You Asked! Question 2

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Q2:  My student is dyslexic.  The IEP team recommendation was for my student to “read more at home” but no evidence-based reading intervention was offered through school.  Will having my student read more at home help his dyslexia?

A:  It depends on what areas your dyslexic child is struggling and what they are reading.  For example, if your dyslexic child is struggling with phonemic awareness and decoding issues, they need to receive an evidence-based multisensorydirect, explicit, structured and sequential approach to reading intervention. Some reading interventions will have a student read “controlled text” passages.  These passages would only include words for decoding skills the student is currently learning. “Controlled text” reading is helpful as it is closely aligned to the evidence-based reading intervention.  Having your child do independent reading that is not aligned with their evidence-based program can cause added confusion for your child and may actually delay their reading progress. “Read more at home” will not teach a dyslexic child how to read.

It should be noted that reading out loud to your child (or providing access to audiobooks) at grade level (or above) is helpful as it exposes your child to grade level content and vocabulary that they would not be exposed to if they are unable to read at grade level.

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You Asked! Question 8

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Q8:  IEP Team states they don’t use the terms “dyslexia”, “dysgraphia” or “dyscalculia” in student’s IEP.  What can I do?

A:  IDEA requires that the IEP Team tailor specially designed instruction to specifically meet the individual needs of the student.  As Specific Learning Disability is an umbrella term, the IEP Team needs to carefully document all areas of deficits.  If the student exhibits characteristics of dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia it is important that these areas of need are specified in the IEP.

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) encourages States to review their policies, procedures and practices to ensure that they do not prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility, and IEP documents.  Finally, in ensuring the provision of Free and Appropriate Public Education, USDOE stressed the importance of addressing the unique educational needs of children with specific learning disabilities resulting from dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia during IEP meetings and other meetings with parents under IDEA (Source: OSERS Dear Colleague Letter October 23rd, 2015).  To download a complete copy of this letter, click HERE.

In addition, under the California Education Code Section 56334, deficits in phonological processing need to be identified as part of special education eligibility requirements. A deficit in phonological awareness is viewed as the hallmark of reading disability or dyslexia (Source: The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing 2nd Edition Examiners Manual by Richard K. Wagner et al. page 37). It is critical that the IEP team note deficits in phonological processing in the IEP in order to determine the individualized intervention for the student.

 

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