or other disorders of reading, please contact your school’s reading specialist.