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.
-International Dyslexia Association
Dyslexia means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and sociocultural opportunity.
Related disorders include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.
State regulations, which were first issued in 1992 by the State Board of Education, require school districts to identify dyslexic students and to develop specialized instructional programs for them. Those rules are reviewed periodically, and the school districts receive updated guidelines to implement.
After a referral by a classroom teacher and parent permission is obtained, a dyslexia specialist conducts a variety of tests to gather data on the student’s abilities. Once the testing is complete, a campus committee familiar with the child determines whether the student should be served by the campus dyslexia program. If that determination is made, the group develops a plan tailored specifically to that child and customized according to the grade level and individual needs. Services, which are primarily delivered by the dyslexia specialist, center on one-on-one tutoring in order to focus on reading, writing, and spelling. The student’s progress in the regular classroom is monitored. In some cases, the child may also be referred for special education services.
According to the International Dyslexia Association, the condition is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin and is characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. Individuals may struggle with reading, which can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. Many people who suffer with dyslexia are of average or above average intelligence, and, although it is a life-long condition, early identification and proper assistance can enable a child to succeed in school.
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